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Cleaning up and Basic Mixing

Lesson 26 from: Songwriting in Logic Pro X for Electronic Music Production

Tomas George

Cleaning up and Basic Mixing

Lesson 26 from: Songwriting in Logic Pro X for Electronic Music Production

Tomas George

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Lesson Info

26. Cleaning up and Basic Mixing

Next Lesson: EQ


Class Trailer

Writing Drums and Bass Part Introduction


Making Drums Beats with Ultrabeat


Beats with Ultrabeat and Drummer


Writing Bass Parts - Part 1


Writing Bass Parts - Part 2


Writing Drums and Bass Parts Assignment


Writing Chords Introduction


Writing Chords


Lesson Info

Cleaning up and Basic Mixing

Hello. In this lecture, we're going to be cleaning up this project and we're also going to do some basic mixing such as levels, panning and EQ. So, first of all, let's go over to file save as and just save another version of this project just in case you need to go back and get previous ideas. It's a good idea to also save and save as your projects as your songwriting, as your mixing and as you're going through the composition process, I'm just going to call this a different title and save this. Now, what we're going to do is just clean up. So I'm gonna delete all this stuff here, the stuff we didn't actually end up using and next is to go through and find some of the tracks I'm not using and just delete these. We don't want it too messy because it can get a bit confusing. That's basically it. Now we have a lot less tracks to work with. If you do make a mistake, accidentally delete a track, you can always hit command and Z OK. And next, which is something I always forget to do, but it ...

