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Using the Mixer

 This article includes:

About Mixer View

Mixer view presents an analog console-like layout of your audio, instrument, and bus tracks, and the main track. You can use mixer view to:

  • Mix audio levels and pan tracks
  • Arrange tracks for audio, instruments, buses, and the Main track
  • Assign track inputs
  • Use tape emulation on an audio or Instrument track
  • Use Neve Summing emulation on a bus or the Main track
  • Use insert effects on a track
  • Configure sends from a track
  • Send track audio to cues
  • Change a track's output
  • Record enable, mute, and solo a channel
  • Monitor a channel’s input
  • Configure a bus and view the sources for that bus

Mixing Audio

When you mix, you combine multiple audio and instrument tracks to create a stereo output file, and/or output stems, or multiple audio sources combined into mono or stereo outputs with buses. To create the sound of the overall mix, you balance the levels, frequency content, dynamics, creative effects, and stereo panning position of the audio and instrument tracks in your session. 

Balancing volume levels

To balance audio levels in LUNA’s mixer, you can use:

  • Clip gain (Timeline)
  • The volume fader (Mixer/Focus track)
  • The volume fader in the track controls (Timeline) 
  • Text entry in Timeline track controls or Mixer channel

To balance levels with the Mixer or a Focus channel:

  1. Play the session.
  2. Move the volume fader up to increase volume, and down to decrease volume. The level is indicated by the value at the bottom of the volume meter.
  3. To set a precise value for the volume fader, double-click the value at the bottom of the volume meter and type a value in dB, then click OK. You can type whole values, decimal values, and negative. For example 5, 1.6, and -3.7 are all valid values.
volume-with-fader.png

 

To balance levels with the Timeline track controls:

  1. Play the session.
  2. Move the volume fader left or right on the track controls in the Timeline. Move the fader left to reduce volume, and right to increase volume.
  3. To set a precise value for the volume, click the displayed volume and type a value in dB, then press Return. You can type whole values, decimal values, and negative. For example 5, 1.6, and -3.7 are all valid values. 

Note that after entry, the value in the track controls shows the nearest whole value, even though the correct decimal value is applied to the fader.

volume--track-controls-slider.png

 

To balance levels with the clip gain control:

  1. Hover the mouse cursor over the gain control icon at the top of an audio clip to show the Gain Control Editing Tool. 
  2. Move the slider up and down to increase or reduce the gain of a clip, without altering the gain of other clips on the track. 
  3. To enter a precise value, double-click the gain control, type the value in the popover, and press OK.

Clip gain allows a wide range of adjustment, from -144 dB to +48 dB. As you adjust clip gain, the waveform display shows the resulting changes to the audio level. If you select multiple clips and adjust the gain slider on one clip, the gain change is applied to all selected clips. To reset the clip gain control to 0 dB, Option-click the control.

clip-gain-slider-text.png

 

Panning tracks

You pan a track to locate the track in the stereo field. In LUNA, a track can be mono or stereo, and you can pan tracks differently based on the track format. Use the pan knobs to pan the tracks to the left or right of the stereo image. A mono track has a single pan knob, while a stereo track has two pan controls–one for the left track, and one for the right track.

panning.png 

To pan a track in the mixer:

  • Click and drag the pan control at the top of the channel strip. 
  • To type a precise value for the pan knob, double-click and type a positive or negative pan value from 0-100, then press Enter. When you type a pan value, use the prefix minus (-) for left and no prefix for right. You can also include the letter L for left or the letter R for right. For example, -24, L24, and 24L both pan a pan control 24% left. 33, R33, and 33R all pan a control 33% right.
  • To simplify panning for a stereo track, you can Control+Click or right-click the pan control, and choose Simple Stereo Pan from the drop menu. The Simple Stereo pan option allows you to pan both stereo tracks with one control to achieve the stereo image you want.
simple-stereo-pan.png

 

Panning in Timeline view

You can also pan tracks in the Timeline view.

In the track controls for each track, you can double-click and drag on the pan setting, or click the pan value and type a value from 0-100, then press Enter. When you type a pan value, you can use the prefix minus (-) for left and no prefix for right. You can also type L for left or the letter R for right. For example, -24 and 24L both pan the audio 24% left.

pan-controls-timeline.png

 

Muting and soloing

When you mute a track it goes silent in the mix, and in any sends to which it is routed (unless they are assigned pre-fader). When you mute a track, it goes silent in the session for the duration that the mute is applied. You can also automate mutes.

