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Recommendations for mixing apps

so this weekend i'm gunna be recording vocals and mixing a few songs for my roommate for the first time on my ipad this weekend. im looking for a couple useful apps for general mixing and for mixing vocals. any recommendations are welcome!

Comments

  • @Intrepolicious said:
    AUM

    ive got aum but i prefer to use it for noodling/jamming and making loops. unless maybe i could export all the audio tracks once they are recorded and mixed in there which could be possible but not im not sure it would necessarily fit in my workflow

  • Are you aware of the Virsyn BarkFilter "magic" solution? Check the archives if not or ask for clues.

    Do you have a Magic Death Eye app (there are 2... the more expensive one is even better).
    It's an excellent simulation of the hardware mix down compressor(s) used a Capital Records
    that are designed and sold by the a Mixdown engineer there. The hardware devices sell for $4-8000 and there's a wait list to get one. It's like the Dumble version of Studio compressors.
    Hand made and sold by the engineer that design the circuit. For IOS it's an excellent DDMF app and they are all excellent re-creations of studio gear. It's considered to be a "glue" compressor... look it up.

    FabFilter EQ's (they slip an EQ into all their apps). Good mastering is typically about defining
    regions of spectrum for each category of instrumentation so each can make a statement in the final mix. FabFilters visual interface makes dialing in a good image pretty easy compared to the Parametric EQ knob approach which requires training your ears. You can start with a high Q setting and slide over the frequency spectrum to see where the instruments sweet spot is and then dial back the Q for taste.

    It FabFilter is too pricey look into ToneBooster EQ and Blue Mangoo's Parametric Equalizer apps at about 1/3rd the cost.

    @richardyot has answered this question many times and maybe he'll do so again. There are a lot of YouTube Videos that will surface on this question too.

  • @McD said:
    Are you aware of the Virsyn BarkFilter "magic" solution? Check the archives if not or ask for clues.

    Do you have a Magic Death Eye app (there are 2... the more expensive one is even better).
    It's an excellent simulation of the hardware mix down compressor(s) used a Capital Records
    that are designed and sold by the a Mixdown engineer there. The hardware devices sell for $4-8000 and there's a wait list to get one. It's like the Dumble version of Studio compressors.
    Hand made and sold by the engineer that design the circuit. For IOS it's an excellent DDMF app and they are all excellent re-creations of studio gear. It's considered to be a "glue" compressor... look it up.

    FabFilter EQ's (they slip an EQ into all their apps). Good mastering is typically about defining
    regions of spectrum for each category of instrumentation so each can make a statement in the final mix. FabFilters visual interface makes dialing in a good image pretty easy compared to the Parametric EQ knob approach which requires training your ears. You can start with a high Q setting and slide over the frequency spectrum to see where the instruments sweet spot is and then dial back the Q for taste.

    It FabFilter is too pricey look into ToneBooster EQ and Blue Mangoo's Parametric Equalizer apps at about 1/3rd the cost.

    @richardyot has answered this question many times and maybe he'll do so again. There are a lot of YouTube Videos that will surface on this question too.

    thanks so much for your input and suggestions! i’ve got barkfilter during the recent sale but i am unaware of the “magic” solution, so i’ll look into that now!

    i’ve also got TB EQ and i love it. fabfilter and DDMF are a little out of my price range though, but ive heard nothing but good things about magic death eye so i might splurge a little bit on that maybe.

  • What DAW are you using for recording and mixing?

    There's a lot that follows from that decision.

    Auria Pro, for example, is often recommended for mixing since it's the most like
    a traditional studio design with all the expected signal busses and use of FX options.

  • edited August 1

    @McD said:
    What DAW are you using for recording and mixing?

    There's a lot that follows from that decision.

