Master Buss Mixing Mistakes


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

Master Buss Mixing Mistakes

You're not mixing, using letting your master bus help you? I should kind of are you want to let your master bus help your tones? And, um, I mean by this is so let's take this trump sound, for example, so I'm pretty, you know, I like this trump sound, though I got in this mix on and this is on a solo mode I don't normally use. So part of me, why weren't on the spot? Ok, so to tell you how great creative life classes are, I forgot what this function was but that I saw you use it the other day, and then I learned how to turn it on and off because I forgot where that button was, and thankfully I saw kurt do with the other day so me watching his class, I even learned things that I've been out this as long as him. Um so right here we're gonna have our drum sound give me one second just put different setting on this sounds like we're getting a little bit of quicksand, pops wait when I get my drum sounds and I get any sound in the mix, the one thing I always do is I make sure that I have my ma...

ster bus settings on, so one of the things many mixers don't do themselves any favors with is that they get a whole song going in there like I should start mastering this it's getting towards the end and then it changes the queue of everything one of the reasons like we talked about do you? Is it possible that not too many politicians on some things is because I get a lot of what I normally have to do out of the way with my mastery bus queue so I know and this isn't what I start with on the sikh you in particular but I I know that there's a curve that I usually start with its a little somewhere this in fact I will make what I normally start with so you can all see is that I usually start with something like one hundred d hurts up about three d b this is why we should also say preface this with this is what I start with for what I'm doing a pop punk song like this we're back to that song everybody's cool and I do about three d b up here so you're saying jesse why on earth would you started queuing assault before you even heard it? Because I've done so many pops punk songs that I know in general when I track I donut as much trouble to everything as I'd like, they don't add as much base so I can just start off by saving myself a time of turning up trouble on every single track at somewhere around here, entering a base somewhere around here, I could just turn it up on everything, and I'll use far less cq all far less phase shift across the board and my mastering engineer if I said it to somebody else would have to work as hard. If I am bastard myself, I don't have to work hard and, you know, I like that. So what I'm saying here is you don't do yourself any favor if you slap that ozone on at the end, you want to as you mix a few storms, you know, when you first started mixing, you maybe don't want to do the bastard here because you don't know what you're listening for, but when you find a setting that you keep coming back to you for a certain style of salt, you want to start stopping that odd pretty early in your mix is maybe right after you get your rough mix and your rough levels and you're about to start getting plug it's you do that because what the biggest differences is b is that if I don't have the song and we saw these drums it's a very big difference in sound? No, never mind when I end up going as crazy as this on some mixes. Especially once I haven't recorded where they're really flat there, recorded through mackey let's say, and I really need to add some trouble on base because there's so much throaty mids in the backe that's a lot of punch and kick you that I don't have to deal with adding on every single individual track. So the other thing to remember is that especially if you're recording live drums, you're adding all this phase shift and phase between them when you're adding all the sex tree q two, the drums that you did wouldn't have to do if you had just a cute the whole entire mix like this. This is so one of the things we would talk about his waiter is that you need to develop a science to your mixes and some things like there's, a lot of stuff on the internet says, oh my god, I hate that guy is sounds are also cooking like you know chris ward ouch! Rich cost two of the best mixers in the game of those popular guys mixed with everything they do sounds the same. Well, maybe you don't want to be that in fact, I don't want to be that I like my records, though also very different I try to give every bit I work with a different character, but I do know that when I was sort of things that I have about five different q curves I call on I go you know this is my garage rocky kucher this is my white soft rocky q curve that usually helps me get there and now even after I get the rough mix alter it like as you could see, you know I went back to my snapshot of the queue that q is nothing like what I really just dialed it what I even start with usually the only thing that stayed the same as the high pass filter um and you want to start to find something so that you're not doing it now. The other thing aside from the issue is that this drug sound is getting compressed so on that middle bands there you can see I'm getting a redness in the mud so instead of having to cut all that mud on my multi on a different multi band compressor on each of these drums and yet again messing with the phase overdoing my processing power so I don't have any idea dsp topics I'm just getting rid of it on the master but because I know I'm going to need to later this does take some time to develop but it's really, really, really