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Andrew Wade Interview Part 2

Lesson 7 from: GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Finalizing Your Mix

Eyal Levi

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7. Andrew Wade Interview Part 2

Lesson Info

Andrew Wade Interview Part 2

Are there any complimentary cute tricks you do like say say lay it on me through a scenario you ok? So obviously you have to rhythm guitars playing left and right and then you have a clean guitar left and clean guitar right and the lead down the middle and the band wants to be able to hear everything the clean and distorted rhythm on left and right is that what you were saying? Yeah they're at to deal with that sort of stuff so that's five guitar parts total uh well the rhythm I mean rhythm left and right would be playing the same thing but yes five guitars in total right? Um I would we'll see to me I feel like clean guitars if you compress and it you a clean guitar well, I feel like it will sometimes it cuts better than a distorted guitar so I feel like the rhythm on left and right would be fairly simple to sort out and then the the lead in the middle I would definitely is a different cab if it let's say it's all in the same guitar different cab for the lead in the middle um maybe pan...

the uh really distorted guitar completely, you know, one hundred sent left and right and then the clean maybe at say seventy five percent left it right so you have a nice stereo field separation to lose him probably come through we just got skyped so say what you say whatever you were just saying oh uh how far back? Ah, nice stereo separation oh yeah so you'll get a nice stereo separations good stereo field that way and uh the clean the clean guitar should kind of cut through easily. I like to have like to have like, a boost maybe around three k like for the for the cleaned to cut and then I'd say distortion I like to have that kind of boost my mid range a bit and the story guitar like around one k or so um just so you can really hear the scribbles I like to call it strongly that I got the note I feel like that's you get a lot more note what? Yeah, bruce in that race sort of yeah instead of, like, static or or something? Yeah, but I think if you did all that it should some pretty nice it also depends on the actual guitar parts. Yeah, exactly. Now if if the guitar parts are not working together though uh that can be a very tough situation to deal with. Like say that the clean parts are in the same register is the lead guitar um then and then the rhythm is a very busy rhythm with all that other stuff going on over it then you got a mess on your hands so that that's a scenario with all those layers can work out if you've arranged it properly like say that the rhythm guitar is holding out chords while the clean guitars are doing maybe something rhythmical or aarp educated and then leads are in a whole other register doing something soaring that could be worked out very easily, whereas if what I just said before where the cleans aaron the same registers the lead and the rhythms are also very busy it's like the hell's going on yeah and one one little trick with say that they also want an ambience to this part which would make it even more cluttered. Um I don't know what do you think about this whenever I'm mixing something like that has a lot of parts and let's say the lead in the center needs to be more ambien like for that situation I would choose delay over reverb because I feel like river kind of blurs it up but the delay still lad ambiance but it's still pretty clean pretty clear. Well yeah well river by its very nature pushes things back so I mean there are there are a few reverb tricks to like have river haven't the river but still not get pushed back but I mean bite jenna by just by definition of what reverb does, it will bring you no less of it will bring something forward and more of it will push it back. So I agree, I think delay delay is a much better way and if and there's different ways to make delay sound interesting, like modulated delays and things like that, like good crystallize, er plugging there's ways, tio there's ways to mess with delays to add a lot of ambiance, but without pushing things farther back in the mix like right river. So, yeah, I think actually that's a really good point to bring up is the choice of what kind of effects you use on, uh, super cluttered parts will also help make or break the situation because if you're pushing everything to the back, uh, how are you going to have anything that the fat no definition? Yeah, what give us give us another so that's a scenario that I come across a lot in the kind of stuff that makes what would be a super cluttering situation that common for you? Well, so that just really bothers me is whenever a band wants tohave a part that has a lot of vocals going on and they want the taking back sunday type layered vocals if you guys know who that is but that's this it's going to, you're going to run into the same problem with the leads if you don't actually write the parts in different registers that's going to cause a problem that's that's your first problem the second one that I that I come across one of our people are arranging both like complicated vocal parts are the pace of the vocals like say you have one at eighth notes and sixteenth notes and then you have another one over top of that that's just like hold outs or half notes so those together even if they were in the same range you might be able to make out