Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques for Mixing Audio and Music Production | Christopher Carvalho | Skillshare

Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques for Mixing Audio and Music Production

Christopher Carvalho, Founder — Unlock Your Sound

Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques for Mixing Audio and Music Production

Christopher Carvalho, Founder — Unlock Your Sound

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7 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Introduction - What you will learn

      0:29
    • 2. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 1 EXPORT 5

      13:21
    • 3. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 2 Dynamic EQ EXPORT

      11:24
    • 4. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 3 Mixbus EQ EXPORT

      8:53
    • 5. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 4 Parallel Drum Bus Compression EXPORT

      11:02
    • 6. Parallel Compression and the Benefits of Using it

      1:33
    • 7. EQ Before or After Compression

      1:25
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About This Class

In this class, I demonstrate some advanced techniques using a real-life client project.

Learn how to mix using the following:

  • Parallel Compression
  • Dynamic EQ
  • and much more!

Meet Your Teacher

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Christopher Carvalho

Founder — Unlock Your Sound

Teacher

Hi, I’m Christopher Carvalho and I run Unlock Your Sound out of the UK, helping independent music artists and producers create and release their music.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the likes of Labi Ramaj, Elisabeth Elektra, Distrokid, Tunecore, Gerald Duchene, Daniel Halford, Aliki Rodgers, Matt Cahill, Chris Pavey, Simone Silvestroni, Cheri Lyn, Peter Ngqibs, and many others.

I make educational videos on Youtube.

I write things and published them on my blog.

Here is my company’s website.

Here you can join my email list.

And here is where you can get hold of me.