important that you start working how to do this the other thing about it too is that like, you know yeah, I have allowed this maximize around what I start mixing does it hit the mix at all? Maybe the worst peaks of it? I do, but I want to get it a little loud so I'm comparing, you know, especially if I'm ten dv down, I don't want to be hitting a be odd mixes that I'm comparing my other mixed two and having to deal with sort of the volume knob up and down to match with the view meter all time I want to just build a work and listed back and forth and see how it's coming along. Um the other thing too, is I distort my bastard bus as I started my bastard class. This makes it so I don't have to turn up the distortion so much on each trouble or each guitar or the vocal on everything you need to develop some sort of starting place with your master bus. All those guys I just mentioned chris ward alge rich cost ought to if you're into dance music, any of the big dance guys like you'll see it any of these videos they haven't e q what they have a compressor on their master bus, let that do you the favor is they're doing so you can compete with them do not try, I know there's all these audio purists out there say don't even start with that in general you'll learn that there's a good starting place that will give you help a head I don't think there's any problem with doing that as long as you're open to modify it you're not making a cookie cutter you're not going to use the same bhikhu curve every time you're going to adapt to it each time you're gonna word from it but let it do you favors your bastard bus should do you for papers very questions on that did so we did have a couple people asking about e q specifically that you tend to use a fair amount of additive e q going to be people asking I thought I was only supposed to subtract evict you so I will say this this is the thing for me is what you'll see through as the rest of this class is that I use a ton of subtracted que except right here as you could see on this mix bus though there is also a subtracted the q at one point to uh I tend to find that most digital accused two dots out good adding stuff now I'm starting to sort we change my bite about that as I'm hearing some of the latest accused about the do waves shep cq ed the waves ready too it sounds absolutely amazing to my ear when I do aditya v q with him but in general yes I favor cutting over boosting but there's tons of guys I know like you know, one of by one of my good friends who makes great mixes all the time does tons of added a peculiar most never cuts anything and his mix is still sound great you have to find what works for you, but I will say this that if you're on sheep accused like the stock logic or the stock approach will seek you, I'm going to recommend using a lot of additive because that thing really doesn't work well to my year at least, but I'm sure you could also get great results of off of it if you learn it well, cool, so if we could go back to the keynote so the next thing is your vocals are over compressed because your lazy butt somebody chopped off that part where I insulted you like that. I'm also insulting myself. I was I'm telling you this because I was a victim of this for a long time is that I didn't have one of those fancy fader things and you know, to be honest, when I started there was no fancy fate or things for pro tools when I first started mixing it, so I had a word to mix with the mouse and I still mixed with a mouse quite often, so excessive compression is the way of the ways he man of leveling a vocal vocals often times really need to be to go in and have some modifications done to them so that you could hear all the cool things the singer does end as well when you get vocal too compressed, it takes out the dynamics of ah good performance, you know yes, it could start excited could make a cigar sound exciting, but you really want if I'd a happy medium where you let the feeders do some help, you let some pre editing do some help and you let thea compression also give you a full toad that sounds good, so I guess the first thing I should talk about is a cz well that any interview with any of the big mixers I don't care what job right is done bob clear mountain mixing soft rock to dad's big rock and metal you hear somebody talking about riding the vocals riding the vocals is an essential part of mixing there's no getting around it now if you have a great vocal chain like you know, I use a salve deluxe mike into a pendulum audio quartet and that I'll clip it with a leave ten seventy three emulation and yeah, I could get that compression nailed pretty much all the way the box I could get a lot of my right and I also make my singers and did see properly but you're not could always get that luxury even with doing all those things absolutely right and get a great performance side of people I still need to ride the vocal little bit and I still need to edit the vocals gate a little bit so I'll also say this that you see a lot of people getting really crazy there like I need to edit ride every single word of a think that can be true in some genres but don't feel the need that you have to do that to get the world's best vocal sound you can lead a compressor help you but if there's anything I see more often than not it's that the compressor is doing too much work when your head could be doing some of it so let me show you some of the work your head could be doing if we go to the pro tools so this song I thought was an interesting one because first off I love this vocal performance for what this song is that greg the singer of nobody does this did a phenomenal job but