O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Mixing with Impact

Book Description

In Mixing with Impact: Learning to Make Musical Choices, Wessel Oltheten discusses the creative and technical concepts behind making a mix. Whether you’re a dance producer in your home studio, a live mixer in a club, or an engineer in a big studio, the mindset is largely the same.

The same goes for the questions you run into: where do you start? How do you deal with a context in which all the different parts affect each other? How do you avoid getting lost in technique? How do you direct your audience’s attention? Why doesn’t your mix sound as good as someone else’s? How do you maintain your objectivity when you hear the same song a hundred times? How do your speakers affect your perception? What’s the difference between one compressor and another?

Following a clear structure, this book covers these and many other questions, bringing you closer and closer to answering the most important question of all: how do you tell a story with sound?

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Preface
  8. Travel Guide for This Book
  9. 1 The World of Mixing: About the Profession of This Book
    1. 1.1 Who Is the Mixer?
    2. 1.2 Why Is Mixing Necessary?
    3. 1.3 What Is the Challenge?
    4. 1.4 On Rules
  10. 2 Listening: Everything Is Relative
    1. 2.1 Perception
    2. 2.2 Your Ear Is a Compressor
    3. 2.3 Your Ear Is an Equalizer
    4. 2.4 Tuning In
    5. 2.5 A Fixed Reference
    6. 2.6 Taking Professional Care of Your Ears
  11. 3 Laying the Foundation: Creating a Starting Position
    1. 3.1 Before You Start
    2. 3.2 Foundation
    3. 3.3 Balance
    4. 3.4 Panning
    5. 3.5 Mute Is Your Friend
  12. 4 The Frequency Spectrum: No Light without Darkness
    1. 4.1 Association Is Key
    2. 4.2 Masking
    3. 4.3 The Goal of EQ
    4. 4.4 EQ Compass
  13. 5 Dynamics: Without Soft There Is No Loud
    1. 5.1 Dynamics versus Time
    2. 5.2 Technical and Musical Dynamics
    3. 5.3 Using Compressors
    4. 5.4 Reducing Masking with Compression
    5. 5.5 Dynamics and Loudness
  14. 6 Space: There’s More Room Than You Think
    1. 6.1 Hearing Space and Distance
    2. 6.2 Simulating Space and Distance
    3. 6.3 How Reverb Works
    4. 6.4 Using Reverb
    5. 6.5 How Delay Works
    6. 6.6 Using Delay
  15. 7 Time and Phase: It’s All About the Sum of the Parts
    1. 7.1 Interaction
    2. 7.2 Combining Microphones Hierarchically
    3. 7.3 Combining Microphones Non-hierarchically
    4. 7.4 Phase Manipulation
  16. 8 Identity: A Unique Sound
    1. 8.1 Innovation, Imitation and Inspiration
    2. 8.2 Shaping Identity
  17. 9 Effects: Craziness with a Purpose
    1. 9.1 Distortion: Simulating Intensity
      1. 9.1.1 How it Works
      2. 9.1.2 Distortion in a Mix
    2. 9.2 Re-amping: Providing Context
      1. 9.2.1 How it Works
      2. 9.2.2 Re-amping in a Mix
    3. 9.3 Modulation: Putting Things in Motion
      1. 9.3.1 How it Works
      2. 9.3.2 Modulation in a Mix
    4. 9.4 Pitch Manipulation: Creating What Wasn’t There
      1. 9.4.1 How it Works
      2. 9.4.2 Pitch Shifting in a Mix
    5. 9.5 Triggering: Cause and Effect
      1. 9.5.1 How it Works
      2. 9.5.2 Triggering in a Mix
    6. 9.6 Spectral Editing: Unreal Reality
      1. 9.6.1 How it Works
      2. 9.6.2 Spectral Processing in a Mix
  18. 10 Automation: Performing the Mix
    1. 10.1 Faders for Each Function
    2. 10.2 Parallel Constructions
    3. 10.3 Change and Conquer
    4. 10.4 Expressivity
  19. 11 Advanced Techniques: Exploring the Boundaries
    1. 11.1 The Floor: Keeping Low Frequencies in Check
    2. 11.2 The Ceiling: Creating Clear Mixes
    3. 11.3 Securing the House: Dynamic Interventions
    4. 11.4 The Exterior Walls: Stereo Processing
    5. 11.5 Beyond the Exterior Walls: 3D Panning
  20. 12 Bus Compression: The Sum of the Parts
    1. 12.1 Influence
    2. 12.2 Choices and Settings
    3. 12.3 Multibus Setups: Painting on a Colored Canvas
  21. 13 Templates: Working Faster Means a Better Mix
    1. 13.1 Time Is Money
    2. 13.2 Building Templates
    3. 13.3 Integrating Equipment in the 21st Century
  22. 14 Preparing for Mastering: A Good Relationship
    1. 14.1 Communication
    2. 14.2 What Is a Good Mix?
    3. 14.3 Mix Bus Processing
    4. 14.4 Stems
    5. 14.5 Consequences of Loudness Normalization
  23. 15 Mindset: A Competition Against Yourself
    1. 15.1 Doubt Is Fatal for a Mix
    2. 15.2 Imposed Limitations: Working in a Context
    3. 15.3 A Guide for Your Mix
    4. 15.4 Ways to Stay Fresh
  24. 16 The Outside World: Sound Engineering Means Working for Others
    1. 16.1 Speaking the Same Language
    2. 16.2 Reference Tracks
    3. 16.3 Feedback on the Source Material
    4. 16.4 Feedback on the Mix: Revisions
    5. 16.5 Working at a Distance
    6. 16.6 Conclusion
  25. 17 Tools: Preconditions for Mixing Reliably
    1. 17.1 Basic Acoustics
      1. 17.1.1 Space
      2. 17.1.2 Optimization
    2. 17.2 Monitoring
    3. 17.3 Subwoofers
      1. 17.3.1 Why Use a Subwoofer?
      2. 17.3.2 Choosing a Subwoofer
      3. 17.3.3 Placement and Tuning
    4. 17.4 Compressors and Their Side Effects
  26. Recommended Literature
  27. Index