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Mixing Master Class

Lesson 13 of 13

General Q&A


Mixing Master Class

Lesson 13 of 13

General Q&A


Lesson Info

General Q&A

we got a couple questions about your computer configuration, like minimum and optimal, like, what do you use? And then what do you recommend for people? My computer is an older I Mac. I'd say it's probably a 2012 Mac 100% positive, but based on the year in 16 in the 2012 or 2013 I mak, uh, you know, the big 27 inch monster looking thing, and that seems more than fast enough. My son has a Mac Mini, which is that the course seven processor or I seven processor, And that seems to be great, too. But I've been running Reaper on my laptop, and I haven't had any problems with that, either. One of the great things if you're not used to using Reaper, is that you can freeze tracks, so I don't know if you get a chance to watch yesterday's tutorial. We talked about doing Midi tracks with virtual instruments. If you do a lot of virtual instruments tracks, they're eventually gonna take up a lot of CPU power. What we're doing here doesn't really take up too much. Multiple tracks is fine. It's based o...

n your hard drive speed, not computers. OK, um, you do a lot of those tracks. You could just freeze any of those big effects anytime you dosing anything's things. What I mean by freeze is you could print that effect on the track. But what it does is it gives you the opportunity to unfreeze it later. You're not printing it, and they know how I get that back. Any effects you do that become too much or even if, like, even pray, for example, let's say we're working on all these backup vocal tracks. We're pretty happy with it. We could take all these back on tracks. Actually, maybe I'll just do it right now pretty easy to it. The folder, All these tracks right now in the background tracks are in this background track folder, right? So for some reason, they were using too much DSP but really, really happy with everything we did with, um, you could just grab the back on track folder, right quick, go to render track, freeze to stereo, and it's gonna bounce the entire song with all the effects. Everything we just did to a true track file on that track. And it's going I think it'll then mute all the other tracks. So ideas P. I see. I didn't need them, but we could do that. We could just go down to this track here and then mute it. Now all the background tracks are now on here. So basically all these tracks here, they're taking up too much DSP for you. You could just print them like this or another great example of that is to say, working on vocals and you tracking vocals. And you have a session this big. And as you're doing the vocals, the singer's complaining because there's too much late and see because you had to set your buffer too high. Just take your entire song put in a folder, freeze it! And now you've made one. Be quick mix. Cut your vocal to that Unfreeze it. Your entire track opens back up, and now you only when you're cutting vocals, you're just dealing with the lead vocal track and your frozen track. So you doing with three tracks, one stereo or mono? So obviously any computers going fast enough for that, and then when the single leaves you want to go back to it, just go with the track hit Unfreeze tracks. Let's see, right here. Ah, render unfreeze! And it goes back to what you had before. In this case, we just, um, youth. Um and now we're back to exactly we have before using more DSP ability to use solar computer is greatly enhanced with this because unlike having to print things, you could just freeze him at any time and then unfreeze them later. Dark Tyler wants an isis hi, Kenny or using saturation for your rock and pop mixes. If so, are you getting up primarily through driving hardware with hot levels through third party plug ins or plug ins within Reaper? I'm a Reaper user with, uh, what saturation plug ins in Reaper are using and liking what sounds are you trying to get when you're using them? So that's like a five part question that I understand the commission you bully. I guess I could really get the gist of it. Basically, I try to get as much court Iryna warmth and that stuff from recording process, and what I'll do is other words. I don't really use a lot of saturation plug ins. I haven't tried. I've tried a few I don't enjoy using because I find what happens is most of saturation. Where you're trying to emulate is so small that the only way to emulate it's very hard to tell what is doing. So most of times you're gonna doom or than you really need to do where. If it I really want to saturate something, I'll use a plug in that will actually have some distortion or really hear the saturation. But to put it across all my mixes, I really don't enjoy doing that because I really don't want to tweak it so much. So what I do for my production side is I required chosen. All preempts that are Neave is the most is the least warm pre amp. I own. Everything the Preempt uses darker and either mawr to be everything else has more warm saturation on the way in now, from mixing someone else's track. Like, for instance, this vocal was very dynamic. I went through the trouble and actually went through and did all this stuff, but what I would do if someone gave me something this dynamic I would want to see some of my outboard I would go through one of my Chandler TG twos just to warm it up a little bit, turned the mic pre the output down a little bit, bring the pre up a little bit, just warming up and on the way in. Then one of you would distress her just to get a little bit of love on the way in. So the weapons are a little more even as it comes back into the computer. And I'm not reprint things that I didn't actually record just to warn them up that way. But anything I track is always going through on my mic pre empt stuff. So in that I really try to get the warmth on the way in, and I know that's not possible for everybody, but that's really the way I approach it. Mixing to me is much more of just like putting on