I actually at an amazing time recorded this but greg is not jeff buckley he does not have this musically trade voice where he's does fall settle it has all of this control stuff but there's a lot of even spoken word stuff at the end of the song as we heard before, you know he gets into this whole thing the the're not the most dynamic performance of vocals that anybody's ever heard so with that where do you do to get a vocal even a times so one of the first things we'll see is you know, for example on this vocal you see me and shake down the first little bit of his word that end if poked out just a little bit too much what I was through the song so I just give that a little bit of a dutch doubt now if you try to get that right with the compressor, you're going to be working all day because he just hit that word will too hard I didn't catch the tracking you do that one little movement you could back off your compressor to bb and your doctor I have to work is hard to get your vocal the sound good identifying like five or ten moments in the song when you first do it that are just a little too much could save you five d b of compression if not even more that you wouldn't really need to d'oh we could also see is at this point I'm kind of riding the vocal oppa's they had because the guitar swell they start to eat the vocal times you're going to think that the vocals too loud and you're not getting there just a little move like this like I think I'm only going up about a d be here it looks like by us four to four to ok, so d b eight a half I'm going up appear go something simple like that means I don't have to compress the vocal as much I don't have to put the vocal was allowed to get it through its makes your life so much more simple so the other thing that happens a lot of time to is you get a part so let's listen to this part of also I could explain it a bit lovely works so as you could hear he's a very whispered tone here in fact there's even a second track that's just a whisper on bears the spoken word track where we did a really brought the truck just pick up a book and this uh so the quieter a lot of untrained singers are the mohr their dynamics going to be all over the place. One of the things I do a lot of time is that this first part here, so from here to here ah is a lot quieter. It was tracked a lot quieter with and this next part so because of that I wanted it to be a little bit I wanted to build to get a little bit louder and more dynamic is it would but it was a little too much where I first tracked it so I could have just turned up the fader on this, but the one thing is is that then when I turn up, the favorite sounded a little bit wispy and the vocal was this full so one of the things I do, what I first go through the vocal is a lot of times is is if you want the southside consistent, you've got to gain up your pockets. So in pro chul's ted, you have this cool thing called clip gate, but not everybody has that, so what I'll do a lot of the time is one is you could go into your audio sweep and you could gain it up. So what say I didn't want this to build? I just wanted to still be the same volume I could go into this game plug in and I could say, hey, how loud is this? So if I click this are a mess which is ah measurement not of the peak, but of the average amount of volume in a saw in apart, it will tell me that that's at minus thirty three I could then go say, if I wanted this to be the same volume, this is also I should say really helpful for women to summit singer comes back in three months later and says, you know, I really want to change the work of this part and you don't have your vocal compressor setting the same, and you recorded a different volume, and you want to get it to hit the compressor, the sale of the mix and help you out. You that analyze this and see that this is a debate and a half down, you can try getting that up and matching that gains that by making those levels match. But anyway, that looks like that's the same, I would put that there, and then see if this makes the compressor headed. What I actually here by your that sounds like that's two out, which is why I didn't put it at the exact same vibe. I just put it up a little bit when I initially did the mix, but if you don't have audio sweet, you're working in a different program. The other way you could do this is there's, an input level at the top of every one of your plug ids that you can automate. So in pro tools, if I click a couple keys, aiken, this's clicking the control option and command key, I could enable the gate. So what this does is it allows me to that go ahead and pull up the volume before it hits the compressor of the same way as I just did if I gave up that clip, so this would now make the exact same effect I did before and make it so that the compressors being hit the save of the vocal and we get a consistent volume prepping your vocals with this and listening to this and fighting subspace studios could greatly greatly improve having a consistent toad matching toads and making sure everything works there's another thing I want to highlight in this that I saw before too which is that as you could see is like kind of duck the syllables at the end of this phrase so this is on the whisper track as you could hear sacks it's a simple little message kids so the reason I'm pulling down that except the idea was it was a little longer and a little too much when it was with that the top a lot of time the s is and breaths of the song you need these little dips like this and that's the other thing too is when you compress to are all your breaths and all the like sounds and a vocal come out more your automation