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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 60 of 74

Setting Up Parallel Compression


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 60 of 74

Setting Up Parallel Compression


Lesson Info

Setting Up Parallel Compression

Looks like I've got my master drum bus and I'm gonna go ahead and send this to the drum aux. Cool. And while I'm at it, I know that I'm gonna want parallel compression, a parallel drum bus, so I'm gonna duplicate this. Drum parallel. And I'm gonna remove Kramer PIE. I'm gonna turn it all the way down. And I'm going to give it a different input because I want to control the level of drums that go to the parallel, I don't just want to send the same mix that I'm sending to the regular drum bus to the parallel drum bus because for instance, if I have a loud kick, the kick could completely destroy the compression. Or I might end up with cymbals that end up way too loud and pumpy or whatever. I want to control which element is triggering that compression, I need control over that. So, I'm gonna make myself a bus right here for drum parallel. Drum para. (clicking) And then I can set that up on stems, I mean on sends, whenever I want to send something and I can control the levels that are goin...

g to it and yeah. And then as you see, both the master drum bus and the parallel drum bus are both going to the drum aux and they'll be going in as a blend. And then when I get to finally, actually mixing, I'll be only mixing most of it on these seven faders. Pretty cool. And do the prep work so that your actual job is a lot easier. So, drum parallel, okay that's a bus. Kick, that's a kick bus, so... That's going to drums and I know that I'm gonna want some kick going to the parallel, right? So I will go ahead and put that on there, drum para, but I don't know how much, I don't know anything else, so I've got the send and we'll deal with that later. Now, these are actual kick tracks so I will make these a shade darker. (clicking) And then, this is the gate, that'll be the darkest. Actually, you know what would be cool? What would be cool is for the gate to be this shade of darkest and then, drum samples can be this. That way, there's a little bit of differentiation between them. I might even do this for the... (clicking) Okay, cool. That doesn't make any sense, otherwise. I was trying something, I failed miserably. Okay. So natural drum, drum sample, side jam key and then bus. So as you can see, these are all going to the kick. This hasn't been routed to anything and it's turned down, we don't even know if we're gonna use it. I'm gonna just minimize it. Okay, snare. That should be going to drums and then I should set up a send for the parallel, for the drum parallel. Okay, now again, I don't know how much or what the levels are, so I'm not gonna mess with that. I know that I will want a parallel snare bus, so I'm gonna go ahead and clone this right now. Whoops. Snare... Para. And, I am going to call, I'm going to make a I/O for it. Actually, no, I'm not. Because whatever the snare balance is, I'm gonna want the same thing going into the snare compressor. Okay, so then the snare para goes to the drum parallel and to the drums, cool. And I'm turning down the snare para all the way. So, these are buses and these are actual snares. So these are the natural snares right here, they'll be this shade. These are some samples that we laid. (clicking) And here's the gate. Cool. What do you know, it's gonna be the same thing with the Toms. So, go ahead and make a duplicate of that. For the toms para. And I'm gonna set up a send right here, on the main tom. To go to the drum parallel. Did I do that on snare one? Yup, cool. I'm gonna turn it down all the way. Just double checking a couple things. Yeah, if you notice right now, none of this stuff is being routed to those auxes up there and that's because they're being routed to the individual buses for the instrument which then go to the drum bus, which then goes to the auxes up above that I'm gonna be working with. So, here are the natural toms. Here's a couple samples we printed. Here's the gate keys. Those are turned down. Great. Cool, cool, cool. I know, I know guys, this is super exciting stuff. But, ever since I gave you guys a template on my last mixing class, I got so many questions about how this is put together, I figured why don't I put one together in front of you so you can actually see how the thinking works and so you also see that I don't just use my own templates right out the gate, every single time. I have a rough idea of how it's gonna work, but a different project may come in and I might set things up differently. This right here might be a future way that I'm gonna work, though, 'cause I like this idea of getting everything down to just a few faders. So, if I remember correctly, we've got cymbals and then all my rooms were also going to the cymbal bus. I don't like that. I want there to be a differentiation. So, right here, I'm going to make a new track. It's going to be a stereo aux. It's gonna be called rooms, craziness, right? I know, I know. I get it, guys. Okay, so cymbals goes to drums. I might do a parallel, I may as well just set it up. I don't know yet. But rather than having to set it up every time, in the future, I'm gonna just set it up now. And with this, I really don't know what levels I would be sending to it, so I'm gonna make it its own bus, so that I can control that because cymbals can get crazy with compression if you do it wrong. (clicking) Okay. And what that means, also, is that these cymbals will have a send... go on. For cymbals para. Follow master panning law. I guess it only gave it to me on one. That's cool. No problem Pro Tools. I'll just take control of the situation. Alright. Alright, so, these are the actual cymbal tracks. So, just so my life is easier, I'm gonna make the overheads, 'cause those are my main cymbal tracks, this shade darker. And then I consider the spot mics, like the hi-hat mic and the ride mic stack and giant mic, I consider those to be extras. Like if you need just an extra little bit of shimmer with the mix or just a little bit more definition. So I'm gonna actually make those darker, so that my eye doesn't always keep going to those. I want to be focused on the overhead tracks, right here, primarily. And then, we've got rooms, so pick a different color scheme for rooms. We can go with, well, we don't have to, let's go with that. The room aux, room bus, and then I'm gonna make a parallel one. And these need to go to... to the drum bus. Where is it? Here we go. Alright, so, I'm gonna make a room bus and a room parallel bus. Rooms. Rooms para. Again, I need to have total control over what's hitting. If