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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 25 of 29

Mixing Drums

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

25. Mixing Drums

Lesson Info

Mixing Drums

So I'm gonna actually just gonna mute the drums and start with, like, a basic drum mix. And I'm gonna use ah SST for this. So let's see. Now, with SSDI, you can activate multiple outputs. So you condone route your drums. Two different tracks. I want to do that now and then I'm going to just load a basic, uh, basic metal drum kit. Let's see here. And if you're if you're mixing a song, I hope you're not actually choosing drum samples like this because he should have that should have already been done during production. But I'm just doing this second Devon Street because my drums are already mixed. I don't like any of the snares they have. Let's see. Let's go. The good old snare 12. Okay, cool. Um, let me wrap these really quick. This is Stephen Slate drums. Ah, better known as SSD for I'm just riding each drum channel to a different track because I want to be able to change the sound of each one. But if you're mixing a song, you should just have multiple drum tracks anyway. Okay, Now I'm...

gonna send midi. And since I did pre pro for this song. I have many of the entire, you know, every single drum part, because I I wanted to show the drummer what I wanted him to do. So I went through and admit he for the whole song so I could show him what I want him to play. All right, let's see this words cool. So when we do now, I was going to turn that into audio. Okay, so we're just bouncing the audio for every single drum channel. Okay, there we go. And I'm not worried about, like, mono or stereo. That doesn't matter too much. If if it is mono, it'll be motto, regardless of what kind of track it's on. Cool. Right. So we've got our drum tracks. They're just gonna get rid of the sampler now, and I'll just start with kick. So I usually when I'm mixing drums, uh, I like to start with the kick. I start with e que usually to, um, I'll work until I've got the kick. Sound that I like at least the starting point. Whether that's through Migra through a drum sample, I make sure I've chosen the one that I think is closest to what I want to get. And then I use these mixing techniques to get the rest of the way so I might just find a section in the song and just loop a little part of a beat. I like this part here, and the first thing that I'll do is I'll actually grab any Q. And I'll just start sweeping around frequencies to see what's accentuated and what's accented. And, uh, you know what's going on with this specific kick drum? So I noticed there's like, a click sound I don't really like around this area here, so I'm just taking that out. And there's also something in the low and I don't like. And as I do, the EQ you adjustments I A B then a lot, because I want to hear what I'm doing to the sound. I want to know if I'm going too far or if I may be, you know, maybe I'm doing something in the wrong area. That's not getting the gold that I want, so I kind of have an idea of what I would like to like it to sound like, Um and so at, you know, as I make these adjustments I just turn them off and on really quick just to hear what the differences are. Okay, so now I'm a being the entire change versus what a being what? I change versus what it was before. And just don't be afraid to do, however many que changes you want. I mean, I just go crazy. Was that usually so? Something like that. Um, now, with a kick, I don't really like to do a lot of compression. It does. It does depend, though. Not every kicks the same. And not every song is the same. So sometimes you do need to have a compressor to level out either certain parts of the kick sound or also level out certain parts of the kick performance. So you just need to know what you're working with now. Um, on the specific kick, Probably. I'm going to just do, um Let's see. Maybe I'll try a little bit of this. Yes. So I don't even like what that's doing. Something to try. I want to try. Maybe a transient designer would be better. There's a cool, transient designer. I like to use a lot. Um, it's called Dominion, and it's actually free if you search for it on Google, Um, you can change the attacking the sustained this plug in is PC only, though, if you're a Mac user can use this man this Blufgan. And then at this point, I probably kind of go around different points of the song And make sure this what I'm doing is gonna work with the different, you know, the various things that he plays. If he if there's a section that has, you know, really fast kicks and I start overloading also a be my entire channel versus what it was before and how I've changed it because I find that just gives you a really good perspective on where you are and what you're doing. And then finally a clip clipper to just bring up the gain and Teoh level it out a little bit. So see if I go too far, it starts distorting. So I don't want to distort, but I do wanna level it out a little bit. So that's the kick. Let's see what we got. Oh, yeah, this is the pre pro. Uh, I'm gonna bring in a guitar track. Actually, city imports audio. There we go. Cold All right. Um, next the snare, let's see what our snare sound is made out of. It's actually like this The spare Quite a bit. So start with that and I'll just find a section in Loop it. And if you're working in ah kee basically probably gonna have your buffer size really high when you're mixing, so you can pretty much have unlimited DSP. So here, like a ring in this snare that I don't like. I'm gonna remove that first it is dead. Bye bye, ring. And I'm just listening for additional ringing. Some of them might be hard to hear, but when you ah, get into the mastering stage later, those rings are gonna be accented even more. So you want to try and find him early and get rid of him? Yeah, So if you do this a lot, you can destroy the sound because the computer allows you to make, like, basically infinite adjustments. So don't get too crazy with it. I tried to just stick to what did I hear the first time I listened to this snare drum because that's what the listener would here, too. So if you just play the snare drum And that first ring that I heard I was like, OK, I'm gonna get rid of that. And I'm just gonna leave it like that. I like to use compression on stairs quite a bit, So I'm gonna go with, um Let's see. I'm gonna use the SSL e channel. Where is that guy? Clear. It is I like to use, um this compressor, because it has a fast attack mode, usually just put the release on 100 cause it's a snare drum. That's kind of what you're doing. But the fast attack mode is the difference between, like, a really spiking sneer or really fat snare. So if you have it off, we got the spiky snared and turn it on. You get the fats there. So I like to do that. Um, talk to try to keep the Q adjustments to a minimum on this, I usually just try to sweeten it up a little bit. Sweet. Uh, then on a snare, I would probably also use after the compressor a transient designer like the Dominion again. It's a great plug in. So, yeah, I feel like the attacks pretty solid. I just messing with the sustained. Okay. And then this is the point where I probably gonna start looking at different parts. Okay? One thing you have to know about Dominion, though, if you are using it with other sounds that are combined to make one sound Dominion does throw off the timing enoughto where you get phase problems. So you have to be careful when you use it, or you have to insert it on every track that would affect that sound so that they all get delayed the same amount of time. So they lock in the face. The last step of the of the snare Probably be the Clipper. I pretty much use a clipper on every single drum channel because I'm cool like that. All right, let's hear. This was compare before. Cool. Um, so that's the kick and snare sound so far

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 =)