well while you pull it down though you'd get the compressor too get a happy medium you gotta listen to play around with this like go through your vocal and sit through assault cruise through it and find different points where it needs to get pulled down now obviously there's other things to like this where I'm just pulling the whole part down overall this part here I don't know how we came up with the idea to single way low but that was a little too out compared to the main vocal so I'm just pulling that down as a whole as well a lot of the time you'll get tricked with all the heavy compression that you don't need to do that fine points in the vocals make it dynamic and make sure it happens I think that is actually it uh uh that side so is there any questions of that? Why don't we start with the in studio on and say you guys have any questions? So when I've done vocals in the past I've I've always tried to use one or the other you know be like oh well, you know, writing writing the vocal isn't working I guess I'll do compression but um finding that happy medium between using both is ah kind of just one of those interesting moments where you're like well why didn't you just use both east and each has its good part so there was also another part where you were ah you were ducking the beginning of yours of your vocals yep right here it looks like so so with that ultimately does it does that for you up t turning up the compressor more let's say in in quieter spots or what's what's the main advantage from doing that I mean obviously from that first hit that makes a big difference because you're it is a lot of time is like wood, somebody goes like they give too much about pop art end, like, you know, singers, especially excuse me have attended cdo, especially when you're punching a big line by line, to just come in a little too hard on that first lie there, like, and then you're like, ok, yeah, ok, now calm down, and if you don't get that direction from them, you're gonna have this all over the place, I think it's just like a tenancy. So what that allows me to do, though, is the one thing is I think you hear a compression to which would makes a lot of us back off a compressor is we hear that one part, you got to duck that down, and you could even, you know, to be honest with you, a better way of doing that is also doing that in the clip gate. Is that a lot of that? I also will sometimes he would just put a fate of the first word that comes out, or I'll put a fade on the audiophile where, like the s is a times and just duck it down a little bit, so it's fading out a little bit on that, but I think the big thing like you know you kind of got into the state was like show use compression or friday I think the big thing with the pressures you wanna listen for what? Your compressor vick's I vibe you know, every song is different like you don't always want intensity but like when you get into motion instead of a spotty this out of the compression like eventually the compressor just starts to make a flat your started here all sorts of awful frequencies which you can take you out to like, you know there's some stuff like it's this cracker's record I really like and like the other vocals air so compressed out and then they just cued out ridden out a lot of the bad parts of it you can use the automation to if you really want that over a compressed vocal sound but I tend to favor just fighting the place where the vocal has a big tone then do it but there's all sorts of techniques you could do with this but I will argue that yes, the combination of power combination for any vocal really is is a combination of tracking with some compression of the way and I think really helps get ah full told on the way into the computer and then adding some correction the mix and riding on top of that and a lot of the time and a lot of genres we're now using fader rider plug ins a lot which takes care we care while the second of the reasons you don't see me doing a lot of rides that I would would have done about five years ago is I have sarah or waves where is vocal rider on some things that could take care of a lot of the stuff multi bad compression and I also have a bye vocal and then even on some of the vocals there's some clipping a distortion everyone so well especially a lot of people like what I mixed stuff that's recorded of lycan apogee do at all five that's a little cold for the vocal and I'll apply somewhere deep saturation to the vocal to get rid of some of the s is and the kind of like neutral sound of that like pre I think it's all letting that accumulation of subtleties add up so that you have a consistent vocal and finding where you could use a little of that in each place they make your job a little bit easier. So I mean I don't necessarily have a question is I'm just thinking you're trying to say that you're talking about a good balance between the two and I really get that like you don't necessarily always want to hear the compression you still need to use it so in this case like where there was your said the performers air hitting the first verse, really hard? First word, yes, first worked really hard, ducking that and then using the compression you no more lightly. How you suppose, yes, it's more that it makes it more possible for you to do that. Yeah, I mean, in general, you know, it really is that. Think of that. One of the things we're going to talk about over and over and over here is getting a clear mixes, just adding up a couple of things really suddenly it's. The same thing at the bastard we talked about is just, you know he does in a haystack.

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.