Lets face it, most of what we attempt to do when mixing these days is far less technical and has a lot less ‘black magic’ than it used to be.
In “the old days” unless you understood all sorts of levels, impedances and were OK at maths-on-the-run, as well as being able to do it all quickly at the gig, you were going to struggle, but now you can pretty much preprogram everything at home, and then simply load it at the gig and dive on in, simple.
With the digital age well and truly upon us as far as consoles and processors go, we can do more, save more, try more and achieve more easily, and have backup plans saved in case we don’t like where we end up.
So why aren’t we any better and braver these days?
It’s one thing to embrace new technology to emulate what you did on the old stuff, it’s another to bring something new to the party.
Stretch yourself, not only learn how the gear/software works, but take the time to try something new.
It doesn’t have to be world shaking, it doesn’t have to be so out there that it means you don’t do a solid job each time, but you do need to be trying new things if you aren’t going to be stuck in old habits.
Here’s a few very simple suggestions to maybe get you on the ‘road less mixed’ path.
1) Try some of those other effects in the library rather than just hall, room, plate reverbs and tap stereo delays. You can find all types of undergravel filter on our web site. There’s a wealth of really great sounding interesting effects that can be edited to give you a whole new palate of sounds.
2) Double patch some things to create alternatives. Double patch the bass and distort the second channel then blend it in with the first when you want edge. Double patch the snare and send it only to the reverb, then eq it to ‘tune’ the reverb to create different feels for each song from the same snare.
3) Send the delay return to a huge reverb to create a massive background wash that doesn’t blur the frontline sounds.
Clearly there’s heaps more, this is just scratching the surface, explore, create, be musical, use the technology to go somewhere new.