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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 20 of 29

Cinematic Sounds & Tricks - Bass Drops & Glitches

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

20. Cinematic Sounds & Tricks - Bass Drops & Glitches

Lesson Info

Cinematic Sounds & Tricks - Bass Drops & Glitches

Is there any one place that you get your effects samples from like gunshots things like that? You know, I've actually just been collecting samples for like eleven years you know, I have like a space on my hard drive that's dedicated to just putting little audio sound bites that I like so I just keep all of them and every time I build a new computer I just copy and paste that whole folder on there and I just keep all my sound with me so I've collected quite a a little interesting collection over the years they come from all different places um so have you ever just like major own beets or anything with all of these samples? Yeah well, you know, like what I work with some bands they'll come in and it'll just be you know, guitar bass, drums and vocals and they're like okay, we want you to just add cool stuff you know, we think on this song it would be cool if you added like a little distortion drumbeat they might guide me or they might just say do whatever you want so yeah, there are time...

s where I literally just opened a song and add little rat beats and like extra postproduction type things and when I make them I could either start by using like battery I could start by using the loop I could start by just dragging in kick hits manually it's just a kind of an organic process in terms of how it gets built I might start from scratch I might start from the loop but whatever it is it ends up getting morphed and molded quite a bit so sometimes I might take even an acoustic kick drum just one sample of the single kick drum hit and then run it through like a picks later and then distort it and then put like a high pass filter and now I've got this weird just little tick sound you know what I mean so awesome we're getting a lot of questions about glitch ing s o that's coming up is coming up so and yeah that's at the end so if you're watching and you have a question about glitch ing is coming up at the end um ah rgs wants to know I'd really like to hear your particular process for a reverse vocal oh awesome huh I wonder how we skipped that that's great I'll show you how to do it reverse vocals a little bit more complicated because if you just take a vocal part in reverse it sounds stupid so you have to do some special things to make it sound cool they find I know we have one in the song so here's a reverse yeah sounds really scary um all right so I'm gonna show you how to do that here is the yeah that he did for a vocal now he takes a breath before he does yeah we don't want that breath we're going to isolate just just the vocal part that he did and going to use that so what I do is I usually go in I turn I zoom in my way form so I can see everything I take my range tool and I just select just the word and it's important to get as close as possible like that and then I hit p which sets my locators to my selection and I have this soloed so when I hit play all you're gonna hear is the thief but you need to turn off anything like delay so I'm just go through and turn off my delay setting effects and okay now that I've got that I'm gonna just do an export because I haven't soloed so if I hit exports just going toe export what I hear and I'm just gonna call it yeah too and then make sure that my output channels my master then it's going to import it back into the song as a new track okay so now I have that yeah all combined and it's in its own little audio file so the next step is to take that and reverse it someone it go reverse and then I'm going to go into plug ins and I'm gonna go to reverb and I was gonna add like a six see what this sounds like sounds really scary um and then when you're working with, uh, these plug ins in this mode, you have to change how right now it's only going to keep the audio the same length that you put it in so you need to change the tail so that it will actually add the reverb tale to the final product product, so I usually just do like six thousand, which is six seconds, so you get that six seconds of of reverb tale when the signal ends and then you just hit process now what it will do is it will just keep that audio event the same length that it was you have to actually drag it out after you do it like that. Okay, now this is where it gets kind of complicated because we have a piece of audio that's in reverse, but we need to line it up with the original vocal I'ma show you how to do it exactly. So you have to do is you have to this whole time, we've we've kept our locators to our original selection, so we got to keep that like that I'm gonna hit one, which is going to put my cursor back at the start of that selection and I'm gonna take the original audio and then just cut it there and the reason why I'm doing that is because this tells q base that there's a there's a a new event that starts right here and you're going to be able to snap to that so if I if I take this and reverse it again and then turn on snap to event I can drive this backwards and it should line up with the original vocal line we see yeah so there they did it and then you can re glue this again and you should get a reverse vocal that goes into the original local theo now the next thing you have to do is a little bit of ah fading to make it blend well so I usually just kind of cut somewhere around hat like halfway point and then faded out like this and then you can make it more intense by adding like a limiter and then you've got to make sure that your uh your fade out is really smooth because you don't want to hear the original vocal mixed with you don't want to hear the original vocal double up because it's still in this the thing that we printed so we're trying to make it go from that sound to a smooth as possible but without making it sound like it just stops I have to move around too wait that sounds good do it any other questions are there any particular engineers who have inspired you as faras all of these lead ins and the's michael bay effects quote unquote um I think I probably started getting interested in that kind of stuff when I listen to like john feldman productions because he did a lot of he did a lot of stuff like that um you should listen teo like a band called the matches that have he worked with feldman he did some really cool stuff with them also to used and uh story of the year stuff like that blossom suite okay, so we kind of covered the bass drops well, at least we did bass risers I'll show you how to do some bass drops um I think based drop some better when they're in key with a song so it helps to know you know where you're going to put the bass drop and then what are the instruments playing at that point so if we go to like the breakdown we know this song is in drop a sharp all the instruments are going to be playing a sharp so if you want to add a bass drop there we kind of want to start a sharp and then go down now when I did this song I didn't have I didn't have some destroyer uh so I just used a sample on audio sample from a base drop now I could have made that bass drop better by putting it in key with the song's going to show you how to do that it all starts with sub destroyer and then going into trigger mode and trigger mode you have a start frequency and end frequency so you can choose where you want your bass drop to start and where you want it to end so if I started I