Soloing a track isolates it, or plays it without the other mix elements. When you solo a track, any bus to which it is sent also continues to sound in the session; however only the soloed tracks sound through the bus. You can solo multiple tracks by default in LUNA. You can also configure LUNA to allow only one track to be soloed at a time (see The Mix Workflow for the X-Or Solo setting).

Bus Spill

The Bus Spill control is a feature on a bus track and the Main track that allows you to see only the bus track and all the bus sources (all tracks routed to the bus) in the Mixer and Timeline. To enable Bus Spill, click the Spill button on a bus or the Main track. When Bus Spill is enabled, the Timeline and Mixer show only the source tracks that feed the bus, and the Main track. The Spill button flashes on the bus or Main track when Bus Spill is enabled.

bus-spilled.png

 

Mixing down tracks

LUNA offers a full suite of mixdown options, including the ability to export any combination of raw tracks and bus outputs from a session, in stereo or mono as required, with or without effects applied. LUNA can also export MIDI tracks as a multitrack MIDI file with tempo. 

For a simple stereo mixdown, LUNA mixes down either the entire range of audio and MIDI, or a selected audio range at any sample rate supported by the hardware, and bit depths from 8 to 24. You can mix down a file as WAV, AIFF, or AAC (.mp4).

To mix your LUNA session down to a stereo audio file:

  1. In Timeline view, select the length on the timeline or in the rulers that you want to mix down.

    qs-mixdown-selection.png
  2. Select File > Export > Mixdown. The Mixdown dialog appears.

    qs-mixdown-panel.png
  3. Choose the file type for the mixdown file.
  4. For WAV or AIFF, choose the sample rate and bit depth for the mixed file. There are additional options you can set for an AAC file: VBR (variable bit rate) and quality, or CBR (continuous bit rate) and the bitrate in kbps.
  5. To listen to your session during mixdown, choose the Real-Time Mixdown option. Note that the session will mix down faster if you deselect Real-Time Mixdown.
  6. Click Mixdown to mix down the file.

Files are automatically named with the name of the session, and the name of the output (for example, session - MAIN.wav).

To mix down tracks and buses from a LUNA session:

  1. In Timeline view, select the length on the timeline or in the rulers that you want to mix down.

    qs-mixdown-selection.png
  2. Select File > Export > Mixdown. The Mixdown dialog appears.

    qs-mixdown-panel.png
  3. Choose the file type for the mixed down files.
  4. For WAV or AIFF, choose the sample rate and bit depth for the mixed down files. There are additional options you can set for an AAC file: VBR (variable bit rate) and quality, or CBR (continuous bit rate) and the bitrate in kbps.
  5. To export the MIDI from the session as a multitrack MIDI file with tempo data, choose Include MIDI file for tempo map and instruments.
  6. To export tracks without effects, choose Bypass Effects.
  7. To export mono tracks as mono files, choose Bypass Pan (Preserve Mono Tracks). If you do not choose this option, panned mono tracks are exported as stereo tracks with the panning information applied to the stereo exported file.
  8. To listen to your session during mixdown, choose the Real-Time Mixdown option. Note that the session will mix down faster if you don’t choose Real-Time Mixdown.
  9. Under Sources, click Main >.
  10. Select the tracks to export. You can export any combination of tracks and buses.

    export-more-sources.png
  11. Click Done to return to the Mixdown dialog.
  12. Click Mixdown to mix down the files.

Files are automatically named with the name of the session, and the names of the outputs appended (for example, session - MAIN.wav, session - verb.wav).

Exporting Audio from the Timeline

You can export individual audio clips as single files, multiple audio clips on the same track as multiple files, and multiple audio clips from different tracks as separate files, directly from the Timeline.

To export audio clips:

  1. In the Timeline view, click one or multiple audio clips to export. 
  2. Right-click an audio clip and select Export Clip. You can also select one or more audio clips and press Shift+Command+K, or choose the menu item File > Export > Clips.

    export-single-audio-clip.png

  3. While the Export dialog is open, select clips in your session you want to export. Each clip is added to the export list.

  4. To remove a clip from the export list, click it again. (Tip: you can click a clip in the Export browser to select and center that clip in the timeline.)
  5. Under Save To in the export browser, select the location where you want to export the clips by clicking the folder icon and choosing a location from the Finder.
  6. Under Audio File Settings, specify the settings for File Type, Sample Rate and Bit Depth.
  7. Click Export to export your clips.

Using Neve Summing

You can add Neve Summing to bus tracks and the main track using a LUNA Extension. 