In 2010 I graduated from The University of Hertfordshire with a First Class Honours award in Sound Design and Techno... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction - What you will learn: Christopher Cavalier here and in this class, I'm gonna teach you some really cool you Q and compression techniques inside off logic Pro 10 thes will be useful to you when you are producing music, mixing music and generally trying to solve problems in the production process. So I hope this proves to be useful, and I look forward to seeing you in the class. 2. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 1 EXPORT 5: Hi. In this video, I'm going to start to deconstruct a mix that I've already got going on for a client. And I'm gonna show you some more advanced compression and eq you techniques that I've used fullest mix. So let's have a look at the project's first. So what we have here are a bunch off sub mixes a bunch of groups. We got drums here, got keys, guitars, etcetera. All of which I created early on, if I can to show you here When I opened up these groups in logic, you can see what makes them up. Got these tracks tracks here. So we got keys there, cross. Except you and I do that stuff early on because a lot to make life a simplest possible for myself on get the basic mixed going in terms, off levels and stuff like that feeders and planning. And then I take it from there. So let's have a look at the mixer. Okay. If I scroll up, you could see this. Quite a few plug ins and most of them Oh, on the vocal channels because the vocals needed a little bit of work. No bits hardening up on this project, You could see that some compressions, a motive and compression some dynamic e que Desam Normally que on over. On the right hand side, I have an e que for the mix bus, which I was using for just overall broad shapes. Broad strokes off the entire mix, which I like to do, sometimes especially unique. You like that because it has, uh, has some great color to it, so help thicken up the overall mix. And as you can see, um, I've already got my volume adjustments basically down. Put that done early on, and I can open up and closed these groups here. These tracks stocks. So I got my drums there of my guitars, etcetera. Now, coming from from here over to here forever to hear Rather, these are my track stacks. But then I've got some extra bus is going on here for various processing that I've done is in this mix. I love parallel processing. I love parallel compression, especially because it allows me to create a duplicate, create parallel an experiment. We've really, really aggressive compression on the parallel and then just blend in against the dry version on my mixer and That's how I usually work when it comes to compression, because it keeps the peaks where they are. It gets the dynamics of the original signal. But I can bring the compressed element into it. I could just makes it. So instead of attacking the top of the signal, I can just be attacked. The top off the duplicate signal and blender in is in the fader. That's how I like to do compression on vocals, but old generally to a mixture of both. Okay, so let's just cycle the chorus. Here, have a listen to that. Yeah, Great. So what you may have noticed was that the meters were going off here on this bus, so I got a bus here called Fox two on debts. Just decipher that bus a little bit. So that's coming from Bus 20 on. That will be one of my vocal buses, but that's where it is kind of beginning. We've got my box to bust their for you. That might just be your box channel, but that's just how come it sets up. And then that's going out to the to the stereo out there. So a so you can see this is my vocal channel. Well, I did most of that processing, and that was going out to bust 20 and then Bus 20. It's coming down here on this. Is that my final vocal mix, which is going out to the stereo going nuts to mix bus there? So let's have a look at the different processing that I've got going on that very quick. Yeah, cool. So let's start unpacking this little bit. Let's solar it first. No way. You pay day. Seems you okay, So as you can hear, the dynamics are very, very tight. It's quite a bit of compression going on. I've used quite a few different compresses. The reason that I do that, that's just kind of about the way that work. But the reason that I do that is I like to two small amounts of compression at time because normally when I'm compressing, I'm focusing on a particular dynamic in the signal, and I just want to compress that first. And then I use another compressor to control another bit of the dynamic of the signal as well. And I like doing it in stages as well so that I can bypass the compresses and I could unpack the compression that I've done. I know what should stay in what should go as opposed to one compressor during all of the work. Some people like to do all of the compression in one compressor. This is just how I work on, and it's up to you how you work on this sort of thing. So let's start unpacking the compression I got going on at the moment. No way. Okay, so it's immediately noticeable. Um, when I bypassed that first compressor that will mostly be because it's during some compression, but not just that. It will be because un during that compression will change the behavior of the rest of the chain because it's the 1st 1 in the train there. No. So offensively. By bypassing that compressor, I'm changing the settings on changing the import of the other compresses as well, which is the same as changing the settings. No way you pay day. Seems you okay, so by itself, you can hear what the compression is during. Um, but it's not really massively important. You know how the vocal sounds by itself, It's