Tracking out instrumentals & Mixing order?

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Music Afficionado
Member Since: Aug 12, 2008

I record mainly Hip Hop and R&B and we handle a bulk of the production. My question has to do with tracking out our instrumentals. I understand this to be vital in the mix process. So, my question is: Once you bounce out the individual files that make up an instrumental and place them in your DAW - do you mix the beat first, bounce it out to a single stereo wav and then load it up in the session that already has the vocal files? Or do you have to load up all of the individual wav files that make up the instrumental into the session where the vocals currently reside? Thanks.

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I tune down down...
Since: Jun 11, 2007

Jan 12, 2009 10:20 am


Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Jan 12, 2009 11:16 am

I have done it both ways. Both are acceptable, but combining all .wavs in the same project gives me more control if there are conflicts EQ wise.

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Jan 12, 2009 01:16 pm

to piggy back on Cpt, by having all the individual wavs you can pan, EQ, add effects and what not to make things fit better and over all come together .

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 12, 2009 06:37 pm

Yep, you can do it either way.

I find that I will most times keep the original stems right in the project after mixing a stereo track down of the beat.

It sounds as though you have the vocals already done then as well. My question would be then, why are you simply not mixing down the complete project all at once?

Some do find it easier to mix the vocal in after the beat is mixed down to a stereo file. But to me that removes the ability edit the beat itself after the fact without messing about again with the vocal bits. If you have everything all in one project then, if adjustments need be made it is much easier. Instead of having to fly in the parts of the beat that need re tweaking the are already in the project and readily at hand.

Music Afficionado
Since: Aug 12, 2008

Jan 13, 2009 02:39 pm

Thats what I figured but too be honest, the question was driven out of pure laziness (I know that is going to catch a lot of flack from some on this board). Often times we will have 15 - 25 tracks of vocals for a given song, and then a beat can range from 10 to maybe 50 sounds sometimes. So, I figure after inserting the additional individual files for an instrumental and having to scroll between (potenitially) 75+ tracks would be a huge pain in the *** and pretty confusing at times. I was hoping most would say - it wouldnt make a huge difference in the long run - but assumed the answer would ultimately be "the more flexibility you have over a mix - the better". Thanks for the replies!

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 13, 2009 09:29 pm

Indeed, it makes a lot of difference in ease if you have everything done the way you like to simply mix the beat down to a stereo pair for sure.

In Sonar it is nice to be able to archive the tracks or simply do several stereo mixes to separate busses. Then if need be I can bring back the original track as needed.

I will do that a lot to simply save on CPU cycles as well at times with large projects like that.

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