Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM

Lesson 23/35 - Demo: Mixing a Rock Track Part 2


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

Demo: Mixing a Rock Track Part 2

I'm going to make these overheads beyond a stereo track because I want to process them both at once, so I'm gonna rename this, so this just makes it easier for some people say they can hear a difference between the stereo and to model tracks that it's not as wide and pro tools. I feel like I've heard that, and then I haven't heard that, and I tested each time I come up with a different conclusion, but I know this that processing my overheads together makes life a lot easier. So since it's not something I can prove and my scientific method tells me, I'm going to go with the thing that makes my life easier, at least that makes my life more convenient. Mock me, if you will. So I'm in a now add, uh, to this ah group that I made of drums, which I now I can't remember which one I did made huge called drum solo that's, why? And I'm gonna add that overhead, and so I can control them all together. So what I hear now is that I think there's way too much base running around in these symbols, so I...

want to start getting in to this q and just filtering out the base to start with on a lot of this stuff. So I'm yet again going to go in here and I'm just going to kind of solo through each track and get rid of whatever base I can get rid of tomorrow we do the dad stuff you'll see I do this before I even start mixing a lot of dance stuff a lot of time is that I'll just get rid of where there's no note or what I know I'm going to get rid of because I've mixed enough records to know that I'm usually going toe want not want this so let's start with these overheads because they sound like the most offensive all of all so that around one hundred is about as high as I'm going to first go on those the rooms the next most offensive one to me I can easily copy this over since the sorriest some of the things I like and then just zero these out they stop using this parking because it's not being a sensitive as I'd like I'm gonna use the one I'm familiar with because it's going to make this class go faster so let's try this so around sixty hertz what I'm hearing is I'm getting rid of a rumble that's in there I'm gonna want this trump side a little tight in the room so I just know that that's something I don't want since I have that set up I'm gonna now take that over the high hat so this high had sons this high hat sounds like it's already pretty filtered and has a lot of base rolled off so um I'm going to do this said we'll see what where I go but I might not take this as high as I normally work or I should say this is my already be set higher than I normally would set it but I'm going to just get rid of whatever is not there already que onda with these toms I'm probably not gonna be that concerns no that's the wrong one that concern with setting these quite yet I'm gonna work on the toms on their own but I know that down here will be at least the start of it this is kind of also good because I know I'm going to need in cuba on every channel at some point as well hearing nothing really helpful below fifty on that one and then last this kick trigger and one last one and cool so that sounds way better let's hear these drums again all right that sons like my life is much more livable let me hear this in the full truck so since I love the way these acoustic guitar sounds I want them to come up but I notice I'm putting him a little bit more down in the mix than I normally because they have so much base so now I'm gonna do the same thing to them yet again this is like that kind of idea of like you know we're talking about before that if something is not edited you're not going to be is inclined to push it out in the mix it's the same thing is if you're hearing flaw on a sound that's kind of sometimes best to just get another way so you'll push it up as much as you want especially when you're first getting the vibe of the mix so let me listen to this acoustic guitar I really love the bottom and top end on this acoustic tour so I really don't want to go to high with this high pass filter and get rid of that because it sounds just so awesome and they did a great job recording this so I'm gonna keep that pretty minimal for now on because I know these guitars liken here there pretty thin I know what I could probably just save myself some time and do this and listen wait so we're starting a little bit more clarity in here I'm going to go kind of fast track this a little bit so I'm going to start to get the vocals out and even though this might be the tip aside sometimes mixed all the vocals and once I'm going to try to just get iraq and mix with an instrumental will fast and not get distracted about so the next thing I'm gonna do is before I get really anything past like, you know I can't discuss that I'm getting a vibe I'm hearing the vibe in kind of hearing the overall levels even know they're nowhere near crispin clean yet that I'm gonna want in these parts I'm going to bring the drum compression into our game now um so I'm gonna put this on all of the drum trucks and I'm going to try to figure out how I want to hit this so first I check my head so the other thing I didn't do when I did this is make the panning follow each of these since everything's pan a little bit different I want to make sure I copy that down that my tom's foe the stereo that aaron hysteria tracks follow that plenty of head room of my drum calm so what I'm adjusting here of this trump cop is I'm trying to get a vibe for what type of shape of transient like I said trump compression to be is a lot about how you shape the drums, not necessarily controlling level the one thing over here he's like, you know ratio what to be always is like, you know, a four to one ratio sounds like, you know, a tough drum sound like you know you're really trying to make it sound mostly where's too is just a little bit more like I'm gonna be gentle but I'm gonna be compressed I'm not feeling this huge, masculine let's try to assault the world like that everybody's cool song, so I'm usually I do a four to one ratio in a lot of songs, but two to one feels a little bit more of this gentles kind of sensitive, nice song vibe that this has I mean, it's