Using the Neve Summing LUNA Extension

Neve Summing imparts the sound and headroom characteristics of a Neve console bus channel directly into the LUNA summing buses. You can purchase the optional Neve Summing LUNA Extension to add Neve summing to Bus and Main tracks. 

Note: when you change the Neve Summing setting for a bus, the faders for the bus and for all tracks that feed the bus will change position because of the difference in fader taper between LUNA native summing bus and Main channels and Neve Summing bus and Main channels. 

To add Neve Summing:

  • In the Input row of a bus or the Main track, click the Console button, and choose Neve Summing. 
  • Set the controls for Headroom (HR), Trim, and Impedance. 

To adjust controls on multiple tracks, select multiple tracks, then change the controls on one track. Selection Grouping (Mixing > Selection Grouping, or Command+G) must be enabled to adjust Neve Summing settings on multiple tracks at one time. 

neve-summing.png

 

Neve Summing provides these controls and characteristics:

  • Channel characteristics: The fader and panning characteristics of the bus change to accurately emulate the Neve console bus characteristics.
  • Headroom (HR): The headroom setting increases or decreases the amount of headroom in the channel, and the amount of saturation. The available range is +4 dB to +28 dB, and the lowest setting (fully counter-clockwise) has the least saturation and the most available headroom. As you turn this up to the top of the range, you can get saturation and even distortion characteristics. You can rotate the knob or double-click it to choose a value from the drop menu. The headroom control is gain-compensated, so the volume changes are minimal when changing the headroom control. The Low impedance setting is louder than unity gain, even with gain compensation.
  • Trim: The trim setting allows you to compensate for gain changes introduced by the summing headroom and impedance controls, and allows you to increase or decrease the overall level of the summing bus. The available range is -6 dB to +6 dB. You can rotate the knob or double-click it to type a value.
  • Impedance: This setting changes the impedance character of the bus or Main channel from low to high impedance. The default is high impedance. The Low and High bus impedance settings provide different audio character and gain levels, and one or the other might be more appropriate for your audio material and bus. Generally, the Low impedance setting is louder than the unprocessed audio.
  • In/Out: The In/Out button allows you to toggle Neve summing on and off to audition the audio effects. 

Using Tape LUNA Extensions

tape-channel-expanded.png

 

With LUNA, you can incorporate the classic sound of tape directly into your mixing workflow. LUNA implements tape emulation in a way that is both easy to use and sonically diverse. Both Oxide and Studer A800 provide you with the accurate, classic sound of a classic multitrack machine. The overall sound of Oxide is configured with presets and a per-channel saturation control, while Studer A800 offers per-machine and per-track control over the individual tape channel parameters. Tape can be enabled on any instrument or audio track, and is applied during playback only.  

You can add emulated tape processing to audio and instrument tracks using LUNA Extensions. LUNA includes the Oxide LUNA Extension for simple one-knob tape emulation.

The optional Studer A800 LUNA Extension adds more advanced tape control, and the sound of a venerable modeled tape machine. If you already own the UAD Studer A800 plug-in, the Studer A800 LUNA Extension is available in your account. Conversely, if you purchase the Studer A800 LUNA Extension, the UAD Studer A800 plug-in is included.

LUNA Extension tape machine emulation includes global settings for the tape machine, and per-track settings for saturation. In this way, the tape machine emulation is similar to a true recording and mixing tape signal path. 

LUNA is designed with the capability to use up to four “machines” for tape emulation. You can configure each machine slot with different global tape characteristics, and apply any one of the four machines to a track or group of tracks in your session. Overall tape characteristics are determined by each machine. You can then set the saturation individually for each track to which Oxide tape is applied, and other settings for each Studer A800 channel. In this way, you can configure separate machines within your session, and still set individual “tape channel” characteristics for each track. 

For example, a typical scenario could include two machines, with one machine more aggressively driven than the other. You can assign drums, bass, and guitars to the more aggressively driven machine, and vocals and backgrounds to the cleaner machine. You can add a third and a fourth machine with even more diverse characteristics. The ability to configure up to four machines provides wide flexibility in the range of tape sounds you can apply in a session. 

Oxide LUNA Extension Configuration

The Oxide Extension includes presets to configure the tape machine settings. You cannot manually adjust controls for the Oxide LUNA Extension. However, if you own the UAD Oxide Tape plug-in, you can configure and save presets in the plug-in that you can then use in the LUNA Extension.

