POWER TOOLS — Neve Flying Faders: THE ''NO SECRETS, NO MARKS, NO FEAR'' APPROACH

Jan 1, 1999 12:00 PM, Jimmy Douglass

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Now campers, don't try this at home alone. These tips are based my perspective of working on a Neve VR, but should apply to other Neve Flying Faders systems as well.

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE

In order to have the system work at utmost efficiency, I automate and save every song, idea, interlude that I work on.

Label and save your mixes so you can find them a millennium later. Use the "notes" column on the MIX/PASS page freely, explicitly and frequently. Use the [New Mix] as a broad outline subject. Change to a new Mix status with notes at major changes. For example: Mix1 is track levels, Mix2 is backgrounds, Mix3 is re-mix, etc. When a major change is taking place, such as BG vocals, leads or rhythm section, note that "this pass was where the background voxes were at the right level, but the know-it-all producer made me change it." Because every pass is numbered and always retrievable in RAM, you don't have to save as often to be able to retrace your steps.

Anytime I'm about to do something I'm not sure about-status, group or weird stuff-I usually officially save a mix to disk, and start a *(New Mix) for marker sake. When I want to start the concept of a mix-over, I go back to Mix1/Pass0 but keep my existing mix concept in RAM for mixing and merging.

MUTE MAGIC

Use the Flying Faders Solo System in Multi Mode to mute count-offs and other unwanted noise. Individual momentary and Latched soloing: First set the solo box to Multi Mode, then go to the Other Key box. Hold down the shift key while you hit the Other button on the center module until you find Set Solo Bank. Now, release Shift and hit Other. You will be ready to select faders for solo groups, but you want to deselect any faders that are selected (green select). Hitting Other once more returns you to mix operation mode. Faders that are muted in automation can be auditioned without disturbing their automation status by holding down the Flying Fader's Solo button while it's playing. If you hit the console's Mute button, it will write that move to the mix even though you heard the whole performance.

MIDI HEADS...

Use the 3&4 Mix outputs as exclusive sends to stereo samplers, and for making stereo comps with effects for bouncing. You can easily adjust the overall output level, and hear what you are sending, by listening through Mix Monitor 3&4.

SNAPSHOT PASTE MIXING

Using the Smart Key S11 Store and Set Store to do snapshot paste mixing is great for doing quick, accurate multi-move rough mixes. For various quick snapshot, new, automated levels, mute and VR mute statuses always take one basic home shot with the VR mutes off-to have a pass to return to. If you're not ready to automate different BG Levels, different sections when you get it right, hit S11 and Label-you may want to mask certain unwanted functions to protect them from EQ/insert/cuts/VR board mute moves. Push run/enter stores and press Set Store as each section occurs, and the computer will write these positions as an automated move, using the home set after each section not needing any specific changes. Example-Set Store:

1) A-Home basic mix (basic rough groove)

2) B-Bsec BG to Chorus

3) C-BG @ Chorus

4) A-Home basic mix (can use for second verse)

5) B-Bsec BG to Chorus 2

6) D-BG @ Chorus #2 (different new notes added)

7) E-Bridge BGs

8) A-Home basic mix

9) D-BG @ Chorus (use also for last chorus & groove-groove on out and fade)

LIVING IN MASTER TOUCH

Set Option window (TRM / GRP / SOLO / MAST ISO) to engage Master Touch globally. In the main menu, set the momentary Set button to Select All Faders And All Mutes, then release. Press Shift and the Master Record Light on the global module section. This will latch the automation record button to permanent "on."

Now we're ready to do what I call "subtractive mixing." Go through a song, adjusting levels as you go. When you return to the top, all moves will be erased except for the last or existing position you're in, so remember to disengage from Master Write after you have made a move that you want to keep.

After you've made moves on, let's say, a vocal fader, disengage the fader to be in Soft Trim, while the Master Status remains in Master Touch Absolute. Faders can be disengaged locally by touching Auto Match or holding Select while holding the Record Fader button. Mutes can be disengaged locally by holding the Select button, while simultaneously holding down the Mute button.

Once you've subtracted all your faders and mutes, except for a few slight trim things, hopefully it's time to print. Happy Mixing!






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