Mixing Synths Using Overdrive & Phaser

Mixing Synths and Keyboards

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Mixing Synths & Keyboards Tips

Well, here we are editing these keyboards / synth tracks…

The Waves GTR Stomp pack is a great tool for texturing sounds. Originally intended for guitars, but you can get creative and use it for other purposes. Here I am using it for mixing synth tracks, but can also help a lot for mixing vocal tracks.

Mixing Synths with Phaser

It seems that it’s definitely a phaser sound… it takes everything out of it, changes it totally; it’s a very deep effect.
I want it, but I also want it to keep the properties of the original sound, so maybe I can add… to make it a little more “bright”, a little bit of overdrive before the effect… but “nothing”.

Using Overdrive for Mixing Synth Tracks

Adding overdrive / distortion often brings the sound to the front.

So I try adding a lil bit of overdrive to mysynth track to make it pop up. I place it BEFORE the phaser, so that the overdriven signal gets phased. So then I just try to adjust the knobs until I get close to the sound that is in my head.

So what this does is that in that part of the waveform, when the phaser is completing the full bar, and the beat starts again, you notice the overdrive, like you can tell the waveform is doing kinda like this. It’s as if… like it enhances the “sustain” of the effect…

Well now it’s very loud, so I have to adjust. ALWAYS make sure that your signal is not “clipping”. So I slightly decrease the output level, and now I mix my synth track using the track fader to fit it within the mix.

At first, I kind of wanted those keyboardsto have a little more presence… they were a little “off”, now I’m a little
more satisfied with their sound. These are all the synth layers together.

Listen to the final version of the song “Cyan” and focus on the synth sounds:

Compression for Mixing Synths

This one could also use some compression. Compressors are very useful for texturing sounds by altering their dynamics.
When compressing, simply use your ears to get the sound you need for the mix. The goal is to use just the right
amount of compression to make it work
. Sometimes you need a lot… Sometimes you only need 1 or 2 dB of gain reduction.

Check the new synth sound (with
overdrive & phaser) vs. the original sound that was this.

Look at this synth track, is kinda crazy; I think it has a lot of feedback, but… it adds “mobility” the synth track;
and fills the stereo field in a much more effective way. The sound is more dynamic, the other one was very “flat” I don’t want the effect to be EXTREME.

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