    Auria Pro, for example, is often recommended for mixing since it's the most like
    a traditional studio design with all the expected signal busses and use of FX options.

    auria is one of the hhones i dont have. this’ll be my first time recording vocals (or any audio that’s not a small percussion sample) on my ipad. ive done it plenty of times on pc, just using an ipad is going to be a new experience. i’m thinking about using cubasis 3 though. but i have a few other options like GB, BM3, zenbeats, and auditor or hokusai (although im not too familiar with either of those. i know i could record with them but i’m pretty sure they wouldnt be good for mixing).

    i’ll most likely be using cubasis for recording and mixing though. unless you’d suggest something better for it!

  • @itsaghost said:

    @McD said:
    What DAW are you using for recording and mixing?

    There's a lot that follows from that decision.

    Auria Pro, for example, is often recommended for mixing since it's the most like
    a traditional studio design with all the expected signal busses and use of FX options.

    auria is one of the hhones i dont have. this’ll be my first time recording vocals (or any audio that’s not a small percussion sample) on my ipad. ive done it plenty of times on pc, just using an ipad is going to be a new experience. i’m thinking about using cubasis 3 though. but i have a few other options like GB, BM3, zenbeats, and auditor or hokusai (although im not too familiar with either of those. i know i could record with them but i’m pretty sure they wouldnt be good for mixing).

    i’ll most likely be using cubasis for recording and mixing though. unless you’d suggest something better for it!

    Cubasis 3 is nice and straight forward.

  • @AudioGus said:

    @itsaghost said:

    @McD said:
    What DAW are you using for recording and mixing?

    There's a lot that follows from that decision.

    Auria Pro, for example, is often recommended for mixing since it's the most like
    a traditional studio design with all the expected signal busses and use of FX options.

    auria is one of the hhones i dont have. this’ll be my first time recording vocals (or any audio that’s not a small percussion sample) on my ipad. ive done it plenty of times on pc, just using an ipad is going to be a new experience. i’m thinking about using cubasis 3 though. but i have a few other options like GB, BM3, zenbeats, and auditor or hokusai (although im not too familiar with either of those. i know i could record with them but i’m pretty sure they wouldnt be good for mixing).

    i’ll most likely be using cubasis for recording and mixing though. unless you’d suggest something better for it!

    Cubasis 3 is nice and straight forward.

    definitely agree. that’s what i usually mix with. i’ll do all the creative stuff in BM3 then export the loops and arrange and mix in cubasis. although i’m still not greaaat at mixing, i try my best lol.

  • Cool. If you're using Cubasis (2 or 3) then the comments on AUv3 FX apps make some sense.
    Have you started looking for YouTube advice yet?

    Trust your ears and the opinions of the artists. Some will ask the artist to share a recording they love and let that inform their approach to a mixdown.

  • On another thread @jwmmakerofmusic summarized the @Virsyn BarkFilter magic settings:

    Barkfilter Tripleband Preset, and switch the limiter to "on".

    It's pretty amazing. You have to hear it to believe. (Save it for the final "reveal" to the client).
    It's a secret so only tell professionals.

  • @McD said:
    On another thread @jwmmakerofmusic summarized the @Virsyn BarkFilter magic settings:

    Barkfilter Tripleband Preset, and switch the limiter to "on".

    It's pretty amazing. You have to hear it to believe. (Save it for the final "reveal" to the client).
    It's a secret so only tell professionals.

    :lol: I was in the middle of answering this thread with that exact answer when that box popped up in the bottom left saying you mentioned me here. Cheers mate. :D

    I also highly recommend ToneBoosters apps (not just their EQ, but Barricade as well as their compressor) for cheaper alternatives to FabFilter plugins (by "cheaper", I mean in price only, not in quality!) and the fact they're universal between iPad and iPhone.

    MagicDeathEyeStereo is amazing for gluing anything together as well as shaving off the low end below 20Hz to free up headroom without any drop in how thick the bass can get.

