Mixer4 Controlled with Text Files
The following is meant to give you an idea of what a basic Mixer4 session looks like and why. Please refer to the manual for more details. At some point a more thorough tutorial will be made.
Here is a link to a screenshot of a real mix I am working on and which is explained below.
It's probably best if you open it in another browser tab so you can flip back and forth.
I'm using a basic text editor to display and edit the three controlling text files. The terminal in the center provides output about the number tracks, automation entries, and sample rate before any processing happens. During the mix, a progress readout occurs at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 points. When the mix is finished a readout of the peak levels for each track and the master is printed out. Finally, you can see that the processing time was 24 seconds (without reverb it would be about 18 seconds).
The tracks.txt file in the upper right shows a list of my 14 tracks. One is a stereo track, but it still occupies one mixer channel. I included the path in the file name directly, but this can be set in the prefs.txt file so that you only need to type or copy/paste the wavefile names into this list. The plus sign (+) next to the file name adds the track to the mix. A minus sign (or anything other than a plus sign) mutes the track. Two plus signs (++) would solo a track. Some of the harmonies in the list are muted. The track numbers themselves are for your reference only. The actual channel number assigned to a wavefile depends on the file order itself. You can also choose not to use track numbers or mutes and simply use a plain list by adding a setting to the prefs.txt file. Some file managers allow you to copy file names from the file manager to a text file.
In the lower right of the screen is the prefs.txt file. The first line sets preview mode to off so that the entire song is being mixed. If it were set to on, then I could set my start time and length of preview with the start and length commands below it. I have my outbits set to 24 so that the output file is a high resolution of 24 bits, and although this is the default case, I like to put it in for when I switch to 16 bits for a CD audio track. The xin command starts the mix from 8.5 seconds into the song to eliminate a stick count off. Instead, I could have used the head command, which would eliminate a certain number of seconds at the beginning. And the tail command trims 4.5 seconds off the end of the song.
At the left of the screen is the faders.txt file where you will do most of your editing. The first line sets the name of the mix which will be the name of your ouput file with .wav added on. You are free to organize this file in a way that makes sense to you. I like to enter special things like timestamp into, submix grouping, or tempo maps in beginning of the file. I am using the tstamp command to move track 13 to a starting point or time stamp of 1 minute and 30 seconds. Then I like to put my channel panning in. I am panning my drum overheads hard left and hard right (-100% and 100%). Note that there is typically a command followed by a channel number and then some parameters.
Next I enter my channel eq's and compressors. There is a line starting with nlc which stands for non-linear-compressor. I have that assigned to my lead vocal (channel 9) and it is set to work if the vocal RMS level exceeds -24 dB. The response time is set to a moderate 300 samples and the ratio is a gentle 2:1. This compressor is very easy to use and I recommend it on pretty much any source.
After the channel effects I enter my initial channel volumes. For the first time entry all minute, second and millisecond values must be set to zero. Below this I set all of my channel volumes to some initial level in dB.
Below the volume entries I enter my reverb sends and return. I am sending 4 tracks to the reverb effect. The reverb return is set to -9 dB and the reverb room size is 150 feet in its longest dimension.
Finally, I enter any effects that belong to the master fader/output. I am using hshelf, band1, and lshelf which are equalizers assigned to the master fader designated by M instead of a channel number. They are set to 8000 Hz, 200 Hz, and 150 Hz respectively. The other parameters are gain and Q.
There is a limiter set to a threshold of -11.5 dB followed by a makeup gain of 10 dB using the fxg command. I only use a limiter here when I am ready to check a mix on a CD and I need to raise the volume. And in this case, the level before the limiter is a few dB below 0 dBFS (full scale) so I am actually cutting into the peaks by less than 6 dB.
As the mix gets more complex I may add my drums and vocal harmonies to different submixes. And there will be many more time entries.