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GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Prep & Setup

Lesson 3 of 14

Josh Newell Interview & Prep Checklist

Eyal Levi

GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Prep & Setup

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

3. Josh Newell Interview & Prep Checklist

Lesson Info

Josh Newell Interview & Prep Checklist

I'm going to drew's our first guest his name is mr joshua newell and uh he has worked on some bands that some of us hate and some that you guys love but I doubt that any of you guys would turn down working for any of these artists um in my opinion he's ah exactly in the spot that any any engineer and heavy music should want to get to to be able to work with anything from bands is legitimate is cynic tio all the way up to like, you know, because band in the world at one point lincoln park it was really really cool in my opinion uh and he he got a lot of his ah a lot of the progress in his career based off of all this stuff we've been talking about so if you want to get this skype call going we will uh talk about life make you guys uh understand how are you doing, man? I'm good at doing I'm doing all right welcome thanks for thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me. Yeah, so you're behind me this's cool. Wow, I'm really washing out for its weak they didn't didn't powder that your fore...

head? Yeah making grilled in shop anyways josh new um I think I want to start by talking about like how you got into this whole thing because now you're doing some pretty amazing stuff but, you know, you didn't come out of the womb doing records. Lincoln park like you had to start somewhere? Uh, yeah, yeah. How far back do you want to go? You want go back to the rumor? Uh, no, we could skip that waken script because we can skip recording school to skip recording school. Yeah, so after recording school, I didn't internship out in l a I'm really from the national area, and I just didn't want to be a country, so I decided it was the place to go. I didn't internship with a hip hop producer, that new one of my instructors on from there and kind of moved into a hip hop studio, which I didn't really care for, nothing against him, poppy, just until your good fit, sweating up over an rg studios in two thousand two and kind of started out is the part time runner and just work my way up the food chain. So, you know, when from cleaning toilets to x number of years later doing pro tools editing for blanket parking bans like that. So it was really just think, a lot of grunt work, you know, what's ah, the reason that I wanted to talk about that I want to talk about the grunt work a little bit is because a lot of the reason that I have to go through in turns a lot and a lot of my buddies have to go through them a lot is because they think they're above that but uh your story shows that that is the way that the way that you can climb up the ladder quickly and I think it's very well I think tell them about the food order story and I will tell him what I think that that relates to in rock and roll history okay um so like I said, I started out as kind of the food runner cleaning floors all that stuff so I mean lincoln park excrement and rg for years they've done clean which every record there so I two thousand two to three hundred and their second record you always doing food runs for them uh he jumped five years later on I was the assistant on the session with them and kind of one day you know, I don the guise for about five years of that point, but but one day that we need these vocals tune and these drugs edited and he's kind looked at me and they went do you know how to you know, wait a second approach was reagan act you know, howto added drops because they cannot at a drone they're cooking out of the drums on this song so did brought him back in and I get worked and so oh can you turn the vocals yeah do the vocals that had turned the vocals on guy kind of eased in that way but what one of the guys told me was they remembered that back when I was a runner that I was the guy that didn't food orders so they figured if they ask me if I get to you know get tuned vocals and time edit drums if I said that I could that I could just because they knew I'd always been reliable you know starting out menial tasks well I mean if you can't get the food order right how the hell are you going to get the drums right? Yeah it's I'm serious yeah people don't get that like you know, some of the guys in the band are vegan some of the guys would have a dairy issues like there you know your lunch shows up you're hungry and then you can eat your way an hour for your food like that genuinely this's clients often they remember yes so you want to work with thea biggest bands in the world start by getting the smallest details right until you know you get more responsibilities and get those things right then get more responsibilities than get those things right but that's like the van halen brown eminem story you know uh they just wanna make sure you're paying attention yeah um, I mean, if if I don't have any other interns were working there at the same time is you, but if there were four guys and three of them just didn't pay attention and got everything wrong, you know, with something as simple as food orders, and then one guy actually took care of business, that would be the first guy to naturally ask to do something real, and I know that this sounds silly, but this is going out to all you guys out