Class Intro & Importance of Mix Prep
Thanks for a tuning in for those of you guys who are wondering why I'm doing this, I don't have worked on a few records, these were some of the ones I've had something to do with and produce all of them or anything but, you know, worked on them to some extent, whether producing or engineering or mixing or watching it happen and somehow getting my name in the credits. But these are just some of the bands have been involved with been doing this for about fifteen years, and if you're wondering why you should listen to me about mixing, uh, well, you guys, some of my mixes and then you guys can decide if you want to just, like, get up and leave or hang out and talk about this wait, wait, wait, wait well and there's a reason I played you guys that and, uh, it's, because everything you just heard very much made possible by everything we're going to talk about and I wanted teo let you guys hear something and finished forms so that you get why we're going to go over all this boring we're going ...
to talk about today because today is, you know, not going to be the most exciting day, but the idea is that we are going talk about mixing some crushing stuff. Um but you've got to start with prep and we're going to start with prep we're going to take it all the way to mastering prep I'm not going to actually talk about mastering and that's there's something I want to clarify about the title of this course because since it's called mastering mixing metal I've been asked by a bunch of people of this course is going to cover mastering and I don't know how to master and I don't want to know in a master and uh I think jesse cannon did a class about mastering that us can watch but there you go yeah so before we start to really get into it, you know put you guys on the spot because we have ah five wonderful human beings here I just want to know why you're here besides just wanting to hang out and get trash talk about mixing we'll start with you okay? My name is matthew wicklund um a guitar player from, you know, some fairly known metal bands, I guess and and I'm uh I'm here today to learn about the other end of the business like, you know, as a z years go by, I become more and more interested in mixing in recording and not just the playing aspect of it, so so I've only talked to you about guitar playing online, right? Like anyone that doesn't know we I kind of know each other from years again. We've met on a tour bus once, two thousand seven yeah, like that and I'm good friends with your old band to like, I don't know we've crossed paths a lot with god forbid guys, yeah, yeah, yeah, so like, I don't I don't know, I've just never talked about recording before so that's why? I think it's kind of cool that you hear so yeah, I mean, this stuffs it's just it's a fascinating to me. I like I could see myself doing more of like what you're doing at some point in my career. So it's yeah, I'm just stoked to learn cool. Well, I know you as well. You're a kind man. London has a temper. My name's aaron smith on the guitarist and producer uh, my studios called in visit job leo so, uh, working with mats current band right now, actually called ghost ship octavius pretty cool record. And we got maybe two days left of tracking and then onto mixing. So yeah, here, just hang out, maybe contribute a little bit, learn about you know, he always wafer for mixing and just, you know, have some fun, please do contribute, um, I'm gonna actually on that note say that I want you guys to interrupt me as often as you'd like to because I think a lot of this stuff needs to be repeated and some of it I don't know might be ambiguous or confusing so so much as you guys want to interrupt me go for it and I'm not just going to talk about my way of doing things and then I'm going to show you guys how I would normally do things but also be showing you there's a few other methods that have picked up from some of the people I've worked with so yeah cool thanks for only I don't know you though well, it's nice to meet you my name's brad community producer here in seattle and my wife and I own a recording studio called vertigo and I love working on hard rock and metal and we deal a lot of pop music and independent artists as well, but I'm a drummer myself and I enjoy the heavy stuff so excited to see what we can pick up today and learn about your process coal well, welcome thanks for showing up here because I have to be yeah, I'm sorry man way all make sacrifices yeah, I know I'm here to just getting, uh I'm johnny, my guitarist ah, I've been recording demos for my band for a few years now and I'm just here to pick up on some techniques and how to tackle some problems I've been facing with my mixes and what kind of problem more seriously I mean just anything from it just sounding like poop teo you know tio making it unless like poop fair enough that's kind of like that's kind of like my philosophy on music is you don't ever really get good you just kind of suck less exactly always room for improvement yeah I just want to suck less a recording that school definitely some of some of this will help I'm sure uh my name's ricky kendall uh graduated from full sail university about six months ago in orlando. Yeah, so I mean it's cool I'm just here to further my knowledge get to know more about mixing and that's why I live yeah yeah studios in orlando so how long did you spend it for sale? Um but two and a half years I didn't don't know I did it all online so that everyone wants to know about mixing what's that I'm just kidding I'm being an ass uh all right. Oh, so you didn't goto orlando no, it was all online. Okay, cool. Yeah, well, welcome. All right, so let's get into it. Start talking about this wonderful, wonderful thing called mixed prep um question for you because you said that you record your demos a lot do you ever like say when you're mixing or time to mixed you just mix straight off your demos curiosity um no, I all records something and have a working tone and then once I have a song fully finished then I'll go back and re track and then what? Uh oh and then I mean, once I have you know, working tones basic drum sounds from samples except I'll just, you know, kind of go on with e q ok sort of cool good I'm glad you