what's happening um and maybe turned one of them into a group vocal you know what I mean uh do wanna knocked it down um different tricks like that couldn't even there you go different register exactly it's almost like er and I don't know you you can't see who's in the room but so I'll just say matt over here uh matt hey matt yeah yeah that guy yeah we've been talking a lot about um about how register makes a huge huge deal and it can change everything uh but something as simple as what active you've got a part in can change they can change the entire song and mix from sounding a cluttered mess to something that's arranged well, so right, so yeah, I don't I don't deal with bands that have ah I guess you're the same amount of vocals is him to quit but I deal with bands that have done too much guitar all the time so you move on to the next slide and, uh there's a big idea for you guys and that's uh basically this is another problem that we get a lot I get this a lot and andrew gets us a lot and basically of the songs dynamically boring the song is boring and the songs dynamically boring uh you're gonna have to do things in the mix to make it interesting thing like you will have to add dynamics into the mix and uh we came up with a little like a list of things that you could do here, so screenshot that but willa, we'll talk through them and there's probably ten thousand more things you can do to add, uh, dynamics into a mix but basically this is what happens when the producer doesn't do their job for the band records themselves and they don't think about these things uh with producers being cut out of the equation a lot of the time bands will not take their songs quite to the level where they need to be at and you won't be able to get the mix that you need. So yes so let's talk about this stuff when first of all, how often does this happen to you that you get a dynamically ah flat song? This unfortunately happens a lot more than it should and one of my go twos we have actually first master bus automation I do that all the time I will do that let's say you know the court will say the chorus for instance comes in and you want the song to feel bigger uh one easy thing is the master of us automation that doesn't always make it sound bigger makes a sound louder and it makes it come in well um but if a song is done well like arrangement wise and you have a clear save verse two chorus let's say you don't let's say you don't even follow structure because there is a way that you could do that correctly also whenever you have let's say a part that is dynamically may be a little quieter um let's say like let's say take a blast beat part for example that can almost sometimes those air so fast that you know the drummer has to play quietly because that's the only way they can actually do it and then let's say there's a stop in to a huge breakdown or something and it slows the song down it opens the song up um and then you have something good to work with so when that breakdown comes in if you do add a little bit of the master bus automation like say you know boost it one and a half tb or so you can really make that slam and people won't even know why it slammed so hard so uh that's example like the best case scenario what will you do one d b on the master bus goes a long way yeah, I actually usually I like to automate other things not just the master like I'll automate the the rhythm guitars and the vocals I'm talking about courses right now actually but I'll automate the the rhythm guitars and vocals um usually and I'll also add some kind of thing at the beginning of the chorus that would have like an explosive sound to it whether it's an actual explosion or just an extra symbol hit that's like very crisp and clear um a small base drop et cetera so all those things mixed together whenever you want the next part tio be bigger or more exciting when you add all those things it just really pops out and it makes something special and to me that's a huge part of mixing that a lot of people don't think about uh and then you have the songs that are dynamically boring like what we're saying where the let's say the verse is distorted guitar strumming and you're just riding on a symbol and it's a halftime beat and then the chorus comes in and it's the exact same thing and nothing really changes the only thing you can do is at all these things that I'm talking about and that's that's like that's the best thing you can do uh for that along with these other things like let's say in the verse let's say maybe it would be cool if the verse only had one guitar or something uh you know, depending on the song or maybe the verse has less distortion or something like that even though it's all the same feel if you change these small elements even if it's subtle stuff it's going to make a huge difference because it all adds up whenever you listen from one part to the next part you know I read this somewhere uh, so I don't know if it's true, but I heard that like for instance, andy wallace who's you know, mix god uh on courses you'll bump thie we'll bump the symbols on all the down beat up by a good sixty b all the crashes on down beats and courses and six yeah blood on a console um and I've seen so I've worked with colin richardson on and watch them mix on a console and I've seen him do the exact same thing uh end he rides the master bus automation so much across a song that some songs by the end we'll end up like four five d be louder on the master bus and when they started, um well, I have a secret that