not really important at all, because that's not how the listener is going to listen to it. As you can see, the the settings are quite aggressive, very fast attack on stuff like that. But again in the mix, everything sounds relatively good at this point. So let's uncertain of that Theo makes. You could just hear that the vocal was just sitting quite tightly in the mixture. Let's have a look at some other stuff that we've got going on. Okay, so this one's a very clean compression, this platinum, digital and logics very, very clean. None of that is really, really noticeable. That's why I was quite happy to go of aggressive attack and release times because I start with aggressive attack and release, and then I basically open those up only if it's a problem. But I want to hear the sound of the compression first before I start solving that problem. But this one is doing very, very small amount of gain reduction. It's a very clean compressor anyway, so that kind of solved that problem and you'll notice a swell in between my chain. At times I will have different gain stages because when I'm working, sometimes I might need to adjust again to keep the game consistent. Don't worry too much about that. Just do it if you feel that you need to. What you should be doing in the compressors is adjusting the makeup gain in the compressive there so that when you bypass and un bypassed the compressor, it's relatively a constant loudness to your ear so that you can be fair about the judgment you are making about the effect. Let's try that with this one, actually. So when I talk with the bypass here, the output is the same. Loudness to my air, which I made happen with the makeup gain because the game reduction will reduce the volume . Eso sometimes a little bit of makeup gain that you're just by ear to compensate for that. Um, it's a good thing, because otherwise, if the compressed version is a bit quieter to your ears when you're bypassing it, you just you're probably gonna think the loud one is better. That's just kind of how our brains work. But, uh, that's why it's important to use makeup gain. But this point we've got some simple compression. But what you will notice as well is I have a multi bands compressor. Okay, now, the reason I've used this multi bank compressor is not to compress multiple bands is actually to compress a narrow band on. Let the other bands passed through. So, as you can see here off split up this multi bone compressor into three bands. Andi, I've bypassed the low band and bypassed the top band just so that I can compress the body off the vocal, which is what I wanted. I didn't want it to effect the bottom end, and I didn't want it to affect the top end. Let's have a look at that. Yeah, so as you can see there, I just used the multi band compressor to just to tighten the mid range off the vocal. The majority of the the body off the vocal performance there. So which is quite helpful sometimes when you are mixing vocals. The settings have used a very, very light ratio around two there relatively fast attack, but the integration time off the compressor is set to 100 milliseconds, so that's like quite a slow RMS compression. It's not responding to the peaks of the signal is kind of just responding to the volume dynamic off the body off the note said More like we hear it as opposed to the peak off the temperature there on day 49 seconds. Sorry, I 49 minutes. Second release time. They're all of rich. I just did by here, you know, there are no hard and fast rules about this stuff. You you just have to serve the mix. You have to serve what you are mixing at the end, the day on, when you are making these decisions, try not to stay in so low. Just try and stay in context of the mixed. Because when you're mixing vocals, you're not really mixing vocals. You're mixing the mix. You're just trying to make everything sit together on sometimes, to make that work, you have to work on the very course, and sometimes you have to work on something else to make space for the vocals. But it's important that you stay in context when you are in so low that you don't stay in solo for long because how an element sounds by itself isn't really relevant to the mix. Like I said, the listener is not gonna solo the vocals court. So we got some multiplying compression going on there. And I've got some other e cubits and compression bits as well. But again, they're all just small amounts or tackling very small things that I discovered during the mix process. Andi, I can easily by passed him and I'm bypassed him without bypassing. Or I'm bypassing all of my accuse or all of my compression work like that. Okay, Thanks for watching. And I'll see you in the next video. 3. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 2 Dynamic EQ EXPORT: Hi. In this video, I'm going to show you how I've used dynamic e que to reduce civil INTs in a vocal recording . So normally, the advice is to use a de ESA to reduce semblance in a recording. So the civil INTs I should probably hear my voice, actually, is the s and teas and stuff like that, those sibilant frequencies that you can hear and sometimes it's very, very necessary to reduce those in the recording. Now the way that we do that is we use a de ESA to target specific frequencies and compress just those frequencies when those frequencies allowed enough. So when I use as his and such syllables like that, the de ESA targets those frequencies and reduces them. Now I like to use TD on over because it's a great plug in, but also it allows me to really, really hone in on the frequencies that we're trying to reduce, and it's very powerful. Plug in and it's free. You condone download TD on over online for fruit as a free version of it, which is very, very