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Robert Lang Studios Mixing Class

Lesson 7 of 10

Instrumental Mix Finalization

Casey Bates

Robert Lang Studios Mixing Class

Casey Bates

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Lesson Info

7. Instrumental Mix Finalization

Lesson Info

Instrumental Mix Finalization

Now we've got an instrumental version of the song going. I'm going. I'm going to play what we've got going on here. We gotta we gotta play something different and playing the intro, this song forever. So here is the second chorus going into the bridge, and we're gonna listen for some things that might need to change here. So the base is definitely a little bit there's, a little bit of weirdness going on in the low end. So I'm goingto put an e q on this. Actually, the first thing I'm gonna dio before we dress that is, go back to this to the verse here because there's, another bass track we got going on, which I haven't shown you guys. And this wass, you know, we liked how this was sounding. Thiss verse riff. But we're still missing something. And I thought, well, let's, try running the base through the same thing around the guitars. Through this, this weird bit shape, bit shaper pedal. Have a digitally artifact it out sound. So here's scenario, where I react to the base, I took this d I...

and ran it out of pro tools and ran it back through our chain and the same chain as the actual. We ran this through a naylor sd sixty, and then a bit shape a bit shape pedal. So this is what this sounds like. So, yeah, like if I were to, like, play these two together. And like this was the telling. We came up with on the day of recording bass and that's. What we recorded, you thought I was crazy, because it sounds nuts. But when you in the context of the song, it sounds cool. So the only thing I'm going to do, though, is I don't, you know, because we, this is a just a recording of the base. You let some low end in it, and I just want it. All I want from this is the tone. I got plenty of low and going from this die and all these plug ins, I got going. So I just want to roll off the low end here on this guy, and I'm just going to use this plug in and take it down. So it sounds like this. And then together. So now you're not getting too low, and base is competing with each other. You still got you just got the one. Now, we've got this interesting tone going, which sounds like this with everything. Things sound really cool, and I now want to dress the low end, which is there's, a little bit of weirdness going on. So this is kind of my go to plug in for my buses, the ozone. I love how this sounds. And this is the weird e q curve that I came up with, you know, cutting out a little bit of these low mids, bumping up this this kind of mid range, high eq u thing and dumping here and then getting some high end out of it here. So let's, hear the sounds like without it. And then I'll insert it. What's going on here. Yeah. I think the biggie to me is this right here, it's. This this curve that I did, where it really took out like that honky weirdness going on with the base and cut this out. This is just, you know, this is adding some clarity up here, indefinitely up here, um, but, you know, listen to how much I mean, we're talking, going from this guy. So there's your d ie all the way to this. So listen to all this together. No. Really happy with how lohan's coming out just just that one e q on the base for me solved a lot of the problems going on in that low end. Now, right now, this whole thing's leaning a little bit too much on the dark side, tone wise, just kind of overall and the guitars aren't really helping a situation I don't wantto so I've got this cq on my just the main guitar bus I've got. I've got a bus here for the leads, which we're playing with earlier these red guys, but just these main guitars, I definitely think there needs to be some brightness added and something that maybe kind of helps transition from these verse guitars into these pre chorus and chorus guitars. So this is the curve I came up with this for this guy and here's, one of those things where I want everything, you know, basically around hundred hurts I'm cutting everything off on guitars and give him a little bit of a beef bump town here, but, you know, I want the bass guitar to occupy the rest of this area and it's it's doing that down here, especially since I, uh, added, I think I didn't I bump up the low end a little bit on that, too, elsie. This is the base. Yes, I'm bumping up down here, so I don't want the guitar is really messing with the loan and didn't really have a lot of low end in them already. But just kind of, but better safe than sorry. So let's play a little section here, where it transitions from the verse into the into the pre course. Do this with and then let's play with this end. So here again, we're kind of cutting in a similar ranges that we did with the base, getting rid of that, that kind of honky low end here and then dropping everything underneath this now the high end. I probably again was. This was probably more like this before. I settle on something like this in the final mix. But I think it really helps these verse tones up here that sound quite a different need. It helps the transition a little bit better going into this party. So let's, listen to. So now. We've got basically a lot of the stuff going on right now. Guitars, bass and drums. So here is now. We've got all this stuff happening in. The drums are starting to lose it a bit. So we're gonna come back and revisit the drums to see if we can pull them up a little bit more in the mix without 00:08:02.438 --> 00:08:03. screwing things up. So 00:08:05.14 --> 00:08:09. I noticed that the kick in snare are they're gone. 00:08:10.22 --> 00:08:12. They're not so much for the kick is definitely losing. 