Production Mixing - Guitars


Mixing Master Class


Lesson Info

Production Mixing - Guitars

Okay so with guitars, starting with the rhythms it looks like we have a guitar left, stem left, guitar left, stem right, I have no idea what that means, so I'm just going to listen to each track and try and see if I can figure out what's going on here. (guitar strumming) Okay it sounds like four different amps. It was two different amps marked twice each. Okay so two different... Stereo field and pan (mumbles) Gotcha, so that's another thing, if you mix a lot of songs, especially ones that aren't yours, you can come across all kinds of weird things like that, all kinds of different setups, you just have to get good at either communicating or just vibing stuff out. What's interesting about this is there's no preconceived notion of what the tracks need to be panned or everything so I am free to interpret it my own way. And really good mixing engineers are great at being able to take something like this and make it happen without being told what needs to be done. So I'm just going...

to start with this first guitar left and since it says it's on the left I'm going to put it on the left and see what happens. I hear some tiny little frequencies that I want to remove right off the bat. This is a mono track so let me load the mono version of plugin. Cool I like that so far, next one. (guitar strumming) I'm going to do something kind of weird and just keep this guitar in the center. (guitar strumming) So now I have to figure out from the other guitar which one I want to put on the right side. (guitar strumming) Okay I like this one, so that's the one I'm going to put on the right and this one's going to be in the center. (guitar strumming) I'm going to copy and paste the same EQ for each one. (guitar strumming) Okay, now I'm going to play around with trying to pan these other two tracks in different directions just to see what happens. (guitar strumming) So you definitely get some different results as you change the phase in the different tracks and pan them in different directions, try these back in the center again. (guitar strumming) Okay so I like this balance so far. (guitar strumming) I'm going to put these in a group to make it easier to change them overall, so take all the tracks, send those to a group and call this guitar rhythm. And then in there I will put an EQ plugin. (guitar strumming) Okay so now I need to get rid of all the frequencies above 12k, so I'm going to use this ozone equalizer because it has a really sweet way of doing that. Let's do low pass brick wall. (guitar strumming) We just pretty much kill all those high-end frequencies and then I'm going to go straight into a limiter. (guitar strumming) I'm going to set my out ceiling to zero and then use my fader to control the volume. So now putting that with my drums, but first I need to put my drums to a group so I'm going to create a couple of different groups, I'm going to have a kick and snare so that'll be two groups in mono. Kick, snare. And then another group stereo for the toms. And another group in stereo for the cymbals. And then another group in stereo for all of the drums. I'll call that drums and then we have to route the two kick tracks to the kick group. All three snare tracks including the key, I think actually I'm not going to send the key, just the snare to top and bottom. And the high hat's not being used, remove it from the song. And overhead's in drum room going to the cymbals and then the toms go into the tom group. And real quick just going to check those toms. Actually I'll do the same thing I did last song which was just EQ the tom group. (drums playing) Stick with that for now and then I'm going to take my drum room out, I'm not going to have that go to the cymbals, that's just going to go straight to the drum. The drum room is going to go straight to the drum group. So let's make sure this is all good, sweet. So now I have my drums grouped up and I have my guitar in a group. I can slow these and just get a relative level for the guitars. (upbeat music) And I know right away that I'm going to need to automate that part of the song. Why's it doing that? Oh there we go. (upbeat music) Cool, so now I feel like my drums need reverb. So I'm just go ahead add effects track. Go with R verb and just take my drum group and send it to the reverb prefader and then for this I'm going to go with something more like a room type reverb. (upbeat music) Cool. (upbeat music) So toms need a little work, I'm going to see if I can get those a little louder right here in the tom group. (upbeat music) Maybe even more EQ. (drums playing) I'm going to go to this section where there's more tom hits to hear. (drums playing) I don't like where I was going with EQ so I'm getting rid of that, I'm going to go with C4 multiband compressor. And just narrow down the bands so that I have this low end that I'm going to leave on bypass and then I have two mid-range bands, I'll clip the high end on bypass as well. I'm going to use these two middle bands to compress the mid-range out. (drums playing) Hey Joey. Yeah. Did you by chance send the guitars to the drum bus on accident? I might've, yes I did. I think folks are hearing some reverb that was unintended. (drums playing) Oh on the, okay yeah, I see. Kicks near tom cymbals all going to the drums, drums going to the master out, that's good. Guitar rhythm going to the master out, sweet. Double check my sims okay cool, fix that. Yeah that happens because when you hold Control and you select tracks, for example let's say I'm down here in my session and I have this track selected and then I scroll up, well bad example, let's say this is selected, scroll up, have no idea that that's selected right now, looks like nothing is selected, hold Control start selecting tracks, that's still selected and so you can accidentally bus everything you have selected to a different track and that's what I did, I accidentally bused the guitar rhythm to the reverb when I was trying to only bus the drums to it. So don't make that mistake. (upbeat music) Still trying to get volume out of my toms. I need to pan them as well, let's take the left and pan that in this way, right this way. (drums playing) The gate was a little bit, it's not set perfectly on that floor tom. (upbeat music) Some head's getting cut off. That's okay we'll make due. (upbeat music) Alright now, I need to go backwards a little bit and set a compressor for my drum mix, so I'm going to mute everything else out. (upbeat music) When I use (mumbles) I usually like to set my input calibration to negative 18 so that the threshold actually operates properly. (drums playing) And then you can just go plus 18 out and you end up with the same signal. (drums playing) Cool and then, do a little bit of clipping on that little guy. (drums playing) Okay now we got to find our guitar level again. (upbeat music) Let's check our reference again. (upbeat music) And we need some bass.

Class Description

Joey Sturgis is the producer behind some of the biggest names in metalcore, including Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men, and I See Stars. His sound is one of the most sought after sounds of the last decade and in this class he’ll show you the unique mixing techniques that are key to getting it.

This class picks up where Joey’s Studio Pass class left off: you’ve got your session tracked and edited, now how do you turn it into a polished, world-class mix? 

He’ll show you how to get his signature sound, including: 
  • EQ and compression strategies for drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and synths/effects 
  • How to use automation to fix problem areas and bring out the song’s dynamics 
  • Tons of little tips and tricks to take your mix from good to great 
If you want to elevate the quality of your mix, don’t miss Mixing Master Class with Joey Sturgis.