I'm gonna use parallel compression on the rooms, which I have not decided yet, but if I am, I need total control over what's going into that. Because they all sound so different. I wouldn't want the wrong element setting off the compression. So, got that turned down all the way. The input is going to be rooms para. And the input here is gonna be rooms. And then, all these rooms are gonna be routed to rooms. But they're also gonna get a send to the rooms para. Oh, thanks for working that time. Follow master panning law. Cool. We'll deal with if we're actually gonna use those sends in a bit. The one thing that never got set up, which I think needs to get set up, would be a... a drum reverb. So, I'm gonna make a drum effects track. And again, it'll be a bright blue. And it'll go to the drum aux. If I can find the drum aux. Hell yeah. Alright, turn that down for now. I'm gonna just put whatever on there, well it's not whatever, it's great. But, this Valhalla Vintage Verb is phenomenal. But I've got the volume turned all the way down. And I'm gonna make a send for the drum verb. Because again, I want to control what is causing the most reverb. I might not want the kick to do that, I might want the snare to be the primary instrument that's getting reverbed, maybe I don't want cymbals, maybe I want a little bit of cymbal in there. So I should do this. Drum verb. Okay. The input is drum verb. I'm gonna rename this already, QUASI for mix, come on. Come on Pro Tools. "Eyal Rearrange 1." So I know what that means. Okay, so, as far as the drum verb goes, I'm gonna put sends on the kick aux, the snare aux, the toms aux, the cymbals aux, and the rooms. And... I'm gonna try and do that all at once. Cool. It should be pre-fader. I'll deal, again, I will deal with the levels of this later. Now at least I've got a little control over this. Okay. Now, one thing I almost forgot, is I need to make my room tracks a little darker. Cool, this is midi, so I'm just gonna make it stand out. Cool, I know what all this means. Alright, almost there. So bass. This is the bass aux, I mean the bass bus. So I'm gonna send it to the bass aux. And then, all these basses, I'm sending to... they should just have a bass... bass bus. Guess not, guess I'm gonna have to make one. (clicking) Bass, simple. Ah, okay, I see. (clicking) Easier to just do it like this. Alright. Alright, so. Now I have a bass bus, boom. So all of these we'll be sending to the bass bus. I don't know yet what I'm gonna do with all this. But this is my main bass, this is the bass bus and this is the bass DI and this is a dark glass and a bass pod, and then here's all the microphones. A lot of stuff and I'd at least color the microphones differently. So I'll make all of the DI basses one shade darker. And then all the microphones another shade darker. Cool. Okay. Bass looks to be under control. Though I do prefer brighter colors for bass. I'm gonna go with a yellow scheme. (clicking) Okay. Guitars, I got a lot of shit here. So, John Brown's DIs, I'm gonna put those together. Because we might need to use them again. Might be re-amping. I'm gonna put those at the bottom. And we're gonna make guitars, rhythm guitars some color of green. That's a color we haven't used yet, green. Okay so let's see what we've got. Now we did the full song through amped cabinets. But then I also had him do accent parts through his Line 6 POD HD, which he sounds great on. So, let me just organize this a little bit. So guitar rhythm, that should really be everything, all of this together. All sounded to one place. So, guitar rhythm should go to the guitar aux. Rhythm guitar aux. At the same time, the POD should be going to the rhythm guitar aux. Just have to find it. Cool. Okay, so, these are buses. This is the main one, this is the POD one. Alright so these are the POD tracks themselves. So, gonna make them a shade of darker green. I don't even know what this is, so I'm gonna make it dark. And these are also POD tracks. And there are some DIs here. Looks like I've got DIs here, here, here, and here. Now, I don't think I'm gonna be re-amping the POD tracks because I already like the way they sound. But, I'm gonna put these altogether. So that I can just hide them and activate them and find them together if need be. Here his four POD DIs. Let's hide that, get out of here. We don't need your kind. Okay. This POD widener guy, I'm putting it down here. Oh I see that, I guess I was sending some tracks to it. So, and then it goes to the POD, to the main POD. Bus, okay, that makes sense. This is all routed to the POD bus already. Okay, now, we've got the main lines. Since that's a DI, I'll make it darkest. These are all tracks so I'll make them the second shade of dark. And there's one thing missing here, which is that I need a bus for the amped tracks because right here I have this bus where the amped tracks and the PODS will come together. I need one where I can just control the amped tracks on their own. So I'm making a bus right now. No I do not want to clone that. I want to clone this. And then I'm gonna, actually, take that off of here. Bring this down here. So I'm gonna call it GTR amps. And I will make a bus for that, a GTR amps bus. So now, all of these are going to the GTR amps bus. As are these, for now. I'm just going to the rhythm, yup. No, that's gotta go to.. Gotta go to GTR rhythm. So I'm setting the input here to GTR amps and sending the output to GTR rhythm. Just got to find it. Cool. (music playing) Looks like it's working. And I'm going to just print the guitar. Let's see if this is still working. Rhythm guitar print. (hard rock music playing) oh, come on. (clicking) Thank you, I just wanna make some rhythm in there. (electric guitar playing) Yup, alright, so, it's pretty safe to assume that this is working out just fine. And, I'm guessing that what actually printed here is not just guitar, or maybe it is. (screaming music) nope, 'cause I didn't have it soloed. So there's a perfect example, you can print the whole mix while you're doing your stems at the same time. Okay, back to hiding this track. We are making progress. I love how the synth track is right next to the synth aux. Why not. Okay. What else is missing? Okay, so, we know that we didn't like the dual rec, so I'm just gonna go ahead and hide those dual rec tracks. I've got enough stuff to deal with in this session, let alone have amps that we didn't even want to use, 'cause they didn't sound good. Okay, 'cause still I'm gonna need to get a balance of these mics. These are the mics that go to the... That we used on the recto cab, but with the 51-50. I'm probably just gonna use one mic, but we shall see. Or I might end up re-amping. All remains to be seen. However, it looks like the session is routed now.

