Mixing house tracks: Shiba San’s favorite tools for his studio

No one will ever dance to your latest house music production unless the drums are beefy, the lows are punchy, and those open hi-hats are bright and lively.

In short, the dance of house music relies on a well-rehearsed mix. And while it took seasoned engineers decades of practice to achieve that professional high-level result, these days you can achieve amazing results using just a few powerful plugins.

No one has been in this business longer and knows it better than Shiba San from Paris, which is why we sat down to discuss his favorite plugins he uses to achieve perfect mixes in each of his music tracks. house.


Stream Shiba San’s “Bam Da Bam” below.

The only way to know what an amazing house music mix is ​​is to hear a master at work. Shiba San’s latest single is a masterclass in what a tight, powerful mix can add to your track.

The version’s minimal arrangement allows Shiba San to squeeze the most volume and energy out of the few elements and layers included in the track. The vocal chops, main synthesizer line, and drums are able to work their magic for all to see, without convoluted layers and background atmospheres obscuring the mix.

So listen to Shiba’s latest release below (a few times if you’re serious about your own production) to cement what an amazing house track sounds like in your head before diving into the plugins Shiba has used so well.


Isotope RX10

Isotope RX10

This one is an essential plug-in for me.

With this plugin, you can clean samples, declip, declick, denoise, etc. The best part is the rebalancing tool that helps isolate the rods.

If you only need the vocals or the instrument of a song, you can isolate the parts you need and export them easily.

Read more about this plugin here

Isotope Preview 2

Isotope Preview 2

This is an audio measurement plug-in that you can put at the end of your master channel’s chain, for mixing or mastering. You get an excellent and quick view of levels, frequency content, stereo spread and dynamic range.

The most important thing to check these days is the LUFS. With this, it’s very clear and you have all the settings for the different streaming platforms if needed.

Read more about this plugin here

Isotope Ozone 10 Maximizer

Isotope Ozone 10 Maximizer

I don’t have much to say about this plug-in except that it works so well!! It includes True Peak limiting which I don’t see in many limiters.

It also includes automatic match gain when you bypass the maximizer. This means that you can hear the signal at the same volume with the maximizer and without. So you hear it if it keeps the sound clean and doesn’t kill transients when turned on. It’s the only plug-in I use that doesn’t cut out some of the bass.

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Read more about this plugin here

Mastering the mix: Bassroom

Mastering the mix: Bassroom

An amazing plug-in!! This whole series is great but I’m going to choose two.

Bassroom is a Match EQ specialized in low frequencies from 0 to 320 Hz. It is separated into five parts: 0 to 20 Hz, 22 to 40 Hz, 40 to 80 Hz, 80 to 180 Hz and 180 to 320 Hz. what you have to do is to upload a song (or several songs) as target in the plugin, then you play your song, mix or mastering, and it shows you the difference between your song and the target song.

Then you can adjust as needed to sound like the target song.

Each frequency is represented as a rectangle that you can enlarge or reduce to get closer to the target sound. It’s very visual, easy to use and helps me a lot. It’s a necessary plug-in!

Read more about this plugin here

Mastering the mix: reference

Mastering the mix: reference

This is the one I was waiting for! This plug-in allows you to switch from your song to the target song with one click. You upload one or more tracks to the plug-in and put it on the master channel, for mixdown or mastering.

You choose the part of the song you want to target and it adjusts the volume of the target song to your mix or master and shows the DB difference. You can compare it to the target to see if you are too loud or too quiet.

Then you can compare the sound of your mix or master with multiple target songs, all with just one click.

Read more about this plugin here

Tech MK2 Universal Audio Tube

Tech MK2 Universal Audio Tube

This is an optical tube compressor. I had the hardware at the time, but the plug-in offers a valuable option which is the mix button for parallel compression.

This compressor is great for vocals, bass and everything else since you have adjustable attack and release. It warms and smoothes the sound. As soon as you engage it, you hear more low-mids and it attenuates the high frequencies.

The manufacturer will say “it’s transparent” but I don’t think that really changes your original sound.

Roland Cloud

Roland Cloud

I don’t know if I can choose just one plug-in from the entire Roland Cloud series.

There are all vintage analog and digital synths and Rhythm Maschine, like Juno 106, Juno 60, SH-2, SH 101. TR 808, 909 ,707, 606, Tb 303.

I think they have the main plug-ins and features that have made house music since the beginning of its existence. It is essential!

Learn more here

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