Demo: Mixing a Rock Track Part 1


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

Demo: Mixing a Rock Track Part 1

This song is by a band called days of like gravity. You can check them out of facebook dot com dash days of like gravity. I listened through all the trucks and I I tried to just scan and listened to about forty seconds of each one and try to find what I thought would be the most beneficial track for everybody to hear and see a process of it wasn't about who I think deserves a grammy for the best song running it was more like this seems like one that would be beneficial for the audience, and we could make some really cool examples. And, you know, the song does sound great, and I should say that it sounds like they did a great job with it, but I think that there's a bunch of different concepts in here that would be really cool in the, um, what do you call it? Arrangement is very varied, so I thought it would be really cool to explore some of this stuff since we didn't get into it. So with that, some of the things that I was thinking about, uh, we're like, you know, first thing we have to...

do is there's a bunch of stereophonic meant to figure out what is true stereo and where it fits there's, a bunch of different drum tracks and some other stuff that I thought it would be a really good example of this there's a lot of drones, we want to see which ones they're serving a purpose which one are extraneous? Um, these guys did a great job record asleep he's very flat natural, but I want to see, you know, at times, if we should hype it up at times what we should go for, I didn't really get a gold for the songs I want to get that in front of you guys, so basically, all I did was after this was I wanted to just save the time of putting the tracks in order that I like to see him. As I explained, I like to do the drums than the base than the guitars and then the vocals, I just kind of did that other than that there's no preparation done this because I wanted you guys to see my real process, I didn't have to do triggering it didn't look like there was a lot of getting to be done, so I didn't do that, but I want to just do that, and I wanted you guys to see what my process looks like, so with that I'm gonna turn towards the computer and start this process, and I'm going to kind of talk my way through it the whole time, so the first thing I'm gonna do it is I am going to survey this we got a whole bunch of drum tracks I do see something I want to correct right now is that we have a truck that I left labeled as unknown um so that sounds like okay uh that sounds like just another kick trigger let's see I'm gonna leave with this one trigger on the next one I'm looking at I can just see that is a snare trigger so I'm going to save the time so we could do other cool things instead so as you could see this track that tom's are already cleaned and gated which I appreciate very much uh have a high hat stereo overhead in a mano room and a tam barinas faras rhythm stuff go I already see there's a little blip for this is in gated fully so I'm gonna take care of that real quick and then I'm just gonna do that the rest of the track so we know we have no extraneous noise on and let me take care of that so this is my process a lot of time is that I'm going to just make sure everything's clean in my order uh cool base looks good acoustic guitars look good I could see these air two different performances just by looking at the wave forms I could see there's extra strums yep so I'm gonna pan those out left and right I'm gonna pan the overheads out left and right. Wade iran will check that the left and right is whether it's drummer perspective or not let's see if these guitars or to set performances uh solo that they are so what I'm establishing here is if this was one performance that I might pay and hit both to the side but since it's two performances um do those hard left and hard right because it's most likely how I'm gonna want to determine this mix let's find out so yesterday we talked about how we see if the track is true stereo or not let's find out if this organ is true sir out so I'm gonna go to a multi mano plug in just like I did yesterday I'm gonna unlinked kit and I'm gonna put one side out of phase I'm not sold out on it is true stereo so yet again we know that's true stare because I pandit toe one speaker with one side out of phase and still played so we're going to leave that as true stereo let's see what's up with this verse guitar though is that true stereo so the nice thing you could do is once you made one of those programs you could just drag it down every time you have to test this and that is not true stereo so let's part this out its first get rid of this plug in let's split this in the mono uh what did I just think there we go uh and then I'm just going to delete all but one mano side of it since we don't need that uh cool so then we have two different verse guitars so he could pry pen those out to get are mixed started now I'm doing this economist preemptive stuff I may go back on this I don't just as a rule go I'm going to pan that guitar out but that seems like that's what I'm going to want to do to get this son start so here's something with this song there's like a little bit of interest sound effects let's get that out of solo to me this is not very important right now so forgetting our overall vibe of our mix so I'm going to mute all that stuff cause we could just add that in later um so I also like my backgrounds after my lead in this looks like this is the mean leading song so into that insure guitar I don't know how we're going to process that another stereo track and a double let's pull this down where the vocals are I guess I missed this yesterday on dh let's find out if the spoken was true stereo or not I did not put up the right it's this about uh unlock polarity yep, that is another mano truck that