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Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Lesson 26 of 27

How to Mix: Add Bass & Guitar

Sylvia Massy

Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Sylvia Massy

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Lesson Info

26. How to Mix: Add Bass & Guitar

Lesson Info

How to Mix: Add Bass & Guitar

Okay bass time. I wanted to do something special for the bass, and what I'd like to do is... Have on a send, if we have a send, or a bus. You could probably send out a bus, that would be fine. Let's send it out a bus, and do that sansamp and backup on the console. Sure. Both channels or just the DI, or... Just the DI, great idea. We could just put it on the insert also, if you wanna do that. Well if we wanna do it on the insert send, but I wanna have the sansamp on a separate channel so I can blend it in. And not replace the DI but blend it in. Awesome. 'Cause I think we can get a little more edge outta the bass. So I'm gonna add that in right now. Get started with that. (bass and drum music) Alright, yeah, I think this is gonna help the bass make it just a little bit better. Alright. How's it going Scott? It's going. (laughs) Where is it gonna come back? Let me see here, I gotta plug, it's on 17 sansamp, where would you like it to come back? How about 54? Oka...

y 54, channel input 54. It's coming right off of the insert send. Okay, so it should be right there right? Yeah. Alright great. I don't think there's a level meter on this, but it should be good. The levels cranked, so watch your return. Okay. (bass and drum music) Is that too much to have going all the time? Yes. Okay. (laughs) Well I think it is just because it's gonna conflict with the crazy guitar. But I don't think that's too much for the end. Okay, so what we'll do is, let me adjust it so, I'm gonna play with that for a second. I'm going to mute the drums... (speaker buzzes) And just listen to... (bass music) Bass. Let me get in there. Yeah, have at it. Alright. So I have a plan, when we actually print our final mix, I'd like you to sit over there and turn up the buzz for the ending part. And I think that that's something we can do live and it'll be fun. Sure. But I did add a little more crunch, it's backed way down from where it was. Yeah it's less growly, I like it, it's more bassy. Good, let's see how this sounds with the drums. (buttons click) Alright. (bass and drum music) Alright, sounds big and growly huh? It's good? Let's see how it works with the guitars now. (bass and drum and guitar music) (electric guitar music) I have a puzzle with these guitars that I'm gonna work in here for a moment. It has to do with panning. Oh, let's see we have the projector, we have the combo... And then we have the straight Marshall 50 watt. Hm. Let me take a careful listen to what we've got going on here, 19, 20, 21. Okay, I gotta figure this out. (electric guitar music) Wow, okay. Let's listen to that again. (electric guitar music) Wow, well it's very interesting, we've got three different sounds here, and that projector, the strange projector amp that we recorded earlier, really adds something to this picture. So I'm gonna isolate each of the three guitar tracks so you know what's going on. It was one performance driving three amps and three cabs, And each cab was miced up individually, and each cab was recorded on a separate track. So the first, the first... Guitar that we're hearing is the 50 watt, the second will be the combo, and the third will be the projector. I have the 50 watt on the left side, the combo on the right side, and the projector up the center. And the combination of all three is really something. So here it goes, this is the 50 watt. (electric guitar music) And now that's the combo. That's the projector. This projector thing is outrageously good. Do you hear that projector thing? That is crazy. Do you understand what that is? That was the guts out of an old projector that they've been using as a guitar amp, so this is just blowing my mind. (woman laughs) You know? You just had to hear it. So now I'm going to, I'll play that projector a little bit, we just gotta hear that again, here it is. (electric guitar music) That's just nuts right? Okay, so now I'm gonna add them all together one at a time. I'll start with the 50 watt, then I'll add the combo, which has a little spring reverb on it, and then I'll add the projector as our third guitar track. And then you'll see it all come to life. Here we go. (electric guitar music) Wow! You check that shit out? Oh my god. Alright, so and then there's something else, what is it? Oh we have the power tool. I forgot about that. Alright let's see what the power tool is doing here. I don't think that it was doing a whole lot during the tracking, but we'll have to listen to it to see what it was doing. Here we go. Here we are. Yeah, what? Is it even there? Oh, hang on, it's here, here we are. Here it comes. (quiet electric guitar music) Not really doing a whole lot. Alright, we're just gonna get rid of that. Buh-bye. Alright, I like our three guitar tracks here for our main rhythm. And then we added some additional guitars in the choruses so I'm gonna set that up right now, make sure they're clean and ready to go. So we're going to our first chorus... And I'm just gonna clean up the tracks in Pro Tools, because we didn't get a chance to do that. So I'm just cleaning up the beginning and ending of the overdub, and putting fades of the wave forms so they're not ragged. It's just... A good habit to get into I think, clean up. You never know who's gonna get your tracks so make sure they're ready for the next mixer, so they don't complain about you work. (laughs) You know what I mean? Everyone has an attitude, "Hey, my mix sucks "because the guy who recorded it," no we don't get any of that here. Alright, ah. Okay, we're listening now to our mix, with the guitar main rhythm, and our overdubs coming in in the chorus. Let's just check that. (rock music) One more time. (loud rock music) There it is. Alright.

Class Description

Over the last 30+ years, Sylvia Massy has built a career as one of the gutsiest and most innovative recording engineers and producers. She has worked with legends like Prince and Johnny Cash, and won awards for her work with bands like Tool, System of a Down and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you will get a peek inside the recording process of one of rock’s legendary engineers. 

While she is a proficient master of vintage gear, Sylvia stresses that great records come not from having the right gear, but from capturing great performances. Join Sylvia as she records a song in the studio with Seattle alt-rock band Thunderpussy, and learn how to work with an artist to capture that magical take in your own work.

Pulling from her years of experience and sharing stories from her newly published book Recording UnHinged, Sylvia will show you:

  • How to get interesting and vibrant drum sounds, using the room and the drummer to your advantage
  • Capturing great sounding guitars at the source, without editing and reamping
  • Pushing vocalists to deliver their best vocal takes 
  • Mixing both in the box and through a console using outboard gear

Sylvia is also known as a prolific educator, speaking and teaching at some of the best recording schools around the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s most celebrated A-list producers. 

Ratings and Reviews

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Jimmy Foot

This Studio Pass episode with Sylvia Massey covers a lot of ground. From fundamentals like correct mic placement and phase to experimentation with amps, cell phone delay and a few extra parts, Sylvia makes it fun! I have been lucky enough in my career to work with a number of great engineers and producers. I haven't had the opportunity to work with her, but Sylvia is certainly in that category, and anyone who gets a chance to work with her would be a lucky person. This broadcast is the next best thing. Great job there at Avast Studio and fantastic camera work! And as for Thunderpussy; you guys rock!

Marc Felish

Wow, that was such a blast. Thanks so much Sylvia and everyone else for making this such a fun experience. I picked up so many new ideas that I can't wait to try out! Sylvia is such a creative producer, it was so much fun to be a fly on the wall watching everything. Loved it!!

Marcus Soares

Awesome! A great opportunity to pick into the creative mind of one of the greatest and get that kind of knowledge that you can't acquire otherwise. Highly recommended!