called shirt not called, you know, something really mean in an aggressive, just emotionally, this feels a little bit more right, but I think that is the thing is a lot of time, I'm setting the strong compressor just based on the emotion that the drums give me. Andi think that two to one versus four to one side way different, I think the attack and released setting is concerned way different. Um, so that's kind of what I'm listening for here. So what I'm doing here is I'm trying to find a character where the drum compression brings out some more clarity. I'm hearing a little bit of muddiness as I do the drums, so I kind of found that yet again that cardboard e money sound, which is three, seventy hertz, if we think about that muddiness usually exist between two hundred forty hertz and around three, sixty cardboard is about three, sixty two, five hundred, um that's where I'm kind of hearing this go and that's kind of where I'm preliminary thinking I also added some brightness because I want to hear some or aggression and pop out of the drums in the high end so unlike the everybody's cool mix what I'm hearing here too is so I turned on the base on the coppers on the everybody's cool books I turned it up the way the bases making the compressor move sutton's very unpleasant to me and I want the drums dream or crispin articular than that booming punchy compressor sound because yet again I don't want this to be as aggressive as that song and that's part of like the emotion is that the compressor moving is not the emotion that's going to make this song feel good to me so I got rid of a little bit of the base going into that cool so still feeling like as faras broad strokes go there's a little bit of luminous boxing it's the snare I want to touch up so much first so what you see me to keep doing here what I keep turning up the frequency and I'm trying to find where the frequent goes bad so what's funny is I was here the snare a little bit too much bottom end and muddiness and the wo frequencies but you know I want to turn up of this truck I rise it's not this track at all that even when I'm cracking up in the strike, it's not doing it so it must be one of these other tracks that just has a lot of it. So when you hear that not soloing in a mix is bad, that there is some truth, that when you first start out, soling is not always the best thing, but then there is sowing to find the problem, and you might be looking the wrong place. I just realized that when I hit solo and I'm hearing that that is one of the trucks that's, the problem for me as well as cool. So now I'm feeling like it's like those drums, air starting into a better frequency there to probably need some more high end, some snap, but there's some things I want to address first and get this mix a little closer before I make big decisions like that. So the first thing I want addresses getting this base a little bit more solid, since I know that how chris, we're going to take these drugs oil dependent on the christmas of or I should say how much the base eats up in this mix, so I'm going to go to my friend the ssl comp, since we're trying to keep this really basic. There's so many different versions this company so many plugging makers make you can use any one of them almost all of them sound good I mean yet again turn off this analog city because I I hate the way that his sounds and I'm going to mess around with this base trying to get a little bit more full so the base q curves started sound better to be as you could see what I turned up that frequency it's me try defied where the rumble starts, so I move it up with the boost. I kind of find where I start to hear a frequency I don't want to get rid of it, and then I pulled down from a little lower than their, um so yet again, I'm gonna enlist the help of my friend sirak has this base is still just not quite what I want. One of the things is the mode on syrup is there's lots of different dynamic once he's make a huge difference, this one sounds like a static one to me, which I know so yet again, when I'm moving this compressor around the bases, I'm trying to find a way to control it without turning its spotty and flat um, I really just whistling tio when it starts to sound too d instead of three d a lot of time when I'm adjusting this compressor so now that the basis sitting a little bit better, I'm here in the biggest thing is that now the guitars just don't sound like they're sitting right in the frequency range, so I wanna play around a little with those sometimes it's best to do this and stereos that is best about I'm gonna play with. So somewhere in the mid range, this guitar is a little boxy, like I like to say it like it sounds like it's stuffed up like my voice normally sounds, um, and I like to get rid of that and it's, not just because I'm a self hating person, it's, because it lacks some clarity in the mix, so I'm going to find where that is seems like around, operate hundreds, right the middle of it so that I'm going to cut this down and I usually do a pretty drastic cut. I'm gonna play around with the q in the cut, I'm told seems a little better to me. Oh, so that seeming right in solo, but then the questions in the mix how are we doing with that's something a million times better than me and it's letting these acoustic spree that since one of my goals of this mix is letting those acoustic spree that I'm gonna keep thinking about that as I go. I really want the warmth of richness of those acoustics to shine, so I'm going to keep working on this guitar a little bit more and figure out how I do that, so realizing the way I'm going to do that is a little bit of our friend, the alchemists, multi band compression, unfortunately, yes, my pre since then and come with me so you'll see how I make one of these real fast, so I divide the frequencies up on a guitar, usually too, right? Basically, the bottom end, muddy. So the bottom end I call about two hundred twenty hertz, I called muddy between two, twenty eight, four hundred, then I do the mids, and this is the one that varies the most on deny start putting on ratios of this, so each of these I start off so here's, another tip I've we're learning over the years, I tend to like this out. I notice when I see the settings of people I work with, when I like their mexes, a lot of people get really