powerful. Okay, so let's have a look at this vocal got going on here. Let's focus on the verse because that's where I did most of work. Me too. Okay, so this is TD on over here on, and what I've done is I have targeted the civilian frequencies to reduce them only when they happen, cause if I just use a normal e que. Then those frequencies were reduced consistently in that signal. I don't want that to happen. I only want them to be reduced when they are problematic. Me too. Okay. So you can see some compression going on in that band there. What I'm gonna do is actually so low this vocal push me Teoh. Okay, so there's still a bit more work to do there. I'm gonna bypass that band and see what it sounds like without the compression. Meteo, you can start to really hear those sibilant frequencies Bush me, Teoh. When she says push me, Bush me, Teoh to the sun, Bush me Teoh A Yeah. Okay, so I've bypassed the band that was using to compress it. I'm gonna leave that as it is and use a different band to target those frequencies as well . It helps to use TD on overs on the lines of for this Because it's very easy to start to identify where those frequencies are. You could just use the analyzer in second, analyze the input there. Which is what I useful identifying those frequencies, at least at first. And then no refined. From here I want to do is I'm gonna choose a band. I'm gonna keep an eye on the analyzer and moved the band over to where it looks like those frequencies are Push me, Teoh A got me gone on and in your so it looks like it's over here, which is pretty normal me Teoh! Push, Rush me, Teoh! Cool! Now let's solo this band and have another Listen me, Teoh! Now I'm gonna naroda banned by increasing the queue here me Teoh course! And now we really only hearing that. Semblance me, Teoh! Okay? And now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn on threshold, which basically activates the compressor off that band. It's gonna pull down the first hold until it starts pulling down those sibilant frequencies . Wish me Teoh. Okay, It further causes quite low signal. Push me, Teoh! Okay, lets Solo now I'm just adjust the threshold. Push me, Teoh! Keep it just in the officials push me to say yes. Okay. I'm gonna close that for a moment. Reduced the cycle region here so that we can really hone in on the problematic bit. Push me, Teoh. Cool Bush! Me, Teoh! Bush! Me, Teoh! But I like to do with Nova. It's really aggressive on the compression. Push me Teoh to So I know for sure that compressing the right stuff. Push me, Teoh Bush! Me! Teoh! Bush! Me! Teoh! Push me! Teoh! Bush! Me! Teoh! Push me, Teoh! Okay! I want to increase the attack there. Pull the release down as well. Spit too slow for May Bush Me! Teoh, meet! What I might do for this one is actually, instead of making it a parametric, we're just hones in on one frequency band. I'm actually gonna make it a shelf, Onda. Just it from there. Push me, Teoh! Now one of just a frequency! Certainly! Bush! Me! Teoh! Push me, Teoh! Now I'm gonna trigger the bypass here so we can hit a difference. Push me, Teoh! Bush! Me! Teoh! Okay, so we're definitely reducing the civilians. But also cutting into the signal quite a bit. So you're not just a few things. One feature off over that I really, really like is this g r Delta future which, basically free enabled that will only hear what we're reducing. So we're here to start that were taken away, which is really, really cool. So let's turn that on. You should be too. You should be too. So, so far so good. Actually, we're only really hearing the semblance and a little bit of the signal. But mostly the gate is kind of opening at the semblance. There. You should be too. You should be too awesome. Okay, now I'm gonna Unser low the vocals Turn off jail, Delta. And now I'm gonna do because the compression I've done is quite aggressive. I'm actually gonna increase the dry mix off TV on over here. Another reason I love this fucking because I can go aggressive on the compression on, then just dull in baxam dry signal just to reduce it. That makes sense. So we'll try that. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. Coat. Now just refining my DS ing should make this a bit longer, so don't let toe just loop a single partner. Me too. You. Me too. Me too. Me too. You, me, too. Cool. So get in there. So what did was I just started playing it in the mix again, trying to stay in context as much as possible, and I just for finding the dry mix and refined the ther shoulder bit as well. So it just really focusing on the civil INTs and trying to reduce it without eating into the actual vocal itself Too much. But it's a process, and it's a great way to train your ears as well. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 4. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 3 Mixbus EQ EXPORT: Hi. In this video, I'm going to show you some mixed bus e que That I've done on this project. Now mix bus accuse just when you use an e que on the final bus. So you're playing an e que So the entire mix. And sometimes it could be quite useful just to re balance the frequency response off the entire mix. Andi, the one that I'm using here is logics tube e que, which I quite like because allows me to to, like, broad strokes and just re balance to mix quite easily. No. Well, I also like about it. Is that eight? I mean, it's that off, like tubes and stuff like that that allow me to add a bit saturation and a bit warmth to a signal. So let's have a listen. Me too. You so as you could hear there when I was talking in the bypass, what Niki was on, it's quite a bit warmer and a bit fatter. Me too. Okay, So I'm just gonna take you through some of the things that I did with this. E que. What