there who think that you're too good to do that kind of stuff because it's a lot of you, um, I have dealt with a lot of you guys, but if you want to get teo working with some of the types of artists that that josh gets to work with, you've got to start somewhere. You gotta prove yourself the whole time, I think so let's talk about what you were actually doing for them once you're actually doing music for them musical stuff for them, no more food orders like, what kind of stuff was it? Well, the last record I was ten I was specifically hired to be the pro tools editor, but at a point where we're working to studios at once, so I was engineering for them as well, so maybe running two sections of two different studios but a lot of their stuff and I'm sure most of you heard of least one lincoln park's on in your life there's a lot of loose there's a lot of keyboards so it does become necessary to do a lot of editing because the drunk it needs to not flam with loops and the guitars need to hit on the keyboards too so it's really kind of it's they're almost doing organic program music a lot of the time so a lot of my work was that but also especially when you hit the other thing ninety years of pro tools guy was I was in charge of synchronizing sessions at the end of the night so if we're to studios at once I was a guy that had to figure out what got done where match them up to a save as combining all that information or even when I was in the back room editing they would still be recording on another song so there was a lot of file management bought with that as well it was really just a lot of organs the organizational stuff yeah the stuff that's not sexy yeah, exactly, but that's an integral to keeping a record going exactly and also where we're going with this since this is a mixed mixed prep class a lot of what I did do tio wass repair songs to be sent off to whatever mixture they were using at the time thank you uh can you say who the most weight first regulated with them that makes pineal outrun we had they've started to a couple songs on that I did a record with them where we sent it to many american on this last one we did with any wallace so we were probably obsessions too soon over andy wallace which is he's god yes oh yeah he would sit in the lunchtime and tell stories and we would all just kind of cozy up and now so it was mixing nirvana yeah exactly so all right so when you're getting something ready to send andy wallace what's on your mind for me it's and any also would bring his own guy to help set up this session is mean and he mixes old school on the board so he had to me laying all that out but you're saying if you're sending something to andy and he's even passing it even knowing that he has a guy that's going to double check it you just everything being clean everything being organized clearly labeled just basically eliminating any possible questions they could have or not I guess not any but most the questions they could have just making mean really the point of mixed prep is to make the session opentable and navigate herbal not gettable by someone who's never seen this heard this song before yeah the minute you open it you know exactly what's going on exactly and with a band like that there's already a lot of samples built in and loops built in and keyboard parts and you know just noises and basically having all that stuff organized yes so we kind of kind of came up with the padded to josh newell checklist tio that I do I do you actually ah do you do this by heart or do you actually have write this stuff down uh I've done enough at this point that I kind of I kind of know it off the top of my head but I do have if I'm working with the band and sending me a mix I do have a list of instructions also now just to make sure everything's cleaned up over me properly and how often do they pay attention to that uh I I usually hope for a fifty percent great on it but uh you know a lot of times you can you can kind of if a band you know if you know bands were going something by themselves and I just get a hold of an advance and kind of you know walking through it all you know you can't I hate talking down to bands that recording themselves so uh everyone so while digits ends up being some clarification information going out but um most the time they seem to listen usually somebody's hiring you they respect your opinion enough to kind of listen what you want now the reason I bring that up is because we were talking about this earlier I don't know if you can see who's in the room I don't know what you can actually see like you looking in the that's all I have. Okay, there's five guys, six guys back here and we were talking earlier about how one of their biggest issues was when they get stuff that air track, get get songs track by other people and all the problems that come with that. And I was telling him that that problem exists all the way up the ladder, like anyone who does this for a living is going at some point get tracks by someone that recorded themselves that have tons of problems. So how do you deal with it, though? If you get stuff that's just fucked up. Um, if I'm in a position where, uh, I'm mixing it, then you know, I'll send back an email hey, this, I need this label. I need this cleaned up. I've done other sections, I helped buddy's band out that in front of my track drums, and it was really clean and organized, and they went with somebody else that was using q base, and I'm always saying the dog change will come up in a second, so they