Mixing Tips: Loops & Samples

Mixing with loops can be tricky sometimes.  The precomposed nature of them means you might need to fit them around your tracks and elements.  With this in mind Rich from the team has showcased his 5 favourite mixing methods when dealing with loops and samples.


Side-Chaining + Side-Chain EQ’s

Side-chaining your bass or synth elements to kick drum can create amazing space and movement within a track.  When side-chaining to a full drum loop this doesn’t always work as the loop has many other elements in it like hats & snares that trigger the side-chain.

In the video below we show you how to use the build in EQ in the compressor to isolate the kick drum and only duck our sound when the kick plays. 


Mid-Side EQ – Synth Width

Thinning out a dense, low frequency sound can have amazing effects on your mix, especially when using a mid-side EQ.

The cutting of the low mids in the centre does the following things:

1 – Clashing low-mid & muddy frequencies are removed providing extra clarity

2 – The removal of the mids gives the impression of extra width making the stereo field more expansive.



For more ideas check out our extensive production tips articles.


Sample Layering & Phase

When layering samples and loops it’s crucial to consider the effect of phase.  The relationship between the two sounds can be the difference between an amazing sounding kick and a hollow, low impact sound.

In the video below we show how Ableton’s Utility plugin can ‘flip the phase’ and get your kicks sounding huge! 



Multi-Band Compressor

The multi-band compressor can be a touch confusing to use but once tamed, the power and options within this plug-in are endless.

Our chosen zone is between 100-500Hz – a frequency area that commonly builds up on instruments like the Fender Rhodes or most electric pianos.

In the vide below we use Fabfilter’s Pro-MB to control a low mid heavy Rhodes piano loop.



By lowering the threshold slowly the compressor is only triggered when the energy within our chosen frequency range becomes too high.