Mixing: First Steps
All right, so I've got my new save here, uh, for my mixed session, I just want to clean up a couple things I'm going to start with this one. This again, is pretty populated with a bunch of stuff already, so meaning that all these insert plug ins air on here that came in with our different patches and those are really great, I'm going to end up coming back and using some of their suggestions because I think it's a great way to start is just with ease, but to sort of break it down for this part of the segment, I'm going to end up actually getting rid of some things, or at least turning them off temporarily so that I can go in and show you guys a few other things. So I'm just gonna go through and bypass several of these plug ins that we have here so that I can use my own others, I'm just gonna leave up, so I'm here we go. The basic tools that we have for changing stuff are as follows the same things were looking as the way to start failures and pants and then at the very top what they've ...
given me, sorry, even some stuff at the very top of all every channel strip. Starts with a couple of things here so this little window that we see in here we've looked at it from the inspector but that's the channel e q where it can pop up for us and it doesn't have one yet like the finger based doesn't have one happening here yet double click that's actually gonna put the plug in on for you if you guys remember me saying this think it was yesterday that I thought it was so neat that they put that little box at the top of them because e q is something that I think you need to have on every single track we'll see it's one of our big tools for achieving some of that stuff we want to do um uh so we're gonna start here with failures, pans and the cue and show you what they're going to do for our mix now I started the class day one and I remember is one of the first questions I threw out you guys hear something? Throw it out to you again. Um someone picked up a microphone when I said when we're looking at the inspector that this had a fader I asked who knows what this does to the track? What did we say if I turn this up and down what's it gonna do to my base value right bring it down is gonna get quite turned up it's gonna get what louder! Okay, that's still obviously going to be true, but what I'm gonna have you guys change that is is to think of it one of two different ways and actually to kind of different ways at the same time I want you to think of it as sort of this size of our the appearance of the size, okay, which to us also if I'm looking across the room, if you're right there, you look a certain size, but if you move further back, you're going to appear smaller, right? So a lot of people think of it as a thing of it is closer are further away. I like to think of it as like appearance of size because we don't know exactly how deep our room is yet and let me show you what I'm talking about as you guys are listening from there e quiet room like this when we turn down that seems not only far away kind of right, but it also seems really small, right? If you imagine a base from what you're hearing in volume in the room, think of a little bass sitting way back there it's sitting in the middle between these speakers but as I bring up the fader gotten bigger right it's closer to us yet that says to but not just close or not the same little base just got closer it's also like filling out if I close my eyes and caesar me do sits behind me here. I noticed that back here small because just didn't have a whole lot of frequencies, right? It just seems kind of like the lows are really big. I know it's got low end, innit? It's? Not a really low frequency, but as I move this spader just gotten bigger. It's like it's got been brought up. I'm doing this to you guys sitting out there but, you know, it's sort of stretches out that's the way we're gonna think of these spader's is not like I need to turn something down. I need to turn something up. But when we start putting more and more of these tracks in here wants you guys to think like a bomb in the speaker's coming at you. But what you need to do if you have two instruments that are too much in front of yourself, one of them's got to move a little bit smaller, hold it back and then the other one come forward or the opposite, right and that's what the failures going do so to push them to the front of you, move it back so that another one could be up in the front of you. Okay not thinking about just louder, louder, louder whenever I mixed thinking that way that oh, I need a little bit more of this or a little bit more of that this is really common what ends up happening is fader up fader up peter up they all end up coming up, up, up, up, up because everything sounds better louder and in your face and pretty soon we've got an issue with too much volume. We've got a master output over here that's just like when we were recording those vocal tracks there's only so much information we can put into it before it's going to be full of those twenty four bits we're not gonna have a pleasant sound anymore, so we can't have that fight we need to realize sometimes some stuff's gotta move back a little bit so that something else can come forward so that's our new purpose of the vader's not volume we think of it again an appearance of size or distance away from must move it to the front versus moving it back a little bit. All right, I'm going I'm gonna put these two instruments together a little bit actually now we've got the guitar this is really cool bart about