FL Studio Tutorial: Mixing and Mastering Techniques | James Fortin | Skillshare

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FL Studio Tutorial: Mixing and Mastering Techniques

teacher avatar James Fortin, Musician

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introudaction

    • 2. Adding Sounds To Mixer Channel

    • 3. Using Eq To Clean Up Mix In Fl Studio

    • 4. Using Eq To Enhance Sounds In Fl Studio

    • 5. How To Master Beat

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About This Class

FL Studio is a strong piece of music production software that will be covered in this class.
It's a Windows and Mac OS X Digital Audio Workstation.

Bedroom producers and professional studios all around the world use FL Studio.
Learning how to utilize this DAW properly can vastly increase the quality of your music as well as the speed with which you make it!

What is the purpose of this FL Studio class?

  • You will gain a thorough understanding of FL Studio in this class.
  • You will learn how to create, record, edit, mix, and master your own music using various tools and procedures.
  • You'll discover the beauty and power of this software, which is being used by many professional producers.

Who this class is for:

  1. Anyone interested in learning FL Studio for fun or to take Songs Production more seriously Those who wish to make their own music or improve their Music Production skills
  2. DJs that wish to start making music of their own
  3. Those with a basic understanding of music production who want to learn more about FL Studio Songwriters who want to record their ideas in FL Studio Those with a basic understanding of music production who want to learn more about FL Studio

Meet Your Teacher

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James Fortin



Hello, I'm James and  a Music Producer, Composer and Audio Engineer.  I adore writing and producing music of all kinds, but I especially enjoy teaching it online. 

