I wrote about buying both Reaper and Harrison Mixbus, but at the moment I’m back to plain old Ardour for my audio mixes – and I still keep changing things, like:
- I changed from the version 5.12 which is the current version of Ardour in both Debian stable and also in KXStudio to 6.6 which will be the second last of the 6.x versions of Ardour (with the latest version being 6.7, soon to be released). This looks a bit like Mixbus which is based on Ardour 6.x, except the bells & whistles and the built-in eqs, compressors, and such.
- I also changed from using lots of Calf tools to alternative ones which are making use of better (programmed) DSPs – those Calf plugins look nice, and are easy to understand, but sonically there are better ones I think.
- In my latest remix I experimented with using 96kHz sampling rate while working, and used plain old CD quality 44.1kHz (and even the mp3 format which Ardour now can also write) for exports, except my single bass stems which I still exported as .wav files. This ‘oversampling’ is done more or less automatically by some better plugins, so I’ll go on working with 48kHz which is the norm for video and also the one used by many mobile devices (like phones).
Just in case you’re interested, at the moment I’m using:
- Parametric Equalizer x16 Mono – Parametrischer Entzerrer x16 Mono from the LSP plugins project in my channels (switched over from a Calf 8-band parametric eq), and
- x42-compressor from Robin Gareus’ x42 plugins. Robin is one of the Ardour developers, and also works for Harrison consoles.
Beside these, I’m also using:
- Multiband Compressor Stereo x8 – Multi-band Kompressor Stereo x8 from the LSP plugins project, and
- x42-limiter, both on the master track
Of course, I’m also still experimenting with Harrison Mixbus, but can’t do everything at once and for all projects – I still want to make music a bit as well… 😉
So much to learn, so little time… but I still love it when/if I approach better output quality along the way. One important thing to keep in mind is for instance gain staging – make very sure to not saturate your outputs too early, and to get your signal into the next plugin already too ‘hot’ for it to handle that signal… drive it hot at the output, not while still working 😉
As always, thanks for reading 🙂 And also thanks to those who donate their precious free time into developing awesome tools like the ones mentioned above, for free. Help them with a little donation if you can, they need the nice feedback like every other musician/technician as well…