we need to teo not have a stereo so uh let me make that happen ok I think that that's everything I need to do to purpose oh we got another vocal that might be that no yeah so we're gonna test this too sure enough that's model to I should say this too this is really, really really common to have a couple of these I could see that this was most likely tracked and logic as it has been everywhere I have no idea why logic does lex I don't really use logic but bouts in place it's when you I forgot way have ah logic power user in the house bounce in place when you when you use that feature it makes a new audio file with v I p at the end and all this time I thought they're just big war zone fans and imitating the way maybe sings it's a bad joke for that four people got um anyway so that looks like that's everything I'm going to test this time marine on dh we should be on the more funder things more fun things ah that's about two okay so the next thing I'm gonna dio is I'm just going to get a little bit of a rough mix and try to here with this song sounds like naturally without any mastering or anything like that and I can get a feel for the tones and so I know that I don't mess anything up when I start applying a master fader and getting going so I'm gonna, since this intro is really sparse, says he could hear for the first about a minute or so of the song there's, not much going on, so I'm gonna probably focus on the end of the song the most, but let me give you an idea, uh, again, spring and cool so that's the beginning, and then the full bad kicks in at the end, which I thought was, could be a cool thing. So we get an idea on how to balance that. So what's, listen, that cool, what I was doing there was kind of taking note of what I hear about this on one of the first things I hear is that one the vocal performance that is really strong, so I want to make sure that size obviously saw it like this. We want that time and two, I really like the way way acoustic guitar is recorded, so I want to make sure we don't lose that what I start applying a bunch of, uh, acute depression and putting stuff upon a bastard fader. So with that, I'm gonna first determined how the drugs are pat, if it's drummers perspective or that so I could do some more of my panic and make my life suck poor so it's actually sounding like the overhead right is where our high hat is so I'm gonna pan that accordingly now I'm one of those people I actually you'd normally pan drummers perspective so I'm going to go against my will here because this seems like this was the will of the band in the producer and I'm trying to make them happy with this mixes wells myself so they probably made this decision for a reason so I'm going to do that um get the high hat over there low tom and sue them do a little bit more acute panning to that later when I get a better picture but now I'm ready to bring in a master fighter so what I have with me is I have a hard drive of a bunch of the records I've done in the past month and I'm going to go in and I must say, you know what might be a good starting point for this? So I'm going to look through some sessions and I must say, you know there's probably something you've done similarly the pastor bugs that could be a good story point for getting some processing going um I'm however not quite seeing that yet actually I am this is a bad we actually did in the mastering class last time called hey on out there a fantastic band out of new jersey um that make like sir fee girl pop stuff and I think like that, this song in particular in particular, would probably do very good as a starting place for some of this stuff, so I'm going to bring in the lot of weird clicking problems and the smiles today harmonizer of the master fader, my vocal plate and probably my guitar reverb setting and my drum bus just to get started, and I'm going zero them out and bring them back to a place where they're kind of you troll, but I know that these plug ins air probably goingto work in this mix as a good starting point. I may revise them later, but this is part of that science thing we talked about, which is that I'm just going to get started and save myself some time so that I remember that this doesn't have my normal drum bus pogon here because we're not on tedium, so I'm gonna put that ssl comp up and turn off that analog because it makes some weird hiss thing I don't like, I'm going to set this where I like to start it. This didn't have one of my re verbs and port or two of them, so I'm just gonna nix that those two for now, so I don't get any phasing problems three of my river bs on and on, so basically, this is just making my life easy, but I don't wanna have too much color like there's no reason to start my drum compressor with that because I know clue if it will really need anything like that I do know that a high pass filter on my drums happens almost every time and that's a pretty neutral one so I'm gonna leave that and I'm gonna permai distortion down so one of the reasons I import this though is that here's a nice detail I don't always remember to hit that stereo button that makes the stereo spread nice and go in this distortion if I forgot that it's a lot better than me going in and importing the individual plug ins harmonizer looks good let's go through this master fader so I must set this as minimal as possible for now um I usually like to start this around fifty so the q curve I heard for the stuff is a lot less extreme than this someone price shape it as I get a rough mix and I'm gonna bypass this for now turn this off so yesterday we talked about headroom I'm going to make a fader that allows me to pull down all the trucks that were going to call headroom again I'm just going to start off by getting these tracks all in a row that we'll get about some headroom to work with so what's first turn off all of this and see where our had cool so that gets us down