I’ve mixed a lot of tracks in my Logic lifetime. And to be completely honest, I rarely pull up Amp Designer.
Sure – there’s plenty of creative opportunities to enjoy with Amp Designer. But as a mix tool for wrangling tracks into place?
But I’m forever on a mission for minimalist mixing bliss.
My personal motto is “less equals more.” Less knobs, less visuals, less info.
I mean, if I can just set up a mic and record the best track ever – awesome!
But that’s seldom enough.
When I do need to pull up a plugin, I’m always looking for plugins that sound great and have few knobs to get’r done.
For example, a couple plugins I love in no particular order:
- Plug and Mix’s Retro EQ
- Soundtoys Devil Loc
- Wavesfactory Trackspacer
So I wondered to myself, what options do we have in Logic for minimalist, quick and easy tonal shaping?
Amp Designer’s Clean Preamp
If you pop open Amp Designer and travel all the way down to the bottom of the Model list, we have a Clean Preamp to use.
Really the conversation would end there. What value is there in the Clean Preamp? Doesn’t it sound like a DIed signal?
It turns out we each had a secet weapon all along hanging out at the bottom of that list.
Amp Designer’s Clean Preamp delivers a clean signal through a preamp. There’s no cab or mic emulation – just the direct signal.
And if you take a look at the Preamp, it enjoys all the same functions as the other amps:
- Gain Staging
And if you dig a little deeper, the EQ section has several styles to choose from:
- British Bright
- U.S. Classic
What I love about the EQ section in Amp Designer is how it’s broken up into four bands:
- Bass = Low End
- Mids = Low Mids
- Treble = Upper Mids
- Presence = High End
This style of EQ control makes for fast tonal shaping.
The Amp Designer Mix Strategy
From here using Amp Designer’s Clean Preamp is a lot like analog mixing.
Pick an EQ type from the EQ dropdown menu. Each EQ style shapes your track much like any analog kit.
Then dial in you track’s EQ using the 4 frequency knobs.
From there you can add a touch of reverb or some effects. And the pre-gain and post volume makes for awesome gain-staging.
I know what you’re thinking…
“No way will that work.”
But I’m telling you – try it.
Try throwing Amp Designer on your drums or vocals. Try out the Clean Preamp model. And then try mixing your tracks through it.
I’m certain you’ll find using Amp Designer will expand your creative and mix horizons.
Because at the end of the day, all these plugins are there to do whatever the heck we want with them!
Who slams a xylophone through a Bitcrusher? Or who pitches a whole mix down using Pitchshifter?
And who uses Amp Designer as a Channel Strip?
Might as well try though 🙂