Prepping a Track
Step two is pulling in the tracks and uh I'm gonna basically open up another another file now ok so yeah this one I'm not going to go through the process of pulling in every single thing because there's lots of points I want to get through and this could take all day so I'm going to show you has a couple of things that you need to start watching out for once tracks start coming in okay so there's some things you just kind of want to do right away uh you want to start looking for problems and this is really really key this has to do with communication thing if you uh don't spot problems right away and suddenly it comes up two weeks in that the drums air edited badly that's your fault now um if you spotted and you don't tell the band it's your fault you need to you need tio say something now when to fix stuff versus want to kick it back that's you know that's a that there's a very fine line uh there and it's a big gray area but for instance if uh in general the kicks come in and they're ...
all right but say every now and again something's off like that uh see here comes in every once in a while there's just like a tiny little miss trigger like that what's the big deal to fix that yeah just fix it but uh if, um you're pulling in tracks and they gave you some kick samples or your editor gabi's and kick samples and like you start noticing that there's just problems like I'm just gonna mess this track up on purpose it's gonna be fun you know everywhere you everywhere you look something like this and I'm using this is that as an example this could be for any instrument but late I mean they're good I mean in all reality you're printing your own samples usually assume it's your job to get this right but if it's that those amounts of mistakes uh then maybe it's time tio time to start talking to the client about that and places where you will notice this stuff most frequently are going to be this is where you want to start looking is going to be the overheads first so because that's where you can really hear bad and it's when symbols you know when punches happen and symbols don't bleed over or they're cut improperly that's something that really comes out so you just kind of want to start you know, just paying attention just start listening certain listening through stuff you're looking and you're just looking for some obvious problems that will ruin your mix in the end er get you made fun of by all your friends on forums you start solo stuff out yeah, I want that ladder in here look a lot are here sure happily I'll run my hearing for you I'm just getting inside that lot at all now the thing is these air tracks that we are that we fix so we're this is kind of funny we started looking for some really tracks and we had a really hard time finding them because uh we get rid of all that stuff it's kind of like when you know you have a guitar player uh and you ask them to play badly uh and something they don't know how to do that I'm sure you know what I'm talking about like if I told youto play a shitty solo or something like how do you do that um well yes so we actually had a hard time finding this kind of stuff because what we do is we fix it and we get rid of the messed up things but I'm going to show you guys basically where where the the common culprits are going to be they're going to be in your symbols first inform most so that you just it sucks we just listened through now if you got tracks that were consolidated it's going a little bit harder not going nowhere the punches are unless that they did a bad bunch then you'll know but if tracks if you're working on your own tracks than at least you have the luxury to fix your punches and so let's see what's going on right here let's see if this sucks it opens foreign so it's fine passes the test obviously we're not going listen through the entire thing so you want to check there and here's basically the checklist you're going through going to look through um look for the punches and cross fades hear the drums, bass guitars, vocals and what you're looking for clicks pop squeaks noises, dumb stuff and uh the reason that I think a first doing a checklist is a good idea is because if you're not used to doing this kind of stuff or you don't particularly enjoy doing this kind of stuff it's probably easy to overlook some of this or uh you know, zone out or whatever uh I think that if you have a check list and you say all right, right now you sit down and go through all the drums look for bad bad punches or whatever and then taking a break er we'll come back in fifteen minutes with my ears or straight and uh and go here the base look for, you know, whatever the same thing and do that for everything but one thing that I think is uh I did make a slide about this but it just bears it bears mentioning that not everybody not everybody is into doing this kind of stuff I don't I'm not into it I hate it um I've done it enough but I hate it and I have really bad aivd and it's really easy to zone out so take breaks just like when you're mixing stuff it's good to not go longer than ninety minutes without a break six years will start getting a weird when you're doing this kind of stuff it's good to take frequent breaks so that your attention khun b on it because uh you will be amazed how easy it is to miss a bad punch at times I'm sure you've noticed, especially with symbols and you're listening to a lot of this stuff too and you're soloing out the symbols for instance and you're doing a whole album's worth of this stuff just hearing this times how many songs yeah, you know what I'm saying? You have to you have to be aware of the fact