00:08:15.48 --> 00:08:17. I really like the low end that's happening with the 00:08:17.54 --> 00:08:20. kick. But the attack of it is not really there. So 00:08:20.27 --> 00:08:21. here is this a situation where I'm actually gonna 00:08:21.99 --> 00:08:26. use a sample. Teo, bring in that tone, and I have 00:08:26.79 --> 00:08:28. this kick sample that I made 00:08:29.43 --> 00:08:32. that I that I use for stuff like this now, it's a. 00:08:32.59 --> 00:08:35. Listening to this sample it's, weird sounding so let's. 00:08:35.05 --> 00:08:36. Hear what the sample sounds like. 00:08:40.39 --> 00:08:43. Now, that's. A weird. You would not want to use this 00:08:43.68 --> 00:08:46. as your kick drum sample, but I'm going to use it 00:08:46.55 --> 00:08:49. just for the tone. Like just for that clicky, that 00:08:49.91 --> 00:08:53. mid rangy, clicky sound of the kick drum. And so it's 00:08:53.33 --> 00:08:55. got some lower end in it, which I don't want. So I'm 00:08:55.26 --> 00:08:57. gonna just use the cq. Here. I'm gonna cut everything 00:08:57.89 --> 00:09:00. under four hundred fifty hurts right here. So if we 00:09:00.58 --> 00:09:02. listen to it with this cut in it. 00:09:06.11 --> 00:09:09. Now, if I was completely replacing this kick drum, 00:09:09.85 --> 00:09:11. I wouldn't be doing something where it's playing the 00:09:11.64 --> 00:09:13. same sample over and over and over again for every 00:09:13.86 --> 00:09:16. hit. But this is kind of. This is a blend here where 00:09:16.66 --> 00:09:19. I'm using. I'm using the full kick drum here, and 00:09:19.19 --> 00:09:21. I'm just going to use. This is something that lay 00:09:21.79 --> 00:09:25. over the top of it, and I'll kind of bring it in to 00:09:25.34 --> 00:09:27. a point where I think it sounds cool with the rest 00:09:27.23 --> 00:09:30. of drums. So here, let me bring in this sample over 00:09:30.83 --> 00:09:32. the top of everything going on. 00:09:53.11 --> 00:09:54. Out and in women. 00:10:02.67 --> 00:10:05. And listening to that, you might sound, you know, 00:10:05.07 --> 00:10:07. you. You know, I'm using a sample here and listening to drums bear. You're like, uh, it sounds might sound a little weird, but, you know, putting everything in here. Go. We'll have your part here. And I might, you know, I didn't, but I might, you know, you could make you this sample, pull some of that midrange output, some high end in, but this is the you know, the sound of using, and I thought it sounded awesome. So that's that's the kick drum tone for the record right there, just ah, sample hi past on top of the actual kick, drum snare. Now we're snare. Definitely, I want I want the kick and snare to be very prominent in this mix and the kicks closer, and now the snare is definitely not where it needs to be. So a couple tricks I use for this, I've got these two tracks. Now what I've done here is I've taken the snare track here. And I've just duplicated it down to the next track, so it's a it's a copy of this. So now I've got two tracks going with the exact same thing all running through the same bus, and I'm calling this snare body because I've everything's going now, and I'm losing some infant in that state, and I want something that hits a little bit harder, so we're going to go to the trustee gate here, too, because I'm gonna be putting some effects on I don't want the mic bleed, too get in there and screw up whatever I'm gonna do to this kid, I'm proud of the imprints of distortion on it. Ah, if a gay isn't capturing all the hits you need, man, you just got to go in and surgically ray's volumes on stuff, cut things out, delete, bleed, whatever it takes, that's, basically what it gets doing, it's automatically going in and cutting stuff out for you, so if you have to go on and do it manually, you got to do it so here's the gate gone. Probably in the same week you is this a cz the snare from before. And then I'm gonna put some distortion on it, probably in that drum, fatter, maybe, yep. Do a little bit of fatness in here have have it set on the dark side here. So it's not pumping any more high end into it. So this is just get kind of a low fat sound, and then you blend this in with the main. Now you're building a, you're building a snare. You're building it up back up again. So the next one is, I want a little bit more attack in the snare, so same thing. I'm going to copy the snare down to a third track, all running through the same bus. I'm gonna get it with the same gate I was using before. And I'm going to use my favorite transient plug in, which is this spl transit designer. I'm gonna. I'm just going to try to get the flak of the snare. I'm not trying to do anything else, but just worry about the transition of its someone up. Give me a push up the attack, not here a little bit, and there's a this cool, sustained. Now we're actually starts also gate. It kind of starts tailing off the end of whenever it triggers. It started pulling it off, so this is what this sounds like. And then last but not least, colonel, why did this? But I put on the snare bottom. Pre set on the ways maserati plug in. I thought it sounded cool and dirty. And it really brought up some of the the black, innit? So listen into these three snares going. It's really transient right now, but that's kind of what I'm going for is you're going to see, because we need to compress this whole mix and not lose the drums in the end, so I got to go for it. It's. The second thing I'm going to dio is, I want 00:14:07.316 --> 00:14:11. that snare to sound a little bit more mid rangy. Hi, 00:14:11.16 --> 00:14:13. I'm ids. So I've got a sample here that I use. 00:14:15.37 --> 00:14:16. That sounds like this. 00:14:19.71 --> 00:14:22. Sounds terrible. Does not sound like something you 00:14:22.39 --> 00:14:25. want to have in your song, but it's got the right 00:14:25.51 --> 00:14:27. tone. I was going before I cut out the low end here, 00:14:27.66 --> 00:14:30. so I cut around a hundred hertz. So it's not really 00:14:30.7 --> 00:14:33. interfering with, you know, all this snare body track 00:14:33.73 --> 00:14:34. I'm doing up here, 00:14:35.81 --> 00:14:38. let's. Hear what this sounds like. So we've got snare 00:14:38.02 --> 00:14:41. attack, snare body, the main snare in the snare bottom, 00:14:41.3 --> 00:14:42. going at the same time. Now I'm gonna add the sample in. While this is going, you can hear what it does. Take it out. Back in. Now, the interesting thing is, I don't think that sounds