can move this knob and tell me what note I'm on so looks like fifty nine hertz is an eh sharpe our inch e g sharp right fifty two hurts so I could start an octave up a cz well, I could start it like a hundred hertz one hundred one hurts and then ended at twenty and then you just said how long you want to be so I could set it for like most just say four seconds it sounds like this it's probably going to sound funny I'll just preview yeah, exactly so it starts to high so it started at fifty hurts fifty two hertz whatever yeah, so sometimes it's not always a perfect world um I didn't really like that, so I'm just going to use any note I want I don't really care at this point. It just depends on what tuning you're using if you're working with like a maybe drop b then you can get away was starting on the note like that, so for this song I'm just gonna do whatever sounds good, I'll just hit play and try it e like that it sounds good so I have to do is just turn your right automation on and then hit play and click on fire the moment you want it to happen and then when you go into the automation land you should see your little button press and you can uh moving in time I'd liketo you could just select all the all is a little at it points that go with it and then right click and go carl where is it moved to curse sir so if you have your cursor here it'll move it there if you have your cursor here, it moves it they're so moved to cursor and now you get oh, and then we've got various tools included in here to make it you know, stick out more if you want you could also use a limiter, but since it's a perfect sine wave that probably you probably wouldn't need to use the limiter unless you're dealing with like some distortion settings and stuff so that's how you would do the bass drop? I would say um it's generally pretty used to make a bass drop a parent in the song like I feel like you can hear this one pretty solid, but if you are in a situation where you want your base job to be even more apparent, sometimes all you have to do is a couple of little volume changes so like, if I go into my bass tracks just the like the actual bass guitar track sounds like this and I take my the length of my bass drop and put an automation edit there I could just do a little bit of a faded and like this and sometimes that's just enough to make the base drop stick out more and you could do that was like the lower instruments like your bass if you've got like base base since going on just allows your bass drop to hit just a little bit more uh you could also d'oh an inversion so if I go to my my bass drop track and let's say I raise the volume of that track right when the bass drum and then but then I also go to my master and I changed my input gain of my master chain by the same amount, so I do like negative to right what is this six so if I do negative eight, which is two d be lower than it was before and then I raise my, uh raise my bass dropped track by two tb as well that will make it more parent that makes sense. I think that's your you're lowering the input to your mastering chain but then you're raising the and the overall volume of your bass drop which basically causes it to be like overemphasized um I just want people to realize that bass drops aren't that cool so don't don't overdo it way too many bass drops in music today okay so we covered all the reverse different things and the tape stop is the same thing is the pitch envelope okay yeah there is some cool glitches in this song I think my favorite and it's the tiniest little thing but it's like my favorite thing about this song is how it starts just that tiny little glitch right there is you know if it wasn't there it would just be like this which I mean I think that's boring so I added that little goods there just to give it a nice little interesting intro now the way I did that as I just I went to the sense and I grabbed a tiny little piece from the beginning and I copy and paste it over here and I duplicated it now if you were if you just duplicate it and listen to it sounds a little bit different than what I actually ended up with right so how did I get to that point? Well once I once I had the idea and I knew that I wanted to do this kind of glitch I did it and then I hit play on I felt like that sounded kind of weird like kind of cartoony so then I grabbed all of my copying pace of events and I did a slip maneuver where now I'm like slipping the audio within all the different events so you're going to get different sounds s o as you do different locations you come up with different noises so I ended up with like something like this but then I felt like I didn't have enough definition so when I did is I actually shortened each one which gave me a little more definition of each so once you have that silence gap you can hear the attack of the next note if it's not there that it just sounds like one solid piece of audio on the shorter you make these the more it more so yeah that's how I did that the beginning of the song on then there's another interesting glitch in this song where I do a guitar glitch that's right before the breakdown thiss one so I had this idea for this part I first came up with this as, uh almost like a drum part that that that but I knew I didn't want it to be like a drum fill I knew I wanted it to just be like a sound effect, so I decided to use guitars but you could make it guitars percussive by just taking little tiny pieces of like chords, so if I if I go into the first chord of the breakdown which the palm you you can actually just cut that out and use like the tiniest slice like a little sixty fourth note and if you just play that sounds like a little percussive noise and as you just repeated I'm just repeating it create all these different sounds now the nice thing about q base is you have that slip tool so you khun just grab a piece of audio and start slipping in around and getting all these different tones so if I if I make like a pattern like this I can change the way that pattern salinger's by slipping the audio inside and these are just the different parts of the guitar recording and then you can also create different sounds by putting it together like this I can't even, uh, create tiny or slices and you'll get a different result as well and then having, um different space gaps creates different effects as well as well as, uh, changing the timing hard drive is freaking out why's it doing that. Okay, well, they can hear this, right? Ok, because q base is freaking out right now, but it's working I think okay, so you just take ok cool. So you just take these little clips and you can slip the audio within them and create different sound effects just by slipping audio around and then like various combinations of repeating and slipping gives you all these different sounds as well as your spacing now, I wanted to show one particular glitch that I really like. I called the matrix effect, so the concept of this is making a piece of audio longer, but by doing it with repeats, so you do. You take a little clip of audio like this, and then you copy and paste it, but then you slip it back a little bit. You copy paste again, then slip it back a little bit more, and you repeat that process over and over like this, and you end up with that's like the matrix effect it's. Really cool in vocals, show you so let's. Just start with the vocal line like this, cut out the tiny slice, and then repeat it, slip it back a little bit. That sounds like the more you do it, the longer it gets the, uh yeah that's, that's, the matrix effect.

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 =)