Questions & Answers

Sync/Update/Copy a Mix from Song to Song (the mix, not the audio/MIDI)

+14 votes
348 views
asked Jan 15, 2018 in Mixing by brconflict (1,490 points)
edited Jan 18, 2018 by brconflict

Scenario (Example)

A Punk band records 20 songs for an album. The drums are the same, rhythm guitars are the same, bass the same, lead vocal the same for every mix of all 20 songs. Once you mix Song #1 and the artist approves of the mix, what's the fastest way to simply copy that mix to all 19 other songs? Interesting question, and one I've found the conception is lost on many. Most suggest a template which is certainly no better than simply manually copying over all settings, sends, plug-ins, etc.

Why?

Look at this from old analog tape through an analog mixer: If you set up a basic mix on an analog desk to sound a certain way, and you playback the 24-track tape from the tape machine through the mixer, capturing the output of the mix of all songs on the tape to another 2-track tape, the same mix is applied to all songs on that tape (unless you tweak the mix during the playback/capture). They call this process printing. In digital file form, that's not exactly the case, because your entire mixing desk changes for every song. What if we could quickly synchronize all those mix-desks?

Concept 1 - Probably the most difficult to develop, but most useful to the mixing engineer

Mix Sync (MS) - When one mix is completed (to a basic level), you click on a button to bring up a new dialogue for sync'ing this mix 'state' to other Songs. The elements you can sync: fader, pan, track naming, track output destination, Sends, Inserts, Post/pre settings (maybe there's another element or two). These would be in the form of check-boxes. Select the tracks you wish to sync--not selecting tracks would default to all tracks. Now, in a file browser field, select all the other S1 songs you wish to sync the mix to (the currently open mix is the 'master' at this moment). In a title field, enter a name for this 'Mix sync' (I'll explain this shortly). Click Sync. Pop-up: "You are about to apply these changes to these songs: (list):. Click Apply.

Within seconds, S1 edits the mixes of all other files in the list, creating FX, buss, sneds, inserts, etc. etc. so that the next time you open any of the remaining 19 songs, the mixes are exactly the same! How fast was that!?

Now, the artist comes back into the studio with you and wants to change the guitar tone on the rhythm guitars on all 20 songs. ****! Ok, that's easy. simply bring up any one of the songs and adjust the guitar tones. When the artist is satisfied, simply click the Mix Sync button and select the MS group you named before. Click Sync. Pop-up: "You are about to apply these changes to these songs: (list)":. Click Apply. Only changes made to the currently opened song will be applied to the rest, since nothing else changed. You can edit the dialogue to only include tracks and elements that have since changed in some songs since the last sync. That way you can select only rhythm guitars (and maybe only the Inserts) to be sync'd at this point in the process.

NOTES

  • Perhaps an undo can retract the changes (record previous states in a separate settings file), but the idea is for S1 to edit these files offline, not wasting time trying to open the songs, individually. 
  • Copy/Paste/Sync Automation and audio/MIDI information are not addressed here.
  • All settings, including settings edited by automation are copied only in the current state of the playback cursor, so, if you want to copy mix settings at the beginning of the originating/master song set the playback cursor at the time in the song where you want the settings/mix to be sourced from.
  • The source/master mix is the one that's currently open or in focus.
  • If there is something the process cannot sync, you will see an error pop up with a 'fail' and no changes are made, or a pop-up telling you what elements are not sync'd due to mismatch. Any elements created in the destination Songs will be listed in the verification prompt, "You are about to apply these changes to these songs: (list)"

Concept 2 - Easier to develop, but more work for the mixing engineer

Copy/Paste track settings (or group of tracks) from one song to another. Simply highlight the track(s) in Mix View you wish to copy, right-click, select Copy Track Settings, move to the other song highlight/select the first or all tracks in question, right-click and select Paste Track Settings. Voila!



 

5 Answers

+1 vote
answered May 21, 2018 by AlexTinsley (764,250 points)
 
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

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+2 votes
answered Jan 15, 2018 by billmihalik (1,510 points)
I agree.  I have several projects I'm working on that use roughly the same settings on each song.  Currently, I save the FX chain from each insert then open it up on the corresponding track in other song.
+2 votes
answered Jan 17, 2018 by brconflict (1,490 points)
I'll try to capture a video of this for a better illustration, but yes, I spent 4 hours last night copying a mix from one song to 7 others. I watched two movies on a side monitor. One dialogue and an Apply, and this could possibly be done in less than 2 minutes!
0 votes
answered Jul 3 by michaelpardus1 (1,220 points)
Since I am unable to Post new request for some reason I will post it here as it is similar.

In BITWIG there is brilliant function added in Browser. You have special section in browser for your items. You can store there any track, midi or even whole fx chain or channel settings form any song and keep it there as in clipboard (but forever). I know we have Import Song Data now, but this is more flexible and easier to use. You can simply click on any track and save it to this private browser section for later use, you can save whole track. Midi or fx settings, and name it while saving. It would be great to have such private browser section in Studio One, just drag and drop - name it and save it for later (choosing with tick boxes what to save, audio, midi, automation,fx, or all. Simple and very useful. Especially for fx chains for your vocals etc. Keep song import data just add this pocket to browser section.

PS> OK I posted separate request but I keep this here as it is basically same thing with more options.
0 votes
answered Jul 6 by christopherclancy (240 points)
I've literally only just started using Studio One after using Pro Tools for the past 15 years or so. This feature would be absolutely incredible and I don't understand why it hasn't had more votes. I work a lot in Rock and Metal. When I record an album, everything is recorded pretty much the same.

In Pro Tools, I mix one song, get approval from the artist, and then import all the data to the other songs and tweak it and automate it to get the best out of each song.

In some instances I'm on song 3 and I find something that improves the mix, maybe a different drum trigger, maybe a different vocal chain or bass tone. It means hours of opening, importing and updating. If a DAW had the features outlined here it would be awesome. The only thing I'd add is that it should save each mix with a different name so it doesn't overwrite the original session.
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