to a much more workable place let's start putting this on so basically my next port this process is I'm going to start fiddling with this master fader find someplace that's a good start and start putting things into their levels in the mix in getting this just without any q into some place where I could start doing some balances and some tweaks so I'm gonna probably play and do a little bit of work for a while so just try to pay attention when topping on screen cool so what I was basically doing there is I was getting this really static kind of block of a mix going where there's a bastard favorite could give me a little bit of health I hear it e q curve that will probably keep revising throughout the mix, but that is somewhat closer than what I started with going this is going to do be some favors and allow me to start tweaking some things that probably need some tweaking and help me figure out make better decisions so I'm going to now start with the drums and just start to get rid of all these plug ins and just make a drum point so normally when I mix I would be triggering with some sort of sugar but these guys made a trigger I'm going to commit to kind of working with the trigger they made um so let's, listen to just these drums, so first time hearing too is I really like the way this room bike sounds there's stuff about the kick that bothers me a little bit um a lot of time I'm just going to address the things that annoy me the most first, so I'm going to find where this annoying kick thing is, so yeah, this kick sounds a little life, listen basketball into me, so I'm just going to start off doing some work to it. So as we talked about yesterday, I'm gonna try to use some very stock carbon plug ins, a lot of these going to be waves or stuff that comes with pro tools. My master feeders could be the exception of that because this is what I'm used to, and I'll spend forever try to tweak this if I don't use some of this stuff, but even this is waves the flux stuff I use, but the rest, this stuff I'm going to try to really use borgens you guys can get your hands on real easy. You can also use the stock digital sign pogue incidents there, the same functions. So the first thing we'll do some and work on e queuing this kick that I don't like since it's my least favorite thing in the mix a drum mix right now, so I'm gonna hit play and try to kind of try to find a good point for this. I'll explain what I'm doing as I go. The first thing I'm trying to find here is where the base gets cut. I'm rolling off under twenty five hard, so this is one of the carts officials to go over it there's a high pass filter on probably every truck in the mix, even your lowest frequency stuff. One of the keys to getting a great sounding mix, I think is getting that clean bottom ed, and when I was younger, I'd be like, oh, but you don't want to take away any base controlling the very some of the base, particularly under forty hertz is one of the most crucial parts of getting the base of the control, so pretty much every one of these tracks I could start off with a high pass filter that's always going to go on it somewhere, so now I'm going to sleep around and I'm gonna try to find some broad stroke e q would get rid of get this sounding a little bit better, so it's easier for me to fix. So to explain what I'm doing here is there's a basketball he like quality to this kick drum that I'm trying to get rid of. So I'm giving a little bit of a high boosted a little bit of a cut in the mid range that gets rid of some that basketball in this now I know this frequency pretty well but a lot of the time when I'm searching for this what I would be doing is I'd be making a really narrow q so let me make that arrow look you in here and I'd sweep for it so I do something like this so what I'm doing there is I'm turning up a frequency really loud so I can find the one I don't like and then I'm gonna pull that frequency down we're also seeing me mess around with these curves so this q where the hybrid ecowas weighs like to call it has tons of different curves that you could use as you can see I keep referring this digital too because it allows me to be very precise with my cue curves so now that I found the frequency I don't like I'm going to see how much I could turn it down in this solo mode and then I'm gonna pry refined this more when I'm getting the full mix going but I know I need to get rid of some of the little this so I stopped me so being so annoyed by it so that has gotten rid of what I'm annoyed about this let me listen to the soul of drum some more so the next thing I want is a little bit of excitement out of this stare so that distortion gives me a little bit more of what I want but now I have to get it because I just brought up a ton of the bleed so like I kind of said yesterday there's some starting points that I know I could do with this bleed every time I could filter out a bunch of the highs that it's gonna be getting a check trouble little easier ten milliseconds is way too fast or too slow for a kick gate I know somewhere around here is going to work and I know I definitely don't want arrange that I it that the highest I ever put it is about six so I'll play with their then I'll loosen it up so hearing that already that's way too hard so what I'm listening here for is that I want to make sure that the attack doesn't get taken away and that the release gives enough time for me to get some of that air and the popeye I like out of the stair where I'd be by the pop is like not the initial stick hit but like that huh of like the stair where there's a lot of excitement what I later put that in the oppressor it's going to really come out a little bit so basically that I've heard that that's not annoying me as much so I'm gonna keep moving. So now I'm not is annoyed by the strub saddle.

Class Description

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.