1-Try using different types of reverb on one track. In days gone by, reverb was expensive and limited, so it was placed on busses, but high quality plug-ins and fast processors let you use multiple reverbs as inserts for total control.

2-Remember that in most cases, slower, sparser tracks can accommadate longer reverb times than quiker and thicker mixes without making them messy.

3-For a realistic live sound, as you increase the reverb time you should also reduce the wet signal using the wet/dry balance, and as you shorten the reverb time you should increase the wet signal.

4-Use reverb to impart a sense of 3 dimensional space rather than just width. For example, if a sound has a large amount of reverb if gives a feeling of distance, just as the sound of someone singing at the other end of a room is heavily mingled with the reverberations.

5-It sounds obvious, but dont forget that all the flexibility of modern digital reverb is wasted if the source material is a reverberating mess to begin with. Im not saying you shouldn't take advantage of natural reverb, but if you plan to add any kind of processed reverberations, the cleaner and dryer the source material, the better!

6-We humans notice change more than consistency, so dont be afraid to muck about with reverb lengths and parameters throughout a track.

7-When thickening sounds, try applying chorus or flanging to the reverb signal. Alternatively, if you're using your effects in an insert chain, try applying reverb before any modulation effects (though for a more natural and subtle effect, the first technique is probably the better option).

8-Dont overlook the power of comression on reverb, particularly reverb used as a track insert. For a spectacular pumping reverb effect, try running your kick drum into the compressors sidechain.

9-If your using heavily panned sounds, try applying mono reverbs panned to the same sides as the panned sounds to emphasise their positions in the mix.

10-To fill out a sparse mix, try using a combination of delay and reverb, but with one panned mostly left and the other right. For even more of a sense of movement, try sweeping these effects so that as the delays move right, the reverb moves left.


1-For cool filter sweeping sound effects try increasing the resonance as you reduce the cut-off. To create upward sweeps, automate the resonance to rise with the cut-off. Play with these two control for endless sound possibilities.

2-Sounds can often be made to sit better in a mix by 'bracketing' them with high- and low-pass filters so as to restrict their spectral content. Many console EQs don't have the sharp filters necessary to do this, but the side-chain filters fitted to many gates are often ideal for the job. Simply set the gate to its side-chain listen mode, then use the filters to shave away unwanted high and low frequencies. Acoustic guitars often work better in a mix if the low end is rolled off in this way, though the high end can usually be left alone.


1-Here’s a tip to make your lead vocal stand out from your background vocals. Chorus effects are often used to thicken layered musical parts such as pads, string sections, and background vocals. The reason for this is because Chorus effects push sounds back in the mix. Plug-in some chorus on the backing vocals to make space for your lead vocal.

2-Chorus is a useful effect for creating the illusion of space and movement, but it also tends to push sounds back in the mix, rather as reverb does. If you need a sound treated with chorus to stand out in a mix, try either panning a dry version of the sound to one side and a chorused version to the other, or ensure that the song's arrangement leaves plenty of room for the chorused sound.


1-If your mixing a track with a vocal, try cutting around the 2-3Hz range on your other channels, because this is right where your vocal track lies in the frequency spectrum. You should notice your vocal tracks easily pop from your song.

2-Use EQ to cut around 800Hz on tracks that aren’t cutting through the mix properly. If a mix is sounding muddy, this trick can make each instrument sound clearer. This is true because the fundamental musical frequencies of most of the instruments playing are located around 800Hz. When too many elements are playing at once, the area around 800Hz can get very cluttered. By cutting that frequency on a certain instrument, you effectively increase the overall harmonic content of that instrument sound which is the very thing that defines its character and uniqueness. And one of the goals in mixing should be to give each musical element it’s own space and tonality yet making everything sound cohesive.

3-Trying to peg down a certain frequency and you just can’t find it? Set the Q to the narrowest setting possible. Next, turn the gain up very high. Then sweep the frequency spectrum from 20Hz - 20kHz until you find the frequency you’re trying to isolate. Lastly, reduce the gain and adjust the Q setting as needed. This technique saves a ton of time and second guessing and is a good way to teach yourself the frequencies. It’s also a good way to damage your ears and monitors so turn your main volume down a bit before you attempt this.

4- A common mistake for studio newbies is to boost EQ every time they grab a knob. Try cutting frequencies rather than boosting. This is called subtractive equalization. For example, if your kick drum doesn’t sound fat enough, try cutting a bit of energy around 100hz on your bass track. You may find that the kick drum leaps right out of the songs.

5-Equalisation is often used as an alternative to getting a sound right at source, but the result is seldom as satisfactory as doing things properly. Nevertheless, on occasions where equalisation is necessary, applying cut to the over-emphasised frequencies rather than boost to weaker ones generally results in a more natural sound, especially with vocals and acoustic instruments. This is especially true of in-desk equalisers or budget parametrics, as they often sound nasal or phasey when used to boost mid-range sounds.


1-Try adding delay to your played or programmed tracks instead of reverb. Sometimes reverb can wash out your tracks and make them sound messy. Using short delay times under 20ms will thicken or add size to your elements.


1-Vocals almost always require compression, but rather than doing all the compressing at the recording stage, apply a little less compression than you think you might ultimately need, then add further compression when you come to mix. This dual-stage process ensures you don't record an overcompressed sound, whilst still allowing you to even out the level of the recorded signal.

2-Compressors bring up low-level noise just as effectively as they do low-level signals, so try to gate the signal prior to compression when you're mixing. Also, use no more compression than you need, or the signal-to-noise ratio may be compromised unnecessarily. However, it's usually unwise to gate the compressor input during recording for the reasons explained in the next tip.


1-Avoid gating during recording if at all possible, as a badly set gate can completely ruin an otherwise good take by chopping out low-level sections of the wanted audio. Instead, gate during mixing, when you have the chance to reset the parameters and try again if it doesn't work out first time. A further benefit of this approach is that any noise, crosstalk or spill accumulated during recording will also be gated out.

2-Don't always set your gate to fully attenuate the signal when the gate is closed. In some situations, it may sound more natural if a low level of background sound is still audible between wanted sounds, and when working with drums, you'll find the gate opens faster if the range control is set to around 12dB rather than to maximum.

3-Single-ended noise-reduction units (the type that work by applying level-dependent top-cut) can be very useful in reducing the perceived level of hiss during material where there are no silences that would allow a gate or expander to operate. However, make constant A/B comparisons to ensure that there's no obvious top-end loss when the unit is switched in. If there is, lower the threshold slightly until you get an acceptable compromise between high-end loss during low-level passages, and audible hiss. As with gates, applying reverb after dynamic filtering may help disguise any side-effects as well as safeguarding the reverb tails from being truncated.
These effects processing tips have been brought to you by computer music man
If you would like to suggest any of your own effects processing tips feel free to leave a comment
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Hanzo909 said...

thank you for your wisdom super computer music man! These tips will have instant effect on my music. In the good way that is.