our mixer here where I could do some things with like dragging and connecting things together we talked about like the souls in the mute in the main window I want to point out right away is another spot where we could do that type of thing of highlighting them, making a temporary group and turning sos and mutes and stuff like that off if I want to make some quick changes to like all the guitars here now I could do the volumes and it's not like they're all don't jump into the same volume it's more like when we were collecting notes before they're maintaining their relative relate relative position to each other so this one was here this one was here I moved them all they keep that gap volume between us that's a cool way to say ok all the guitars need to take a step back or take a step forward I'm gonna do is have this guitar in this base play together this base here and now jim back over here and look at another thing that we can do we talked about throw these two right next to each other make it easier for me to turn it off screen set for my mixer again the idea if I keep turning stuff up above a great now I've got a good clear guitar bass is being stepped on right it's about that happy balance of getting both of them now they're really on top of each other so that's what our fate is going to do for us now our next issue is gonna be great we get the right volume something's there infront something's there back we can shift them, move one other one in front or make it bigger the other one now we've got an issue with we start to put too much stuff that's all in the same place right in the middle rate in front of us. So the next place I like to go with where I'm going toe start mixing all these different tracks where am I going to put him is to start getting them so that we can see him against if you guys can't see my hand which is an instrument back here because it's hidden behind another one well, instead of turning it up to make it go forward and we get that thing of them keep volume volume volume instead of that keep matt they're happy volume which is moving off to one of those sides let it peek out around it. Okay, so that's what we use the pans are balances in the case of some of these tracks for I'll show you about how different sometime but on the mono track that we have right here this is gonna work just fine you leave the base right where it's at, you know, when I get a good volume here both those it's kind of hard to hear both in what we know they're both there assumes you hear me so I went off to one side that's how clear that base gets even though it was a little bit choir in the guitar what it was in the middle is kind of stepping on the case I'll fight to the other side this time but you get it all the way over there that base is clear and standing on its own guitars now all the way over here soon as you do that your first truck we've now created that space are listening space was right here now at least I moved that thing over there way have all this room in between where the base is existing about here in the speakers behind me to that guitar which is way over here total clarity out of both of them it's the same volume out of both of them nothing's gotten louder weii just shifted it from where they're on top of each other now to a place where it has its own spot imagine you went to a concert everyone stood right in front of each other in a line you don't get to see one of them at a time that's why we spread them out on the stage get him over to those other sides okay, so that's how we're gonna get our stereo space out of these things is to be able to go in put one get on one side the guitar over to the other side it makes it so much easier once we've done that and decided which would place the volume is going to go to move these things over now I'm on a stereo tracks since I'm talking about the pans again the pan simple think about with all your mono tracks it's just going to a place that track where right where we want it and the left and right stereo field that we have out in front of us okay one exception and this is something that it's kind of confusing for some people at first and some people may be coming from pro tools appreciate the way that they do stereo tracks and pro tools I'm saying some folks do and that is that if we're in a different day w like pro tools who noticed that on stereo tracks the ones that have two sources a left and a right to him like a lot of our software instruments or if we put the two microphones out in the real world like on top of a piano the basin, the trouble side in pro tools or some other aps what we would see instead of one knob for the pan is they actually put two of them in there one for the left channel and one for the right and when you first turn on that track they're spread all the way left and right so that it fills across the stereo field all right that's not the way it works really have one here obviously like if I went to mike he's oregon over here that's definitely a stereo instrument that they do work that way where the base sides a little more on the left in the travel is going to be out on this side and still it's only got one knob so what it actually does with those is it becomes a balance control so a balance control enough because no from like car stereos air you know home stares as a balance what it actually does is if this is the volume of the left speaker in the right speaker is it slowly drops one side as you turn it over this way and if I turn the knob this way like my head's going would bring this volume back