into these tough rations were talking about how the four towards sounds really strong and aggressive, odd compressors, but I tend to keep finding that I don't like the way the sound of a compressor working hard, um, so I often times just do one to five because it's the smallest amount you could do it and I'll do a couple layers of compression but very different ways of doing it so like the tape compression the clipping the one to five oftentimes will work really well especially a gentle song like this so what I'm turning up this yellow bad pretty work oppression I could hear that that's where some of the pretty decide that guitar that worked the acoustic guitar I want is somebody get rid of a little bit more of that that I normally would and then I'm gonna control the bottom end a little bit what that teo great so that seems like that's working grated solo what's here that's working in the mix excellent so that's getting away closer to what I have in mind I'm in a loop a part of this for this plays more so as much as I'm liking this raw acoustic sound and I really want to keep it on touch the one thing I am hearing is that there's a bunch of hits that poke out a little bit more so I'm going to go get my friend the tape saturate er so one of things you know it's his tape such a usually of the bob because usually nothing goes after because usually I'm not putting a reverb after it and this is the last they get the lines so we'll be dial this said s o I'm turning this up way higher than I normally run it so I could hear the different curves on the each of these settings, and then I'm gonna pull it back to where it seems comfortable after I choose occur, that seems like that's controlling the peaks a little bit better to me now. Cool, so that what's your big out at me, because I'm not loving the way the overheads air interacting with those two guitars, that that they're getting a little cleaner of the bids. So one of the best suggestions I've ever heard of best like advice is that, like, you know, a good mix is a lot of battle bid reach, especially rocket media, is, you know, base is important, obviously, but there's, so much happening at the bid rage, and everything exists of the bid rage pretty much so, you really gotta work to find what you want to let cut through there, what you want to let exist. So I'm hearing some frequencies in the overhead, I think, actually, I should say this that a lot of time. So how do you make that decision of what should go? Well, what's, the most annoying frequency I keep playing this game of, like, get something to play that sounds better, then find the most annoying frequency and start get it out of your life so the newest annoying frequency I found is uh the overheads I'm gonna have to get rid of you because this is driving me crazy the way this thing in iraq so I'm gonna go with this one so that's the frequency that's annoying me so now it's how much of it can get rid of that before so unnatural cool so that's getting us a little closer so I'm still not getting the crispness and excitement I wanted this so I need to start figuring out more things where I could do away with some of the things that aren't crisp looks like you mentioned this before, but I thought that this kind of a new new one for me so maybe you can cover it again real quickly from tom see what is the benefit of converting the tracks tamano if they aren't true stereo if they are interested if they are not true stereo because then you're dealing with two pan eggs your panic to things for no reason ed it's more plug in power to process two trucks um so there's no reason to do that there's no recently it's basically efficiency for our computer dot running out of juice and just efficiency of the mixing that you know you don't wanna have to pad something twice every time you do it there's just no reason for it no another good question that I know you've talked a little bit but one that, uh you know certainly puzzled me uh I can't pronounce this person's name response have cns is andy's in ages but when using the multi band compressor to remove conflicting frequencies are you reducing the volume of the band compressing the band expanding the man so talk about like ok how how you use multibrand compressing they always say to tame the frequencies can you maybe yeah talking let's do this while I talk to you guys could pull approachable screed and I'm gonna turn down the volume on this again and you could see the way this is working on these guitars so each time a different part is playing in a different part of part of the guitar riff is playing its adding a different about so what this is is instead of taking away an overall character it's adapting to it all the time it's just making a frequency spanned that's more adaptive instead of just e q is just a cod stood cut at something and that could be good for the character of something if you need something overall brighter or you're just like I never liked this frequency no matter what but this is a much more steady way keep us so especially like what it's going to poke into the vocal itjust tames it it makes it so that at the times that it's not getting out of line it doesn't get any thing to do when you preserve your good tone, but the times it does get out of line it takes it down and says, hey, none of that so layover example like if there's a a jangly heist army part as opposed to the guitars a critic that first there might be a muted like yeah, so it's when you're doing problem you it's the high end isn't going to get as much in the will win is going to get more because you're playing what were string but that if you start picking to be in the the high end compressions going to kick in more and the low winds going to relax and it's just adapting that what you're playing same thing with vocals is that you know when you're running down or you're talking low it's going to do it when you get to out it's going to adapt to it it's just going to keep it maurine line I love how you guys go straight to the air guitar ing oh you're talking about it you know want talk to us about the air drumming too and I was just going to say let's get in there the last crossfit and I want air drumming at the same time I was like, you know, brothers from another mother all right

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.