Bouncing Techniques for Home Recording - dummies

By Jeff Strong

Bouncing is like submixing, but you do bouncing after you record the tracks. For instance, you can record all your drum mics onto separate tracks initially and then, later on, bounce (or combine) all those tracks onto one or two tracks. In most cases, you want to bounce to two tracks rather than one so that you can maintain panning information in your final mix.

Bouncing has advantages over submixing. You can take your time getting each instrument to sound good before you group them together. On the downside, you may not have this option if you are recording live and can only put the drums on two tracks initially. In this case, you need to create a submix.

If you have the space to record the instruments to separate tracks initially, here’s how you bounce the tracks down to two:

  1. Decide which tracks you want to bounce, and route these tracks to the tracks that you want to bounce to.

  2. Adjust the EQ of each instrument to get the sound you want.

  3. Adjust the panning of each instrument — use the panning knob located above your mixer’s channel fader — so that the instrument is where you want it in the stereo field.

    Remember that you need to bounce to two tracks for panning to work.

  4. Set the levels of each instrument relative to one another.

  5. Add any effects that you want to record with the instruments.

  6. Press the Record button.

You can use virtual tracks to record several different versions of your bounce. This gives you options later when you’re mixing. For example, set the track levels differently for each bounce — raise the snare drum in one, change the EQ of the hi-hats in another, and so on.