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The Mixing Toolset

Lesson 3 from: Mixing Electronic Music In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

3. The Mixing Toolset

Lesson Info

The Mixing Toolset

throughout this course, we're gonna talk about all these different things that we can use to finalize our mix. And I'm gonna go over kind of the wider view right now. And then as we go, we're gonna get more, more narrow to specific things. First thing we have is our years. It's kind of obvious, right? The thing that helps us know what's happening. But there's actually some kind of tricky things to know their right art years mean, what is a room sound like? What our speaker sound like? How we perceiving are sound. That's actually a gigantic part of being a good mixer, and we'll look into that. We also have volume and dynamics. This is how loud our parts, right? You're gained structure. This is where compression comes in because you're changing your dynamics and your volume. We also have frequency. That's frequency is like the bass sounds up until the highest sounds right, and that whole range is our frequency that we can affect through a song. And how those frequencies interact with eac...

h other in the different parts is what can help make it a good mix. And we have e que saturation distortion all those things affect frequency. And we also have stereo field also like to call this specialization. How do we make it feel bigger or more interesting than just mono or very flat sounding? And for that, we have painting, delay and reverb. So those are all the tools that we have for for mixing. Now, before we actually start just mixing music, we need to really make sure that we're prepared. It's kind of like in cooking, if you especially if you're doing gigantic meal, you need to prepare beforehand. You know, chop up the onions, you know, get everything ready, get the spices out. So you know that you have everything to make it, and that's what we're gonna talk about it first. So we're not gonna directly get into music making. It's gonna be a little bit, but at the end of this, you're gonna have a lot of information to know how to get ready for it. All right, so first thing, keep calm and get over yourself. Now, what I mean by that kind of goes back to that translation thing. Our biggest problem in this whole thing as mixing, especially if you are a musician and a mixing engineer is your ego. It is probably the biggest thing that's gonna hold you back, because when you make music you really like to that guitar part and you really want it loud. But it's too loud compared to everything else or you know your music sounds a specific way, has way more dynamics than anyone else's. But then you put on an IPod and its way quieter than anybody else, that same thing. So we really want to get over what we think is right, because as a mixing engineer, its translation, it's How do we make it sound good toe other people, other situations, things that we might not have thought off right? To do that, we need to use tools to get beyond what we think is always right, and that's where referencing comes in. So referencing is a source of information that is used in order to ascertain something pretty obvious, right This strip definition, just like the Star Gate or any other type of navigation, you need to know where you are, where you're facing, where you're going, how far to go and where to stop now with total scifi nerd and I don't remember the whole Star Gate thing when they needed the Was it three or four points to get there right? They needed Earth. It's that same thing. Like if you have two of these points, you don't know where you're going. If you have the most amazing speakers in the world and your room is terrible, this feels a matter and, you know, trying to get as much as you can. Pointing in the right direction is going to help you get over yourself. Get over any problems you might have in your mix. We have here, uh, kind of our starting point, right where we're at. Where we're at is our speakers in a room where we're going is a reference track or pink noise. And I'm gonna go over pink noise mixing, which is a really fun, fast trick for mixing. And the thing that gets us there is our years and objective listening, and we're gonna go over each one of these and talk about how do we prepare a room? How do we pay attention to our years? Because it's a tool, right? You can overuse a tool. Same sort of thing, and Also, how do we make sure that our final objective fits into other music into other mixes that we're hearing in this? You know, Dane age speakers are your glasses into the world of sound. Someone once told me this because I have these terrible, terrible speakers. He's like, Well, you know, if you have bad speakers, it's kind of like having sunglasses that are super scratched. Yes, you can see, but it's like a little annoying and, you know, it just takes your attention away, whereas and if you have clean, super clear classes, you can see everything perfectly good. Speakers are worth their weight in gold. Great speakers are totally worth it. Well, for one thing, you can always resell them if you need to. And if they're good speakers, they don't lose out so whatever. But they are the thing that you're perceiving your sound with the better speakers you have, it's really, really going to help a lot. Now the most important thing is knowing how to translate. So even though I said good speakers are really important, I'm gonna actually take that back a little bit because it's at the end of the day, it really isn't how good your speakers are. Like if you are broke and you cannot afford good speakers, that is not going to stop you from being a good musician or a good mixing engineer, right? It is knowing how it translates those crappy speakers that I had that were all terrible. They were these Newmark like the kind that you run tow tow an AMP. And they were just terrible, terrible speakers. But I made amazing mixes off of those. And the reason why is because I would go listen to the tracks in a car stereo. I would go listen to it in my friend's studio, and I began to realize, Oh, there isn't any base on my speakers and I've been making up for it something use less space and I just got used to how my speakers translated to everything else. Granted, they weren't the best speakers, but that's not the real point of it. The nicer the speakers, the less you have to worry about that. So if you have the cash, use it. But do not ever let that hold you back. It's kind of like gear lust gear does not make you good you know, there's amazing electronic musicians that have done nothing but like Casio's, you know, So do not let that hold you back.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Drum Placement
Frequency Worksheet
Read Me - Mixing with Ableton Live
Sharing Tracks
Ableton Live Pack

Free Downloads


Ratings and Reviews

Jose Gerardo Rendon Santana

Excellent Course, Isaac Cotec is a great instructor and a great producer. The course is very well organized explaining each important step of the mix. as well as great tips and techniques. He also includes a great deal of support material with the course including an Ableton Live Pack with tons of great presets and tools to put to practice the knowledge acquired in the course.

a Creativelive Student

Isaac covers an amazing amount of material in a clear and concise way. Great intro to mixing with Ableton or review for the intermediate user who wants to solidify their best practices, DAW knowledge as well as gain some production tips.

Ian turner

this is the best thing money can buy in my life. Isaac makes it look easy and the way he teaches makes you understand everything and makes it easy for you as well. its exactly what i wanted to learn in each video! i cant even sleep because another video loads and im like "ohhhh i need it" lol. i thank god for this class being affordable and the real deal.

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