tracked everything else in q base and then they decided they wanted me to mix it back and pro tools and the guy that did it in q base didn't label things cleanly just sent me wave files because you know, I couldn't open his session obviously and drawing, you know, one through forty seven almost that bad but yeah, it was any notes that have been in pro tools and my buddy attract drums on were lost I found out after the fact that I remember mixing me like these room like stone really weird and hitting on my friends like now they should be fine and then afterwards emphatic he recorded room mikes here using mid side but that information is not lost so I thought I just had it you know yeah, that would be good to know, yeah, I had no way of knowing and guitar tracks that they weren't labeled this whose parts I'm mixing songs basically blindly and sending him back and you know, it's harsh you're going what is the left sides which from dave to bob and back and it was I didn't know that was david bob look, I'm just guessing what you guys were playing here, so you know, situations like that that when I could at least bring the guitarist and if it's something else and being sent, I'll just email back okay, I need this cleaned up some of this is and then part of my part of my coming up nrg the owner of that studio james bond gardner did a lot of rock nixon did papa roach all those bands on part of that gig was getting sessions laid out for him and sometimes there's just nothing you can do other than all right well, audio one sounds like a beeping lights or just look all that beat track and so there's there's kind of a combination you could make people fix that you can get them in to help you re label or sometimes you you're just stuck it really depends on the client in the face go I guess there's a certain point where even if you tell them to fix it then they don't have the skills to fix it and it's not going to come back betters is going to come back different exactly so yeah so I just wanted to address the real quick because you had said that that's a problem but just just to point out again that that's something we all have to deal with him but yeah, what I had told him was you do need to communicate with the client about if they send you something you can't mix, they need to know that because if you don't let them know then it's your fault that the mixes in perfect yeah and most of time if you've got a paying client there I found while clients will argue with you about whether the snare drums loud enough in the mix they won't usually argue with you about whether or not they've labeled their files correctly just because a lot of time they don't think about it so forty that's not really a creative decision where they feel like they're being threatened so normally they'll kind of come around yeah it's it's just I guess the cliche communication is key uh comes to mind so so let's talk about this checklist that we made up I mean I don't actually go through a checklist either but um I kind of used to at one point in time and the guy that perhaps stuff for me sometimes I also feel like he's at the point where he doesn't go through a checklist either but there was a point in time where when I was first starting to do it for like real records where I had this stuff written down because you forget this stuff there's a lot to do so let's just start with uh from checklist number one you've got to make the song easier to understand and uh I think that I don't know what I don't know what the audience is seeing right now so uh it was there all right that's prep checklist number one is your goals you got to make the song easier to understand and just you won't talk about that for a second sure we'll just go, I don't buy, I don't I've got the list here in front of you to ok are markers that air well labeled one of my least favorite things in mixing, and this is one of the things I always have trouble getting artists to do when you're mixing, especially if you're getting metal bands a lot of times, uh, song structure isn't just a straight verse chorus, verse, chorus, bridge course, chorus, part part part, part part yeah, it's yeah, I just did a banned words like, oh, this is kind of the tool ish riff, and this is kind of the, which is fine like that's what their markers were and that that's great, because when I send in the mix, they can go hey, we want the snare louder in the tool ish park, and I know where they're talking about. So even even if your markers aren't just straight verse chorus first chorus, as long as you have a reference point that you know you'll remember calling it that section that's great, because that way I don't have to go searching through and try to figure out where in the song you want and you have to tell me, oh, it's a minute, thirty in and if you guys got hate verse to do this, that that saves me so much time and I think that it's interesting that you say the thing about time the reason that reason that that's good is because not all bounces started actual zero you know, sometimes a minute thirty on what they're listening to isn't a minute thirty inside of pro tools so they could be giving this has happened to me that they could be giving a mixed note and it's what they think is a minute dirtiness I don't know what the hell they're talking about because there is no solo there I mean obviously the solos four seconds earlier I know what happened but if we're going by markers then there's no number of rare it's just is what it is exactly I mean it's almost like