Jesse cannon has been in this industry for twenty years I believe and he is a young guy so he's been doing this since he's not that well he's getting a younger he's been doing this for what he said he was fifteen years old so you are a wealth of knowledge in this industry and we're just so happy to have you here jesse so just like to be here welcome thanks so much always good to have you back awesome all right we'll take it away jesse great. So let's talk about who I am and why you should care even who I am I have been a part of records from a bunch of groups like the cure the misfits animal collective man overboard dillinger escape plan author h transit saves the day and one biscuit I've worked under alan duchess at west west side music who's one of the biggest mastering engineers in indy music ross robinson who's responsible for glass straw at the drive in slipknot korn blood brothers and a million other groups steve ever two eyes produced all dillinger escape played stuff suicide si...
lence senses fail and I run my own studio captain found foundation recording studios in union city, new jersey I'm also the author of a book called get more fans the d I y guide to the new music business that is a complete guide to the music business today and how you promote your music and um so now that we know who I am, I'm gonna play al gore and tell you a few inconvenient truths about mixing so um better gear is not well, I shouldn't say won't make your makes is better, but they're not the on ly and sort of making your mix is better. I know we all sit with our sweet water catalogs and are vintage kings and lust over really, really great gear, but the thing that we have to always remember is that like understanding and be practicing is what makes you better just like if you were playing an instrument um, most of the, uh, your things you buy well up your music about a letter grade you can go from b two a day if you're already a really good mixer and a two and a plus an f to a d if you're not that good but it's not the be all end all fix. So what I'm going to talk about today is a bunch of things that you can do with that old, small little techniques that you've probably overlooked, and if you just tweak these a little bit, they could make you a dramatically better mixer so the other thing I want you to realize is that every other mixer that you admire can make great records with nothing but pro tools and the standard digit design plug its if you watch pence otto's place or a this stuff you hear these guys talking about plug ins like deaver but you're like that thing sounds terrible what I use it well the reason they were able to use in your price saying they're lying to me they're not lying you what they when you would know the skills and you know the proper ways to use things you could actually make just about anything sound good it's the savories and you see guys using terrible low quality microphones instead of the most expensive stuff it's that when you know the proper techniques and you know what to listen for you can make all this work as proof of this I'm going to embarrass myself immensely and show you a picture of what my recording studio in my parentsbasement looked like when I hadn't taken a day off for about one hundred days so in this wretched thing where are monitoring through atrocious bad mackey board I obviously haven't cleaned because I was working a ted our day in my own studio within a five hour day in another studio every night I was still able to mix a couple records from bands that got mtv airplay some of the records continue to sell to this day I recorded bands like race the sod, the escape ege and or star scar head all down here and as you can see there's no acoustical treatment on the walls the monitor situations pretty atrocious the gears pretty atrocious and boy that carpet is messy the thing is though I had a relationship with this room and I worked down there so much that I knew how to get a great sound out of this room and what all this is about is developing a relationship with your speakers knowing what you're listening for and knowing how to use your gear even in this you can overcome and make it happen one of the really good examples I like to use of this is skrillex is bang arang record was the most streamed record of two thousand twelve there's a record he mixed engineered and mastered all himself he recorded it mostly in hotel rooms with a busted minor but he knew all these sounds any tweaked it knew what he was doing any news tools from years of practice and that is what it's about it was done on a laptop there was no crazy outboard gear and mixing console it's about what you know and knowing your gear and knowing your monitors so the other thing I wanted still on you is that coupling someone else's settings or following recipes are not going to make your mix is better we see all the time somebody's like well you cut four hundred hertz on drums it's going to work and that is a great general truth but every bit of program material changes and you have to know when that tool could be applied and when it can't through learning how to listen and knowing when different things come up the techniques that you're going to need to use so that when you have a recipe you know whether to use that or not different times call for different things and I want to instill in you a lot of these recipes in tools so you know when to use each of these techniques and when not to use them um so you're probably wondering then what will make my mixes better and the real answer to this is learning all these things I just talked about um if your gear is not going to do it and following other people's methods won't do it what will you're not screwed I promise you um so what we're going to go over is mastering the fundamentals you need to listen and understand what you're listening for and the concepts of mixing and applying them to your program material since your program materials always going to be different you need to know what to throw out it so over the next three days we're going to wear his skill set that will make your mix is improved dramatically in theory and practice I say theory and I don't really like to use the word theory because if you've been to college it gets real boarded that but there's a lot of these things that are just a skill set I want to give you a whole bunch of ah ha moments where these air probably things that you've done a million times but you don't quite know why this one works I would explain some little things you always do it right? One of the big metaphors I've thought about over the past few days I was on reddit the other day and I was reading this thread and it said I bet you don't know how to reheat pizza properly and I'm like I've preheated pizza for twenty one years I don't have a receipt pizza they say put it in a frying pan with some olive oil be the best tasting thing he did and sure enough they were right I want to do that with audio today is that you've done these things a million times probably I'm going to show you a better way of doing them. So for the next three days we're going to go over this is the schedule will be abiding by day one we're going to talk about a whole bunch of things you're probably doing wrong and correct some bad behavior on day two it's going to be all about mixing rock we're going to go over a few common ailments of rocks mixes that we're going to go insides one of my mixes and then we're going to mix