Inside a Rock Mix: Bass and Guitar


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

Inside a Rock Mix: Bass and Guitar

An interesting thing with base, I think, is I saw somebody write this on the internet the other day, and it was one of the things I've found that helped me a lot, too, when I was younger. And I totally forgot about this advice I got, which was base khun b the hardest thing, whether it's a medium or a rock mix and sometimes it's really good to get a blend and just leave the base off for a while. Um, I will often just turn the base to the lowest point. I can turn it, maybe even put a really extremely q and get rid of everything below four hundred hertz and just have it so that the note is their blood, everything else, and then introduce the base and make it work around, especially the bases in that and portman assault. Now, if it's a band that the base is really important, I can absolutely not get away with doing that on base could be really important in rock bands like, you know, you think of green day, dukie, that's, arguably a more important instrument in the guitar. Oh, all the time ...

on that record, but I think it could be really great to kind of think of the base as you know, especially assault like this, where it's very likely route, noting it's, just how are we getting this to work around the guitars? So and I will also say this as a thing is that the tradition of recording bass right after drums was one from r and b and rock songs are built around the guitar drum relationship, and I tracked the base sometimes after vocals because I want the base to work between the vocals. I want to kind of be the bridge of between bass guitar and vocals and also you contract the base and not hear that how out of tune it is as much, but if you have the guitar signature, you given easy pitch reference its base is usually about a product you're here could sometimes get tricked. I think it gets attitude when it's not so I would suggest anybody ad based leader if you can so let's go over what I'm doing got a space since that's much for fun and interesting. This is our friends shroff if you guys are not familiar with this, suraj is a fader riding plugin that's kind of like a really transparent compressor I love this thing to death and you're going to see it all over the mix. And what this is basically doing is it's just taking out some of the work of me having to get rid of peaks and valleys in the mix. Let's, take a listen to what the bass sounds like out its own, and then I'm gonna take this, sit it out let's get to a more interesting part that's all so I was thinking here really, really subtle what this is doing, it's just a little bit of value modification it's on eighteen percent, which yet again, as we're talking about this stuff a riel light compression setting he watched the meter it's never going above three percent of processing it's just super super subtle. I should also point out that this is an amp and a d I track that are blended together as you could see I'm favoring the amp a little bit over the d I d I is a sand zam with processing on it, and this is pretty much how I tracked all bases. I sometimes do a second and that's it even dirtier, but this case we didn't do it, but to get a feel for this, you know, obviously there's a phase relationship, and I should point out that so this was done basically the same way kurt described it cripple who described in his class is that I move I put a delay on with one hundred percent on it nobody elation and I move the phase around until it feels good and it starts to stick out the mix. I often do this with it in the mix and I moved the amount of delay until the base kind of starts to shine in bloom in a way I like so well we just showed that first everybody so somewhere around three and a half milliseconds is a delay where like you here that I go into the under that it the bases so not in phase that it kind of dies and the mix a little bit I might just do that again so you could really get that point illustrated um uh that's why phase matter so much? So playing around with that in the mix you know, a lot of this stuff face tough get intimidating but you could easily listen to win the base starts that kind of blossom in the mix just by moving around. Kurt this is older session. As I said after I watched a kurt used the time adjuster plugging approach rules so much fighter plugin than this and you can get even more zone did things I started using that last week after seeing his fantastic tip on that if this wasn't an old mix that would be off so even old men like me can learn on creative life let's, talk about this next thing. So this is a poll technique. You. So if you're not familiar with the poll techie q, you, uh, should make yourself familiar thought what these are as much of the same way that when we showed the master, but seek you that I did yesterday with see if I that's still saved the steps up notes not so I talked a lot about how I often do a master bus e q. That looks something like this. Um, where? It's, kind of like what we like to call the smile on cue. And you know, where the mids air down and you're boosting the high end a little bit, and then I usually absolutely, but it all started mix a lot like this will probably see this in the next segment is that it looks a little like this. So where pull tech does is it allows you or this particular public there's a couple different types allows you to do a booster attenuation odd lowered the high end, and you could choose which frequency this boost start at. But what's interesting about a poll tech is you could make the curves really weird by doing both a boost at attenuation, and it does all sorts of interesting curves to yourself, so what I did with this is I think I was unhappy with this base and I started scrolling through presets like you do. And I hit one called rock base that I probably wouldn't know. That sounds terrible. That altered the cue and made it my own, which is what I always advised. The presets is once you find a priest that you like, find one that works and then alter it and see if you could make it even better. So this basically gave us a very broad stroke. E q it's the same thing we were talking about accused yesterday is that there's broad strokes and their surgical accuse this is always broad there's. No way to get surgical with this huge. This is just overall character. I wanted more trouble and more base out of this day sounds so I did it. This bed with setting it for the base is very important shapes a lot of the way the c q. Does it play