is quite important especially when you're mixing is the label just going to pause this and relabel all of these tracks. OK. So I've just renamed some of these just keeping it really simple. Marimba kick and snare hats, bongos percussion. And when there's more than one instrument, I just name the 2nd 12 or three, et cetera. So we've got Marimba. Marimba two, marimba three. And the way I like to actually rearrange the track is to have the kick at the bottom, then the snare, then the percussion hats and then the pads, then the piano, then the lead instruments. So I do rearrange this as well just so I can look at it quickly and I know what type of instrument it is because if you've got all these different tracks just in random orders, it is quite difficult to actually know what's going on quickly. So I'm gonna drag the kick down here, then the hats, then the percussion and then we're going to add the base and then the pad, then two piano parts. This is just how I like to do it. Arrange it whatever way you like. It's more just so you can quickly see what's going on and you know what's happening and then the harp, then the three different marimbas, then the effects. Now I know if it's at the bottom, it's gonna be the drums. If it's in the middle, it's probably gonna be a pad. If it's a lead instrument, it's gonna be up here and if it's effects, it'd be right at the top. And that's just a quick way of going through. I'm really just cleaning up your projects. Next. What we need to do is make sure the project isn't clipping. So let's find the part where basically all the instruments are playing. So here and you can see over here it's going into the red. This is not what we want a few things we can do. We can turn down the master. But I think it's a better idea to have this on zero, then go through it and just turn the instruments down. Really? That's the easiest way of doing it. You can add game plugins and reduce the gain, but the easiest way is just turn everything down. A few decibels that way it shouldn't really clip, you don't want it clip in. You don't really want to put limiters on the master channel strip to make sure stuff doesn't clip. It's just easier just to put stuff down. And then you've got a bit of headroom. Then when you do master, you've got plenty of space you've got lots to work with rather than actually uh pushing stuff into the red. It's not really needed. Of course, midi information. It doesn't really clip too bad, but at the same time, it's a lot better just to give yourself some space so you can create a nice mix. Let's hear this now. OK. It's still pushing it a bit hot, but it's a lot better. It's not going into the red. And next, what we're going to do, which is kind of really obvious is just listen to the track and then just change the levels by ear. So let's open up the mixer by hitting this icon. We use the key command X or if you want to open the mix at a new window, hit command and two, if you're using an external monitor, I like it all on one screen when I'm working on my laptop. So I'm just gonna hit X OK. I'm just gonna drag this up. And now we can see because we labeled the tracks, what the instruments are here. If we didn't label these, it'd be a lot harder and all I'm going to do now is just listen to the track and just level it put the levels in the right place. OK? To me now, that sounds like it's leveled a lot better than previously. Of course, when we add automation, when we pan, when we eq it will change the levels again. So don't be afraid to go back to the mixer and keep changing the levels, keep changing stuff around and don't get too comfortable with what you've already got. Always strive to improve. Always look for new ideas and that's for your mix as well. Not just for your songwriting, not just for your arrangement also for your mix. Be experimental. Try new things and you can always delete stuff. If you put a really wacky weird channel strip setting, you can just delete certain ones you can change stuff around. That's the great thing about working with a digital audio workstation. It gives you so many options. Ok. So next, we're actually going to just do some basic mixing and we're just gonna eq a few things and we're gonna pan a few things as well. So the one that jumps out to me is the piano parts. I think there's too much low end on that. I want a more of a house style high end piano. So that really means rolling off a lot of the low in the EQ. So let's find the part where the piano part is playing. So let's try here. I'm just gonna solo this one here, then click on here to bring up the key and then we can use this analyzer button. So these are the frequencies of pianos playing. So I'm just gonna roll it to about 200. So hit this button here and we can just roll off the E key. We roll it too much. It sound awful. But back here make it a bit brighter here. So this is without the UK and with its subtle. But when we put it in the mix a little bit more space for the pads and the lower mid instruments to shine through. So we're just having the piano just really as more of a high mid part. So let's try the other piano parts, just move this cycle area over. Let's hear this we can do is actually just copy over the EQ, just hold down alt command and just drag this plugging over that. We can really hear the difference now because this piano part was only really playing quite high notes, but the piano parts with the chords, it's playing some lower notes and these frequencies are getting rolled off, which I think sounds good. If you want to make more of a house piano style track, you'll notice a lot of the time the piano has a lot of the low rolled off on the EQ. So let's just have a listen to this again, maybe put a bit more in right there. OK? And next, we're going to do something similar to the marimba. I feel like Marimba has a little bit too much low in there. We can roll off some of the lows. So the pads and the harp can actually be heard a lot clearer. So let's find the marimba parts. Open up the mixer, click on the E key hit analyzer. You do the same with the high, I think that's good. So this is the part but are productive. So obviously, it's different frequencies. So let's have a listen to this, the analyzer. And now what I'm going to do is actually pan these two parts. So this top one, I'm gonna pan this slightly to the left, let's say about 30 minus and then the one that's up and octave, I'm gonna pan this to the right. So plus let's hear these two solo together with the pan on. Just add a bit of stereo depth, makes it a bit more exciting and panning just allows each of the instruments to stand out a little bit more. Rather, if they're all in the center, it's harder to spot the certain instruments. So I do recommend going for in panning unless you're making a lot of prog rock, maybe not pan, too extreme. Do what works for the track. There's no real rules. If you think it's gonna sound better with a hard pan, which means all the way to the left or all the way to the right, do a hard pan. But you think no pan will improve the track, leave it as it is. You don't have to put stuff in there for the sake of it. I've worked with producers before who've used loads of channel strip settings, loads of different effects and plugins just for the sake of it when sometimes less is more. So let's open up the kick. We're going to eq the kick now you wouldn't really want to uh hand the kick and notice the kicks actually on a separate channel. This is because of ultra beats, these little plus and minus buttons we have here. So let's go into the kick. You can see there's already been some EQ in on here. There we go. I'm gonna add a bit more mid. That's nice. Let's say this in the mix. And now I want to increase the volume of the kick. Now I've done that there. Now I'm going to pan the harp and also the pads. So let's find the part where they're both playing. These are quite similar in terms of frequency. So I'm gonna pan them. So there's a bit of space so we can hear them a bit easier. So let's open up the mixer. We're going to pan for harp minus 30 to the left and the pads minus 30 to the right. Let's hit this back. Now. Now you can hear them a bit clear if you're wearing headphones or if you've got studio monitors. So now I'm going to EQ the snare, which is in this channel here. It says kick and snare. Remember this is an ultra beat and the kicks on the separate channel just wanna make it a bit brighter. So I just put some of the, the mid down and added a bit of the high and now let's make this a bit louder and hear this in the mix. And now I'm going to pan some of these effects. So let's put the boom 39 to the left and the riser or the reverse symbol 39 to the right. And that's pretty much a quick overview of mixing. There's so much more we're going to do. But for now, I recommend just cleaning up the project and just doing the basic stuff like levels EQ and pan. So let's hear this riser. Normally the lower frequency instruments like the bass drum and the bass wouldn't really pan. And the higher up you go. So the higher the instrument, the higher the frequency you tend to pan more. That's not always the case. That's just generally. But thank you for watching this lecture just about basic mixing. And I'll see you in the next one.

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