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Mixing Master Class

Lesson 18 of 27

Replacement Mixing - Guitars and Bass

Joey Sturgis

Mixing Master Class

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

18. Replacement Mixing - Guitars and Bass

Lesson Info

Replacement Mixing - Guitars and Bass

Well to move on to the guitar so I'm just going to check out the guitar tone that they had before, I'm just going to look at the rhythm of the guitars only. (guitar strumming) Not really the best guitar tone ever. That's why they're having me mix a song right? Okay so let's make two, I'm going to keep their tracks intact, so I'm going to create two new tracks. I'm going to make both of them mono. So I'm going to name one guitar A next one guitar B. I just like this workflow I like to make my own tracks. And just move audio around 'cause I feel like I have more control over what I'm doing. And plus you get to keep a copy of everything just in case you change stuff. You get to keep a copy of the original, so here's the DI tract I'm just going to do a Control C copy, go down here to my guitar A track, Alt V for paste in place so now two tracks with the DI's on there. And I'm going to load an amp simulator on here. And I think I'm going to use Toneforge Menace. Let's just see what that sou...

nds like. (guitar strumming) And so with Toneforge it's pretty easy to dial in a tone, the big decision I think to make with something like this, especially a song like this would be if you want overdrive or not because that can drastically change the response of the playing and the dynamics of the tone. So without the overdrive. (guitar strumming) So you end up with a little bit of a softer type thing and with overdrive. (guitar strumming) So a lot more powerful, especially for this type of playing I think if the chords were bigger and the performance was less notes, it might make sense to have an overdrive. But since there's a lot going on I'm going to use the overdrive. (guitar strumming) I'm just getting also, I know we talked about don't do a ton of stuff in solo mode, I am just getting my basic tone, I'll probably tweak this a ton when it gets added to the rest of the mix especially against the drums. Just trying to make my decisions in terms of do I want overdrive or not, do I want extra presence, et cetera. What kind of microphone do I want to use. (guitar strumming) Alright let's try that with both guitars. (guitar strumming) Cool so I like where that's going, I want to add some additional EQ to the guitars, so I'm going to actually create a group track and then send these two guitars to that group track and I'll call this rhythm guitars. Now I can adjust the EQ of both guitars. (guitar strumming) (upbeat music) Cool so that's pretty much how I would go about doing the guitar tones from scratch. Toneforge allows you to get a jumpstart on doing tones pretty quickly because the model itself is designed to pretty much be mix ready and sound great off the bat it's kind of hard to make a bad decision with it. Whereas other amp simulators you might have to spend a ton of time creating a good balance of frequencies that doesn't sound too mid-rangy or too trebly or whatever. So that's why I like to use things like Toneforge, this is perfect for replacement mixing because you just pull it up and it sounds great pretty much off the bat. I'm going to put that in a folder call those guitars. Do you have any questions or anything? We have one regarding Toneforge. Okay. This person asked or actually says Toneforge has a heap of post-processing within the plug, is there any of that that you utilize or that maybe gets overlooked when people are using Toneforge? Yeah so I actually did use the built-in EQ and the built-in limiter. Sure. I'm not sure if everyone is familiar with this plugin or if they understand the concept behind it, but it was designed to have everything you need to make a guitar tone from plugging your guitar into the computer to having a final master. So the way that everything works together was designed specifically for this amp that we created and it's designed specifically to give you the ability to have a final mix ready tone. So that's why it has this five band EQ built in, that's why it has the built-in limiter because those are the kind of tools that you need to create the type of guitar sound that you would want, a finalized guitar sound that you would want with this type of amp. So yeah, very useful tools but you can also turn them off just by double-clicking and you can use your own external tools if you'd like. Cool, another question that we have is do you ever EQ your DI tracks? Sometimes I will if I sense a problem, for example if the guitar is really base heavy but I don't want that to effect the amp, then you would want to do pre EQ before the amp, get it calibrated back down to flat. Maybe the person recorded their guitar with a weird EQ pedal or something and you want to create a tone and you don't like how the EQ pedal is effecting the tone that you're trying to create, then you can use a pre EQ to calibrate it back down to flat. However I don't find myself doing that very often because there's also not a big need of doing, I look at it as like a corrective thing, I don't know if you would ever need to really do it as like a creative thing unless... 'Cause a lot of pre EQ will start to sound like wawa like a wa pedal or something. By the way I don't think we ever heard the DI's for this so I'll show you what they sound like. (guitar strumming) (laughs) And then. (guitar strumming) So yeah, any more questions? One more from youtookmypancake, nice username, would you ever put an am sim on the group track as opposed to the individual guitar track to preserve CPU power? Actually I think let me just double check, I'm pretty sure that we made Toneforge able to do that, let me see. (guitar strumming) Yes it can do that. If you just put Toneforge on a stereo track and you have two guitars sent to that track and they're playing left and right, it'll copy the exact same tone twice. (guitar strumming) So yeah, that's a good question. (laughs) Do you guys have any questions? Alright cool so let me go ahead and make a few more eco adjustments to this guitar tone. (guitar strumming) Oh that was everything. Let's go back to our groups here. (upbeat music) So now I'm just trying to get a basic balance between the drums and the guitar because we have two elements in our mix now. So as I just play back the drums, I'm just going to turn up the guitar until I feel like it's where I expect it to be. (upbeat music) Cool.