I want to reveal okay, well, I'm actually a dinosaur no, I'm sorry that's why you were ok anyway what I what I actually do I don't know if anybody else does this this is just a me thing um and I've never actually told anybody about this but let's say when the chorus comes in and this is the great part about mixing in the box for instance I'll bump it at the beginning of the chorus by about one and a half to be and the whole entire chorus is getting quieter as it goes to the end of the course I buy that too by the time the verse hit it doesn't sound like it drops in volume and you do not notice it so whenever you know the next part comes in you know it kind of just looks like a like a little you know, saw wave or something throughout the whole song but so your song isn't getting louder it's just like, you know it's just got explosions through basically you're doing conscious deby creep deby creep is actually something that is considered a mistake in a lot of mixing but which comes from uh, mixer not paying attention to their are automation moves things just kind of gradual getting louder just because not paying attention but well that it that well you're doing yeah, well you're doing actually, uh I've done that lots of times because yeah if you do start bumping your courses or whatever a d b is a lot when you're doing it to the master busses sometimes when you go back to the verse sometimes it can sound like the bottom just dropped out like said I like you don't want it just because you made the chorus big you don't want to suddenly make the rest of the song sounds small so what? What you're saying is a great way around it you're not going to notice a d b ah devi down over the course of an entire chorus yeah so that's a great trick everyone yeah, well there you go so you're not really dinosaur though no, not a dinosaur hoping well all right let's talk about some more some more of these one thing that I've done this a lot and I know that a lot of guys do this is that they'll have a whole different sample set for different parts of the songs or just bring in more samples unlike, say the course again like a change up the whole the whole scheme of the drums to make them really, really huge on the course or like in non song structured music where it's more like so you're saying like blasts pete breakdown blast, we break down heavy part every part breakdown, blast eat whatever I have a whole different set of maybe still have your main samples going to have the whole song but bringing in different ones for different parts like maybe a combination is there's that makes for a much bigger snare on the slower parts and something that might be a little bit higher pitched or ah or just a little smaller and popular sounding for the blast beats or whatever right more a bigger room sound or something yet yeah and I think you know I honestly think that is absolutely a must like I don't think you should maybe do it I feel like you I mean that's just my opinion but I really feel like that should always be done to like if you do have like a really fast part and the snare has to be tight then you have something that slows down you're just gonna have this tiny little snare could you know that breakdown but maybe some people don't like that but to me I feel like that's a must like I feel like it's very very important when you're mixing and that's a and that's something that dates back to like consul mixes and big big classic albums and ah I haven't really talked about active listening or mix analysis in this class but something that I recommend people do is listen to mixes and write down like for instance like saying in a focus on the snare in like say the snare on this classic song but it's huge banned by a great mixer just pick one and pay attention to the snare throughout the entire song and well, you'll probably notice if it's a huge mix is that the tone of the snare changes throughout the song and sometimes it's something as simple as on the two and the four or on every other snare hit it's a different collection of samples or maybe a different length of reverb or whatever but little things like that done throughout the song make a huge huge difference do you ever do that where like say ah certain hits will have a longer river in certain hits will have a shorter one yeah, all the time uh I firmly believe that every single part should feel as good as it possibly can um and that's something that took me a long time to figure out because let's say I would get my drums samples for the song and as soon as enough you know on extremely different part comes in these samples don't work anymore or this guitar tone doesn't work anymore and I'm like well, that that means that this guitar tone is wrong and I got to redo the whole song that's not the case. Sometimes you're getting this sound for each part of the song each part of the song needs to feel as good as it possibly can now you do want a cohesive feel so you keep a lot of factors very similar but you just adjust the things that you need to adjust basically something we just said is a our protest but we basically has been saying this is ah actually changing the mix on the drums when you go from ah different part to another part but let's move to the next big idea, which is ah, simplicity of the music determines the size of the sound so basically, uh, if you have super fast uh, music super fast supertec, you're not going to be able to get a huge mix of that. Yes, exactly. So that's why a lot of death metal records like tech death metal records