The Hardware Megathread


I’ve noticed that even when I work in software I tend to adopt a more minimalistic “hardware-style” workflow. I have 8 tracks or less, don’t go overboard with effects, mixing might be minimal, to the point of I want it to sound more raw and unprocessed, ie not overproduced. I just like it that way and a bonus is it’s less to think about lol.

Granted, things like the modern MPCs and Maschine+ can do a fine job at mixing and piling on effects. But in the end I just want to get an idea down or even more just have fun with what I’m doing.

I realize mixing might be fun for a lot of people, and even me at times. I’m definitely a fan of panning and volumes, but EQing not so much. I just try to use sounds that don’t clash from the get go at this point.


those buchla/tiptop module are so well priced they’ll fly off the shelves, i’ve not been active modular wise for sometime however id be tempted to grab up all those modules.


“but EQing not so much”

although you don’t know it yet, you really do need the “NoiseAsh Rule Tech” EQ in your arsenal :heart_eyes:


EQing sucks balls.


I remember a time where I blindly slapped an EQ on everything to “roll of the low end”. Totally shitty lifeless mixes


That’s pretty much my approach. Mixing happens during sound design whenever possible. Obviously sometimes you just can’t (samples, field recordings, etc), and thing inevitably need tweaking later, but any time I can I’ll make sure a part is in the ballpark before trying to mix the whole shebang. It goes a long way towards me not getting frustrated with the process.


@Koldunya is absolutely spot on. That was the “magic” that finally helped my mixes fall into place. You can get really far thinking ahead and using just gain staging and light panning.


I think using hardware a lot helped in that regard. I hadn’t thought too much on it until one day I realized "I’m not really mixing much and especially not using EQs unless it’s a “musical” one for a flavor, and then I was sharing some things I was working on with someone who told me “You are really good at using sounds that work together” or something like that, an ear for sounds, and I finally allowed myself to think “maybe I’m finally getting it” XD

And lately most of the time when I’m using hardware it’s all going into a Zoom H6 so all I have are the sounds and levels.


Another game changer on my mixes was having hardware with sidechaining built in.
I still use lots of eq on the mids, not much on the lows and highs. And on my reverb return channel.
But overall fuck equing.


Lately i just like using the NoiseAsh Rule Tech on my Bass, and i also do the Pultec low end trick on the master with it as i’ve found it clears mud in the midrange that you didn’t even know was there until you A/B it with what you did have.

In fact i’m even tempted to say send me your best mix and ill improve it in 10 seconds with the NoiseAsh.

As for choosing the right sounds, the longer you’ve produced music the more you realise you do this without even thinking about it.



Not to be the outlier here but I don’t think there is any mix that couldn’t benefit from at least a low end roll off at somewhere between 80 & 120 hz. Given the vast array of different listening environments and speaker roll off points you never really know what you’re going to get from one place to another. I’m down for the safe side and in the end there’s no point in keeping inaudible rumble around to clutter up your headroom.

My two at least.


Not an outlier.

I roll all the lows out for headroom


I don’t think the point is so much that you shouldn’t do it, it’s that if your base sounds already don’t contain much in that frequency range (either by design, EQing them individually or choosing sounds that don’t have that content), you don’t have to worry about it later.

Even when I EQ early, I still do a finial pass at mixdown to check for that stuff, because nobody got time for mud eating headroom.


@chasedobson @RFJ

Do you use an EQ on each track or can you just do it on the master channel? edit: for rolling off the lows that is.


I’m probably way too excessive w it but I roll off all individual tracks and the master bus as well. Master gets a lighter roll off with an easier curve. Everything is case by case though as far as where roll off point is. I typically roll off the highs too, on both.

Master bus also gets a scoop in the mids as general practice with a fairly wide q. I feel there’s a sweet spot with the mid scoop for each track that really gets rid of mud and adds air. It’s a delicate balance though and different on each mix.


Wait. There are other things in a track than bass? I DIDN’T GET THE MEMO.


Every channel. I come from mixing on analog desks so my workflow is very similar.

In my masters I often highpass at 25hz w a little resonance


Thanks everyone. I’ll have to give the ‘rolling off the lows’ thing a go again. I must have been overdoing it way back in the past as I remember feeling like I couldn’t ever avoid anemic sounding mixes when doing it.


I find a lot of synth sounds have more low end in them than necessary. I just highpass up until I start to hear it and then back off.

This can really clean up your low end.