reading a book and telling someone to go to chapter three like that's so much easier than saying you know third paragraph of this section that starts about it just having a marker point really clears up a lot of ambiguity assed faras mixed nuts go yeah and just mixer standpoint if I have like I know the courses here here here a lot of times I'll be automating pans or volume rides on the courses in a similar manner so it gives me a good okay you can get a copy and paste automation or at least kind of, you know do a similar you know where the similar sections are and just so everybody knows who's watching and listening, everything that we're talking about now we're going to detail on how to do it within pro tools, so basically we're laying out the foundation for all the technical, the stuff they're going to go through later, so, yeah, we already talked about labeling the tracks properly, but that's ah, hugely important, so you don't have to guess, but ah, let's go straight, tio just grouping because where he talked about labeling, um grouping in this case, not just even making software groups, but this is also just laying tracks out in a session it's going to make your mixers life ways you're if all of your drums were together and I would say even do it from a kid trump snare drum, you know all the kicks together than all the snares and tom's than high hat your overheads rooms just have your whole session laid out that way because getting a session where he kicked drugs at the top and then you know the overheads or six tracks down below the base t I and guitar to guitar ones blow that it's just a mess. So having a very easy to navigate late, I hear all the drums here on the base is having me you're using here all the guitars here, all the vocals turning something over like that is going to make setting up for mixed way faster and it contributes to the session being easier to understand yeah and all you guys got to do is think back to the slides I was showing you guys earlier versus a crap really set up session where is basically exactly what he just described versus the template that we use for mixing so I'm going to move on to I don't number two making sure that all the edits are done so leave that on the screen just for a second just because there's a bunch of points on there but just so people know because, uh, you know, we're kind of blowing through this stuff pretty fast anyone that buys this class is going to get this key note and this checklist is in there so all right back to josh let's talk about this stuff um some of these some of these guys in this room we were talking about how some of their problems with mixing that hold them up is editing while they're mixing and yeah, um I've had sessions were also and stuff back like this needs to get cleaned up if the edits are too brutal, I can usually kind of keep mixing because I could just import to clean up audio, but if I'm getting something where they're clicks and pops and there's there's nasty stuff like that I'll send it back um stuff like consolidating audio I can get by with the occasional cross fade or everyone so well somebody's going to slip up and miss a you know have a dirty punch here there that's fine but as far as getting guitars with no cross like I've gotten and I'm sure everybody else has two guitars with no across states and your guitar crack tracks is clicking um and I thought especially with you know, elastic audio coming in and clip game I'll get sessions where they haven't you know haven't processed their clip gain or they haven't processed there elastic audio and all that's doing and sometimes you even catch the elastic audio thing unless you know you kind of it's something I don't usually think to look for when I'm mixing um that that stuff just eats up processing power or with the club game thing I think we will probably see on this on a later point to if you've you've got clipped gaining your session and then you sent your guy who's mixing in pro tools eight approach was nine settle on you then you then you're losing your clip can work what let me ask you about this because you know right here we have about the vocals being in tune in the base being into how much I mean obviously if it's one note is out of tune big deal we just fix it but like at what point do you send something back that side of you and say look guys this is not my job like you need to tune these vocals um I would you know, occasional word here their occasional line that all off fix just because it's it's really faster for the next process from the judiciary to in a word then too send it back and get it fixed unless it's something they've committed that they've tuned very incorrectly in the process you know that you can hear the auto tune and it's bad that I might make a redo but as far as that goes I try to be fairly firm with he hey I'm your mixture and not your pro tools I did um if it's you know a late snare head or one word out of tune best final fix that that's quick and easy and flow through but if it if any of these things become a noticeably constant problem then I'll make them fix it now question earlier in your career were you more lax about this stuff? Uh yeah well I think a lot of that was out of necessity when you're it definitely helps too you know the farther along you are in your current more established you it kind of gives you a little more leeway to be ok you need to fix this before you give it to me um but it can be a slippery slope even early on like you do actually just had a problem with