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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1570
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: General music engineering questions
    Plug-ins are the way the various audio processors that are typically used in mixing are applied to various tracks in the mix. If you mix yourself then you might want to use some plug-in processing, though it's up to the mixer when and if processing is used, and which types might be employed, depending on the particular recordings. If you farm out the mix to someone else then they'll make those decisions.
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  • Student469162
    Posts: 392
    Joined: Sep 20th, 2020
    Re: General music engineering questions
    Are plugins the only processors, or can I process somehow else?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1570
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: General music engineering questions
    Professional studios might sometimes choose to use outboard (hardware) processors [for their "analog" qualities], but within GarageBand, working strictly inside the computer, plug-ins are the way you would apply processing in a mix.
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  • Student469162
    Posts: 392
    Joined: Sep 20th, 2020
    Re: General music engineering questions
    You write, mixing includes balancing. If processing can be done with plugins, how the balancing would be done... ?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1570
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: General music engineering questions
    Balancing just refers to setting the relative levels of the different tracks in the song, which of course you'd do with the volume sliders on each track.
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  • Student469162
    Posts: 392
    Joined: Sep 20th, 2020
    Re: General music engineering questions
    So balancing means, for example, if it seems to me that guitar is too loud, I minimize its volume slider and if I feel the piano is too quiet, I can max (add) the volume slider?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1570
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: General music engineering questions
    Yes, exactly -- you're balancing the levels of the different instruments & vocals in the arrangement, so they're all at what you determine to be the best levels for the song.
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  • Student469162
    Posts: 392
    Joined: Sep 20th, 2020
    Re: General music engineering questions
    What means mastering subcategory on mixing? Use of master track, or anything else.. ?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1570
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: General music engineering questions
    When a mix is finished, a mastering engineer may apply a little more subtle processing (EQ, compression, limiting) to the finished stereo mix file, to make it sound a little better, or to meet the technical requirements of a specific distribution platform (CD, vinyl, streaming, etc). It's an advanced part of the production process, best left to those with real mastering experience. Some mixers add processing on the Master Fader, and that's ok [if they know what they're doing and they don't overdo it], but mastering for commercial distribution is best done by a dedicated mastering engineer who specializes in that final stage of production.
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  • Student469162
    Posts: 392
    Joined: Sep 20th, 2020
    Re: General music engineering questions
    What means "the levels of some tracks" need to change by automation? What that level of a track means? I understand there is a volume level on the track. Does the track have any other level, too... ? What kind of then.. ?
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