    And yes, Cubasis 3 is great for mixing now that we have track grouping. Sure it still lacks a proper internal sidechain (i.e. duck instruments when vocals come in), but there are many ways to get vocals to fit in the mix without subtle sidechaining, so no biggie.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @McD said:
    On another thread @jwmmakerofmusic summarized the @Virsyn BarkFilter magic settings:

    Barkfilter Tripleband Preset, and switch the limiter to "on".

    It's pretty amazing. You have to hear it to believe. (Save it for the final "reveal" to the client).
    It's a secret so only tell professionals.

    :lol: I was in the middle of answering this thread with that exact answer when that box popped up in the bottom left saying you mentioned me here. Cheers mate. :D

    I also highly recommend ToneBoosters apps (not just their EQ, but Barricade as well as their compressor) for cheaper alternatives to FabFilter plugins (by "cheaper", I mean in price only, not in quality!) and the fact they're universal between iPad and iPhone.

    MagicDeathEyeStereo is amazing for gluing anything together as well as shaving off the low end below 20Hz to free up headroom without any drop in how thick the bass can get.

    And yes, Cubasis 3 is great for mixing now that we have track grouping. Sure it still lacks a proper internal sidechain (i.e. duck instruments when vocals come in), but there are many ways to get vocals to fit in the mix without subtle sidechaining, so no biggie.

    thanks for the input!! i was definitely looking for some advice on what toneboosters apps would be good to get. the only one i have right now is their EQ and i love it. it’s the best EQ i’ve used so far. also looking at some FAC stuff because i’ve heard he makes some high quality apps as well. MagicDeathEye is definitely on my wishlist but i’m gunna hold off on it for a bit until it goes on sale (if it ever does).

    and wow yeah @McD that barkfilter tripleband preset really kicks ass. i just put it on this little loop i was working on and it really punched it up. im excited to try it on some vocals to see how it sounds! also i did start looking at some videos. so far, i’ve found a good video about mastering apps that im watching right now.

    i think i’m definitely going to get TB barricade. i’ve heard nothing but good things about that app. is there a significant difference between using the compressor in barricade vs the separate compressor?

    also in the thread about master bus effects, a few people said they also like to throw reelbus on there? im not sure if that’s a viable option for mixing other than as a tape emulation? i’m curious to know if either of you have ever used reelbus in that way or not.

  • McDMcD
    edited August 1

    For the record, the "BarkFilter Secret" was exposed to the world by @jolico:

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/34414/mastering-secret-don-t-tell-anybody/p1

    I like many were skeptics but realizing we had already purchased the app
    we gave the recommended settings a shot on some of our finished goods.

    Magic pixie dust. Harry of @virsyn does good work. AudioReverb is another excellent tool.

  • @itsaghost said:

    @jwmmakerofmusic said:

    @McD said:
    On another thread @jwmmakerofmusic summarized the @Virsyn BarkFilter magic settings:

    Barkfilter Tripleband Preset, and switch the limiter to "on".

    It's pretty amazing. You have to hear it to believe. (Save it for the final "reveal" to the client).
    It's a secret so only tell professionals.

    :lol: I was in the middle of answering this thread with that exact answer when that box popped up in the bottom left saying you mentioned me here. Cheers mate. :D

    I also highly recommend ToneBoosters apps (not just their EQ, but Barricade as well as their compressor) for cheaper alternatives to FabFilter plugins (by "cheaper", I mean in price only, not in quality!) and the fact they're universal between iPad and iPhone.

    MagicDeathEyeStereo is amazing for gluing anything together as well as shaving off the low end below 20Hz to free up headroom without any drop in how thick the bass can get.

    And yes, Cubasis 3 is great for mixing now that we have track grouping. Sure it still lacks a proper internal sidechain (i.e. duck instruments when vocals come in), but there are many ways to get vocals to fit in the mix without subtle sidechaining, so no biggie.

    thanks for the input!! i was definitely looking for some advice on what toneboosters apps would be good to get. the only one i have right now is their EQ and i love it. it’s the best EQ i’ve used so far. also looking at some FAC stuff because i’ve heard he makes some high quality apps as well. MagicDeathEye is definitely on my wishlist but i’m gunna hold off on it for a bit until it goes on sale (if it ever does).

