Music: Inside the Studio with Remix Master Dave Audé

By in Pro Mixing, Topics

Back in February – I had so much fun interviewing Dave Audé on the art of Re-Mixing with Pro Tools. Dave is a larger than life artist, re-mixer, DJ and producer -(truly he stands over 6’ 5”) and he has a fantastic personality. He allowed us to be a part of him building a re-mix track for an artist and share many of his tips and techniques. The webinar we did – where he answered questions live on camera had over 4,500 people attending – which tells me that people are really interested in learning about music creation and re-mixing with Pro Tools from a pro. Below is a 20-minute excerpt on YouTube or you can register for the free full version of the webinar.

“Going from Pro Tools 10 to Pro Tools 11 with HD Native has been the most solid Pro Tools system I’ve worked on yet. It’s been a wonderful experience…” —Dave Aude

His rig is a Pro Tools HD Native with HD Omni interface and Pro Tools 11 HD on a 2011 Mac Pro loaded with about 20 gig of RAM. He drives everything from his mouse and MIDI keyboard, in a very simple setup. Here’s the top 12 tips he gives that we cover in the full webinar.

  1. Color Code Tracks (With built in Pro Tools Colors) and Stay Organized
  2. Print MIDI as Audio as you go – Hide and Make Inactive Midi parts
    • Why? Audio is more easily manipulated, edited, processed
    • Why? You are not carrying all the processing needed for the big synths virtually
  3. Sidechain Processing is great way to make sounds more interesting. He shows the Nicky Romero VST plug-in making a plain string sound pump in sync with the beat*
  4. Mix as you go – start making level changes, automation and plug-in choices as you are building the track. Why mix later?*
  5. Favorite Vocal plug-ins: MCDsp ML4000, Chris Lord Alge Waves Plug-In, Soundtoys Micro Shift*
  6. Favorite Master Fader Plugs: Waves Max Volume 2, Izotope Ozone 5, Waves L3, Waves Renaissance De-Esser – everything is about getting more level!*
  7. Dave also uses outboard Empirical Labs Distressors on his Master Bus insert to get more level and a little bit of that analogue sound
  8. Get your room/studio balanced right. More important that checking your mixes elsewhere to find EQ problems. Dave has calibrated his room with mics and an outboard EQ to have a ‘flat room’*
  9. Mix Secret Weapon – Dave partners with a mix/mastering second set of ears. In other words – he gets his tracks mastered with more than just stems (the full tracks). *
  10. If you can – go Mid Field speakers as opposed to popular Near Field. It will save your ears in the long run. Don’t always listen at loud volumes.*
  11. Automate Level Changes on your Master Fader – you can give your song a bump in various sections.*
  12. Do a ton of mixes – success will not come over night. Keep finishing songs and develop a body of work*

*Not in the excerpt – see the full webinar and QA session to hear more about these tips


You can also check out some of Dave’s mixes on SoundCloud.

Marketing manager for Avid Post Audio and Pro Mixing, I am also a veteran engineer/recordist/editor. I've worked on music scores for dozens of feature films, including Ice Age, Collateral, and The Spirit.