the client where they really wanted choir mohr editing than they were supposed to be getting in I kind of did I helped out with one thing and then I just kind of lay the hammer down and they weren't happy about it but I earlier on I would be a little more lax about those things but it's definitely not a good habit to get in flooding your clients know that you will fix up for no extra cost yeah because then also the deadline is still there that they wanted it at and you still got to get it done but then suddenly you're not mixing anymore you're fixing all the stuff you have less time to mix and the product suffers yeah and it completely put you in a different mindset I don't mind editing but I often liken it city to data entry um you know it's kind of a necessity of the job but it's not part of the creative process like mixing is so it's it's a completely it pulls you out of the creative mind said that you're in I think totally to like like we're saying earlier is two completely different to completely different processes that you've got to go through so all right, so I think we've gone through the adding stuff but real quick about consolidating tracks um I know that when I've prepped stuff for some people they want everything consolidated except for the vocals for instance or nothing consolidated or everything consolidated is just everybody's different how do you how do you go about that? Um I don't get e don't usually get to fuss about it if it's something that's coming in just I'm usually mixing in pro tools if I get approachable session where they're the audio is not consolidated that's fine um if it's you know it is long as it's not too messy a session that I don't want send me your drums consolidated than you do a couple more edits if you do that that's fine you know one or two cutting baselines if I'm getting three and half four minute song where the drugs are entirely chopped and it's full of cross days that's that's not okay with me um but I've also found especially with consolidating if you're sending your mixed to somebody's may be operating in a different dog then sending consolidate your audio files kind of way to go yeah yeah totally you've got to do that yeah because that's the only way they can get into their system really let's move on to number three and uh this's samples and uh whether people in the crowd like it or not just about every style of music uses samples in the mix especially medal I mean there really are pretty much no medal records without samples on them except for maybe two of the bands that you recorded cynic but yeah yeah the record I do is sean reinert has got zero samples on the drums but still regardless samples reality of life so let's let's talk about that yeah I would say that's the record I did was showing no samples either but um I don't think everyone a corner so simple wise that I mix prep wise it could go one of two ways oh I've gotten sessions where I'll be sent samples in it and I'll use them I've been set sessions where the samples come in and I don't want to use somebody gives the idea of what they're going for so uh so that any that always comes in handy really um but like when I'm setting up for jay bombardir that was when this thing's like all right these are the samples jay wants I put him in or you know, even some the lincoln park stuff I do they'll give me the samples they want I put him in uh using whatever program just are using the massive d r t but I abused trigger I'm used spl drum exchanger all that stuff there's really I don't think it's really right way a wrong way you do that even if you just do the type of trains yet I'm sure you're going to go through all this uh but the biggest part of laying and samples and this is something that I've caught with even being sense of my clients is the face thing and the miss trigger or double trigger you know, once you get samples and you basically have to go through and check and there's really no way around that no they there's that is one of the quickest ways to kill a mix so out of phase or flam e samples in my opinion on the snare or whatever just a quick way to kill it agree and the one that really bugs me is the kick trump is they're getting some out of face, kick drum and it's just low and gone nothing sitting right? Yeah so when I I do, I do feel like it doesn't need to be said again just that from my own experience prepping mixes for other guys is most guys have their sample set that they want so you know so you'll know you're doing you're prepping a mixed with this guy these air the five snares he likes the toy with so that's what you're printing and everybody's different and you know, now I have like the snares that I generally want so it's, whether you're doing it for yourself or for somebody else, I just think it's it's important to know exactly what samples you're printing it can print samples without knowing which ones you're going to print I think most mixer guys have their their main samples or at least they're always there starting ones and then that if you're prepping for make sure they're probably gonna let you know if you're prepping for mixer and they want you to do the samples they're going to let you know what samples they want yeah one would hope so we actually uh and my advanced drum production course have some videos that we release his bonus content that talk about exactly how did a line and do the midi and everything related to samples and that also were including those his bonus for people who buy this class you know so that