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.

Ratings and Reviews

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I don't work exclusively in the same genre as Joey but I always make sure to clear my schedule when he's on CreativeLive. This class definitely didn't disappoint and it was awesome getting to see Joey work on a track from start to finish and what his approaches and thought processes are. And not only that, but I appreciate that he briefly touches on client communication in regards to production, mixing, etc, and the business side to the mixing process as this is an area I'm just now dipping my toes in. Even though I often find myself on the rock, indie or post-rock side of things, a lot of these ideas can apply to anything you're working on and I definitely picked up some ideas to try and work on myself. Joey gives you enough to inspire you and make that light bulb click and does it with an admirable humility that I respect. He gives you more than enough on how and why he does what he does, but I never feel like he reveals all his secrets or magic; I honestly prefer it that way as it leaves a fun challenge of taking the ideas you've learned and figuring out how, when and where you're going to use them in your own mixes. Especially if you're not doing predominantly metal, like I am. The ideas are inspiring. This class isn't about those perfect settings to that phenomenal mix or tone; it's about why you do this and how you do that. It's cool to be able to watch his process and pick his brain, start to finish and all in the box. Joey definitely doesn't need to do these classes for us, but the more I see him getting active on social media the more I get this vibe that he genuinely wants to help make the creative and mixing processes easier and help us expand our knowledge and skills. I get that it's smart business, but I respect and appreciate the hell out of him for taking time to do these classes and answer our questions... Even if there are shameless plugs here and there. I love when these great engineers take time to show us you don't need school, you don't need thousands of dollars of outboard gear, etc. It's your ear, not your gear. We live in an amazing day and age with the Internet and awesome resources like CreativeLive. I love it and these are great classes to watch and get in their heads. It set gets the hamster wheel in my head spinning and I always keep CreativeLive classes on my calendar. They're motivating and inspiring. Looking forward to the next one!


I’ll start off by saying this a amazing class not just for those looking for or interested in “The Sturg” production, but for anyone interested in mixing or mastering. You get everything from the must have fundamentals and basics of mixing and production, to the more advance technical aspects, and of course Joey’s personal approach and method to mixing. Everything from EQ, to compressors, multiband compressors, automation and chain signals. If you ever wondered whether you should place delay in front of your reverb, or reverb in front of delay, or other common chain effects, chances are they get answered in this class. The class is organized in several lessons following a logical order, each covering different topics. All the techniques are shown with examples and Joey does a great job of making it easy to understand and follow as well as explain the reasoning behind the techniques. And it’s not just mixing or production that is covered, but the importance of good songwriting, good communication with artists and good workflow. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to take their mixing or production to the next level. Regardless of skillset, if you’re a noob, intermediate or advanced mixer or producer, you’ll find very helpful and informative lessons, regardless of what style or genre you do.

a Creativelive Student

I own both of Joey`s courses. While both are full of useful information to get you started in the audio production world with lots of good technical explanation and awesome concepts for a fast and individual workflow, Joey actually comes up with average or "mediocre" mixes and tones. If you want some really detailed information about how Joey works, this class is for you. If you want to know what plugins Joey likes to use and wanna see him promote his own plugins, this class is for you! If you expect to learn how to create or come up with outstanding guitar and bass tones (which Joey is famous for) you won`t learn much and won`t hear anything in this particular regard, unfortunately. However, I`d still recomment them, especially the first course he did but again, if you expect to hear a typical Joey Sturgis mix quality, you won`t find what you`re looking for.