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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 27 of 29

Mixing Guitars

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

27. Mixing Guitars

Lesson Info

Mixing Guitars

I like to use pot firm a lot, but I've been experimenting with my own amp simulator as of late. If you we're watching yesterday, we actually gave a demo of my first amps in which is called Tone Forge Minutes. Check that out. I think you can. I guess if you buy the class, then you can watch that. So that's really cool to check out. So as we talked about earlier, um, most of the tone and a guitar does come from the hands, but in this segment we're gonna be talking about Okay, what do you do after you've got your tone in your hand? And you know, your performance is perfect. Um, in this song, this is the actual mix right here we're looking at, uh, I'm not doing a whole lot with the guitars. I'm starting with pot farm. I've got a tube screamer. I've got this amp head here. Um, I chose this cab, this mike, and then I put this Ah, American classic pre emulation on top of that. Then from there, it goes into a compressor, and what the compressor does is kind of levels out Some of the dynamics t...

hat come out after the amps, so if you listen and it doesn't do a whole lot on the riffs, But if you look at, like, the distortion or I mean the breakdown parts, so is pushing down on those like basic parts. But then when it when he lets up and does something more high pitched, the compressor gives away, and it kind of helps the level it. So if I was to disable this, it just sounds kind of flat, so we have it on. It's a lot more interesting, So I kind of use that to help help guide the guitar track throughout the song and you notice on, like some of the really deep palm mutes you can see that compressor really going to work. So without it, see how it gets really loud on that one. Palm mute This'll helps, you know, iron that out a little bit. Okay? And then from there we sent the rhythm guitar tracks to a group, and on this group, we've got gain reduction on there. It's not activated all of the time. It's only there as a low fi effect. So if actually play the guitars and I'm gonna click on bypass, you'll hear the lo fi it affect kick in So anywhere in the song that I want to have a low fi effect, all they have to do is automate that button being pressed. The next thing that we have is the C four multi band compressor, and this is just a combat some of the low end that comes off of those palm mutes. So let's go into, like the breakdown. So this is the low end of our guitar tracks. E You could see that the compressors reacting to those palm mutes. But when we play like a chord doesn't it doesn't really do very much. And that's kind of what we're what we're trying to do. We're trying to just control that low end on those palm mutes, but not really affect anything else in the performance. Okay? And then from there it goes into this e que Oh, here we go. So this is literally just chopping off high end hiss. I'll show you. Can you guys hear that back there? So, yeah, all that little fizz and stuff that you get from the amps in cuts it off and then we go into an A P I 5 60 and I don't know if I actually ended up using any of the adjustments. Let's see, sometimes I just load this up anyway, just in case I need to go in and like, tweak the two or four K. It's just right there for me to do. Theo was the kind of problem frequencies that you get with a lot of guitar tones, the two k in the four K. So this is a great plug in to just have in your chain somewhere so that you can adjust it when you need to. And from there it just goes into limiter. And that's how we got the guitar sound on this song. Pretty simple. Okay, um, I'm gonna talk a little bit of bouts, automating reverb and delay. These are like more effects type things. Um, if you do have like a solo, for example, a lot of solos tend to like. You know, the last note that you play the solo tends to ring out, and if you've got, like, a delay or a reverb, it contend to get a little a little insane, and it'll sound like chaos, you know, at that moment. So it's good to get in the habit of, like, automating some of those effects out as it fades out in this situation. We didn't need to do that, but I can show you like, uh, for example, right here. We've got this lead. So after stops playing and still keeps going out, and there are plenty of situations where you wouldn't want that to happen. So I like to ah, pay attention to when you're when you're working on a song that's really dense. Pay attention to all these things that you're adding to it, like the delay in the river verbs because you have to kind of control them. So there it's not very bad. Um, see, what about this one? Okay, so let's say you didn't like that noise, and I left it in artistically because I think it sounds cool. Thanks. A weird sound effect there. But let me show you how you would change that. So you would go in, you would grab your delay, and you would, on the mixed knob of that delay, you would put an automation point and then right there, automate that down. Okay. And then we have another delay on this tone and put that on the second job, and we will automate that down now. You could also just dio volume, but sometimes I wish I