we have here is something called low Attenuation. Well, that is is it's just a control to reduce the low frequencies. Okay, so I dollar that up to two because I just wanted to reduce the base in this signal. At some point, you could say that I could have reduced the base by pulling the base down. But when I was this far into the mix, sometimes I just like to find kind of simple solutions. And sometimes using an e que can be quite cool for that stuff because I didn't want to just increase or decrease the bass instrument. I actually wanted to reduce the low end off the mix as a whole. Andi. So I had that dialed up to two Andre. I had this set at 100 hertz. So is only attenuating or reducing the frequencies from 100 hertz I'm below. That's pretty much all I did actually, with a guard to this particular mix by if I wanted to, I could boost hires. And so let's which frequency the high start up and the width of the of the hires Cool. So attenuate the highs if I want to as well. But one thing that is really contributing to the sound of this mix is the drive function in this e que So in this particular e que I can select from different kind of colors off e que right now I'm using the tube. Accuse default. Silky setting Andi When I increased the drive, it really adds quite a lot of warm from a lot of color. Just another reason I love this CQ. Um, many accuse do this, uh, to be Q is based on, like polytechnique use and stuff like that. But there are loads of the accused on the markets that adds color intentionally on its got these different settings here, like punchy and smooth and stuff. But I quite like the silky one for this particular sung on. What I'll do is I'll just decrease and increase the drive they're just to so that you can hear the difference now what the drive does when you see Dr it basically increases the gain going into the the function, going into like the saturation function. But it decreases the output as well so that the the loudness doesn't doesn't change with it , which is very useful. Um, so let's have a listen to that. Me too. You. So it's actually quite a lot thinner when I reduced the drive there. Just like the way that Ecologist lends everything together a little bit. It's kind of a bit like glue. Me too. You cool on? What to do now is just take the opportunity to try some of the other different colors that we have available to us in this. E que Me too. Me too. Do you quite like that, Actually. Was Trey Smith me too? Well, you have to watch out for when you're using saturate er's. And that sort of thing is ah, the transients off the percussion and stuff like that. But sometimes it can really clip in silos. But, uh, if you don't, right, if you hit the sweet spot, it could be great. Me too. And for fun, it's just add another one after it. And sometimes I will literally do this. I will load up one of these accuse Andi, simply use it for that color. So I don't necessarily adjust all that setting too. I would just used to drive me too. You okay? So what I'm actually going to do in this occasion is I'm gonna turn the volume up off the e Que Because I noticed that when I bypassed this e que It's a little bit quieter, so I don't want my ears to be biased to the louder one. It's gonna talk with the bypass here. Me too. I should have actually reduced it. So supposed to increase it? Start with one D. V minus one. Me too. Okay, so it's about the same in terms of loudness, but it's definitely a bit thicker. Bit more good together with this, Dr. Me too. You probably notice is quite easy to get carried away with this. But you know, you could do what you want. You can stack these up if you want to. Like I said sometimes I just used him for the color Common. It bypassed that one for now. Day. So that's how we can use um, and e que on the mix bus to just to make broad but very subtle adjustments to the mix. Especially if we've got one that has some color to it. Really glue things together. Thank you for watching. And I'll see you in the next video 5. Advanced EQ and Compression Techniques Part 4 Parallel Drum Bus Compression EXPORT: Hi. In this video, we're gonna talk about bus compression. Now, bus compression is just applying compression to a bus. So a bus might be a vocal bus. Where already of your vocal tracks go to, like, your main vocals and backing vocals and stuff like that? They might or go to a steri, a bus for the vehicles. And then you might compress the vocals together. They're just toe grew them up a little bit, Christian consistency in the dynamics. But what I'm gonna do in this one is drum bus compression. I haven't actually used John bus compression in this particular project, but be called toe. See what it sounds like if I did, I'm pretty happy with the drums, to be honest at this point, but let's give it a go. So let's have a listen to them at the moment. Me too. You have a good listen. So the drums just get yourself familiar of how they sound that's gonna navigate for the project. Yeah. Okay, cool. So we'll try some bus compression on the drums. I don't think it needs it, but it would be good to know what it sounds like with it. Like I said the client has already signed off the mix and everything like that. But what I'm showing you here are just some adjustments that we're making. Cool. So let's add a compresses to the drum bus cause I've used logic pros track stacks feature. I effectively have a drum bus here. Sounds just gonna apply a compressor. I was going to use logics to focus for a circus. It models lots of different ones and stuff like that. Like a So I'm gonna turn off the auto gain 10 off the altar release, turned that down, turn it down and try and dio is really add some color to the drums, um, saturate them a bit and just