    What I like about Toneboosters is their affordability and universal usage. Like I can start a track on my phone and port it over to my iPad no sweat.

    and wow yeah @McD that barkfilter tripleband preset really kicks ass. i just put it on this little loop i was working on and it really punched it up. im excited to try it on some vocals to see how it sounds! also i did start looking at some videos. so far, i’ve found a good video about mastering apps that im watching right now.

    Oh? :) Which video in particular?

    And yes, Barkfilter Tripleband kicks ass. It's my secret sauce I put on most everything in a mix (except for drums since I want to retain punchiness).

    i think i’m definitely going to get TB barricade. i’ve heard nothing but good things about that app. is there a significant difference between using the compressor in barricade vs the separate compressor?

    I haven't used TB Compressor much given I usually just use Nanostudio 2's default compressor, but I do know the compressor in Barricade has many different compression models that can be used to achieve the effect you're after. TB Compressor as far as I know is more like an everyday compressor? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. Well regardless if I'm right or wrong, Cubasis 3's default compressor sucks, so you'll definitely want to snag TB Compressor.

    also in the thread about master bus effects, a few people said they also like to throw reelbus on there? im not sure if that’s a viable option for mixing other than as a tape emulation? i’m curious to know if either of you have ever used reelbus in that way or not.

    I personally don't use Reelbus for mastering most of the tracks I make since I'm an EDM head (Trance, Dubstep, House, etc), but it is an excellent effect if, say, I'm creating Ambient and want to emulate Brain Eno's earlier works, or if I'm trying to recreate the sound of analogue gear, or for any application that tickles my fancy really. My advice is "just buy the f-cking thing already". 🤣 It's excellent.

  • There's also a new recommendation thread called "Barkfilter as a DeEsser". There's a preset
    for that functionality on vocals.

  • edited August 1

    IMO Barkfilter doesn’t sound too good vocals, it hollows them out in an unpleasant way.

    Vocal effects chains are pretty simple, it’s generally just compressor>EQ>reverb. You can also add a smidge of delay as a thickening effect if you like but you don’t want a vocal to be too heavily effected because it will just sound weird.

    When mixing vocals it’s much more fiddly getting the levels right, so you will definitely want a DAW with busses, which means either Auria or Cubasis 3.

    I generally have the drums on one bus, the bass on another, all the other instruments on a third, then the verse and chorus on a separate bus each. Any harmonies will also be on their own bus. This kind of setup will make your life a lot easier because you will be able to balance your mix much more easily.

    As an example, the vocals on this track were mixed with MagicDeathEye as the compressor, FabFilter Pro Q2 for a smidge of EQ, and FabFilter Pro-R for the reverb. You can easily swap the FabFilter plugins with their Toneboosters equivalents for similar results though:

  • Oh? :) Which video in particular?

    it was a video by Nu-Trix the Synth Guy! he was testing 4 ipad mastering apps. mastering is still a little above my current knowledge and listening abilities, but eventually i’ll maybe check out something for it! should work on my mixing first 😝

    I haven't used TB Compressor much given I usually just use Nanostudio 2's default compressor, but I do know the compressor in Barricade has many different compression models that can be used to achieve the effect you're after. TB Compressor as far as I know is more like an everyday compressor? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. Well regardless if I'm right or wrong, Cubasis 3's default compressor sucks, so you'll definitely want to snag TB Compressor.