up and drop this one down on that side so it's not really moving it left and right its just taken it out of the speakers okay and that could be a cool thing if you have a recorded part you know that's really heavy on the travel side of a piano or some like that are the bass sounds much louder or some like that or you just wanted a bit less of it we could panic more our balance control it moreover to that trouble side but the problem that some people have when they first jump into it is like I don't want to do that you know I don't want to turn down I want to lose anything I just want to move it a little bit that's a valid concern because maybe the deal is you know we've got we talked about like a jazz trio so maybe I recorded a bunch of mikes on the drums and I don't want them to kind of spread out a little bit so they're on mondo tracks for each thing maybe got a guitar I want to put on one side but then maybe the part that I also had an upright piano player can I use two microphones I got the base in the trouble so when they go from base from loki is buddha of higher I want to be able to hear it like spread a little bit you know between the speakers from the low you know if they're doing to hand by mum bon I want to hear from bum bum between these speakers the balance that we have right here isn't gonna work for us but of course they gave us you know in my opinion on even better way to move this track than just having to pan controls right on there and it's um plug in we're not going to hit most the plug ins later but this one I want to show you because it has to do with the pan so on this track um I actually do it with daniel's guitar, because daniel's guitar it's actually a stereo track not because of some of the effects we used it. Put it into a stereo field, so it'll be fine for showing you. I'll put his back in the middle again. We'll listen to it. S o it daniel is the leader and and it's kind of it's coming out of both speakers centered around the middle. It's got again it's terry, because he's got a cool tape delay effect it's kind of moving a little bit back left and right now I want to preserve that. Have a little bit emotional after right? But what I want to do is have a ce faras his sound goes left and right. A little bit of modulation. Fine between the speakers here right now, it's doing this left side right side, sort of waving back forth I want to do is just sort of move his left and right modulation a little closer together and shifted over to the side the same way with mixing that jazz trio with a piano player. What I want to do still have his base to travel, but I want to sound like the guitars over here in the whole piano is moved over there, I don't need a piano that spreads across so you know if I visualized it I visualized drums little guitar player and massive piano that goes left to right I want to be a real size piano but it's still stereo off to the side so for that I finally get to it here for you inside here we have some imaging controls on the one we're looking for is the directional mixer with this it's going to do exactly what I said it's got the track sounds the same right now on let me solo just guitar way here that will fluttering I think this I can leave in the middle and he's now normal left and right I couldn't even make it sound wider you're kind of hollowed out the middle made it's a little bit wider or leaving like it wass but now I have a place where I can take the direction of it that sign or way still got all the stereo you know, effects that were happening but I'm moving that guitar over to this side of you that's really cool so stereo tracks you just be aware that the pan control isn't like the mono wants it's one where it's more of a balance will turn left and right down that will work for you sometimes, but when it's truly a stereo instrument simply go in here and use the directional mixer underneath the imaging category of plug ins all right back to our main story here have talked about the mixing we've had two of our big control set so far favors moving stuff in front behind now we can use the pans were starting to get that cool stereo image happening and now the biggest thing that we want to get rid of her next challenge for making nice clear mexico backed him like he's base for example here how do we get those things too? Not all be right sort of that eye level okay, so all my all my instruments now the guitar and everything they may still be spread out, but they're all going to feel too in their normal sense will be some difference based on the instrument they're going to see about they're just about in the middle we know that we can listen to things and here's some stuff high in there and low down to do that we're going to use the cue now this is really strange for some people because what they think of normally with an equalizer is just sort of sweetening the sound right like if I went in here right now on I went in to make a perfect base sound I'd start by turning stuff up when I say with the failures things allowed only sound better so asai start to do these things little bit dipping but some boozing to me when I go between off that sounds better why don't we just goes it's louder, you know? So I don't want us to think about just there's definitely something to be said for just fixing different parts or maybe, uh accenting some good qualities of the sound, but at least when we're starting next in here for our intro class, what I want you to think about is not using the acu to make things sound a little bit better, but we're going to