said that all right, so the reason I was asking is because, um a lot of guys that I guess record their own stuff don't really make that transition between writing and doing their demos toe actually mixing just will start mixing their demos and then that's when they start getting glass ceilings and start getting two problems and is anyone in here due any coding or web design anything like that? Anyone okay? Well, a little bit well, I know from having websites designed, uh and knowing a lot of a lot of coders that basically if they're inheriting something like say they're supposed to fix your site to somebody else programmed say that it was started in a very disorganized way or something it will be harder for them to go in and fix what was wrong in to just start from scratch and it's the same thing with mixing um if you just kind of start mixing off of a song writing demo or something that's not properly prepped you're basically going to get yourself into a situation where things are just totally out of whack and uh you don't know how to proceed so that's why mix prep is super important and, uh it matters because the process of making the song actually mix apple and uh, you know, this matters if you're doing it for yourself like you or if like in my case handing it off to somebody else because I've worked as a mix engineer for a few guys to where I have to be the one prepping everything giving it to somebody higher up the chain to mix and, uh, you know, you don't do it it's going to be really hard to mix because like it says right there you have all this extra shit in the file that's irrelevant to the mix it's going to slow down the cpu it's going to slow down your brain it's just going toe get in the way of everything. So once again, your job is to make the life of the mixer easier whether that's you or somebody else and uh you know, this consists of ah uh I'm just saying I had become nation because I want to stay positive about it because some people find this enjoyable I don't you know it's a combination of cleaning, editing, organizing grouting and pre mixing the tracks is anyone in here not know what any of those are cleaning, editing, organizing, routing or pre mixing and you go into detail on how to do all that stuff, but those are basically the five things that go into ah good mix prep and, uh, talk about the goal of it all is, um I don't know if you guys are familiar with what flow state is all about, but basically what you want the, uh you want the mixer to be able to be in a flow state the entire time that they're mixing um and I'm going to keep on coming back to this because this is why you do the boring shit when you're mixing, you don't want to have to be worrying about edits you don't want to have to be worrying about can the cpu handle this? You know, I want to have to be worried about is that guitar supposed to be in the song or did they just leave it in there by accident? You don't want to be worrying about, uh, are these the edited vocals or not or do I need a two nasser any any number of things like any time that you start doing something creative which mixing is and you hit one of those road blocks you just break flow you have seen the shining anybody yeah you know the scene where ah she brings them some sandwiches and he freaks out uh he's writing and uh jack nicholson is writing um and his wife brings him some sandwiches to talk about what he's writing and he uh you know, starts acting homicidal because she broke his concentration and uh I forget the exact quote but it is something like take some time to get back to where he waas and it's the same thing with with mixing you don't want any anything getting in your way so the whole idea behind prep is to get to the goal of being will stay inflow state the entire time um and we'll talk more about flow state but flow stating is flo state is kind of like a pet cat it's a fleeting thing uh it'll be there when it wants to be and uh and take advantage one is they're so there's some things that you put you closer that goal of being in constant flow and that's ah session that super easy to understand meaning you look at it and you know, what's going on and that's it I mean, that sounds simple, but I'll show you guys in a second that it's not that simple um you also don't want to be thinking about your computer guys in here ever have any problems there cebe used not being a little handle cluttered mixes what's that like for you frustrating yeah let's ah let's talk about that for a second I want toe I want to hear about what kind of stuff uh takes you further away from the goal of staying in a flow stay we going to start with you like, um you need that mike though oh, if you want to talk about just what some of the things are that hold you up from being ableto just sit there and max um just like too many edits that just crams my cpu done the hard drive's having a hard time keeping up so then I I just can't really do anything. So are you saying that you tried to mix before all the edits or done? Sometimes I have done that in the pad I know the bad all right? Um I'm just going to say stuff like that one over here something that that you are uh I'll just go to the next slide because it's appropriate but, uh, you see what moves away from that goal is and it work left to do um basically anything that prevents you from mixing is going to move you away from the goal of staying and flow state when you're inflow state that's when you're going to make your best musical decisions, so if you're worried about well is this part edited right is it in time but but I'm still trying to get this really cool tone uh that's that's not good you finished the edits then mix and also once you've finished yet issue can consolidate the edits clean up the file in your cpu will be way happier so are you are used what's that remove all the unused regions oh yeah definitely yeah we're going to go into detail about exactly how to clean up a file but yeah remove everything that doesn't need to be there finished the edits consolidate that shit and move on with your life about you ah a lot of issues I've been facing have been I mean mainly do tio just like I have a not a great computer and I run a lot of ah when I'm writing I use drum samples and middie teo you know make