Rhodes and other E-Piano sounds usually are not the focus of a mix, but rather play an important role acting as a pad with supporting chords and help fill up the mid-range. There are a million different ways to go about processing a Rhodes, but here are some techniques and plug-ins I find myself using often to help enhance keyboard sounds.
Many of you are all too familiar with the challenges, rewards, and workarounds that come with home recording. Can a great record be made at home? ABSOLUTELY 100%! However, prioritizing, planning, technique, and selection all have big impact on the final result.
Distorted electric guitars and lead vocals often take up energy in the same frequency spectrum. This poses a problem. We still want the guitars to sound crunchy and present, but the vocal must sit on top of the mix and maintain its clarity. The solution? Using side-chained multiband compression.
Mix buss processing must be done tastefully and subtly since any plug-in placed on your master fader is essentially touching every track in your mix. However, it is also where the magic happens in terms of glue and cohesiveness. I’m always tweaking my mix buss chain and of course tailor the chain for the track’s needs, but this is my starting point.
Mastering compressors are the elite bunch of compressors that have the task of transparently and musically taming dynamics of an entire mix, while sometimes being sought after for a specific character. The UAD Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor excellently steps up to the task with its two stage (opto and solid state) compression and transformer switch. Here’s an overview of the plug-in and some audio examples of the magic it adds.