Free Multitracks For Mixing Practice!
Despite all the fast-track mixing techniques I describe in my book Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio, there’s no getting away from the fact that developing your mixing abilities requires some practice. To quote top producer Youth: “I think a lot of the thing with music is pilot hours. It’s having a lot of experience to go through all your mistakes and know not to go up those cul-de-sacs and fall in those elephant traps.” The problem is, though, that many small-studio musicians don’t have access to a wide range of multitrack material to hone their skills on.
Sure, if you Google the phrase “multitrack files” you’ll turn up loads of promising-looking hits, but you’ll find that they almost always suffer from at least one of the following problems:
* they’re low-quality or data-compressed audio, which doesn’t respond properly to typical mix processing.
* they’re processed/effected stems, so you’re not able to work from scratch.
* they’re actually ‘remix packs’, in other words the most important chunks of the multitrack, but not in a form which can properly be reassembled into a proper time-line.
* they’re hosted via some free on-line service which makes it tedious to download all the files you need.
Because of this, I’ve decided to provide my own on-line Library Of Multitrack Projects, containing dozens of different small-studio projects covering a wide range of musical styles — and all absolutely free for educational use. They’re grouped by genre, and each listing has a ‘mix preview’ button so you can quickly find the music that most inspires you. The multitrack files themselves are high-resolution 24-bit/44.1kHz WAV files (without any mix processing or data compression), and they’re all packed into a single ZIP file for easy download. All you have to do is unpack the files from the ZIP archive and drag them into your own DAW, making sure all the files start at exactly the same point in the timeline. Now get mixing!
Mike Senior is a professional engineer who has worked with Wet Wet Wet, The Charlatans, Reef, Therapy, and Nigel Kennedy. He has transformed dozens of amateur mixes for Sound On Sound magazine’s popular Mix Rescue column.
As part of Cambridge Music Technology he also provides in-depth training courses and workshops specializing in the documented techniques of the world’s top producers. His new book, is a down-to-earth Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio mixing primer which shows how to achieve commercial-grade sonics within real-world project/college setups.