you don't have to buy the advanced drum class just to get those videos because this applies to mix prep so yeah by the class you'll get all the videos that's two hours of extra content all about laying samples, aligning samples and getting it right and not get up so all right let's move on tio number four routing busing and uh this is something in my experience where everybody likes it different and I even do completely different things on different mixes which I will be showing tomorrow when I go through a bunch of my mixes so I think it's ah, I think it's really, really important to understand the reasons for everything because this is going to change a lot from what I've noticed yeah um it really there's there's kind of two ways look around and busing if you're you're doing your own routing busing obviously it makes your life easier because you kind of know what you're doing and I'm I'm sure you're going to get to working out of a session template for mixing on labeling in pro tools but a big gig if you can get it it's a great gig if you can get it really is working for a big mix engineer and being his layout guy um like many american has his guys crystal analogy has his guys any walls have his own guy that he flew in just to lay out his stuff on the console because they're going to go through in the case of the any walls and a console you do have a limited number of inputs so his guy would go through and basically any stop mixing the need to come out of pro tools into the council he would take care of our vice do this with jay bumgarner or just even the way they want it laid out on board how they want to do their parallel processing have things come back it's great to be able to lay everything out like that uh just being able to everything out clearly for a mixer or even really for yourself makes mixing faster because then you can just come in and work and you're not stuck dealing with trying to figure everything out but a big part of being good at laying out mixing or improving your mixing is understanding why the person you're sending it up for sets it up that way and I've had engineers sent me stuff and you know if I asked for specific routing or specific bouncing down, I'm more than happy to explain why I want that and I feel it's a really good just for the sake of sharing the knowledge but working with jay bob brunner guys like that understanding why they lay out the mix the way they do is good because it helps improve the speed of which they can mix in which they can work and it cuts down them have anything about anything technical besides making the mixed on great yep, which is the point of getting the prep right is, uh not having anything getting in the way of the creative process let's move on to number five printing tracks and goes back tio some of the earlier things we're talking about with overloading your cpu use uh it's best to commit I mean, obviously if you're not sure about something you can always, uh, disable the track and hide it and, you know, keep the instrument in the session uh two for later or whatever just as a general rule I think printing down tracks is crucial, but do you think about that I would agree especially anything virtual instrument wise definitely print that because you're doing stuff with a virtual instrument and you're saying no mention that doesn't have that virtual instrument then your parts gone um anything you're doing specific effects wise that you want if you have a specific sound you want just print it and then it seems the engineer yeah that I've worked on stuff for the guys like you know, we wanted to sound like this we want it to sound like this and finally just get him to send over the demo version because it's so much faster for them to just send me what they've done instead of me trying to reverse engineer it um and oftentimes you can't even recreate the demo oftentimes oftentimes the demo is where it's at you know, with with crazy little effects and stuff like that I know that on my own bans records uh we always did a full record creeper recording of the entire album but complete and I would do all of these effects and crazy cleans and just stuff and we could never recreated in the studio and then so bythe second album I was just bringing those tracks in and making the producer use them even if they weren't as high fidelity is what he would have wanted to use it just no one could ever match the vibe and just that unique tone or whatever that was captured in the moment of creation so you just want to print that stuff and have it in my opinion I agree and a lot of that stuff to the special effects and all that it is really kind of in the moment thing and I think there are times read you have to let fidelity go a little bit just to capture the viable what you were what you were going for why spend two hours trying to recreate something that worked and maybe just you know you could eat you out a problem or something like that um but also I was saying this stuff if you're if you're dealing in a case where you your ball parking something like oh, we kind of want this vibe for the guitar but we don't think we've nailed it give the mixture the dry guitar and then print your version but just making note whether it be in the comments on your tracker just in your email when you said everything over it hey this is kind of a vibe we're going for you know if you're gonna prove on it great I would say just differentiate between we love this sound and we want to keep this end this is kind of a sound we're going for yet