crazy. Different when I when I'm doing that. But watch what happens when you're playing all the music at the same time and all I'll put, I'll have it out, and then I'll bring it back in. Now with it. It really just gives it the right amount of cut that happens it's just one of those things you got to play with you gotto you know it sounds weird but it's experimenting until he finds what work oh I also go in and I will automate volumes to match with the snare feels so you know I'm triggering this snare off I'm going toe drop these down so that I don't want to I don't want the machine gun effect I don't want anyone to really hear the sample at all I just want I want the sample to blend in with the snare and just be part of the tone thief 00:16:09.84 --> 00:16:13. so last but not least we have the toms now the times 00:16:13.33 --> 00:16:15. are cool they sound good and beefy but there's not 00:16:15.51 --> 00:16:16. the high end that we need for them to really 00:16:18.74 --> 00:16:21. I want I want those to match with what is going on 00:16:21.24 --> 00:16:24. with the kicking snare so like I was doing the snare 00:16:24.33 --> 00:16:27. I'm gonna add a duplicate track of this tom track 00:16:28.04 --> 00:16:31. right above it and copy and paste everything from 00:16:31.56 --> 00:16:34. this tom track right up to this track so you just 00:16:34.18 --> 00:16:37. these are identical things going on this guy I'm just 00:16:37.38 --> 00:16:39. going to e q it with what I want for the high end 00:16:39.58 --> 00:16:42. of it I'm cut all the low out and I'm going for that 00:16:42.42 --> 00:16:45. mid rangy q thing with what's kind of going on with 00:16:45.23 --> 00:16:48. the kicking snare so this is this sounds kind of weird. 00:16:48.98 --> 00:16:52. So when you hear here's, just the tom with without 00:16:52.66 --> 00:16:52. it. 00:16:55.14 --> 00:16:56. And then here's this by itself. 00:16:58.84 --> 00:17:02. Which sounds weird and put him together. Still sounds 00:17:02.39 --> 00:17:05. kind of weird and then play with all the music. 00:17:08.04 --> 00:17:09. And I'll send it. Sounds cool. 00:17:12.64 --> 00:17:14. It's, nice and punchy and big. And you really hear 00:17:14.93 --> 00:17:17. that tom cutting through on the hill. And I do the 00:17:17.67 --> 00:17:20. same exact thing with thea floor, tom. 00:17:23.24 --> 00:17:25. Brought this in, duplicated the track right up to 00:17:25.96 --> 00:17:29. it. Put an e q on it. Probably the same as the rack. 00:17:29.42 --> 00:17:32. Tom. Just get that high in mid rangy. Click to it. 00:17:34.54 --> 00:17:36. And so here is what it sounds like, with all of it 00:17:36.45 --> 00:17:36. going. 00:17:41.8 --> 00:17:42. Different. 00:17:47.34 --> 00:17:49. It sounds good. I mean, it's, it's, feel it's fitting 00:17:49.84 --> 00:17:52. with the vibe of the drums and the song. How is going? 00:17:52.77 --> 00:17:54. I know they sound kind of weird when you, when you 00:17:54.58 --> 00:17:55. so long, but it's. 00:17:56.53 --> 00:17:58. Now what I was saying earlier about don't get caught 00:17:58.48 --> 00:18:00. up in soloing your tracks. You got to hear what they 00:18:00.22 --> 00:18:02. sound like in contact with each other. So this 00:18:04.74 --> 00:18:06. doesn't sound that great, but put it in. It's the right feel, and part of that is, you know, there's. Some of the overheads that air picking up in the room, mikes that are really helping fill out the rest of that tom sound. So now that we've got the music going and the drums are sounding a little bit out of control now, I want to put some. I want to go into the master bus here and start doing some compression. Before I get to vocals. I want to hear kind of how this tracks shaping up as a whole. So turn this. Cue off. We're gonna come over here now. This is something. This is my my go to for my master bus compression and I want those drums to be loud and clear, so we're going to start here, and we're gonna I'm gonna. I want the character here fast. I want this thing grabbing everything. I wanted to be slammed. I want this track to sound as loud as possible before it sounds terrible, so we're going tow. I'm gonna start pulling this down until sounds bad. And you can see how up here on the mit upon the screen, you're seeing kick and snare are being grabbed by this that's, knocking it down a little bit. And you've got this option here with transient recovery with ozone, where you click on this and I basically tell it when it, when it sees these triggers happening to let a little bit more of it through so that you don't squash the life completely out of the drugs. But if you look at this with all this game reduction going on, I'm not it's, really, for the most part, grabbing just the transience of kicking stare because they're pretty loud right now. All right, so I'm gonna pull down the threshold on this ozone advanced, plugging in my master bus here to kind of came out my kickin snare on my drums. So let's, listen to it and watch how it changes the kicking snare dynamics here. Now, all that the transient attacks of those snares are being tamed down quite a bit by this plug in. One other thing I like to do, so I with with theo's on fires, all also, I'll hit it pretty hard with that. And then I pulled down the output of the plug in here minus six, so that it doesn't peek out at the end, and my final part of the master's chain I love using is the fat filter pro l work similar to the ozone. In fact, you could probably just stack tuo zones on top of each other, but this is one I like using this play, and it has a lot of the same features. It's got attack and release here. It's got transient control. This is, you know, grab, grab a preset graphical preset and start messing with it. But this guy, I've got it set up like this, and I'm going to go now for commercial volume, like, get up to that level. So now then I can start met, blending in some vocals. So really happy with how that starts and gluing everything together. And this is, I mean, that's, how I do it. I know a lot of guys hate the sucking the dynamic range out of things. But I think it sounds awesome. I wanted to be loud and in your face.