Studer A800 LUNA Extension Configuration

The Studer A800 LUNA Extension allows you to load presets and adjust manual controls. Settings like bias, tape speed, and tape type are configured on the tape machine globally for the session, and in addition, each track has its own level (saturation) control, as well as control over the individual track’s HF Driver and Repro EQ settings. You can use presets that you save in the UAD Studer A800 plug-in with the LUNA Extension.

Using Tape Machines

To configure a Tape Machine in a tape deck slot:

  1. On an audio or Instrument track in Mixer view, or on a Focus track in Timeline view, click the Tape slot. The Tape browser opens.

    tape-machine-browser.png
  2. Double-click a tape slot (A-D) in which you want to configure the tape machine.
  3. From the Machine list, select a tape machine type (Oxide or Studer A800). Studer A800 is only available if you have the Studer A800 LUNA Extension licensed and installed. The tape machine configuration is displayed in the browser.
  4. Configure the tape machine through presets (Oxide, Studer A800) or configure the tape machine settings (Studer A800).

Once you have configured a tape machine in a slot, you can assign that tape machine to any number of audio or Instrument tracks. You can configure a total of four tape machines, each with unique settings, for each LUNA session.

To assign a tape machine to a track:

  1. Click the Tape insert on a track. The Tape Machine selector opens on the left of the screen. 
  2. Choose the tape machine from the list in the Tape Machine browser. A tape machine Saturation knob appears on the track, along with a VU meter and a Power button. In the Mixer, with Large View enabled for the tape row, additional settings for the Studer A800 LUNA Extension appear. 
  3. Use the Saturation knob to increase or decrease the amount of tape saturation applied to the track. 
  4. If you are using the Studer A800 LUNA Extension, you can configure the HF Driver HF setting, Bias, Repro LF, and Repro HF settings, and enable noise on a per-track basis, in addition to the overall machine controls.
  5. Click the power button to enable or disable tape emulation on the track.

To configure the global sound of an Oxide tape machine:

  1. Click the Tape insert on a track. The Tape Machine selector opens on the left of the screen. 
  2. Choose an Oxide tape machine from the list. 
  3. Choose a preset to configure the global sound of the Oxide tape machine in the session. 

Tip: If you have the UAD Oxide Tape plug-in, you can use presets you have created in the plug-in with LUNA tape tracks.

To configure the global sound of a Studer A800 tape machine:

  1. Click the Tape insert on a track. The Tape Machine selector opens on the left of the screen. 
  2. Double-click the A800 tape machine that you want to configure. 
  3. Choose a Preset to configure the global sound of the Studer A800, or adjust the controls manually. Click Open to open the additional machine controls. 

To adjust a tape control, you can click and drag on the control to rotate it to the desired position, or you can double-click the control to choose from a list of values. 

To adjust controls on multiple tracks, select multiple tracks, then change the controls on one track. Selection Grouping (Mixing > Selection Grouping, or Command+G) must be enabled to adjust tape settings on multiple tracks at one time. 

Using Insert plug-ins

mixer-track-insert-plugins.png

 

You use inserts to add UAD and Audio Units plug-In processing to audio, bus, instrument, and main tracks. You can expand the Inserts row to view the standard inserts. Record FX and the Unison insert appear in the Input row, when a track is Input or Record enabled. Click an available insert to open the list of available plug-ins in the Focus Browser, and click a plug-in from the pane to insert it.

Note: Only UAD plug-ins can be used in Record FX inserts. Only Unison-capable UAD plug-ins can be used in Unison inserts.

Plug-in states are indicated with colors and outlines.

  • A gray plug-in plate indicates a powered-on and authorized plug-in.
  • A red plug-in plate indicates that a plug-in is not authorized.
  • A black plug-in plate indicates that a plug-in is powered off.
  • A blue plug-in plate indicates that the plug-in is focused in the browser.
  • A yellow outline around a plug-in plate indicates that the plug-in window is open in LUNA. 
plug-in-states.png

 

Using plug-in presets

Plug-in presets are selected and saved using the Presets Focus Browser. 

Note: You use the same plug-in presets with UAD plug-ins in Standard, Record FX, or Unison inserts, and they function identically.

To apply a plug-in preset:

  1. Click Presets on the plug-in title bar, or on the plug-in icon in the Insert rack, click •••, and choose Presets… The Presets Focus Browser opens.
  2. Click a preset to select it. 
plug-in-open-presets.png

You can use the Up and Down arrows to navigate through presets. To search for a preset, click next to the magnifying glass at the top of the browser, and begin typing. 