one of one rock song that you guys have submitted live on the air if you go to the page for my course on creative live dot com, you can submit your music there tells you how to do it on day three we're going to do the same thing, but this time with the gm and I'm going to go over some closing thoughts that we're going to mix one of your songs live for idea of gm as well um so now that we're there, I'm just about open with pro tools again and we could try to do this demo let me ask you guys, what gives you guys the most trouble with mixing? I would probably say that having low and kind of just sound flowbee bouncing against each other like, ah, a lot of time with ah kick drums and bass, especially with mixing e m I have a hard time making sure that they play nice together rather than cut one or side chain the other. So that's a really interesting, interesting point, I think that's also a really common ailment in that jogbras. So let me ask you this how much of use of high past baltar's air using actually started doing a different method? But what I've been doing is I've actually been bouncing down and then kind of ah, just lowering the volume on some things that I haven't been like having been able to get and that's totally the the thing that I don't want to do yeah, I want to learn how to fix the problem not just turn it down yes, but yeah, I mean, I've had some experience but um you know, my my experience inside chaining it's not as good as it should be I don't think side chaining is everything I mean, it is important, but I do think that there is a thing of that learning how to do some of the queue it it's one of the first things will be going over it could really clear that up and then also understanding when you should be compressing and distorting also is a big thing with low and I've probably had the most difficulty with affects, okay? He said compression and river but I don't um I don't always know when to use compression or like you said versus a source and I'm glad you're talking about that because that will really help me I've noticed ah, you know, drums and vocals like sometimes ahead of drummer's also a vocalist really? And that phil collins action leads to some some difficulty recording. Oh yeah, but I you know I mean we've had more experience people assist me and trying toe address those issues I'm always I've always just past the book when it's come to something like that and I would really like just know howto balance, you know it's really hard to get a good level from ah drummer yeah singing well there the slamming on a tom or a high hat or something. So, um that's also something that you know I've I've noticed I my experience in the studios pretty limited okay it's mostly live so I like live broadcasting things like that so you know, we do go back after the fact and and master attracts but I have a lot of assistance with that it's a very cool well, I mean, the one thing with obviously a drummer singing is if there's anything in this world that is not going to be thought it is not separating those two processes into doing drums than vocals because there is just no way a symbol is not going to go into a vocal like so that is a rough one. The first thing we're gonna do is we're going toe just establish what a big difference mixing can make. I will leave my intern anonymous to not embarrass him but I had my intern mixed three songs that we tracked at the studio so I could kind of illustrate what your mix could be and then what I did is I made one version where I corrected his bad technique and all I corrected was three examples of twenty different things that we're going to go over just today alone just three of them fixed each of these mixes so I'm to play three of them keep track of which one you think sounds best and will address it later so this is the first one okay here's example too and here's the last one you're on your way so I should also say this is a group called sending from ashes at a new jersey that are just put out this record it's really cool because if I didn't promote them might feel like awful person I'm so this next stroop we're going to have to do it's the same thing three examples this is a group called sexual harassment who happens to be my co author todd's group take a listen and remember which one you like and here's example too oh and here's the last one cool so like I said before the only difference between these three mixes is I corrected three simple techniques on each one of them. So the first example of each of them the intern first wasn't applying q properly which is could be one of our first examples is that they were queuing with nothing on the master bus the last example on each of them the biggest problem was they weren't using headroom properly and they were using way too much compression when they should have been using distortion so each of those times there is that and then as well on the last example in each of them all of the reverb sends were set absolutely completely wrong which was another thing we're going to go over so with that the middle was what I corrected of each of those and I think that those were all much happier medium the last one was always a will to distorted the first ones were a little too wimpy and then you know as you go through this you have to keep trying and refining and you eventually go will too far and then you get a happy medium that's exactly what happened with these mixes and it made for a nice example for this class so if we could go back to the keynote um I wanted first before we get into some of these examples uh give you a note that also you just listen to some stuff I recorded the one thing I also want in part on you about this is I'm not trying to make my sound be your sound if you love steve albini versus if you love attila or skrillex or the most modern sounding mix is possible all these skill sets khun be applied to that it's going to be about putting your own taste with this all these things are are not this is how jesse does it this is how I do it and many of my peers do it that I know and I'm just going to show you different things that you can use to make your own sound from so want to get that out of the way? Because I know everybody has different tastes. There's could be times you hear my mixes, you go what's, he thinking that locals too loud, et cetera, et cetera. Don't worry, I'm not making you into me. I'm going to give you things to make you you.
While it’s easy to get distracted by the latest and greatest gear, plugins, and flashy tricks, the real key to a great mix is mastering the fundamentals. In this online class, veteran producer/engineer/mixer Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Animal Collective, Senses Fail) shows you all the essentials of mixing rock and electronic music.
In this 3-day class, you’ll learn how to set up a session the RIGHT way — including routing, gain structure, listening techniques, and other best practices. He’ll show you how to mix vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and synths. You’ll also learn how to use compression, reverb and EQ to make your mix come together, while achieving the punch and separation that takes it from good to great. The class is taught with Pro Tools, but the concepts easily translate to any DAW.
Whether you’re new to mixing, or are a seasoned pro looking for a refresher on the basics, this class will teach you how to seamlessly merge individual sounds into polished, cohesive tracks.