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1. Introudaction: Mixing is one of the most important aspects of creating high-quality professional sounding beats. You can already have a really good sounding beats. But if you mix it incorrectly, then it's just not going to live up to its potential. You're not going to make as many sales artists aren't going to want to go on the beach, etc. And today we're gonna go over really everything related to mixing your beats, Q effects, leveling, your master channel, etc. The real key with mixing though, is kind of combining all the things I'm going to show you here today. Some of the things that are gonna make a really big difference that you're going to hear immediately, while others are gonna make a difference when you add them altogether, if you skip one of these things, so then your beach just not going to be mixed as well as it could be. So pay close attention and let's get into it. 2. Adding Sounds To Mixer Channel: So right here I have an unmixed version of a beat I made a few weeks ago. This was in my tutorial. Here's how the beat sounds without any mixing, know levelling nothing. Alright, so it sounds terrible. First thing you're going to want to do when it comes to mixing is just leveling sounds in terms of just turning it down. You can add everything to your mixer. And in order to do that, highlight all of your sounds right here and go click on your mixer channel or click F9 on Windows and then do Control Shift L, and it'll populate this entire rack with all of your sounds. Now in the case that you use some samples or something like that, then you'll have to just click on the sounds, go through Mixer Channel and then just do Control L. Now I'm going to show you two ways to level your beets. First, the way that I currently use, and then another trick in case this seems a little bit too complicated at a lot of people swear by and now some people are completely against. So typically what I'll do is I'll just solo each sound. So let's just start with this guitar right here. I usually like these instruments around 12 or 15 dB. Then I'll start adding in the other sounds. They sound good together right here. I just want that kind of in the background just when it comes to your instruments, I do like to do around like 12 to 15 dB. However, it's really going to be based off of its kind type of beat you're trying to make. So there's no like just set number that you're going to use. Each of these, I could totally change up the sound and make this arcades sound be the loudest part. Now we're going to do the same thing for the drums. Lattice drum is going to be the kick, really the driving force in your beat. And then right after that is going to be 808. Sometimes they'll have my eight away louder than my kick. It really just depends on the beat. Some people will say, you'd have to have the kick be the loudest part, cannot be the Ada weights, but a lot of Ada weights have elements of kicks. A lot of them are combined with kicks. I would say it just really depends. Right here. I just went and center. Right down the middle of the mix. I'm turning down the Ada weights so it's not clipping. Generally do not want your sounds to go over 0 dB. Listening to this and away, I think these instruments are a bit too loud for my taste. So I'm attorneys all down. So that's one of the best ways to just make your drums just stick out and cut through the mix is just to turn down your melodies. And they're going to hit a lot harder because they're not competing with those sounds as much. Next sound that I feel should be the loudest in terms of your jumps is your scenario, your clap. I think this is a pretty good lumbar here. Next sound we have is the hi-hat. And I kinda like my hi-hat to sit more in the background. My open hats and my percussion instruments. I usually like them to kind of sit in the background a little bit more specifically with open hats though, what I'll usually do is turn it down a little bit. This spread right here. Let's just pushes out a little bit more hair to how we started sharing now. 3. Using Eq To Clean Up Mix In Fl Studio: Now let's say this is overly difficult for you, but one little trick, and some people don't like this trick works totally fine though my opinion, if you go in and in the description, I'll have a link that you can go and download this and you use what's called pink noise. Just basically sounds like an old TV or something. Put it on your channel right here, turned everything way down. Like literally off. Turn this down a little bit so it's not so loud. Now what you're gonna do is you're going to slowly pull up each instruments until you can just barely hear it over this pink noise right here. You can just barely hear it now. And then your skin and do that for every sound here. Once you've gone through and done that, pull everything up. Once, once you've gone through every sound and you should have a pretty good sounding mix. Next thing I want to talk about is just like handing sounds. For example, I have two guitars playing right here to make the guitar stand out a little bit more, you can just go in and pan it's each ear dislike slightly. That's the difference. That sounds really been doing that. So I want to do something like this. You could also go in and do this for your high hats and get like cool effects or just different jumps sounds down here and do note pan. I can get some pretty cool sounds on this hi-hat role right here. I'll just go in and do something like this. Just have a go every other versus just a little pink in there. I would recommend not doing this for cake or your Ada weights. Like for sure, you want those down the center of the road. Alright, so next onto EQ. And EQ is one of the best tools that you can use. It's really a way to shape sounds, take away sounds that you don't want, and also just kind of give some separation in your mix so things don't sound like they're clashing or overlapping. First thing I want to talk about is just some cleanup. Eq. Got these two guitars from my one-shot bank to Vinci. And then this arcades sound. What you're gonna wanna do is open up in a queue, cut out around 200 hertz. And that's just to make space for the 808. So that's what we're gonna do right here. For each of these sounds. You can kind of play with it and see, maybe can I leave? I usually don't need to. The other sounds. Now to give you a better example, just because these kind of higher frequency sounds already aren't really operating in these lower areas. Let me just knock one of these sounds down an octave so you can see the difference. Alright, so this is what the effects, I take this off your house. It is clashing and you just hear that mud. I like using fab filter just because it's very visual. Compare it to like a fruity EPO or something like that. The fruity EQ works really well for this. It's all just kinda like what's more visually appealing. There is a free plugin called TDR Nova, which is really good and it kinda offers a visual representation that's very similar. Now some other ways you can use EQ to kind of clean up your mix is let's just say you have this guitar right here. Sweep through and see if there's a frequencies, you don't want it here. Maybe we could take that out. Stuff like this is gonna make like a minor difference. Typically unless he had tons of unwanted frequencies in a sound, this is more so something if you do this with all those sounds in your mix, that's when you're gonna notice like the biggest difference. So it's really up to you if you want to do it or not. And if you want to take it a step further in terms of like EQ and correcting everything people will go in and with every single drum is they'll go in. And let's say you have a clap for example. And I'm just going to solo the clap so you can hear it better. And just cut out everything that doesn't make the clap sound and indifferent. So claps still sounds the same, right? Didn't really lose anything. And so they'll go in and do that with every sound, every genome, et cetera. And the idea behind it is it will get rid of any clashing frequencies and I'm just lead to a really nice clean sounding mix. I'll do this if I'm uploading a song to Spotify. But if I'm just like sending someone beats or whatever, then now pylon do this. Another thing that you should do it for, like corrective EQ is on your 808 or your baseline. And you just want to cut out between 2030 Hertz as these are frequencies that the human ear can't really hear. And they just kind of absorbs some of the energy from your Ada weights and your baselines around like 30 hertz is fine if you just want to make sure it's not taking too much way from your eight away. Versus maybe sharper slope right here. 4. Using Eq To Enhance Sounds In Fl Studio: Now let's talk about some EQ enhancements. Ways you can use EQ to kind of enhance certain sounds. And for example, one thing you can do is you can use it to boost your Ada weights and your kick. So let's just do it for the kick right here. I can see the kick and a peaking right here. Sit up a little bit. A lot of times what people will do just so the kit kind of sticks out a little bit more through the 808. So I pull the kick up. What was it around 61 hertz. And so over here at around 61 hertz, they might kinda pull this down a little bit. If I wanted to just boost my 808, maybe go in. Look over here. Sometimes even pulling up some of the highest can make us sick element two. Now we're gonna go over some basic effects you can use to really enhance your mics. First thing I want to talk about is reverb makes things sound a lot more like a live and real in my opinion. But let's say we wanted to add some reverb to this sound right here. Fruity reverb to is great. It makes it sound more alive. Plenty of good presets 3D is here as well. One thing I would recommend doing is using this low cut knob right here, cutting out everything like it's like 500 times. You don't really need a bunch of you around the floor sounds. Now if you want like a paid plug-in, my favorite reverb plugin is a hollow Vintage reverb. I really like this. Another great effects plugin when you're mixing is just using some sort of distortion plugin. It's really great to use on drums as it'll help them kinda cut through the mix a bit more. So for example, on this 808, if I wanted fruity fast distortion, just a stock plug-in right here. Let's turn it down. I felt paid plug-in for something like this would be something like a potato or thermal. And I actually mix a lot of the drums that I created in this drum kit with the commutator, just so they would stick out in your mix without you having to put this effect on, I know some of these tips seem like really small and you're like, I can just barely notice the difference. I mentioned earlier. It's all about everything kind of combined. That's where you're going to notice a really big difference. Now, last thing for effects. If you want to put all of your effects on multiple different sounds, one thing you can do that's really easy. Just highlight all these sounds. So it's just these drum sounds right here. Just go to route to this track only. Any effects you add right here will affect all of your drums. I could do something where I just add reverb to all of the drums, ended up taking the needle off, though typically doesn't sound very good on it. 5. How To Master Beat: All right, so next, let's go on to the master channel. One thing I like to typically do though, personally, is I like to use a compressor and feel free to use purity compressor as well. I just use this SSL professor. It's really simple and easy to use. And basically what this compressor is doing is it's kind of like gluing the mixed together. These are just the settings that I use here. Turn the attack all the way to 30 milliseconds, turn the release so it's super fast. So here's how it sounds with the compressor and without just lacks a little bit. The next thing you can do is you can add an EQ. A lot of people will pull up some of the lower end with a DeWitt and kicker hitting pull up some of the higher frequencies as well. So before and after. Pretty big difference, feel free to fight it out in the comments on this last one right here, I just have a soft Clipper on the master. This is what I'll typically do, what I've been playing around with. And a lot of people will say, Nope, never do this stuff, but you're limited on your master, et cetera. You go to your limiter and you just turn the ceiling all the way up and then play with this saturation knob a bit. You can get a pretty good sound as well. And people say this is just another form of soft clipping, really up to you. So this was the soft clipper. And now this is what the limiter.