wish I had a good example. But sometimes there are cases where you don't want to do the volume. But you do want to do the automation of the reverb in the delay, because it'll it'll sound more natural. Sometimes the volume just sounds like like your killing the track. Um, another good thing to get in the habit of with guitars is CQ. Sweeping because there are many que on the guitars is often a problem you want to ah, put. I like to put like an e que just on the group. So I confined problem areas on when you find something you don't like. Just take it subtraction so you can hear right there, all that noise. Okay, Okay, Um, thank you, automation. Let's find a guitar lead. I think so, like in this lead in particular, there's a note that repeats in between every other note thing that happens sometimes, especially when you have delay on the lead is if that note keeps repeating and then the delay repeats it to, and then it repeats again while the delay is repeating it, You get this build up of the same note, it starts to sound more skewed to its certain frequency. So what you can do is you can actually use e que plug ins out still with a key base e que you can use e que to ah, automate some of that stuff out e. So there's like there's a lot of 200 hertz in that note that's being played E way e. I think it sounds better when the 400 just removed. But I'm I might not want to remove the 400 on these high notes. So what you would actually do should go in and automate this e que Every time it plays those notes, I would like to just do one of them like this and then, ah, like, go in and edit it with my mouse and then I'll just copy and paste it. So, like that, um, so I'm gonna put it every time it plays that note, starting to affect it. So here it is, without thing. Sometimes we, uh, we get in and do tricks like that on certain leads, because you'll get these notes that just stick out sound really bad. And it, like, swallow the entire track. So I like to make, you know, trying to make it as clear as possible. And sometimes it takes the automating and take you to do it. I didn't really feel like this specific one needed that. I think this lead sounds fine the way it is, but there are other leads that just need help. All right. Any questions about mixing guitars? Yeah, we dio Is there a difference between uses using automation versus manipulating and printing a track? Um, not really. Yeah, it's kind of the same thing there. Different ways of managing it. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Um, do use high pass guitars in general. Um, yeah, You know what? That's kind of funny because I don't think I used it on this song. And that just goes to show you that Ah, you don't have to have it. You don't have to do it every time. Yeah. Ah, but it's good. I see. I think the reason why you don't really need it on this song is because I've got to see four on there, which is helping handle low end. But if you're using a high pass on there, you will be cutting off a lot of that low end. So you might not need to use the C four. So it's kind of one of the other. You need to figure out what's best. So, yeah, there's a preference thing. I think Chris Truman wants to know. Do you always use fast attack on guitar compression? Um, I usually if I am using a guitar compressor, which isn't all the time. Um, but when I dio, I like using the Wren axe. Where is the guitar track? Yes, So 10 milliseconds on the attack and the reason why is because I do want that pick sound to come through. But then I want to clamp down on the actual sound of the court or the note. So if you were to put it on like zero, it would be cutting off all of your basically the punch in the attack of your pick. So having it 10 allows that initial percussive sound to come through, and then the compressor starts to claim down, so Yeah, awesome. So go ahead. You're gonna be doing anything, really, to base mixing today or, um, is it pretty much the same thing is guitars, But I think when we did the base production, I did talk about how to make a bass tone, and that is kind of like what I mean with based mixing like what I would say about base mixing but also getting the base level like in comparison with your drum track. It's a lot easier when you have that drum stem, because then you know, okay, this my drums air not changing in volume. So everything else that I do will be relative to that drum track being set to zero like you just don't change that. And then it's a lot easier to find your levels after you've got your drums pretty solid. Just keep those the same. Don't change it and then bring in your bass track and just start bringing in bringing the fader up as you're listening until it sounds like it's good. Then bring your guitars up and then once once you bring your guitars up, you'll probably notice that your base is a little bit too loud and you go back in and adjust the base. But in general, like what I said earlier about the bass tone and how we use the limiter to control low end and all that that's going to go really far just that technique. So do you ever do get do, ah, guitar leveling with the drums first instead of base living with the drums? Um, I actually prefer to do bring in the drums, Then bring in the guitars and then bring in the base, Yeah.

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 =)