use the q and a specific part of the q here to control where it goes up or down in our mics okay? Open down in volume but up and down just in sort of height sees this on the basis of bases in only thought of as we can hear from this part as one of the lowest instruments and our song okay, the bottom line it goes with the kick and it's the low frequencies that we want to fill out so it's normally something that we would associate with being loaded the ground and that's the deal normally low frequency things other ones that seem like they're loaded the ground high frequency things and the ones that seem like they're up in the air that makes sense like with nature right big, heavy things in early staying really close to the ground make a lot of low frequency noises but little things like bugs and insects and birds and stuff like that they all make little high pitched noises and they seem like they're up in the air so let's experiment with that we're going to use the cue is an analyzer here so we can see the frequencies that are happening with this base that was on the left high frequencies on the right rather than getting into some of these bands where aiken turn stuff up and down and we'll talk about those I'm going to use these things on the end, which are the filters, same ones, the same type of thing that we talked about with the synthesizers and keepers that we're messing with set these just a cut, so I have one that's called a high pass filter on this side that cuts the lows that the highs passed through and the opposite a low pass filter let's, check out and heavy guys. Listen, imagine now this base sitting right in the middle like I said, and as I change these filters one at a time, I want you to notice how the sound is going to change first it's going to float up in the air next, the base, which normally seems low to the ground, will then go back down to the ground and then I'm going to sink it teo even below the floor let's take a listen the volume on that signal here so sounds like it's up in the air right doesn't seem like it's anywhere in the end of the ground I'll bring it back down listen to fill out there we go now it's all the way back down again similar I'm going to go from the other end it's already low to the ground but it has some high frequency stuff that's kind of up higher wait now it seems like it's not only on the floor but almost behind the wall behind me, right? So it really starts to sink so that's it the frequencies that we use and don't use more importantly, I think the thing that's gonna help us make them work together so sure we can hear that. But what his travis talking about? What do I mean by getting moving things up and moving them down was put these two tracks back together again e panam right on top of each other again where we said they're kind of fighting each other no way kind of fight I can't really clearly here either it's ours a little bit more clear watch what's gonna happen here when I know I go in thank you both these now if I took this guitar way so just the guitar way do with a guitar show you another problem I think some people make and that is this moving for me because they will eat you just for what sounds good way need to still adjust our amps and something like that, but well, people do a lot of times add some low frequencies in maybe some highs go for a really good sounding guitar way I mean, some fullness like that adding a bunch of low into it we'll see now that guitar sitting low and high there's no room for the base so we gotta do is go back to realise you need to sacrifice him stuff out of this guitar there's a certain point here we're now I can hear definitely the guitar way please now I can hear the guitar on the bass playing together we'll find is if want to get rid of the base, which I could see all hear all the low end to it, but I am so that stars actually really thin sounding on its own not all that pleasant really not what you think it was an ideal guitar tones it's so thin, but we'll put that dick in with everything else you wear that all the stuff we need out of that guitar is in their way didn't need all that low frequency stuff because in a band that's what the basis for that's what that organ is going to be for us to fill out those little frequencies so again forcing the guitar up clear the space where we could visualize some of those other instruments like you got a comment? Yeah, yeah, the way it was explained to me a long time ago is that your brain sorts reality out for you and it will borrow frequencies from other instruments and assigned them to the overall thing in your ears like you don't need to have the same frequencies coming from five different instruments absolutely not when I was a kid, you know, I just thought guitar players were everything in rock music, so I didn't even know what bass players did, you know? They just stood there and loaded the man or whatever. I don't know to me when I listen to music, I thought so I mean, I know that I thought the highs and the lows that we heard out of a bass and a guitar with air guitar and that's why I think a lot of people you listen to people playing guitar with themselves, they crank up the bass on their guitar and suck out the middles crank up the high end because it sounds big and fault we're in the mix we're not playing the guitar in the room so again it's about sacrifice isis, which gives us a good lesson with this when we get into e queuing and the filters high pass in low pass to move things up, push stuff down it's something we want to do, not on its