Class Description

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce


  1. Intro to Bootcamp
  2. Purpose of Pre-Production
  3. Technical Side of Preproduction
  4. Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
  5. Pre-Production: Importing Stems
  6. Pre-Production: Click Track
  7. Creating Tracking Templates
  8. Intro and the Tone Pie
  9. Drums - Lay of the Land
  10. Bearing Edges
  11. Wood Types
  12. Depths and Sizes
  13. Hoops
  14. Sticks and Beaters
  15. Drum Heads
  16. Drum Tuning
  17. Drum Mic Placement Intro
  18. Basic Drum Mic Setup
  19. Cymbal Mic Setup
  20. Touch Up Tuning
  21. Microphone Choice and Placement
  22. Drum Tracking Intro
  23. Getting Tones and Final Placement
  24. Primary Tracking
  25. Punching In and Comping Takes
  26. Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
  27. Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
  28. Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
  29. Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
  30. Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
  31. Finalizing Amplifier Tone
  32. Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
  33. Intro to Rhythm Tracking
  34. Setting Up Guitars
  35. Working with a Guitarist
  36. Final Guitar Tone and Recap
  37. Guitar Tracking with John
  38. Guitar Tracking with Ollie
  39. Final Tracking
  40. Tracking Quads
  41. Intro to Bass Tone
  42. Bass Tone Setup
  43. Bass Tone Mic Placement
  44. Bass Tracking
  45. Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
  46. Clean Guitar Tones
  47. Lead Tones
  48. Vocal Setup for Tracking
  49. Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
  50. Vocal Mic Shootout
  51. Lead Vocal Tracking
  52. Writing Harmonies
  53. Harmony Vocal Tracking
  54. Vocal Warm Ups
  55. Scream Vocal Tracking
  56. Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
  57. Vocal Tuning and Editing
  58. Routing and Bussing
  59. Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
  60. Setting Up Parallel Compression
  61. Setting Up Drum Triggers
  62. Gain Staging and Trim
  63. Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
  64. Drum Mixing - Snare
  65. Drum Mixing - Kick
  66. Drum Mixing - Toms
  67. Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
  68. Drum Mixing Recap
  69. Mixing Bass Guitar
  70. Mixing Rhythm Guitars
  71. Basic Vocal Mix
  72. Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
  73. Mixing - Automation
  74. Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Amazing knowledge is being presented here. If you want to start out recording, this should be your first step, it'll save you lots of time and get you awesome results. Highly recommended class.