Mixer Subgroups

FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1011
edited November 2 in Studio & Recording
In the old days of analogue hardware mixing desks, 8-buss models were popular for subgroup mixing. I've got a console plugin that allows 8 instances to run on 8 subgroups, so I was just wondering how you guys work with them, and what do you put on them, etc..

I've been doing something like to this, but maybe there are better ways to utilize subgroups?

1. Bass Drum
2. Snare
3. Other Drums
4. Bass
5. Guitars
6. Keys
7. Vocals
8. Backing Vocals
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Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3415
    edited November 2
    First rule of submix group is, you DO NOT talk about submix group.

    Seriously, though, there are no hard and fast rules.

    The groupings tend to be for sets of things that are likely to need fading up or down en masse. Some consideration may have been given to instruments that require the same shared signal processing. Sometimes, signals get grouped together based on the frequency band(s) that each occupies. In the analogue era, some grouped signals might be sent to a buss with the intention of deliberately saturating the tape. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18875
    I often Brauerize my mixes.

    4 stereo subgroups:

    1: Low pitched instruments- such as bass drum, bass, floor tom
    2: Low mid instruments- electric guitars, snare, rack tom, some keys
    3: Mid to high instrument- vocals, keys
    4: High pitched instruments: cymbals, hats and anything else in the upper registers.

    Each subgroup gets treated with EQ and compression, some of it quite heavily.
    It is a good way of glueing together different instruments.

    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    octatonic said:
    I often Brauerize my mixes.

    4 stereo subgroups:

    1: Low pitched instruments- such as bass drum, bass, floor tom
    2: Low mid instruments- electric guitars, snare, rack tom, some keys
    3: Mid to high instrument- vocals, keys
    4: High pitched instruments: cymbals, hats and anything else in the upper registers.

    Each subgroup gets treated with EQ and compression, some of it quite heavily.
    It is a good way of glueing together different instruments.

    Interesting approach - never heard of this but it sounds logical.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18875
    Yes I gave a vastly simplified version of it.
    It is worth checking out- it doesn't work in all situations- I've never done it with dance music, only rock and metal.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • domforrdomforr Frets: 164
    The breaking into sub-mixes based on eq range I get - but the sends and routing is just too much for me. I'd need a degree in engineering to master it I think.  I'm sure it sounds great if done properly though.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1011
    edited November 2
    domforr said:
    The breaking into sub-mixes based on eq range I get - but the sends and routing is just too much for me. I'd need a degree in engineering to master it I think.  I'm sure it sounds great if done properly though.
    That's where templates come in handy 

    Master channel far left, followed by 8 subgroups, then leave a space with fader down, follwed by tracks for subgroup 1, space, tracks for subgroup 2, space .. tracks for subgroup 8, space,  aux bus 1, aux bus 2, etc.. 
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3558
    I tend to use the mixer subgroups for parallel sends, except for things that are easily grouped like drum multitracks, backing vocals etc.

    Mostly parallel compression, distortion, reverb that multiple tracks can be sent to which add depth, density, snap, punch, attitude, whatever, to the mix.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1011
    edited November 2
    domforr said:
    Cheers, I'll look into this.

    I tend to layer the kick and the snare, and that's why I give them their own subgroup. Ditto bass guitar. The frequency range on the subgroups are fairly similar, except for the rest of the drums which includes low tom and the hat/cymbals.

    I am also adding some Nebula analogue console "fairy dust" on each subgroup, hence the need to split everything up.
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4286
    So ive been experimenting with having 8 buses so i can map directly to the faders on my midi keyboard to make it easier to mix without the mouse.

    My current iterations has:

    1.) Vocals
    2.) Instrument Bus
    3.) Drum Bus
    4.) Kick Bus
    5.) Snare Bus
    6.) Guitar Bus
    7.) Bass Bus
    8.) Misc Bus

    Everything is routed so the drums/bass/guitar and misc go via the instrument bus, and similarly the kick and snare go via the drum bus and ultimately the instruments bus.
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