How to Mix With a PAZ Analyzer

By Seamus Islwyn

One of the most important parts of mixing a song is ensuring that the different tracks in the song don't conflict with one another. Each sound in the song should occupy its own sonic space, both in the frequency spectrum and in the stereo field. The Waves PAZ Analyzer plug-in helps you mix by providing a visual representation of the audio on a specific track, making it easier to ensure that tracks don't conflict.

Launch your digital audio workstation and open the project that you want to mix. Drag and drop a copy of PAZ Analyzer from your workstation's plug-ins section onto each track in the project. Drop an EQ plug-in onto each track as well. If your copy of PAZ Analyzer came in one of the Waves bundles, you can use the Q10 EQ from the same bundle; otherwise, use the EQ that comes included with your workstation program.

Play the first audio track of the song. As the audio plays, watch the yellow line in the PAZ Analyzer frequency display.

Click on the highest point that the yellow line touches to display the audio's frequency peak. Write down this frequency. Make a note of the audio's stereo position; you can see a representation of the stereo field in the stereo position display beneath the frequency display. Repeat the process for all other tracks in the song.

Compare the frequencies and stereo positions of the different tracks. If any two tracks occupy the same frequency or stereo position, you'll need to change one of them. Make a note of which track you want to change, and what its new parameters should be.

Open the EQ on the first audio track that you want to alter. Click and drag one of the EQ's equalization points to the frequency that you want to change, then drag the equalization point downward to reduce the volume of that frequency. Use the left and right volume sliders on the EQ to alter the sound's stereo field as desired. Repeat the process for all other tracks in the song.

Play back the mixed song. Listen closely to the audio as it plays and make any necessary adjustments to the mix.