like, say, like a couple of a classic like a necrophilia gis record. It sounds tight. It sounds precise. It sounds pristine and, uh that's great, but that's how it should sound if you tried to make it sound like, say, the black album or something like that, it would be a complete disaster. All right? And, you know, other way around as well. If you took a death metal the tech death metal approach to slow music I guarantee this has happened to you say you have a band comes at a band that comes in once you to mix their record like some other record that you've done and you know that that wouldn't work for their band so you just like I you know it's hard to explain but us here engineers I mean, we know that that's not possible people don't like to hear that but it's like you guys are you know nickelback is never going to sound like slipknot because they're just completely different styles and different songs different tunings like it's it has to do with so many different things it's not just but I remember yes, everyone is remaining course I read an interview with bob rock once after the black album got huge uh and saying that obviously he got a ton of band saying we want to sound like the blackout woman they'd be like you get like a pop punk band that wanted the black album sound it's not gonna work exactly it's the sound that you get a specific to the songs and the band that you're working with and so uh, you know, complement to that also was say that the speed of the music determines the size of the sound. So yes, and this goes back to tracking as well, like people always ask me one to use two guitars when to use for guitars like so say you're tracking a band like the black dahlia murder where it's to forty b p m two fifty bpm two thirty p m the whole time two guitars if you're doing something that's a lot slower like I don't know like a grunt yeah grunge I was going to say like a devil driver came here or something or ah go zero or something just slower metal yeah then you could use for guitars and makes sense right? And then that translates to the mix as well exactly people just do not understand this stuff and I wish I wish bands were also watching this so we wouldn't have to say these things to them. I'm sure I'm sure bands were watching this so like say when you get a mix from like a super fast band and they have four guitars and there will you just sometimes just needed to use the mix next two of them and yeah, whatever sounds the best yeah uh the guitars is what I will use but yeah, it's a good rule of thumb for people to know is that if you play fast technical music just expected to be two guitars, right and no war yeah there's no need for that like you want your stuff to sound tight if you're doing fast music, you only have so much time between each beat for things to sound good, you know what I mean? Like each note has the sound crystal clear if it doesn't then it's just like a big pile of much so yeah so there you and I guess we'll talk real quick about salvaging stuff because uh we've both been in somebody terrible situations were ok say you you do get tracks from people they get to mix and they're just horrible er and you know you do have a few workarounds for them so let's just say let's just say I wanted you to mix my band and I did a horrible job tracking the drums which wouldn't be the case but let's just say that I was drunk or something well there's there's quite a few options here number one is just completely programming the drums one hundred percent but sometimes there's some good qualities even like even someone didn't know they're doing that they may have done something right by accident and you like it say the snare sounds good so but they tracked in a terrible room like a really dead room see I had to deal with this for years actually my drum room was dead and it was absolutely terrible to work in but all that's different now so I had to take a sample of a really say snare drum or toms and trigger it with the sound of the drums and sometimes I've used the raw sound you know just coming from the fifty seven or the I five from the snare drum and trigger a river with it and that's the whole snare sound and it sounded great so you this this can actually work um but like say symbols like there's not there's not much that can be done with like some badly played cymbals some drummers play you know with the tip of theirs their stick on the symbols on it you know that penny sound comes right through in a very bad way me and uh I mean how much mean my guy I work with john douglas on everything lately we've been replacing people symbols if they come in and they're terrible and uh and you know, like the drums of track terribly maybe will program the kicks there and tom's and then we'll play the symbols over it it sounds great or you know, if they send us midi drums which happens a lot a lot of bands just send you middie uh well, no play really symbols on them and that he has a great idea it works really symbols when they are played right and mike's correctly are far superior to any program symbols I I can't stress that enough. Yeah there's there's no way around it so but however well programs symbols are way better than horribly tracked symbols yes. So absolutely there's definitely an order of priority there soon interested time let's move real quick tio guitars this one's a little bit harder to deal with men uh and I wanted to plug your guitar class because I feel like if people watch your creative live guitar class maybe you know, before sending sending