make them sound a bit more aggressive. So the first thing on their do is not use the platinum digital circuit because that's too clean for turning to achieve. I'm gonna try some of the others that model different types of circuits and get really aggressive with the compression. Let's try soloing. Okay, so that's really eating into the kick drum got because with that sort of thing, uh, now we're getting some crunch. So I turned out the ratio here cool . So it's definitely softened the transience of the drugs, but in a way that I'm quite happy with, and it's added a bit more color. So the drums as well call The only problem is that sometimes it gets bit to pump E, which is an artifact of compression. So what I'm actually going to do is gonna do this in parallel instead. So show you how that works. I wanna close that. And then I'm going to use a send and just use an available send. That's do bus 14. Okay. And then I'm just gonna send understand 100% of this song. Return this up to zero. So it sends the same amount off the signal to the bus. The navigates over to the bus here, which is auxiliary. 16. She's might short yet Bus 12. Is the input here? Some, like Otis drums, power before parallel. And then I'm going to copy. No, just moved a compressor over, re enable it and pull the fader down. And then I'm just gonna bring it up into the mix. So you obviously, when I talk with the meat there, the un muted. It's definitely bit louder. So you kind of got Watch out for that, but it's not really a problem at the moment. What I'm gonna do now, actually is I'm gonna fill throughout the bottom end of this because I really don't want to touch the bottom end of the drums. So this parallel, I'm just going to use simple channel eq and filter out the bottom end. So I'm gonna use a high pass here on, and I'm just gonna filter out. So when I move, come over here. Yeah, - you . I'm just going to adjust the steepness of the e que curve here as well and turn it up. At this point, I'm just making adjustments by ear based on what I'm hearing. - Cool . So I'm getting there. Have definitely added some color to the drums and picking them up a bit, but in a way that isn't really intruding too much on the transients off them, because that dry signal is still going through. So the un compressed version of the drums still going through to the next bus to the serial . But I have this parallel off them. A copy off them that's being heavily compressed. I didn't think you'd out a little bit off the low end as well, and I'm just kind of blend in that into the mix. So pulled, afraid of down and try again. You cool. So that is basically how we can use drum bus compression as well as parallel compressions are basically combined. Those two concepts there to thicken up the drums, but without eating into the transients too much. How does useful and I'll see you in the next video. 6. Parallel Compression and the Benefits of Using it: hi. In this video, we're going to talk about parallel compression on the benefits of using it. So, first of all, what is parallel compression? Parallel compression or parallel processing in any process is where you take the dry signal . That's a vocal track, and then you make a copy of it, and then you do processing on the copy of it, maybe quite aggressively. And then you blend the two together in the mix. So something I like to do a lot is parallel processing with vocals because, especially when it comes to compression, I want really tight dynamics, and I want that tonal character. Sometimes you get with aggressive compression, but I don't necessarily want to harm the dynamics. Well, I really clamped down on the peaks of the signal, so I will create, Ascend or just duplicate the vocal on Go really, really harsh on the compression on the difficult pull that fader down and then just blended it. Normally in logic, for example, I do that of a bus are correct send and that's my vocal parallel bus got really, really hard on that gets a real crunch going on, really make that vocal sound very very dense in that parallel bus and then just blend in. And the good thing is, I've still got the four dynamics off the original. But this tight, dense material I could just blend into the mix as well. So parallel processing is very beneficial in many processes, but I especially love it for compression, for the reasons that I just stated. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 7. EQ Before or After Compression: so a lot of people ask, should you e que before or after compression? Now the answer to this is it depends. It depends on why you are you curing also depends on your workflow, and it depends on the problems you're trying to sold with e que adds compression. Now, for example, if you are mixing a song with some vocals in it on, the vocals have a really, really low rumble like really look low frequency rumble. It's probably a good idea to filter that out before the compressor, because that rumble could trigger the compressor in a way that you don't expect what away that isn't useful to the signal. But then you might eq you after compression form or tonal shaping off the sound. You know, you might want to bring up a bit of brightness or what have you. Or you might want to just reshape the balance, Um, but also because the carats off the compression or the way that the compression what's might have an effect on the tonal balance of the signal. So when it comes to e que before compression, generally speaking, that is for solving problems, removing weird residences or lower in mumble or anything like that, then compression for Titan in the dynamics and then some ICO, maybe for just overall tonal shaping off the sound. How does useful and I'll see you in the next video.