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preFIX is a pre-mixing and audio alignment tool which typically takes place upfront the mixing process. It provides a clever tool set to clean-up, fix and align audio tracks (typically taken from recordings) concerning overall frequency correction, phase alignment, spatial stereo field corrections and routing. It contains a complete gate/expander solution with a dedicated and comprehensive sidechain filtering path as well.
Improving the Stereo Field Perception
Beside the stereo field rotation option in the scope section the phase alignment is the ticket. Just apply this alignments to just channel 1 (or 2) with the switch on the top. Dial in some subtle phase alterations and check stereo field behavior visually with the scope. Check for mono compatibility with the mono routing option. Works great with vocal groups or rhythm guitar sections!
Focusing the Spectrum and Tonality of all Tracks
Applying high- and low-cuts to each and every track is a well known rule of thumb before starting mixing. Though, this should be considered with care especially for acoustic recordings. Some audio lowend content might actually be the frequency body of an instrument and the HF typically contains the overtone structure. So, choose all cuts with care. preFIX provides two filters dedicated for this task in the first EQ section.
Dealing with Gate Release Tail Distortions
Might be a difficult task if the audio content is sensible to distortion artifacts, e.g. as with release tails of toms. Utilize the HOLD timing option of the gate in this case or tweak the sidechain EQ to better focus the detector for the gate. Soft knee is also a good option.
Dealing with Fast Gate Attack Timings and Distortions
If fast attack timings are needed but attack transition becomes a problem try to utilize the pre-open feature of the gate to move the gates opening upfront the audio event itself.
If the Track needs some “balls”
Then the EQ is the ticket: Use highpass and shelving filter altogether to boost the LF department while cutting the very lows the same time.
If the Track needs some “Air” or “Shimmer”
Just dial in the pristine sounding Baxandall HF shelving filter – you can’t go wrong.
Align Stacked Recordings
The phase section is the right place to look: Just apply this alignments to just channel 1 (or 2) with the switch on the top of the section.
Getting those Tight (Electronic) Drum Tracks
Use the gate, Luke! Use it on the kick, the snare, the hi-hats, on everything. Use it on single tracks and the drum sub-groups. Set each tracks focus with the main EQ filter section on top. Always check for mono compatibility.
Mixing a Stereo Track into Mono
Check out the mono* option for this task which gives you the opportunity to adjust each channels mixing level before everything is converted to a mono signal.
Workflow: separate Track Alignment from Mixing
Start first to check all tracks and if mixing is feasible with them. Some might not match the quality and needs to replaced. Some just need some basic alignments. Do all creative decisions and treatments later during the mixing process. Mixing is always context dependent.
Alignment does not mean Restoration!
If you prepare a track and something like “where is my damn 64dB/octave brickwall filter?” comes to your mind then this might be because your are not upfront any mixing process but are working on audio restoration instead. Or the sources just might be crap. Always remember: garbage in, garbage out.
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