around with this stuff? It could be a great way to do broad strokes on your cube, your base. So with that it brings me to the q. I did. You did that wasn't as broad stroked, so as you could see here I have a really, really tight, huge cut. It looks like nine point eight q, which you're not even able to do with a lot of accuse where I just didn't like that frequency. What a lot of making space of the mixes is fighting frequencies that don't sound good in the picks and just taking it down a little bit at a time and just keeping a fighting those of the dicks? Why talked about the depicting portion, the vix? This is what that comes to the play it's the same thing would this e q porter comes into play is that you're depicting you're just fighting a little ways to act, said dx said, accent the things you like get rid of the things you don't like, lots of these little moves sweeping around the I'm gonna show all about this in the next segment, so I did that usually the dye is totally different like you see here at this is all just be with big deciding which strokes I want to do, as you could see these high end bumps or really broad strokes and that's the same thing is that when I was first start the mix, I decided I kept wanting mohr of that trouble that bite, I found the cube curve that sounded right to me, the last thing we get to is thie h cup, so this is a really there's a lot of uh knobs that you can tweak this e compressor and I really really like that about it I will say that yet again this is another one of the compressors I didn't actually using my real mix because the one I used my real mix would not poured over this computer so I could it provide but I do use this one a base all the time just not of this particular mix so that I redid this mix with this audit but this does a lot of the work you know base is one of those instruments that what I'm talking about everybody uses too much compression everybody's too much corruption bass and vocals usually did a lot of compression to get in the result a lot maybe the wrong word because a lot of people think that it should be down here twenty four forty eight but let's see what this is doing so as you can see, I'm just doing about sixty b of compression and it's you know, yet again we get into that nigga off a little bit of pub some really soul release ah really fast release and a really slow attack a really high ratio I'm really trying to put this base in its place and like what we talked about that trump compression doesn't always put things in its place what it's amore consistent sounds like base you are doing some serious dynamic control because it's not just these hits that get pushed out where it's that's controlling the transient id the compression this is an overall thing now if you do too much of this, you're going to make crazy trades it's because you'll hear that sound of when you're over compressing that would the basis first comes of the hits that first thing that goes and then it shoot shoots down and you get this really cool said that's the sound of overall too much overall compression yet again this is about sixty b the attacks slowed off that it it's not going to really be that but um are fast enough I should say so that's the most interesting things I'm doing based some of the theories as you could see yet again I have this tape process on yet again it was just one of those things where when I was doing this I felt some I added so much trouble as you could see there's a whole bunch of boost the trouble here there's whole boost of trouble here base could be a really cold like it stripped and the tape emulation sometimes just takes away some of that cold this um so let's go to the guitars and we kind of went over this a little bit yesterday but I'm gonna show what the idea behind the processing of the guitars is so let's take a listen he's so very modern guitar some the's air two amps I believe it's of the ht delivered sent a message buggy mark one point five s o b as they call that one so I have both those but am splendid as I like what I sometimes do in the mix is if the blend isn't what I want since they're on a stereo track as I use the trump tool I unlock it and unable to blend too so if I don't like the one on the left side I can go like this a lot of my mixes will have that I felt like we really nailed the guitar sound of this one so I didn't do that the guitarist was fantastic in this band and he's guy I've been recording for years they would add and he's always just on point anyway so as you could see here again I'm using the rob plugging in just a little bit of compression one need be hold the dice thing to remember you know yet again the theory we get into with guitars and on the internet it's electric guitars already compressed well yes that's true but a little bit of subtle riding khun bring out some fatness that's what I like about this I'm there's times this compressor had zero you know one of the biggest theories about compressions you know you'll read on the internet that it had never hit zero you're overworking the presser that is a great general rule, but there's also other substance, this one does hit zero, but it does just do some fattening, and this is yet again, wells was use your ear. I listen to this with him without I hear a big difference, especially the mix let's do that, theo it's just a fatness in the bottom. So let's talk about the one of the settings that's allowing that is this suraj, while this about is basically how much can pressure gig this thick? This is a lot of how much of it thie after it rides and how quick it rides the signal with this fatal riding. It does alma this think this has turned up about his high as I ever turn it up, and that really helps just bring out that body of the guitar and that's what I'm really looking for in with this compression, but yet again it's only about a d b and this is the accumulation of assault ease, so the next thing we have is a really, really drastic overall q on these guitars and pretty much all these guitars have this, except for the weed, I can't remember the song, usually by leads don't have the exact same b q, but it looks like everyone of the guitars as the same character q on it, um so the reason the q yet again is before the heavy bolty bed compression is I'm taking out a lot of base everything below one fifty so you had to get getting into the rules of the internet. A lot of people will tell you that you could absolutely not high pass filter above eighty he's the e string of a guitar fundamentals idiot you're getting for the fundamental that's