As an occasional musician and full time video editor who often does my own audio mixing I thought I was doing okay, until this evening when I was mixing a track as a favor for a musician friend.
I thought I had a good understanding of dynamics, frequency separation, position in the mix etc. I'd spent about 8 or 9 hours working on the mix and was pretty pleased with the result given the tools I had available (an old version of Tracktion and lots of free vst's and audition). I was just trimming the export in audition and adding crossfades to the back end etc, and started playing around with some of the presets simply out of curiosity...
Anyhoo, I applied the 'Music Enhancer' preset and the track burst into life. I realized what I thought was a tight, solid mix was actually a muddy ol' mess and the enhancer sorted it right out, straight out of the box. Apart from some high end boost and a limiter the preset seems to be all about the graphic phase shifter. I'm aware of the concept phase and how adjusting it affects sound. What I don't know in this case is why is it making my mix sound so goddamn good?
Given that I'm likely to be doing more mixing for my friend in the future, I'd like to get an understanding of exactly whats going on here so I don't have to rely on a preset all the time.