Track Submixing = a packing primer

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What do you think? Can you pack a suitcase like Heather Poole? More importantly, can you fit 200 tracks on a single 15″ laptop screen without having to scroll?

Ms. Poole can fit 10 days worth of clothes into a single carry-on bag. That’s impressive. No wrinkles, no hassle, no broken zippers. Check out her techniques here.

Seems easy to do once you know the secrets. And that’s exactly the way it works with getting all of your tracks on the same screen. You don’t need to rent out a movie theater projector to work through a 200+ track mix. You just need submixes.

Ms. Poole rolls her clothes so that they don’t take up as much space. By submixing tracks together, you can also save on space. For example, you’re probably going to have a lot of vocal tracks to work with. But you’ve really only got a single “lead vocal” sound (maybe comprised of four to five different tracks), maybe six or seven (or twenty) stacks of harmonies (which can all be submixed down to a single track), and maybe some other vocal tracks (doubles, accents, etc.). You can take all 40 of these vocal tracks and turn them into just 3 submixed tracks. Amazing.

Here’s the best way to do it – (almost every DAW is different, but the concept is the same.) Organize your tracks so that you can see exactly what can be submixed together. You then take those tracks and send them out an internal bus. Then, set an AUX track to receive input from that bus. Voila – a submix.

Here’s the submixes I like to start with – sometimes it varies, but this is usually a good starting place!

Vocals – Lead, Harmony, Background

Guitars – Lead, Rhythm, Acoustic, Solo

Keyboards – Piano, Synths, Pads, Keys


Drums – Kit, Percussion


You can take 200 tracks and turn it into just 14! This is a great way to use your screen space to your advantage, and keep your sanity!

Check out some of our training to see some crazy large sessions and pick up some great tips on how to mix them to perfection!

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