First steps on mixing/mixdown
1. Import Files
Pay attention that you copy the data into the project folder and especially where to find it, order is half the battle. Convert and copy, in order to have the data adjusted to your project settings, which you have hopefully modified, and not the other way around.
2. Labeling files correctly/sorting files (creating a folder)
Label your files correctly, so that you won’t lose track with bigger projects. Possible lables would be Hi-Hat 1, Hi-Hat 2, Subbass, Synthibass, etc. I would suggest sorting the tracks in a way that you can sort all instruments by categories (drums, synthis, vocals, etc.). Another option would be to incorporate your panorama settings into the track label (hi-hat left, hi-hat right, vocals middle, etc.). Especially with tracks of the same name you won’t lose track this way. Simply create a couple of folders and label these accordingly. You can then calmly compose some of them for your vocals, backings, drums, EFX etc.
3. Getting a general idea of the digital mixer
I gain the best overview by creating separate files for drums, synthis, samples, backing vocals, main vocals, EFX, etc. and then moving those in more generally labeled files such as drums and vocals. The group tracks and exit channels are labeled accordingly to the files. That way you always know where the track belongs, where it came from and where it is going.
4. Lineup of the instruments and tracks/distributing in the panorama
In principle, no “hard rule” applies here. However, you should still avoid lining up too “loudly” because this can lead to “overs” (digital over modulation/clipping). If your lineup is too “quiet”, the distance between the recording signal and internal noise of the device may shrink extremely, leading to problems during editing later on because the portion of random noise will cover the actual recording signal. This is called signal-noise-distance. We explain this in this tutorial because it is important to understand that the correct prerequisites for mixing and editing should already be created during the recording sessions.
5. Sequence of inserts/bouncing of mixdowns
All of these points and especially the last two will be explained with the help of an example of use in this YouTube tutorial video. No abstract is provided here because the possibilities of the individual sequences are rather varied.