totally and ah once again uh I just wanted even though we already said this what if the mixer doesn't have the same plug ins just that's a big deal and, uh, you know, incoming here, uh, and since we're opening mixes old mixes of mine, I actually brought my system drive my sessions drive and my samples drive that's what I'm operating off of on the creative life computer because they didn't want to take the chance of opening a mix I did in two thousand twelve and nothing be there this, you know, same sort of idea I wasn't going to go and print everything either to bring it in, but what if some plug ins to when you change versions? And I know I use a lot of sound way stuff, and now you sometimes have trouble if I go back or on a different system and it's a different version of sound toys, it'll often not open, so I always try to commit that stuff by norman removing riggs. I hate that. All right, so number six, clean up the mess. I'm going back to one thing on file way we've skipped putting down the cliff. Oh, yeah, I had a really specific reason for that this one, especially if you're sending your mix to somebody who might be operating in a different daw by giving them the click, it kind of gives them a tempo map, I had this with that when internet did their stuff in logic, they did, they're drunk tracking and logic. I got this in the click over because that made those guys don't really chop their drums. That made it easy for me to know what the tempo was in each section because I had a set click and me personally, I like to sit on my delays to be you have to be pm of the song and all that. So by having a visual marker, I had a better understanding of where the tempo changes were and so forth. It's just kind of safety measure and lots of dawes can take a click and create a temple map off of that. So, you know, if you know what you're doing, you can you can create your you can create a complete temple map just off of getting a click track. So all right, cool that's, uh, number six, clean that shit up, so yeah, they're clean the session for sure. Um, and we were talking about that earlier, getting rid of all the unused files, clearing out any weird automation or any automation really, and the extra play this you're not going to use any inactive tracks that you're not finding of being yours just anything that don't need to be, they're gone there's no reason to keep it, yeah, just hidden automation will make for just bigger headaches for your mixer, and the only way that they should not want out of a client would be if they were doing, uh, parameter automation and their plug ins. And in that case, it would be something to just say, hey, print this down so I don't have to worry about but beyond that, I don't really need your automation give you sent me a session everything's kind of somewhat panned that's fine, but if there's painting automation, then no, you know, you consume you something your your overhead b and left, right your guitars left, right, but beyond that, I don't I don't need that. Um, no mixture really needs that they know how to pin, you know, over ends, one would hope, yeah, and ah, and there's there's just nothing that can come of it having all that extra stuff in their book confusion like, especially when you're sending it to somebody else that they are seeing it for the first time and there's all these extra tracks and files, you're going to just confuse them because they're not going to know is this supposed to be in there? Is the band want that what's this year for did they forget to delete it like, what is this shit, um yeah, my true rule if you're including any tracks that are inactive it's because it's a dye and they might want to ramp it fair another's playlist the only reason that alternate player listens to be there is hey, this is distract the effect printed and this is the track with it not printed think there's just they don't need seven alternate takes of locals or anything like that. Just just give them what they need for the state of making it less confusing. Yep, absolutely. And let's just, uh, number seven the rough mix. Now I think that this one's interesting because I think when we talked about this you were talking about uh oh, making a rough mix but also taking the band's rough mix right like any dandruff make from the band so you can check out what's actually going on in the song? Yeah, there's their situations I have a friend actually mixed a record and he had no rough mix and there are a lot of keep work parts in a lot of guitar parts and he kind of makes it the way he thought it should be and sent the first version over the band and they kind of like, what are you doing that you know, the keyboards were supposed to be louder than the guitars and he had no real reference point on that so if you have a busy mix having a rough mix on dh having making sure it's a really good roughnecks and getting a rough mix that says like oh we hadn't recorded the base yet and the kick terms not loud enough and we have done this year think that doesn't help your mixer at all but if you give me a mix and I kind of know where you're feeling things were panned or just even it doesn't have to be perfect but uh comparable volume levels like oh the keyboard is supposed to be louder or this guitar parts supposed to be louder in the course than this one that really takes some of the guesswork out of the mixing unless you just want to see what the mixture is doing but even then I can't imagine just I guess it's really one of the things that just