To save a plug-in preset:

  1. Select a preset from the Preset Focus Browser.
  2. Make changes to the plug-in as required. 
  3. Click Save. The Save Preset As dialog opens.
  4. Click Save to save the changes to the existing preset, or type a name for the preset to save a new preset, then click Save. 
save-plugin-preset-as.png

 

You can delete or rename presets that you have created. If you save changes to a system preset, the preset is saved as a User preset with the same name. 

Showing large plug-in icons

In the Inserts section, click on the Large View icon to show expanded inserts. This shows icons that represent the plug-ins loaded in the inserts.

mixer-view-plugins-large.png

 

Adding an icon for a plug-in

By default, Audio Units insert, MIDI FX, and instrument plug-ins have a generic icon. You can add a plug-in icon at any time. The plug-in icon takes a snapshot of the current user interface of the plug-in. 

To create a plug-in icon:

  1. Click on a plug-in in an Instrument, MIDI FX, or Insert row in Mixer View or on a Focus track.
  2. Arrange the window of the plug-in as you would like it to appear in the icon.
  3. Click the plug-in Name bar at the top of the plug-in window, and choose Create Plug-In Icon.

The icon is created from the current plug-in settings.

create-plugin-icon.png

Using Sends

You can use the send slots to send audio from a track to an aux bus, another track, the main output, or any available physical output on your Apollo. Click on the send slot to open a list of send destinations in the Focus Browser on the left, to which you can route the send.

After you add a send, the send appears in the mixer track, with a small set of send controls displayed. These include the Send level, the Pre-fader button (P), and the Mute button (M).

sends-unexpanded.png

 

To use sends:

  • Expand the Sends row in Mixer View, or on a Focus track in Timeline view.
  • Turn the Send knob to control the level of audio that you want to send to the destination. You can double-click the Send knob to type a value. When audio is playing on the track, the Send knob indicates the audio level on the track with a circular meter.
  • Click the Pre button (P) to route audio to the send destination before the channel’s main fader level. When audio is routed pre-fader, audio is sent from the disk to the destination regardless of the setting of the channel’s fader and mute status. If audio is not routed to the send pre-fader, then if the channel is muted no audio is sent, and gain changes on the channel fader do affect the send.
  • Click the Mute button (M) to mute audio to the send.
  • To copy the main mix to a send, in Mixer view, Control+click or right-click on a track’s Pan knob, and choose the send to which you want to copy the mix. 
copy-mix-to-send.png

 

Click the Large view icon to expand all sends in the selected slot in the LUNA mixer. Large view shows a Send fader instead of a knob, and also shows the Pan control for the send. Use the Pan control to pan the audio when routed to a stereo destination.

large-buses-with-button.png

Using Cues

Use cue mix buses to create up to four custom stereo mixes that are separate from the main monitor mix. You can use cue mixes:

  • To send performers a headphone monitoring mix that is different from the main monitor mix, or a mix of the Main track and other channels.
  • To send separate mixes to other rooms or audio equipment.
  • Any time you want to send an alternate mix to another destination.
cues.png

 

To set up cue mixes:

  • Expand the Cues row in Mixer View, or on a Focus track in Timeline view.
  • Turn the Cue knob to control the level of audio that you want to send to the cue destination. You can double-click the Cue knob to type a value. When audio is playing on the track, the Cue knob indicates the audio level on the track with a circular meter.
  • Click the Pre button (P) to route audio to the cue destination before the channel’s main fader level. When audio is routed pre-fader, audio is sent from the disk to the destination regardless of the setting of the channel’s fader and mute status. If audio is not routed to the cue pre-fader, then if the channel is muted no audio is sent, and level changes on the channel fader do affect the send.
  • Click the Mute button (M) to mute audio to the cue.

Click the Large view icon to expand the cues in a selected slot in the LUNA mixer. Large view shows a Cue fader instead of a knob, and also shows the Pan control for the cue. Use the Pan control to pan the cue mix when routed to a stereo destination.

large-cues-with-button.png

 

The cues that are displayed and available are dependent on your Apollo hardware. You can configure the number of available Cues in LUNA Settings > Hardware panel > Cue Bus Count.

Changing Track Output

You can change the track output, for example, to send a track’s output directly to a hardware output, or to route a track’s output to a bus.

To change the track output:

  1. Scroll to the Output row in the Mixer, or on the Focus channel.
  2. Click the Output for the track.
  3. In the track Output browser, select the output. You can route a track’s output to Main, an Aux, or a hardware or virtual output or output pair.
outputs.png

 

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