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Fix It In The Mix

Lesson 11 of 17

Guitar Techniques

Kurt Ballou

Fix It In The Mix

Kurt Ballou

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Lesson Info

11. Guitar Techniques

Lesson Info

Guitar Techniques

Let's just jump right back into this frost down tune um do talk about guitars and my approach to guitar in this case is going to be kind of similar to the base um but a little different, you know, guitar being a bit higher frequency and bit more prominently uh featured in a lot of metal mixes then then the base I think that there's some additional stuff that we can do with the guitar that we didn't do with the base and also the fact that the guy's playing through um playing with a pick through uh you know and already kind of saturated guitar also sort of means that we're closer where we want to be with the guitar signal so maybe we don't actually need to do as much with regards to plug it so anyway here's what the guitar sounded like as I received it this is just ah single track hardpan to the left you know? So it sounds fine but it could sound finer. Um it's got a little bit of crackle to it so maybe that maybe that, um that uh cabinet impulse thing that we used on the bass guitar to ...

kind of re mike that guitar signal might actually help out a bit with with the crackling nous so I'm gonna grab I'm going to use use ah space as my as my convolution reverb and pull up one from the same family of these catharsis guitar cab impulses and grab one of those and then, um, try that out, see how that sounds so it's still a little bit of crackling and there, but it's a bit more under control. The sound seems to have more depth, and we also have the nice benefit that bunch of the sort of bleed from the symbols are filtered out, so I think I like the way that sounds, but it's a bit willie sounding now, so maybe we'll add a a smidge of of of e q to add some focus and remove some unwanted frequencies from from that guitar sounds so that's what? That sounds like all right, that's, that's like a little more like what I expect a guitar for a song like this to sound like, and now I think I'd like to try a little funny business with the guitar. You know, when you're in the room watching this band live, you're just going to see, you know, it's, just give me a mon a guitar and it's gonna be pretty well, center pan, but I'd like to find a way to go wide on that guitar and make some space for the other instruments in the mix and also kind of simulate. What it sounds like for guitar that's kind of in the left side of the room from the audience's perspective what it sounds like bouncing off the wall on the right side and come and get it to your ear on the right side that way, so we try a subtle delay and de tune on the guitar track on the right side and and also we're going to try def from cabinet impulse in slightly different reverb scheme on the right side to further modify the sound on the right from the sound of the left and we'll see if we can get those to combine in a way that still feels natural but also gives us a bit more with and sounds a bit more modern than just a simple mono guitar. So may I go in, listen to just a duplicate? I've duplicated that, um original guitar track and then pan that hard to the right also done some editing to kind of, you know, sort of make it feel like a two guitar band that's probably not really appropriate for this video purpose, but it's kind of fun to do that kind of stuff, so I did it anyway, so let's uh skip this I'm just going to use a simple like dj pitch plug in in order to do my pseudo doubling this plenty of other things out there that will do this but I'm just that's what amusing today, but to do a few other things to the sound I think I'm gonna first I'll start with the same sort of thing that I did to the original guitar track ah cabinet impulse this time just using a different cabinet impulse so it has a little bit different sound and let's hear what that does, theo so something like that and he's a bit of modification we'll use procure to for that all right, so that's that let's and also I found that compressing a signal can be another way or compressing one side of ah stereo split signal could be one way to go broaden it a bit as thie sort of attack release controls vary from side to side it can make it feel a bit broader so do little subtle compression to that guitar sound not much, but it brings a bit of throwing this forward in the tone and then finally there's this pitch thing so let's start with the bypassed and then let's hear um the left and right guitar played together way to go a little more active area of the song. So starting starting bypassed so definitely sounds of course, and we're just I'm just doing a nine millisecond delay and the three cent de tune it's got a bit of course you saw sound and probably won't really collapse to mano perfectly but you know, maybe this will be useful in the context of the song or maybe we just want to drop down to amano guitar we can also just kind of turned down r r, right guitar a bit tio make make the effect less noticeable and just kind of have a hard pan left guitar. Yeah, it's a bit more like what it's like to be to be in a show and then, you know, again send a bit of reverb and then also doing a bit of stuff sort of typical stuff I've been doing with the guitar master bus. Um, let's, check out what I'm doing there there's a bit of pro envy again um one kind of cool trick that you can do with guitar if you subtly is to use a di essere or you know, in my case, I'm using multiple compressor, but I'm basically using it as a di essere too sort of even even out the the bright sounds in the guitar the guitar has a bit of sizzle when this kid this guitar towns not to sicily but sometimes when you have a really silly guitar sound using a dsr on into kind of level out the high frequencies and then boosting the high frequencies after the dsr khun give you still a bright guitar tone that's less kind of sicily or spit e

Class Description

The best way to get a great recording is to start with great source material, but that’s not always possible. Occasionally you are stuck with a less-than-perfect recording and the only thing you can do is to try and clean it up. 

Lucky for you, there are reliable techniques for restoring poorly recorded audio, and Kurt Ballou will teach you everything you need to know in Fix it in the Mix. 

While replacing drums with samples and reamping guitars are often effective ways to rebuild a sub-par recording, they are time-consuming and can diminish the uniqueness of the original recording. 

Fix it in the Mix will explore organic approaches to recovering and enhancing the natural tones from the original performances. Kurt will use recordings from real-world scenarios and walk you through, in detail, the audio restoration process. 

In Fix it in the Mix, Kurt will show you how to think outside of the box to come up with creative solutions to audio restoration problems every engineer has faced. 



An absolutely fantastic course for anyone who is new (or even experienced) on how to use very innovative techniques to help bring some life to an otherwise poorly recorded demo. Thank you Kurt!


another fantastic course in the creative live audio section, kurt kills it,!! thank you!

Ashton Thebault

Definitely some handy tips in here that are useful for mixing live music, poorly recorded tracks and anything else that couldn't be rectified during recording. Kurt gave some tips I had never thought of and there were some valuable insights that came out from his discussions with people in the room. Very valuable if you deal with any sub-standard recordings and if you just want to get some tips.