If mix engineers want the tracks dry...

Discussion in 'General Production Forum' started by MorphineNoir, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. MorphineNoir

    MorphineNoir NI Product Owner

    I am currently working with a vocalist on producing an EP, which I would say will be finished in about 3-4 months

    In anticipation of finishing the EP, I have begun researching mix engineers as I know my limitations and do not want to mix

    Thus far, all of the mix engineers I have communicated with have told me they want all the tracks in each project "dry"

    That being said, I am beginning to wonder why, other than for my own enjoyment, I spend so much time finding the right reverbs, delays, modulations, etc., then automating them, when producing a song if the mix engineer ultimately wants everything dry so they can apply their own effects and automation to the song

    It seems all the money I have spent on effects plug-ins is meaningless unless I am going to mix the songs myself
    Am I thinking of this in the wrong way?
    Thank you
  2. JesterMgee

    JesterMgee NI Product Owner

    Well if you are brand new to having your projects mixed professionally I would suggest take the advice of the engineer with the experience. By all means, mix and automate the reverb how you like, purchase whatever effects you desire so you can get a sense of how it will sound in a track but render the stems with these effects OFF if requested. You will probably find that the engineers have even better effects and ways of processing your project, possibly actual analogue outbound gear, and will no doubt do a better job on it than you would (no offense).

    The main reasons will be because many people do not apply these effects correctly and it can make it 10x harder for an engineer to try and work with if it is not correct. Easy to add reverb to a sound, hard/impossible to remove it after. Also, it is much easier to set the initial mix on dry signals.

    If you have actual automated effects that are integral to your sound then you will need to first explain that and send maybe a rendered mix of how your track sounds along with the stems. It should be no issue for the engineer to re-create what you have done.

    So if you are dealing with a respectable engineer who has experience and you have placed your trust in them, just follow their suggestions and they will deliver something decent in return.
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  3. MorphineNoir

    MorphineNoir NI Product Owner


    Thank you for the response

    I plan on removing all compression and reverb

    The only automation I plan on leaving on the tracks is the expression automation on the strings and any delay sounds on guitar that are integral to the guitar performance