the tracks together and getting to blend. I don't do a lot of re processing to the sound because I try to get the sounds right as they get recorded. Cool. That makes any sense. Makes a lot of sense that can you walk through your rendering process real quick? I sure can. Let's start off. Let's pretend we're going to render this as a mix. We would go up here to render. Now there's a few different options we could, which is really nice. Is if you ever needed to make stems. I think someone had the other day it asked me about that. You could render stems from the right here as well. You could choose selected tracks getting ahead of myself, but what they want to make a stem of our this folder right here. You can cook that choose stems and is going to make ah stem of just that track or you construct the whole bunch of tracks. Will you join Tracks to stem is here, and it's gonna bounce a render off every one of those tracks to a separate audio file. But I assume that you're talking about here is more of the master mix, which is you choose here, which could be a two track file at the end, and it's pretty straightforward here. Your choices, a master mix, like I said, or Stam's region render selected media items. But you gonna choose master mix, you're gonna come over here, probably choose entire project unless you want to cut to a custom time range. You could do time selection, but most the time. You just gonna choose entire project, cause the entire project probably. You saw him. Then you're going to your directory where you want to save it to you. File name. You need this mixed number. Whatever the render than you choose a sample rate. It's gonna default to the session project the project you're working on, but you can change it to something else to do the same conversion afterwards. You could choose any child is gonna be if it's stereo. If you did 5. or you can even mix tomato if you want, you can go online. Render I actually like to do full speed offering some people still like to do online renders. You could listen back to the song. It's gonna bounce in real time, Full speed offline. There's no reason it should sound any different. So you save you some time. But you could choose that stuff here. He could choose different sample rates to the sample if the audio files because in Reaper you could have different sample rates in there. So it's gonna re sample as it's bouncing, and you could choose the mode here, but most situations you shouldn't even need to worry about that. The output format you want Use away file FF uh, MP three video. If you're working with video, one of things you can do in reporters actually work with video and audio at the same time. Bounce that out. You could choose the wave depth right here. 16 differ CD 24 bit for you Mastering, engineer. Or you could go above that. If you really want to get crazy up to two bit, which is way higher than all this stuff large files don't use. You need to worry about this stuff here or any of this stuff. You can include the project founding when you bounce with this data. But again, you probably need to worry about that most of the time, and you could Thistle's kind of nice feature silently increment found aims to avoid overriding. If you choose this every time you bounce it, it's gonna automatically save another one with a different name. So it was like, say, you just need to mix. It's gonna get like mixed 1.1. You bounce it again it's going to mix 2. or mixed to constantly its numbers to it. You don't even go through and rename it all you mixes. Just keep making mixes and just keep it and render, and it's gonna keep bouncing them and just rename them instead of. If this is turned off, it's gonna erase it with the same name you could edit. If this thing moves here, you could add the mix back into your project if you want to, which is kind of cool idea. It's like freezing track, but you can bring it back into the project, take all your on the tracks, mute them and then work off that stereo mix if you want to. Like I said with the working on vocals that way, like I said, freezing makes more sense. And you also save a copy of the project, which is kind of cool if you choose this. If case you forget as you're bouncing every mix, you might forget that you to save your project file. So someone wants to go back to that mix. They say, like they like, makes them a three. You're like, Oh, shoot. I didn't save it during mixing three. I kept bouncing the mixes, but I don't remember what I did. So if you choose this option right here, every time you bounce, it's gonna also make a project file to go with it. So that's what you have to go back to that mix or bounce or that render it's gonna remember to go. It's gonna have a file that goes with it. That's a good option to choose. I think that's pretty much mainly what you would need here. That's one thing to mention. All this is gonna call all these things that we just did here went through. You could save his presets so you can save and even and you could save a whole preset like look for mixed bounces. Or you can save him based on different things like bounds and output, options and format, which is Here's your out. Here's your bounds is your output. Here's your options and huge of formats. You could actually separate them into different things, which is really great if you doing like gaming or any kind of video or or commercials where you need to change the stuff over here, but you want to keep this stuff the same. So you say it is a preset and know that every time you doing that particular commercial that take people video game, you could just choose that options and format or bounds and output. And you'll get the same settings instead of to think about it each time. Cool. I think that into that Christian definitely did. So, um, do you have any final thoughts as we're wrapping this up? Like you just walked us through your entire mixing process? If you if you joined late, uh, can we started right at the beginning, walked in, just built a mix of rough mix and then walked all the way through