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Old 10-29-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 124

Hi, Finodi!

I "needle dropped" through the tracks, just don't have the time to give it a full listen-through right now, so I'll offer my opinion on your questions based on that...

1) Compression has two main purposes (when not used as an "effect"): envelope shaping and dynamics control. With a compressor you can reshape a signal's envelope (attack, sustain, decay, release) by fiddling with the compressor controls. From your comment, you're satisfied with the "sound" of the bass, so no need to do anything there. The other usage is for level control. If you're having trouble keeping an instrument "in the pocket," you can drop a comp on it (high threshold, high ratio) to keep it from jumping out or fading into the mix. Again, from what I heard, not necessary. The midi velocity is the first line of level control, and it seemed pretty consistent.

2) It all starts with the source. The Yamaha piano is good, but there are others out there (VSTi modules) that could offer you some different sounds. For example, the "Big Cat City Piano" is a sampled Baldwin baby grand that is awesome for cutting through dense mixes, and Native Instruments has a bunch of good ones as well. Working with a synth piano is a lot different than with a "live" instrument! You might try swapping piano "sounds" around to see if you find something you like better, or to have a range of colors for your mixes. A Yamaha C7 and Steinway "D" have very different sounds, as does a Bosendorfer.

3) Reference tracks are ones that YOU pick as a tonal or stylistic target, and use to A/B against your mix to see how close you are to the target. A reference track could be used for a specific instrument sound (a kick tone, or a bass guitar tone) or for a mix balance (kick/snare/bass, for example), or for a mastering EQ curve (rumble and sizzle). The point is that YOU decide with the reference target is, so it would be a track well known to you...

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