a wonderful theory, but if I only passed at eighty, I wouldn't have his clear mix and the guitar still sought huge and powerful this mix and I know tons and tons of other mixes that I've watched be done by a big guys that do this and it sounds good yet again that's a great theory on paper, but my ears tell be different so I'm getting rid of this base so my compressor doesn't work is hard and I don't hear is much depression, so while we're talking about how I like the sound of the compression of the drums and I almost wanted an over compressed jobs because that's the john rupp this is I don't want to hear the compression of the guitars as much, so I'm getting rid of that base and I felt like overall I did not track these guitars with enough brightness I didn't cure these guitars going in, I felt like I wanted more there's seventy b of a a few of those guitars as you could see, I have another surgery like you somewhere around two k there was a really nasty fizzy sowed that I got rid of here while we even hear with it without this just big one of these guitar zone yet again very subtle but it was something that was poking through the vocal that I felt had to go with the depicting um let's look at this alchemist so this is our multi bed compressor of the guitars, so as you can see there I'm working that pretty hard yet again like I said about multi bed compression this is a lot about the way that you're shaping a toad and how it's adapting to a toad the multi bad is much different of the queue because is as we're going through different parts of the sog it's going to take away that and adapt to it, which is why I love it on guitars because the chugging of any street compared to the nice pretty high notes on the high e had to be strict are going to be treated totally different and it's gonna be sit in the same place in the mix and it's going adopt to that keep the guitar sitting in the six years ago andy steep and I'm sure you could still find this poll published his settings for the wave see for how he bolted beds, guitars I think after he did that, he really changed the guitar, so it sound for modern guitars for because everybody started using these multi beds and getting their guitars to sit in the mix in this way. Since then I came around, I really didn't like it as much in there that time, but I really fell in love with this. This is one of my favorite things for keeping the guitars be able to be up front, but out of the mix, I'm gonna hit play out this without sound so we could talk a little bit about this. So I'm obviously controlling some of the fizz at the bid rage here, much more the fizz, but mostly I'm getting rid of a ton of where the but is the frequent sees so I could hear where are or so I could get some of the clarity of the guitar and that I'd controlling some of the bottom ed, but very, very lightly. You could see what these ratios they kind of get a little higher and ratio as I get through the frequencies. Um, that's the choice. I make different ties, but I think the most interesting about this is one of the worst sounds of compression could be getting rid of the high end on things. I'm not getting rid of any of the high end, and you'll see this on a lot of the multi man's ideo is that I'm not even touching the upper frequencies because I want to maintain the air on things. This could be the same thing with your since your vocals and anything else. One of the best things that one of the ways we hate compressors were the way they sound sometimes is they manipulate the high end too much, and they just really take away a character that happens the heir of the cervix. The same reason the high shelf or low pass filter kids really sound bad is that we like that air around, so I think it's the same reason we also iq's high sample rates as we could hear the air around the instant that happens up top and sounds concern really cheap just not hi fi when you get rid of that air, so I'm not touching that air what's listen real quick to what these sound like without the multi booth so it's way more controlled way more slick and less raw sounding it's the basic thing I hear so the last bit of processing of these guitars is a fab culture saturday um so we went through this yesterday I a b this, but basically as you could see yet again, I'm adding distortion I'm blood to get in we kind of with the sisters so I'm just gonna maybe this for any of you who missed it real fast just a lot of excitement in the sound um is there anything I should dress before I hit vocals of the bastard fader well, we've got a lot of questions about tracking is that I feel like that's a little bit outside the domain of this class but if you feel like answering some of those you're welcome into while you tell them this that if we don't get to the track and questions, my email is jessie j esus e r canon at gmail dot com and maybe I'll post all those of the heretic threat er okay that's created like that if they want to attract I love talk tracking email me your questions and I'll post of all of the reddit thread that's about this and I'll email you all where to go to get those questions at that anybody watching this class would probably agree with curt blues thoughts on tracking as well so maybe check that out yeah so we do have a couple of the great questions though kind of general ones but do you have a philosophy when it comes to the max amount you boost e q by when can you tell these booths boosts aren't worth it and when to move on and find a new sample or tone uh, yeah, but the theory is, is that I hear something up around ten k that just gets really nasty and digital sounding there's like a point where things get just so tiny that you're like, this is not working. I'm not doing this the right way, so that theory is ah, feeling I get in my years I'm not a serious theory that I get from any technical thing I think you have the word listen, that there's just a point where you're boosting show which I will say this that's an abnormal about a trouble boost, but I also usually e q a lot of trouble on a lot of these air into my sound, and I can also get you a lot of base that poll textile accused think of just that smile that works on guitar really well that's a great track e q I also track guitars really flat sometimes it's all just the sound we're going for, you know, a really slicks out a guitar. If the guitar is a closed tyab could be taking it like a community and labs neave quoted just turning that up or pull tech and turning that up sounds great to me.

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.