it. But what's your final advice for people that are starting out our advance in their career? Make sure I don't repeat anything from the beginning. I mean, one thing you want to do is you want to mix as quick as possible, actually, mixed pretty slow today to the time to explain that they're going with this whole process, not the beginning process. Like I said, the early process we're setting up the files, getting things set up, even setting up reverb and delays that stuff could be set up early. You could even route them to where they need to go without even putting the sends off where you want them and stuff like that. But I have to get your rough mix set up you wanted. Then take a nice break. You want to come back and then try to mix everything as quick as possible and then get it done and then walk away from it for a couple of hours, come back and listen to that mix and then listen to it as a listener, which is really hard for mixture to dio. But But like I said, if you're separated, you go out dinner with your family, go out to dinner, go do something different. You can come back into the mix on your speakers fresh and go Forget about thinking about touching any cables touching anything. Just go and you start writing notes while the vocal over here could be lower this communal and you find you, you're gonna right maybe five or six different things. And those of the 56 is things that matter. If you had spent the eight hours working on the mix instead of the 1st 2 hours of making quick mix. You wouldn't let down so many different rabbit holes and you would miss the whole point of the most important things cause you're still gonna come back later. You still have a little piece of paper. You're still gonna write 5 to 10 different things. So why not do that? The beginning pickle. The most important things? Get those out of the way that you could listen back fresh the next angle. That should be very minor things at that point. So it's really much more expedient. Toe make a mix quick, take a break with him back to it and make notes as a listener trying to think of anything else in that world that I would try toe focus on. I mean, coming from a beginning standpoint, I'd say one of things that's really hard and you can't teach. This is his confidence, and I don't have a huge ego. But one of things that does help people that mix for a living is that they know they know how to mix, and I always try to compare it to, and I'm a basketball fan. If you're not, I'm sorry if you don't get the analogy. But when Michael Jordan or now Steph Curry or any of the great players when they step on the court, they're pretty sure they're gonna hit the shot. They don't know if I step on the court. I have No, I don't think I'm gonna get the shot. So I go into with paranoid that I'm gonna miss the shot. I don't feel good about it, But as a mixer who does this every day, you walk into it with confidence. Now, I'm not saying you should be confident after mixing for six months or seven or 89 months. I understand you don't, But you want to get to the point where you feel like you can do this because then you can relax and really feel like I know what I'm doing. You know what I mean? And that's a great place to be. And it may take a long time. I mean, I think I've been mixing for 25 years, so it's not that easy. Just feel the way I feel when you sit down in a console. But that is the goal. The goal is to get to the point where you feel comfortable with your equipment with the D A W choose. You don't want to constantly switch. TRW's working on fixing things, things that are broken. You don't want to do that. You want to have everything working the way you want, Which is why some of the rial top mixers don't even do this stuff themselves. They have their own guy come in, who does all the mix. The assistant gets everything set up the way they want, and they sit down on the chair and they just mix. It's like a race car drive getting into the car. He's not thinking about anything else. The transmission is just getting in and driving, and that's basically what you wanted to want to sit down and just concentrate on the mix. And that's as much musical. Is this technical? In fact, it's more musical because one of my favorite mixes always tells me, Just make stuff exactly the way you want it to be. It should not. Everything doesn't have to feel right. It just has to feel good, you know, and that's that's the best that could leave you with making a mix. It sounds like there's nothing wrong with it is not really the best way to go about it. You want to make it sound exciting, and whatever it takes to do that, you just have to do that and go with that.

Class Description

Kenny Gioia is a multi-platinum engineer and producer behind pop and rock records from the likes of Bayside, American Authors, Ingrid Michaelson, and Mandy Moore. He is also a trusted educator and founder of

In this mixing masterclass, Kenny will walk you through his specific mixing techniques getting top-40 friendly mixes entirely inside the box in Reaper. He will cover:

  • EQ, compression and dynamics
  • Reverb, delay and time-based effects
  • Vocal automation and vocal tone
  • Drum, guitar and bass mixing techniques
  • Mix-buss and pre-mastering tricks
If you’ve been looking for a way to get that big studio sound from your bedroom DAW setup, Kenny will show you how to get your mixes sounding like they’re radio-ready.



this is really great mixing course, kenny has a great workflow and i learned quite a lot and it was easy to undestand, and i dont even use reaper, what you learn in this course applys to all daw and tools, which is great

Evan Phillips | Alaska

Kenny's Mixing Master Class blew my mind. His workflow and level of organization during mixing is a real eye opener. I'm also a longtime Reaper user so this is an excellent all around resource for me. I feel like I just stepped up my game. Thanks Kenny!

J Dawsun

Great course for quick dive into the typical mixing tasks! Recommend!

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