The Slate Digital Virtual Console is a set of plug-ins that model the character of both mixer channels and an analog summing engine. There has been a huge discussion of this plug-in set on various forums including Gearslutz. I’m not 100% convinced using the VC will get you the same sound as outboard gear however I do believe it will give you a new color. I often use microphone impulse responses on a few channels so they sound like they have been recorded through say a Neuman and 15″ away. I know that definitely adds something unique and interesting to my mixes so plug-ins like the Slate have my interest. The Beta is available now for $199. iLok required.
“What it aims to do is precisely emulate the sound of mixing through a legendary analog desk. We’ve worked very hard on the algorithms and we’re happy to say that in our testing, it was extremely difficult to pick out the real desk verse the emulation in an blind A/B test. Fabrice Gabriel implemented modeling techniques that capture the entire dynamic response of the desk, meaning that the sound of the desk, (depending on the emulation), can change as you drive it harder.” – Steven Slate
For more info: slatedigital.com
Disclosure: The service I am about to recommend is owned by a good friend of mine. Please note that he is a good friend of mine largely because he’s a killer audiologist. He’s recorded music for my own label, remixed my songs and mastered my most important release. Miro Pajic is well known in the electronic music scene. He’s a good genre jumper who once made the most dark hardcore music and today is deep in the Berlin minimal scene. His new online ITB mixing service Manic Mixing just launched. If a release is really important to you don’t master it yourself. It’s ok to bump up the volume on crap heading soley to MySpace but for anything that you want a DJ to spin send it to someone qualified. Miro is easy going and will make sure your happy. For details on his mixing process click here: Manic Mixing Details
The important thing to remember is even if you can follow what Miro does in his examples your missing the key ingredient: A fresh talented ear listening to your music!
“First of all, it is necessary to communicate, to find out what your concept and goal is and which final format it will be for. It will help to receive a reference track or demo/sketch version of the music you want to have mixed in the beginning, so i have an idea of what you mean and what we are talking about. I will then do a first rough mix of the material and send you the results, to see if you are satisfied and to make sure that things are going in the right direction. If you agree I will continue and try my best in completing the mix.” – Miro Pajc, Manic Mixing
For more info: Manic Mixing