Class Description

In this class, producer Casey Bates (Portugal. The Man, Gatsby’s American Dream, Foxy Shazam) walks through his mixing process using a recent session he engineered at the Robert Lang Studio with the band, Money Pit

Robert Lang Studios is one of the Northwest’s most iconic recording studios, world-renowned for recording bands like the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Dave Matthews and Deathcab for Cutie

The studio’s unique stone and marble live room (built into the side of a mountain) along with the very best of analog and digital gear has attracted producers, engineers, and artists from all the world. 

In Studio B (The Duality Room), Casey explains, in detail, his approach to mixing drums, guitars and vocals while revealing his choices for use of compression, eq, reverb and effects. Robert Lang Studios Mixing Class with Casey Bates will give you an inside look how to mix music and set up your workflow. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Audio Tracks from 'I Want My Money Back' by The Money Pit

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Joe Wilkinson

Regardless if you've listened to the music Casey has personally worked on or not, you'll find a lot of great information on his methods for mixing. It is such a great idea that this class comes with the files that Casey is actually work with so you can work side by side. This class includes best practices in organizing mixes, using busses, and what I consider the most important take away: listening to the MIX and not necessary just a single track over and over again. My requests: attendees had better formed questions to ask and to do another class -- I would love to hear some of the techniques and mixing that went into Church Mouth by Portugal. The Man.

fbuser 42790ebd

It was straight forward and helped show everyone it doesn't take fancy plugins or shiny toys to make great records. Even his vocal chain is mid tier but he yields excellent results with years of knowledge on his side. Casey you should come back to do a song off Emarosa's 131 album. There has to be some cool tricks there.