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Part IV: Mixing Audio > Mixing Basics - Pg. 239

239 Chapter 12. Mixing Basics Mixing is a process of slowly building and shaping multiple tracks of audio into a balanced and coherent presentation. There are no absolute rules in mixing--following your own ears and tastes is essential. There are, however, a few important basics that you need to know if you want to turn a rough mix into an exciting sound production. This chapter starts with an in-depth look at creating stereo mixes. I'll describe how stereo imaging is used to simulate a three-dimensional acoustic space, and explain how panning, equalization, and spatial effects can create the perception of width, height, and depth in a stereo mix. I'll also discuss how audio signal flows through individual channel strips, as well as how to assign track inputs and outputs. Next, I'll cover inserts: how they operate, how signal flows through them, and the basics of mono and stereo plug-ins. Then I'll show you how to assign sends, and how to use send and track Output windows. Last up, we'll cover the useful trick of creating submixes, which can help conserve track space and system resources. Creating Stereo Mixes A stereo mix refers to mixing multiple tracks of audio down to two channels (a left channel and a right channel). Stereo mixes are designed for listening over two speakers (a left speaker and a right speaker). When we create a stereo mix, we're actually constructing a simulation or "image" of a three-dimen- sional acoustic space. To construct this stereo image , we use various techniques to trick our binaural (two-ear) auditory system into perceiving sound in the three dimensions of width, depth, and height. These techniques include left/right panning, spatial effects (reverb, delay, chorus, and flange) and EQ shaping (Figure 12.1).