TubesAlthough often quite costly technology, tubes really are likely to offer so much towards a hot mix. As a rule, steer clear of digital plugins that claim to supply analogue tube tone. This isn't to say that they are bad at doing other items but you just cannot add tube warmth without physical tubes. The method of electrical signal starting to warm up actual tubes is unquestionably a non-linear phenomenon that can't be matched with a plug-in.
Tube pre-amps are one of many biggest items that one thinks of here. Tracking things like vocals and bass guitar using tubes is an instant recipe for success. Their power to bolster low-end whilst driving highs without having to be too harsh is unlike anything else. Now I'm conscious that not absolutely all of you will undoubtedly be recording and may be looking to include some warmth to your digital productions. Fear not, I've a solution for you. Tube compressors. These are likely to permit you to not merely add tube warmth when going through the compression stage but will equally permit you to pass a signal through the tubes without needing to activate the compressor. This gives all that lovely tube warmth without squashing dynamic.
Soft Clipping / SaturationSaturation is another good way to provide some warmth right into a mix. Here, the utilization of tape machines, in addition to analogue pre-amps, can provide only a little sizzle to a mixture without sounding like terrible distortion. Picking right up an inexpensive, old tape deck and hooking it into your patch bay can not merely be affordable but it gives you a brand new number of sounds to work with. By driving tape decks to the red, we engage the idea of tape saturation and we can provide a light dynamic squash to the mixes.
Because the heading suggests, desire to here is to introduce soft clipping. Make sure you aren't imparting full on hard clipped distortion or you're likely to get a bad mix, not just a warm mix. Unlike tubes, this is something which plug-ins can reproduce quite well. The thought of non-linear algorithms work very well within tape plugins such as the Kramer Master Tape, providing a good push to individual sound sources or entire mixes.
AmbienceWhilst not generating warmth in the conventional sense, ambience can donate to making a warm mix. This will probably apply more within digital productions but does possess some carry to the analogue world. Getting a little gung-ho with gates can lead to quite cold, stale mixes. The lack of content and energy can make a mixture sound quite dead and empty. Equally, utilising very short, snappy one-shot samples inside a digital production without contemplating things like room ambience and release times can cause exactly the same issues.
Whilst we often think about warmth as a volume related concept, it will affect a general fullness in your mixes. If you're sampling from breaks, make an effort to let your drum hits come to an end so long as possible after the transient to make a more cohesive arrangement. Equally, when using gates in recording, make an effort to only utilize them where necessary. Often we can just use EQ instead to let more of the space come through within our mixes.
Parallel CompressionThis last one is very subjective but can offer great results. We usually think about parallel compression as a way to beef up our buses. Typically, it's used on drum buses to create power whilst letting transients cut through the mix. However, parallel compression across an entire mix can offer a huge boost, contributing to a really warm mix.
This act of essentially doubling up our entire mix brings definition to particular areas throughout the frequency spectrum. Typically, this is mostly heard with the areas we keep company with warmth. Parallel compression will generate a hot, fat sound whilst still providing clarity. Unfortunately, this process is not just a one-glove-fits-all technique. It's something you will have to experiment with on an incident by case basis.