the drums on the go and that ends up kind of slow in my cpu down so we can't really like even get to finishing abroad project so after kind of like bounce stuff down and then work from there and keep gone it's just so I mean that kind of breaks the flow in itself have to stop and then start again so let me just understand correctly uh you have stuff like running through a virtual instrument like a virtual drum instrument. Yes. A contact okay, contact in libraries okay um while you're mixing not necessarily well, I'm mixing I mean, this is getting to mixing I guess it's just in general because my computer slow I mean, just plug ins in general slowing down my cpu and having toe you know, print, print and then printing down tracks is a good thing to do though yes, yeah that's actually right on, um it just sounds to me more like, uh, the process should be more divided up, right? Yeah, yeah, I should it's a thing of kind of figuring out the sounds that work together and then but if I find something that I like and then want to add something else I have to, you know, open up a new thing and then print what I already have and then add that and because my computer can't keep up with all of it, you know, and computer you have well, it was a mac book I actually recently just created so it's been less of an issue so long, like an apple tv? Uh, I mean, it was like a sorry what? Before they started the unibody mac book and yeah, it was just a way cluttered school computer. Well, I'm but actually, you know, printing down your tracks is a very good thing to do it's highly highly encouraged, it just seems like let me ask you this do you ever deal with inactive tracks to ever hide your tracks, make him inactive like take that you know, remove them from the cpu load yeah, I mean, depending on what I'm doing yeah, because you can always do that yeah, I know I've I do a lot of things wrong so I'm here that's why I really knew about it but the biggest interruption is probably after I buy leave all the editing is complete in the terms of the performance and comp takes and that and then if I have clients present well have, you know, achieved this level of editing where it's all pretty consistent in quality but then they'll start spotting little things that I think are ok um you know, we've already fixed all the big glaring errors, but then they'll start nit picking and it's not a substantial improvement to make the edits it just makes the performer happy because they're the only person that will hear it um maybe it's just like the way of a word came out to say let's listen to different take for that those kind of interruptions definitely stop so that's ah you guys do that stuff once you already start mixing, I try to avoid it if the clients not present my editing will be done for clients there and starts pointing out little little things than most mixers I know like toe work alone yeah oh, I definitely prefer but a lot of times when especially when working with projects where people track at home and bring it in to mix they want to be there because they want to watch and learn I know they want to somebody else online was asked what the interruptions they're saying on there like girlfriend which well they were gone that that happens you'll uh the answer to that is that you will probably have a longer career uh doing this if you keep your girlfriend happy uh the goal is not to become a lonely dude uh working by yourself in the middle of nowhere uh on tracks like that's not going to make you happy either. So go hang out with your girlfriend my advice um but yeah uh the the big shot mixers typically always makes alone accepted their working with like a multi platinum band and then those guys tend to have very they developed the skills of a diplomat very, very, very, very good ways of redirecting their energy away from wasting time with nitpick people. But still, if you can move towards working alone on mixes the closer you can get to doing that one hundred percent of the time the better off you're going to be that's ah that's a huge huge distraction um also the other problem besides clients, being super nitpicky during a mix is that they're not familiar with your room so they don't actually know what they're hearing they're familiar with what they listen to music on all the time there it's there no ear buds skull candies or uh or no I'm serious though or their iphone speaker or their car or that whatever it is that's what they actually listen to music on they're not familiar with with your room so when they are in there and they started picking and telling you what to do it's not coming from a place of understanding and knowledge and that will negatively impact your mixes anyways yeah I think it's usually comments about the performance about wanting to change what they've done after we've already finished recording you should practice more but mine I love these and mike bacon says I find that focusing too much on tiny details too early really interrupt my flow on the overall project and then the precipice detail I tend to have a bad habit of mixing and editing together and although my cpu is stacked once the session is getting beefy and noticed my proof processing begin to suffer but focusing on trying to fix this but I find that I can get things done faster while doing both anything about that if his cpu is suffering and things were starting to lag I don't understand how he says that he's getting things done faster that's contradictory. If anything, the editing, if you want to combine editing with something else, should do well. He's tracking. A lot of guys will track and ed it at the same time. Get it, take edit to take done, that's, that's, an efficient way to do it, but editing while mixing. Not an efficient way to do it, because you're adding so much. We're having so much loaded the cpu with all the plug ins, and it's attracts and duplicating tracks and sends and whatever all the all the stuff you do and mixing that you don't need a bunch of cut up audio files, uh, bogging it down even more. And again, you're not. If you're ruining your hearing on edits and wasting your brain power on edits while you're supposed to be mixing, you're not going to do is good of a job on your mixing, so get the edits done, then mix.