A rap group recently gave me a multitrack analog tape that they wanted to remix. On two tracks of the tape was a synthesizer playing a stereo mix of MIDI sequencer tracks. On three other tracks were the lead vocal and backup vocals. The group wanted to change the mix of the synth tracks and re-do the mix with the vocals. That was going to be difficult since the MIDI instruments were already mixed to two tracks.
I asked the group if they still had the original MIDI sequencer file. Fortunately, they did. We were able to remix the synth tracks after recording them one at a time onto a hard drive through a 2-channel sound card. The procedure went like this:
- In the synth, turn on only the bass voice in the sequencer.
- Record the bass onto one track of a digital audio workstation.
- In the synth, turn on only the drum’s voice in the sequencer.
- Record the drums onto another track of the workstation.
- Repeat these steps for each voice or instrument in the sequence.
- Copy the vocals, one track at a time, onto tracks in the workstation.
- In the workstation, slide each track in time to align all the tracks.
- Using the workstation’s mixing facility, remix the tracks.
Bruce Bartlett is the Senior Microphone Design Engineer at Crown International.