Getting the mix right


I’m new here, just posted one thread before, and haven’t bought an OP-1 yet, though I’m considering it and pair it with my Octatrack for wonderful chaos and mayhem.

Anyway - what intrigues me most about the OP-1, though, is that it’s a complete production solution if you treat it right. I’ve heard enough tracks and opinions on this subject to be convinced that if you’re into the OP-1, it can produce great things entirely within its own environment.

One thing I don’t get, though - many of these complete within the OP-1 tracks I’ve heard, really seems to nail the mix right. There’s a nice balance between bass and kick, the lead’s just loud enough to stand out, drums are nicely positioned, all that.

And yet, if I’ve understood the recording process right, you have four tracks, and once you’ve recorded something and you overdub or resample, it is what it is. If you’ve got one track for drums with snares, kicks and a clap at the same track, it is what it is and you better get the balance and pan right when you record it, because you can’t change it afterwards.

For those of you who mix your tracks within the OP-1, how do you approach it? Seeing as the production process seems quite destructive (and I quite like that, I just want to know how to deal with it), how do you ensure flexibility for mixing purposes, with the limitations of four tracks, sequencers with no memory and things like that?

In short - how do you approach the mixing process if you compose, record and produce within the OP-1 only?

All the best, thanks,

There is level adjustment for each track, and an overall EQ, but I’d say that a big part of it is that the workflow restrictions compel you to nail the levels committed to a track, prior to the overdub. Also, you can lift and paste a track, and make a copy. In the event that you goof up on an overdub, you can just try again on the copy.

It’s a great question, and I’m looking forward to reading other users’ comments on their tactics for nailing it.

I am a new OP-1 user but one thing I discovered is that you can individually adjust the track level after recording (as mentioned by Unflattered above) as well as modify the balance at any point. The OP-1 offers some flexibility in terms of a mix after you’ve recorded to tape:) It’s not until you record to album that you’re committed to a mix.


but I'd say that a big part of it is that the workflow restrictions compel you to nail the levels committed to a track,

a million times this. and def remember always to lift and drop before you overdub!!!

As mentioned, there’s the Mixer and EQ. Here’s a link to them in the manual: Might give you a better sense of what’s possible.

And while the virtual tape is mostly destructive, there are a lot of little tricks to work around that, should you choose to.

You think about things ahead of time. I really like the destructive recording because it captures where you were mentally when you did it. Octatrack and stuff like that lets you come back to a track, think it sounded better before, and waste time tweaking away instead of building on a foundation. Love my Elektron stuff, though.

Many thanks for your answers, guys. It’s as I thought, then. And I like it. It’s like resampling on the Octatrack. Once you’ve merged this with that, there’s no going back and you work with what you got.

I’ve been on a gear spree for the last two years, but purged myself and kept almost nothing. Despite this, I’m drawn towards the OP-1. I love the way it sounds, I love the idea of having it all in one package that fits in your bag, and I love that it’s a complete production environment that can spit out pro results (in the right context).

When looking around, I can’t find anything that compares. Synthesis, drums, sampling, recording, mixing. It’s all there.

Also note that the drive feature on the master output is pretty magical. It’s basically a rudimentary compressor. It can be subtle or super over-the-top, but in general it really helps to sort of even everything out and make stuff sit together better. That’s a big reason why many 100% OP-1 tracks sound so huge and punchy.

yea the drive and compression and output level on that screen are all highly interactive

I think that when you know your own style and way of doing things, you can also “pre mix” a lot of things before bouncing them down to a track to free up tracks to add more parts

I usually engage the master comp at a typical setting before I commit a track so I can get a better feel for how the track will sit in the final mix. Then the mixer and eq is just fine tuning.