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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 18 of 29

Cinematic Sounds and Tricks - Explosions

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

18. Cinematic Sounds and Tricks - Explosions

Lesson Info

Cinematic Sounds and Tricks - Explosions

We're gonna cover why alternative press named me the michael bay of metal core which is uh interesting but I guess I like to bring the movie world into my productions I think that, uh I think that I tend to do more epic sounding productions I'd like to do things on a more grander scale um liketo add like explosions and reverse symbols and reverse snares and all that good stuff we're gonna talk about how to do these in your own songs similar to how I do it or the same how I do it but ah there's a couple things you gotta understand about these and the first thing is the tricks are only used to emphasize things that are already good so it's not an excuse for making a bad song a good song um it it can't make up for bad song writing or poor arrangement so you want to on ly utilize these things when you've done your homework, you've made the arrangement better you've made the song better and now you want to just go that extra five per cent too really send it over the edge. Also, if you try t...

o use these tricks um inappropriately it can sound like you're trying too hard like you're forcing it to be in the song and uh that's never a good thing either, so let's start with explosions now I don't mean actual explosions now sometimes you can use actual explosions and I'm not saying you shouldn't because you certainly could but explosions are more of just a descriptive word for what kind of sound I'm talking about so I'm talking about things that burst and then they have a long tail um these could be used for the courses or big moments of the song just to kind of make well to make the part explode um in this particular song that we've been listening to and going through I used uh a rifle pretty much here's the rifle track right here you can see it too used quite a bit throughout the song I'll show you what it sounds like, okay, so yeah that's a gunshot a rifle um and then there's occasionally parts in the song where I actually reversed the rifle going into the rifle I show you how to do it too, so you just take your rifle sample and just drag it back like this and I usually try and before I drag it backwards, I try to figure out how how much of it I want so I might listen to a part like this part right here e like, okay, I wanted to start fading in here and then it'll end here, so I'll drag him back that far like that and then I'll cut it off where I wanted to stop and I'll delete the rest and then select that and just go to process and reverse and so that reverses it now if you were to leave it like this, you would notice that the reverse just kind of starts out of nowhere so I like to add a little faded in that tends tio make a little smooth yes. So this gunshot is just used teo reinforce the downbeat of certain sections in the song so like here's the course gunshot ah if I remove it ah, a little bit less impactful without it there now there's other parts in the song where plays a bigger role and I think like this example is a good one oh yeah, that just helps emphasize those really like powerful hits I also have um there's other things in here that are reinforcing the same thing. So I've got the gunshot then I added a bass drop and that's really subtle but it's in there I've also added an extra crash and that's in addition to the drums playing a crash I'll show you that see the drums play crash as well say it's a crash and then immediately goes to the china theo if you add my crash plus the bass drop and the rifle you just get a much bigger impact and then also I think in a couple of sections of the song, we add even another thing, which is this sound effect that's ah, kind of a different explosion, just like a weird kind of magical sound. I guess so. We add that to the mix on that's how we get the explosion that you hear when the breakdown starts. If you remove all that stuff, you just have a basic breakdown doesn't doesn't have anything special all the elements just the extra little five percent to really kind of send it over the edge. Um, and then I guess other explosions let's see, what else do I have? You know, there's one other one somewhere, I think that's it. Yeah. So that's what? I bean when I say explosions and I think there's a lot of different ways, you can do it. You don't have to use a gunshot you can use like I mean you khun experiment. Go outside and record yourself shutting your car door and then bring that into your song and put some reverb on it and see what happens. I don't have my samples with me otherwise I could show a different explosion sound sound like, but, uh, I think you get the point.

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 style is one of the most sought after sounds of the last decade and in Studio Pass he’ll show you how he produces it.

There is no magic bullet to Joey’s sound. It’s simply the combination of a million little decisions that add up to something incredible. In this class – for the first time ever – Joey will demonstrate his entire process: pre-pro, engineering, mixing and mastering, from A-Z. 

You’ll learn:

  • Writing and arrangement tips that take a song from good to great
  • Recording, editing, and mixing tips for guitars, vocals, bass, drums, and synths
  • How to get stuff to sound loud, super clean, and tight

Joey is a hands-on engineer – he’ll talk about how he works with bands to develop their writing and ideas so they are working with the best possible raw material. He’ll show you the specific signal chain he uses for mixing guitars, vocals, bass, drums, and synths. And he’ll give extra focus to vocal tracking, editing, tuning, compression, and effects.

If you want to transform your recording and engineering process, don’t miss your opportunity to learn from chart-topping metalcore producer, Joey Sturgis.

Class Materials

bonus material with enrollment


What is Vocal Production

Autotune Pitch Correction Modes and Tools

Understanding Pitch Graphing

Timing and Quantization

Vocal Mixing

Separating Lead & Background in Mixing

Mixing Harmonies & Adv Production Technique

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I have been following Joey's work since the early Prada days... This is one of the best discussions any producer has ever contributed to digital audio. I love the amount of transparency. He simply reveals everything and guides you on a very wise path on how to become a in-the-box producer like him! Turns out, the answer is -- a ton of hard work! Plus, this has to be the best use-case on his own awesome and super-affordable plugins. I have watched almost every popular producer/engineer workshops and have also sat-in on Eddie Kramer, Alan Parsons and Quincy Jones producer workshops and believe it or not... This is the best one yet.

Adam Train

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of the bands Joey records. The only reason I bought this class was because I enjoyed the Periphery one so much. Joey takes modern production techniques to the absolutely extreme. He takes punch-ins and editing to a level where it's not even funny any more. If you're looking for tips on recording and mixing in general, this class is not for you. If you're looking for editing tips to see how far you can possibly push the strive for perfection, this is pretty spot on. If you're a beginner, don't take this class to heart - Joey's workflow is borderline psychopathic - go and get the Periphery session instead. If you've been recording for a while and you're looking to see how far editing can take you, it's worth a look.

a Creativelive Student

Easily one of the best investments I've made. There is so much information here that you'll have to watch it multiple times to really catch everything. Looked up to Joey Sturgis for a long time and this is literally a dream come true to get a behind the scenes look into his talent. He delivered the material in a very understandable fashion and was extremely clear with all his examples. I love creative live =)