you something to mix, maybe you wouldn't have tio replace their guitars yeah, but that would be nice if there's not much you can do about badly track guitars yeah, I know and some people just don't get it even if you do tell him all the right stuff, maybe the player is just not holding the pick right the whole time and didn't didn't know so, uh, man, one of the only things that you could do is redo the guitars. It is a very terrible conclusion to come to, uh, because it takes a lot of time but sometimes that's your only choice, I mean you khun, you can edit on like crazy. I mean, if you're into that that's fine, some some bands do not like their stuff sounding like it's been, you know, cut a lot of stuff and there's no way to really fake that you kind of have to do that for riel like has to be played clean. So yeah, it's either right or it's not and there's no way around it. And so I think, and I think that the reason this is really important and why we're talking about this in a mixing classes because you cannot get a great mix without great guitars in heavy music it's not gonna happen that's like yeah that's the meat of the mix right there is in the guitar tone and so if you get guitars that are sloppy guitars that are opportune guitars that air and ghettos they're basically unfixable uh you're left with no choice because the mix is going to suck there's no way around it yeah it all they're all relying on you to do it right and if it sounds bad then I mean people could pull out I've I've seen bands pull out of jobs before you know and go with somebody else and they don't realize until they're like three mixers deep that the problem was there sessions not the mixers often times it's the sessions and not the mixers yeah yeah so let's just, uh move to our uh our final slide we'll just talk about base and this was a little easier to deal with because there isn't like four based tracks to redo but uh um you khun really you can program it and uh andrew uses this trick that I use sometimes talking about your slap bass trick uh on breakdowns or something that needs to sound really aggressive I'll throw some just a slot base let's say it's safe from trillion or something equivalent they have some really good sunday sounds and that that just adds a lot of aggression on an otherwise kind of like bland part sometimes the breakdowns are all about how they sonically sound not necessarily how like good they are e I call a car stereo test music like yeah you know or yeah, you need to be able teo get into that dude's truck that's got the purple light underneath, you know and with like the crazy ass system and they need to just be got it yeah it's got to just be banging in there uh one other thing that I do I end up doing this like most any time I get a tract base because it's not usually attract right there's a lot of subtleties with base that people don't even notice but uh I will program just I'm sure maybe you've talked about this but I just program like, say, a sign wave for something underneath the base to just clear up the bottom end so I have talked about it, but I think hearing you say it too we'll just drive home how important this is. Yeah, because when people play from one note to the next you know you have a note ringing out still and then your low end just sounds like complete mud um and the only way to clean that up is to replace the low end I don't actually always use a sign wave I use uh it's kind of like a hybrid wave that I kind of figured out in a sense it's like sort of between a saw waving a sign way and then I have ah uh low past filter on it probably weighed down like near two hundred homes or so um but to me I feel like that sounds a little more like a real base than a sign wave that's just it just doesn't feel like a sign wave is just a little too clean to call it's a very calm so that's a good base a base doesn't put out a sign wave yeah that's calm is a really good way to put it it doesn't jill and they're right and create the aggression and power that a basic needs to create exactly and you could even say program with a nice uh vsd era virtual instrument I'm sorry like um not not some base uh trillion sorry and just keep the low end from trillion for instance that sounds a lot more realistic than a sign wave too because it has the transients on every hit religious like a natural base does so if you would put that in that takes a lot more work has yet to program every single hit in that situation but trillions great though yeah, you just got it you got to do what you got to do and a lot of people want some quick fix and it's not always that simple like you got actually you can't just e q a poorly tried basis in a magical way and it's fixed, you know, there's a lot to the stuff you gotto replace the low end if it just sounds, you know, garbled. So you khun dio in a matter of fact, if you have properly tracked and arranged parts you views weigh less. Thank you anyways, yeah, you don't have to use. I mean on maybe I'm basically to use a fair amount, but you don't need. You don't need to use nearly as much ink used people think you do if all this stuff is right because the music will naturally already fall into place pretty well. But, yes, I think we've got to end this call, man. Unfortunately, all right, dude was often, yeah, thanks so much for being here with us, man. No problem. Good luck on the class. Thank you, sure, I'll see you sometime soon in orlando. We'll do take it easy, dude, all right, you

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