    >

    i think i’ll pick up barricade to start, and maybe grab the compressor if i’ve got the extra funds for it. the compressor in cubasis 3 definitely isnt great. although ive been using roughrider 3, but mostly for sidechain in aum. i havent used it a whole lot as an actual compressor because i rarely make it to the point of mixing a track (everything basically stays as loops unless i REALLY like it)

    I personally don't use Reelbus for mastering most of the tracks I make since I'm an EDM head (Trance, Dubstep, House, etc), but it is an excellent effect if, say, I'm creating Ambient and want to emulate Brain Eno's earlier works, or if I'm trying to recreate the sound of analogue gear, or for any application that tickles my fancy really. My advice is "just buy the f-cking thing already". 🤣 It's excellent.

    you’ve convinced me on this one as well. i really really like the analog sound and i’m sure i’ll be able to find a place for this app in my workflow.

    @McD said:
    There's also a new recommendation thread called "Barkfilter as a DeEsser". There's a preset
    for that functionality on vocals.

    i saw that thread after i woke up this morning, but havent read it yet. it’ll definitely save me some money on getting a separate deEsser!

    @richardyot said:
    IMO Barkfilter doesn’t sound too good vocals, it hollows them out in an unpleasant way.

    Vocal effects chains are pretty simple, it’s generally just compressor>EQ>reverb. You can also add a smidge of delay as a thickening effect if you like but you don’t want a vocal to be too heavily effected because it will just sound weird.

    When mixing vocals it’s much more fiddly getting the levels right, so you will definitely want a DAW with busses, which means either Auria or Cubasis 3.

    I generally have the drums on one bus, the bass on another, all the other instruments on a third, then the verse and chorus on a separate bus each. Any harmonies will also be on their own bus. This kind of setup will make your life a lot easier because you will be able to balance your mix much more easily.

    As an example, the vocals on this track were mixed with MagicDeathEye as the compressor, FabFilter Pro Q2 for a smidge of EQ, and FabFilter Pro-R for the reverb. You can easily swap the FabFilter plugins with their Toneboosters equivalents for similar results though:

    thats an awesome track! and thanks for the advice on buses. when i was on pc, i used fl studio for mostly everything, i used buses a lot. but to be honest, i had no idea cubasis could do buses. that’s going to help out a lot.

    ive always had a difficult time mixing vocals. i could get it to the point of it being listenable, but it never sounded perfect to me. but stuff like that takes a LOT of time and practice.

    thanks everyone for the help!

  • zahzah
    edited August 2

    @itsaghost This mixing app can take the edge off your session for sure. :)
    https://apps.apple.com/app/mixology-drink-cocktail-recipes-free/id320926534

  • I just tracked a vocal session in Cubasis 3 with over 50 tracks/takes. Ran every track thru a group/buss with effects on tracking in real time. Nearly zero latency and it was a beautiful thing to be able to hear the premix while recording. Not a single glitch or crash. This is better than I’ve seen on a trash can Mac Pro in pro tools! The plugins used during vocal tracking were the toneboosters eq, Fabfilter Pro-C, Nembrini Audio delay, and the Fabfilter Pro-R.

    I could not be more impressed with my vocal recording experience in Cubasis 3. And using a trackpad as a mouse I forgot I was on an iPad.

    I’m running a iPad Pro 2018 & motu m4 interface.

  • Not so much about apps but a few classic mixing “tips” to keep in mind. None of these are my ideas.

    1. EQ: start with cutting rather than boosting. If you want more high end on the vocal, cut high end from the guitar, for example.
    2. Turn your speakers down to almost silent. Can you still hear the most important element of your mix (usually vocals)?
    3. Vary your speaker level regularly. Ears get tired and inventive.
    4. Put your mix-bus compressor(s) on immediately. Don’t make a nice mix and then try to add compression.
    5. Use sends for reverbs if you’re not going for a special effect. That way several instruments can share the same “space”.
    6. For me, for “natural” sounding stuff anyway: set the reverb send until it sounds about right and then dial it back a bit. When you’re first listening for it, it’s easy to over do it. Again, for me anyway! I love washed in reverb stuff by nature.

    For sure, jillions of good mixes have been made doing the opposite of any of the above but you may have to work a little harder.

  • Can’t go wrong with ToneBoosters.

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