makes the song clearer for the person you're giving it to you if I if you have a point of reference on kind of what the band was hearing then you're mixed can just go okay I have this reference starting point I'm going to make it better than that well, I've had situations where you get a death metal band with lots of orchestral stuff in there was like forty layers of orchestra and no rough mix and they have a definite idea of what everything's supposed to be uh but you know I'm not psychic like how am I supposed to know what we're just supposed to guess where everything is supposed to be and then by that same token in the same year I had another death metal band with orchestra and there who sent perfect rough mixes of everything and very quickly I got them exactly what they wanted because there was a reference there because you can't you can't expect a mixer to guess this stuff the more complex it is the more guidance you need to give them if you have a vision for it if you don't okay but if but most artists do have a vision for it so you can expect you can expect your mixer to be psychic yeah, I mean you would really hope the artist has a vision for the tracks that they're giving you they're just not giving you a ton of crap um but you know and in setting up mixes for other guys too if you're laying somebody somebody's mix out on the council that they completely done in pro tools then you have I mean you basically if someone sent me something with even still kind of volume and said a zeroing everything out that kind of give even if you don't get that and I can't get a rough mix of all print that so at least now kind of that volume but if you're going from pro tools to laying it out of the console then I can listen you're rough mix get my rough mix going on the console for I do it for before I hand it off to whoever is mixing it so it's just I it's one of those things like I feel like the people that go through and do color correcting and editing and movies at least have an overview of what it's supposed to be like and it's I think incomparable thing for a song absolutely and uh time so it's just kind of get with make sure you have one more point permit it's a quick one love it sorry for being long winded it's okay, now this is important stuff a last point is, uh is definitely last but not least but which they w's the mixer using in which version because it makes a big difference virtue is eleven and pro tools ten are vastly different or you know if you're going to a completely different platform just got to know this stuff no it's always good to ask if nothing else for the limitations possibly the system like I mentioned earlier with clip gain that's a function that isn't in earlier versions of pro tools and there are guys that mix in pro tools eight or a protocol seven for just cause it's rock solid and they like what they're doing on it so you know that's something you were you or even a lasting audio in that situation you need to know whether I mean, you should be consolidating that anyway and putting it in and committing it. But you know, if I'm sending I was working with a guy who is his whole set up, he's feeding through additional constable, that won't do hire separate and forty for one. So I needed to know that before I set him files pt x versus ptf. Exactly, yeah, just all that stuff. But I think then we got to end this call, man, but we could probably talk for two more hours that we needed to, you know, wanted to thank you so much for taking the time. Thank you for having me yet everyone out there on the internet as well. It's watching we really appreciate your expertise is awesome. Yeah, man. Thank you, and I will talk to you soon. All right, take your arm, man. Take it easy. Thank you. So that was, uh, josh newell, everyone, bad ass.

Class Description

Meticulous preparation is the foundation a good mix is built on. In GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Prep & Setup, Eyal Levi will teach you how to get every element of a track ready to mix.

In this class, Eyal of Audiohammer Studios will show you proper routing and bussing for vocals, guitars, bass, drums, synths and effects. You’ll learn the proper way to approach gain structure, leveling and panning. Eyal will also teach essential techniques for fixing badly tracked material and working through common mixing problems.

If you take mixing seriously, don’t miss this one. Preparation and setup will do more to improve the quality of your mixes than anything else you can do.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Eyal Levi - Mastering Metal Mixing - Mix Prep Slides.pdf

Eyal Levi - ProTools Batch Track Rename.qkmx

1-on-1 Mix Critique with Eyal Levi.pdf

Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptx

Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptxt

bonus material with enrollment

Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

Boring subject but Eyal delivers the material in an entertaining way. He really does a great job of showing why the prep and organization are crucial to a solid end product. This is much more important to get than the latest and greatest plugin, and is easy to implement and will ultimately save you time and money down the road. Its a no brainer to listen to what Eyal is saying and to apply it. This has been a great confirmation on some of my workflow and has revealed some new methods I had not thought of. Thanks for the great class! cant wait for the next two days. Always impressed with you and the creative live team.