own. So using the solo although it's definitely mixing, we need to be able to check some stuff out to find two in the sound. I don't want to get too much into because remember, this guitar is never going to be playing by itself in a song it's always gonna have this always gonna have this two way gotta have room for all that stuff, including a vocal. All right, so that's, our big first things to deal with our tools that we have to work with and it's always the way I start now, look, we have a bunch of stuff in here from our patches and that's cool that became kind of part of our sound, but what I'll do sometimes is like I said, go back and use that power and turn off like, any pre study cues or anything until I'm sure of where I want to put stuff. You know, the fine folks at apple with logic pro ten, they know how to make kool sounds. You know, they made all these great patches that I think are amazing it's tons of great things in there, however, they don't know, and no one could know how you wanna mix your song. So using the presets, I'm going to be great, but remember, customize, customize, customize get back in there, and the biggest one, I think, is to go into the queue and start carving places. When I look at a filter here, I don't see you know, I could use the analyze and look at what's plain, I don't see it as though I'm sacrificing a bunch of that track are killing all of it's stuff. What I'm seeing is this red area that's, a frequency area of lows that I'm gonna be able to fill with the kick drum with the base with mikey's organ that he brought into her and he really low things that need to come through. Rob question, yeah, I just had a quick question, a ce faras year preferences is I've heard different theories is, oh, I've had several people tell me, usually when they start from mixing the start with the kick and the base and keep those centered together like that, the base and the kick is that generally a good place to start? Absolutely on? And let me just make sure we're talking the same thing you're talking about as faras panning, right? Just dead center and centre will tell you zero right in the middle of it, so if it says one of the other number plus or minus you know, we're off in the center again great question and I have many strong opinions about it. So let me tell you first and foremost, my strongest opinion is there's no right or wrong you know, I have a certain way that I like to pan stuff and I will change it up once so all to be interesting or if someone wants in a different way but for the most part I have a way that I pan in a system for the things that I put in now it is completely different from the way that some other people do, namely like you can save the first few beatles records are exactly the opposite of the way that I would do it nothing like I do it and they didn't pretty good so it's just my opinion take it for what you want but what I do and there's a reason behind it and I think that's the most important part of the reason why I keep in the middle are like you said the kick in the base I also keep the snare drum in the dead center because to me the kick in the snare poot poot that's the heartbeat of the song the base I think should be a connection with that kick drum and that's why we were able to use drummer in the follow button tohave it actually follow so it's like it's the same instrument anyway and there in the lows. And they're going also the vocal, the lead vocal, that's, the storyteller. So I wanted to be in the middle when something's in the middle what's actually happening is it's equal volume in both this speaker and that speaker, for he took the speakers out of the rooms, and you listen to that one speaker out there, something that was pan in the middle would sound the same. Volume in that speaker is the one that we left in here. The second we turn it just minus one or minus two. We move anything other than zero. What it's doing is turning down the volume, and one and the other volume is going not necessarily up, but it's staying the same, right? So if we were to move something, keep going, going, going, going that's, where it makes it seem like it's traveling over there or over there. But it's going to be sort of a balancing act of turning them up and down. So kick snare base, vocal and center means that if people don't listen to music and recording studios and listen to a rate here on headphones on people listen to him in their house where one speakers over you know on top of the chair and the other ones over in the window shows you know a bookshelf or wherever it is so people walk around there listening space I want things they're like the kick the snare of the base in the vocal to be available to everybody equally and everything imagine you're in a club you know and you have a stereo song and somebody put you know the lead vocal or the kick drum on lian one speaker means the people on that side of the room in the dance club are dancing to the right beat on the other side where there's no kick drum nobody knows what's going on timing life so definitely I keep those things in the middle I keep than any other like lead instrument that may pop in when the vocals gone in the center every single thing else with rare exceptions I move off to the side right? I want to have them fill in all my other space only those things that I think are so important the heartbeat kick snare and the story with the vocal on then the bass is part of that heartbeat that's the stuff that gets to stay centered everything off thank you so much for bringing that up