Stay Creative in the Studio #4: Creative Efficiency While Producing & Mixing

Time and energy are valuable resources in the studio. Learn how to utilize tools such as the Renaissance plugins to stay efficient and arrive at your creative vision more quickly.

By Josh Bonanno

Stay Creative in the Studio #4: Creative Efficiency While Producing & Mixing

 

Time and energy are valuable resources. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “time is money” which indeed holds true for most aspects of life, music production and mixing being no exceptions. If the time you spend working is truly that valuable, are you ensuring that the tools and workflows you use are as quick and efficient as possible?

Choose the Right Tools

While there are numerous workflow shortcuts like session templates and plugin presets to remove friction while working, another great way to speed up your workflow is to use tools that allow efficient moves to arrive at the sound you need. Essentially, the quicker you can get your ideas out of your head the better. The Waves Renaissance plugins are perfect tools to illustrate this concept, and are in my mind, designed for this exact purpose. This plugin line is an effective and powerful bundle that quickly gets results and will definitely save you time and energy while working.

Let’s discuss a few ways you can use the Renaissance line to speed up your workflow and decision making while producing and mixing.

Equalization

While producing or mixing it is almost guaranteed that EQ will be one of your most used tools to shape a sound. When reaching for an EQ, it is likely you already know what needs to happen and how you need to shape the sound. Whether it is cutting some low end or boosting some high frequencies, being able to get that result quickly is important.

The Renaissance EQ (also available in the R-Channel) is a super powerful tool. The benefit of having a real-time analyzer of your EQ curve lets you navigate straight away where you need to be, withgetsout having to search for the right knob or a tiny frequency number. The EQ also packs a powerful punch and makes it easy to boost or cut up to 12db without even trying, allowing you to get serious results fast.

While not an equalizer by definition, R-Bass is another way to quickly “EQ” a source and transform the overall tone of a sound in a big way. For a kick, snare, bass or even vocal that doesn’t have the low-end content needed for your song, R-Bass is a fast way to achieve massive size and power in the low frequencies. Because it’s actually adding low-end harmonics, rather than boosting the volume of a specific frequency range like a traditional EQ does, it is far more efficient at making the low end large and powerful. R-Bass does the work that you would usually need a chain of multiple stacked EQs to do.

Compression

Compression can be a really complex and tricky thing, especially when starting out. Figuring out all the nuances of a compressor with its attack, release, threshold, sidechain and mix functions can use up a lot of time and energy before you get to the sound you’re looking for. Renaissance Vox and R-Axx are the perfect compressors to bypass all of the complicated knobs and get you compression quickly. For me, this is where the Renaissance series saves the most time and keeps my workflow moving. Whenever I need to simply reduce the dynamic range of a sound to help it sit better in the mix, the one-knob compression design of R-Vox and R-Axx gets me there immediately and saves me the additional time of fine-tuning other settings.

The Renaissance Compressor is more of a “Swiss army knife” compressor rather than a one-knob wonder. With greater functionality and a few more knobs than the previously mentioned plugins, R-Comp sees tons of heavy lifting in my workflow as the versatility it provides weighs up against many of my other compressors. Dialing in a sound may take a few extra seconds, but the added warm and smooth tone-shaping options, as well as the Opto and Electro release modes mean that no matter the situation, R-Comp does a great job at handling the source. This versatility undoubtably frees up time of searching through a long list of plugins and auditioning each compressor to see if it’s up for the job.

Conclusion

Even the quickest and most seamless workflow can still be hindered by tools that require more effort and decision-making than necessary. While some situations may still require a specific tool or more attention to detail, simplifying things whenever possible is a guaranteed way to save you time and energy and keep you creative!

Want more ideas on staying creative in the studio? See how you can use your gear for unintended tasks.

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