Mixing track and Faders

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Mixing track and Faders

Post by Jpjb14 »

Evening all - I have been reading quite a few different things regarding two different ways that people mix tracks, whether it be via a field recorder/mixer (like my F6) or via a studio mixing deck.

1) This is the way I have understood from learning the last week, to be the most efficient way, particularly for field recording - set the gain/trim level of each mic (signal) - then use the faders to adjust the final output and ratio of each mic to the final stereo track.

however I have also since read this method....

2) Set the faders to 0 ''unity'' - leave them there and then use the gain/trim to adjust the final output signal and ratio of each mic to the final stereo mix.

Now to me number 1 seems the most logical, especially when there are actually fader knobs (particularly on the F6)... So yeah is there a wrong or right answer? Is one more efficient than the other? or is it purely a case of each can work and so its whichever works best for the individual?

Thanks you : )
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by James Perrett »

I think you are possibly confusing two separate stages of the process.

1) applies to recording while 2) applies to mixing. 2) also mainly applies if you are using a conventional mixing desk or software that emulates the way that a mixing desk works. If your recorder or software doesn't work in that way then it doesn't apply.
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by Jpjb14 »

James Perrett wrote:I think you are possibly confusing two separate stages of the process.

1) applies to recording while 2) applies to mixing. 2) also mainly applies if you are using a conventional mixing desk or software that emulates the way that a mixing desk works. If your recorder or software doesn't work in that way then it doesn't apply.


Hi James, thank you for your reply and I think I may have got confused here haven't I!

So after reading what you have said and re reading what I have put I think I get what you mean and where I went wrong.... I think I am getting confused with and by reading things on ''Mixing" tracks in post & "A Mixed" track being recorded in the actual recorder in the field?....

So a field recording device like my ZoomF6, doesn't actually do 'MIXING' (as this is a post production process requiring a dedicated mixing desk or emulation software), it can just record a ''MIXED TRACK" , which is just a LR stereo track with a mix of different signals to it..... and so yeah method one would be the logical way when recording in the field, to set gain for each mic first and then just adjust the output using the faders on the fly, as and when needed through the recording time.

However what I have been reading about different methods and uses of the fader, when "MIXING", is actually In reference to the post production process/workflow of MIXING, and so then it would be a case of choosing the method that suited the individuals post workflow, based on the mixing desk or emulation software they are using?
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Apologies James, but I think you have now helped me understand my confusion and I hope what I have said above is now a correct understanding.

Thank you : )
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by James Perrett »

Yes, the F6's limited mixing facility could cause the confusion. It would be safest to ignore it for now until you are comfortable with using the basic recording features.
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by Jpjb14 »

James Perrett wrote:Yes, the F6's limited mixing facility could cause the confusion. It would be safest to ignore it for now until you are comfortable with using the basic recording features.


Ah brilliant! Thank you James for your help in clearing that up for me! Again apologies for the confusion aha, but I'm glad its something I can ignore for the time being with what I'm looking to do : )
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The clue is in the names.

Gain knobs are for adjusting preamp gain to optimise the signal level through the signal and/or for recording.

Faders are for mixing. At their unity or 0dB position they don't alter the signal level at all, so that is the default position. The scaling or law of the fader is designed so that small movements up or down from that position gives the best and finest adjustment for mixing.
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Re: Mixing track and Faders

Post by Jpjb14 »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The clue is in the names.

Gain knobs are for adjusting preamp gain to optimise the signal level through the signal and/or for recording.

Faders are for mixing. At their unity or 0dB position they don't alter the signal level at all, so that is the default position. The scaling or law of the fader is designed so that small movements up or down from that position gives the best and finest adjustment for mixing.


Thank you Hugh, very helpful indeed and it’s because of what you say there, that to me method one I mentioned in my OP seems the logical method to use in the field :)

I just couldn’t understand why you would just keep the faders at unity/0 and then use the gain knobs to determine the amount being sent to output ie. creating the mix track.

This being said the article was a music based article and actually I have since thought especially after what James said above, that I have confused two separate things al together. The first being actually using the recorder in the field to record and create a track, we’re again method one is the thing to do…. But confusing it with post mixing, using a purpose built mixing desk or emulated desk in DAW software, where by both methods could be used depending on personal circumstances.

Anyways for now I will just focus on the actual recording & creation of the mixed tracks using the recorder in the field and will stick to setting gain first, then using the faders to alter the final output :)
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