that your attentions gonna wander so ok, so you start doing that take a break um if the samples are printed already, you start looking for what we did earlier looking for miss triggers uh bring up then move on to other instruments and it's the same thing just start checking it out. You have to use judgment too, because you heard some squeaks and they're right there this this is something else that you should all write this down except for those of you guys who don't have anything to write with if you are prepping for somebody else like say you were prepping for kurt blue I don't know if kurt balloon has somebody who perhaps for him, but because we're all familiar with him, right? He's amazing this style is nasty and raw and ah, and, you know, keeps a pretty true to the performance, so these kinds of things in the bass track these kinds of little finger noises and all that I'm just going to go out on a limb and say, you would probably want to keep that and not edit every single thing out and make conscious decisions for who you're doing this for if you know, if this is going to be again and then go on a limb a sturgis production, you might want to get rid of all that stuff because his stuff is, you know, pretty perfect. So you got to know who you're doing this for and also who's the band uh, so there's there's artistic questions that come into play with all this, which is why you can't just a sign that this to, like, you know, you can't just assign this to some intern who you don't trust because musical judgment has to go into all these types of decisions something as simple as leaving in the noise or not can make all the difference in the world because that's the field this was supposed to stay that way but that would not fly for certain for certain guys so always know who you're doing this for and, uh yeah and then again let's check that one part where there seems to be a punch I heard that you guys will hear that no, because asleep I heard it so right there there was a ah a klick from a uh bad copy pastor bad headed or whatever so, you know, just cross fade it and should be good to go go on and I'm sure that some of you are like he's showing us how to cross fade but uh believe me when your stuff gets mastered and uh all the frequencies that you never knew were there are suddenly just as loud as all the frequencies that yoon you were there these cliques and pops will be really apparent and, uh you're recording will sound like amateur shit. So go through and listen to all this stuff and fix it clicks and pops or not debatable that's an artistic thing and then, you know, you don't need a watch me go through and cross fade everything else but the same thing applies you just keep going through you're looking for problems, you're solving problems yeah, so we just see one more thing here, so just out of curiosity before I just move on to one more thing for you erin um with ah, do you do this? And if you do like what's your personal philosophy towards leaving and noises like if I was prepping for you, would that be too much noise or find a band like you said yourself? You know, like there's gonna be some bands who just want it all really pristine like overly tight sounding, you know, tighter than it would actually be in alive context really? You know, because you're you're boston is two or whatever is not going to kick in as quick as a it was a hard at it would in pro tools, but then there's some bands just won a lot of that, so I don't know so you got it you got to do with the band asked you to do, but then also, I don't know I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, though, like I don't I don't work with a lot of bands that want it like literally just hard lined, but if you leave it to loose than I don't know again this for some man, it might be the perfect choice. And so in the middle I wanted I wanted to sound really I want to believe it's a real guy playing, but I also don't want to sound like sloppy or like I didn't put in the effort to actually make it sound like a a solid performance I think the point is you've got to keep it to your own standard but at the same time you always eat a runner who you're working for and these tiny little decisions are are crucial yes, I was going to name drop here and the reason in a name drop isn't to name drop but just to like illustrate that this is important at higher levels uh I was hanging out with my cracker felt at nam last year and we're talking about the recording process you know beth recordings have spanned a range from super polished toe supernatural live stuff and uh you know, they worked with a bunch of different great guys and we're talking about vocal editing and uh he was saying that there are some guys that he's stopped working with because he'll get his vocals back and all the breaths will be gone and it's like why are you doing that that's that's a part of my vocal uh whereas with other guys um all that stuff all the in between all the noises that the mouth makes in between words has has to be gone but again for not name dropping the name drop just saying that even at the upper echelons of underground metal this kind of stuff these decisions will make the difference between an artist sticking with you or not so I know who you're working for and ah see if here last year that's more with this sounds like so, yeah, it's, kind of nasty kind of death by believe it kind of nasty. Kind of. I would leave it dirty, but anyways, so it makes sense. Cool.
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
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Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf