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Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Lesson 14 of 29

The Mutt Lang Method

Joey Sturgis

Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

14. The Mutt Lang Method

Lesson Info

The Mutt Lang Method

who knows who muddling is? You know who he is? Yeah. Do you know who he is? About you and all right, Um, mottling is, ah, producer and he He worked with bands like Def Leppard and Ah, a C D. C and Shania Twain. So he's kind of covered a wide variety of music, you know, from the kind of slightly in perfect a C D. C. To the absolutely pop perfect Shania Twain. And he is well known for being really crazy because his production techniques and methods are very, very intense. Um, I guess there's a rumor where he was working with Def Leppard and spent an entire month coming up with one guitar tone. Um, he likes to do things in a pretty insane manner, and I think I kind of am inspired by that. Ah, and I like to. I like to do things in a really detailed in intense way as well, So I call this the muddling method. I don't know if he invented it or if he's just well known for doing it or what. But the reason why it's called the muddling method is because it takes so much time and is absolutely ins...

ane. Um, it's an absolutely insane way of recording a guitar, so I'm gonna actually try and demonstrate it now. So the whole concept of the muddling method is that a guitar has six strings and if you play any of the two strings at the same time, you don't have any control over either string. You can only control the performance of both strings point. At the same time, you can't separate the two different notes and tune them to be different things or move them separately from each other. So if you record a riff one string at a time or recorded guitar part one string at a time, then you can have each string on a track in Q base. And then you can, um, directly affect each string independent independently from each other. So, uh, I'll show you how this is useful. Let me think. Here. Uhm so that sounds pretty. Sounds pretty gross, right? I can I can try and tune it and try to get it as close as possible. And I will do that. Let me find a tuner not used to where the plug ins are here. So notice how sharp that notice in comparison, Teoh, I don't know if you can see that it's a good 2025 cents off. So, um, there's a couple things you could do. Like if let's say the rift was like, uh uh s. So if you wanted to record that the classic way, you would have to go right, and then he would stop. Then you would put your finger on the fret, then tune it and then punch in and then take your finger off than tuna back and then So that would be really annoying. Or you could do it the mottling way and record each string separately. So in order to do that, you would need to know how to play it one string at a time. So if I'm going like the so the string would be next one B O, and the next one will be sorry. So you would actually hit record. And on one track you would just play one string and play it every time that it's supposed to be plucked. But you wouldn't play any of the other strings. Then you would stop recording on that track record onto a new track and then play the next during the next part and so on. And then you would be able to go into each track and put auto tune, which would correct the pitch of each string individually. And then you would also be able to change the timing of each string and the volume, um, relationship between the strings. And then you would send all of those signals into, ah, a final track, which would then be sent back out into your AMP or into your pot farm signal or whatever you're working with. Eso kind of show you how it works. Some rifts are more complicated than others, and it's just not realistic toe learn how to do each string one at a time. So what you can do is just punch in each note and let it ring out longer than it's supposed to, and then you can cut it shorter. So I'm gonna actually just I'm gonna do that for what? I've what I've been playing. So in order to do that, I'm just gonna hit record and hit the first note. We make sure I've got a click. So I just I just played it and I let it ring out, and then I'm gonna go in and cut, cut it up and move it into place, and then I'm going to go to the next track e just play this one note, but some to cut that up, and then I'm gonna move that into place. So if I That sounds pretty perfect. All right, let me play the next one. Oh, then they cut that one. Okay, so let me do record the last notes. But But but and cut that up, That's well, and then when I would do is just loop. I'm just gonna loop this section and listen to the pitch. Now, if you if you know much about pitch, you know that that is not in tune. So we can actually go into each track and put an instance of attitude on there. And they were gonna select instrument and put our retune speed to zero. I'm just gonna copy and paste that to all of the tracks way much more in tune. Um Then what you can dio is you can set up a a boss. Actually, I'm just gonna make I've got this mono out that I'm going to use. I'm gonna send all the tracks to the mono out, and then I'm gonna make a new track and record that mono out. We turned looping off. And so now we have that whole guitar part as a single D. I just like you would have done it in real life on. And then you can take that piece of audio and you can send it to whatever AMP you're using. You can revamp with it, whatever. Uh, in this case, I have my tone as as a group track right here. That's basically the muddling method. Now the thing is that what you can run into is if you try to do that for any kind of guitar part, there are certain things that that just won't translate. So, for example, if you play an active, your pick is hitting various strings that are being muted, and it's making like a percussive sound. So not only do you have this note and this note, we also have this sound, And when it comes to the modelling method, you can't really. There's no way to really demonstrate you can't get that sound. It's not for every guitar part, so if you wanted to try the muddling method like with, you wouldn't be able to do it because you would go like this and then you would punch in this one. And when you plant back, it's going to sound like they were plucked like this. Which won't sound like the same thing is, you know that that percussive sound so it's not for everything but generally unclean parts, especially ones that have really complex picking patterns or arpeggio ated patterns. I like to just do it with the modelling method because it just comes across so much clear. Any questions about that real quick? Um, are there any, uh, have you worked with any artists in the past who are more or less against using the Mutt Lange method because they want a more authentic sounding guitar track like they are just playing it? Absolutely. There's some people who are completely against what I do, and even in in some situations, I would be against doing it, too. If I'm working with a certain kind of band and I feel like that's just so far from what they're trying to do artistically, then I would just I wouldn't even suggest doing it. But like in I'd say in 90% of what I do, which is very perfect and precision based. You just have to do that because if you don't like a mess, um if I encounter someone who is like, we don't really want to do things that way way think that's going too far. But I feel I like disagree. I probably would just side with them because of the end of the day. It is their art and it is their song. So I'm just trying to figure out ways to record it more efficiently and to get things done and make the song awesome. And if they don't think that makes the song awesome, then why do it? Yeah, Billy wants to know if you ever use noise gates. Yes, it is the picking so quiet. The pick attack So quiet. Sometimes we use noise gates just to make just to make the recording experience less stressful. Because if you hear that like a few here a buzzing noise for eight hours every day see if I could make it make it happen. Yes. Like, can you hear that noise? Right. So if you just have that going all the time. I can drive you insane so we will turn the gates on just just to make the whole session go smoother. But when it comes down to editing and mixing, we'll turn the gates off and try to get all of our are actual gating in our muting in our edits. So if we if we want the guitar to stop making noise, then we will cut it and we'll fade it out or will automate it or something. Anything else? Awesome. Um, there's just a question about Do you prefer active or passive pickups as active or passive? Defense definitely depends on the type of music, but I think for metal core active pickups or better these air passive that right? Yes. So the bare knuckle pickups, which I think most of them are passive. Those pickups, for whatever reason, are just amazing. Okay, so I am starting to like the bare knuckles, more cool

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 =)