Use What Works - Templates & Presets!!!!

Kenny’s Tip of the Day - Use What Works - Templates & Presets!!!!

As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to mix is to mix fast. And the best way to mix fast is to mix in a way that you know works. And by this I mean use templates. Or presets that you have saved from previous mixes.

This applies to recording, tracking or mixing. Anything in the audio engineering field can be done quicker if you use settings that you have previously used before and you know work.

In fact, after assisting for many great producers and mixers, I’ve noticed that they all do it. Many famous mixers are known for never changing the settings on their hardware outboard gear.

Why? Because it works. They have had success doing it this way before and they and their clients want them to repeat this success.

Now I’m not saying that you should use templates or presets and do nothing else. That would be ridiculous. You can’t mix by numbers. But you can do very similar things in similar situations to greatly reduce the time it takes to do them and reduce the chances of making a really silly mistake.

For example. Most mixers don’t use different reverbs or different presets for those reverbs on every song. If you’ve ever searched for the perfect reverb for a track, you know that you could lose hours going down this rabbit hole. Ending up wasting time and losing complete perspective on what you were doing.

So far me, I have 5 presets that I call my “go to” presets. I have two drum reverbs. Big and small. I have one guitar reverb preset that I use for cleaner electric guitars and two presets that I use for vocals. Again, one bigger and one smaller. That’s it. Now I have spent many hours creating these. And some during a mix. And these presets can be tweaked from time to time but think about how much time I save having these 5 set up in my template on every mix?

I do the same thing with my delays. I have about 5 or 6 of them already set up for use before I even consider mixing.

Another great example is the dynamic processing I use on the 2 buss. It has evolved over the years but I have used the same plugins (4 or 5 of them) and the same presets on 99% of the mixes I have done over the last 20 years. The only thing that changes is how hard I hit them. Does this make all of my mixes sound the same? Of course not.

But what it does is allow me to think about other things in the mix. The 2 buss is a given. Much like choosing the mixing desk you were going to mix on back in the olden days.

Create your toolbox. Find your “go to” presets for each instrument. Find things that work and do those things almost every time. Make them work and then work with them. A lot.

To learn more, check out my tutorials at

I hope this message finds you well. Kenny Gioia