Music Mixing In Adobe Audition | David Miller | Skillshare
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11 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Mixing Music In Audition Intro

      3:04
    • 2. Basic controls of the waveform workspace

      4:21
    • 3. Basics of the Multitrack View

      4:49
    • 4. Working With Multitrack Stems

      3:06
    • 5. Creative Loops From Stems Pt 1

      4:49
    • 6. Creating Loops From Stems Pt 2

      3:36
    • 7. Stretching A Looped Waveform

      5:33
    • 8. Structures

      3:09
    • 9. Voice Clean Up

      2:06
    • 10. Evaluating Your Mix

      6:46
    • 11. Audition Wrap up

      1:04
14 students are watching this class

About This Class

Adobe Audition is an amazing sound editing and mixing suite from the Adobe Creative Cloud; even with a variety of apps including Garageband, Propellerheads, Korg and other companies, it's my go-to software for creating my final compositions, be they ambient soundscapes or bouncy hiphop tracks or smashing rock tracks. 

In this course we cover creating your  own loop-based multitrack productions, including:

  • where to find royalty free loops and song elements

  • multitrack mixing strategies

  • getting audio from video sources

  • creating your own loops

  • bpm matching

  • determining what's a good mix, working with EQ and mastering a final track

Transcripts

1. Mixing Music In Audition Intro: friends. I'm David Miller. I am a feeding spares on a multimedia artist. I want to welcome you to this course on mixing music in Adobe Audition. This is a program I have been working with for literally 20 years. It wasn't always called Adobe Audition. It used to be called Cool Edit and Cool and it pro by a company called Syntroleum. At some point, they'll be bought. It gave it new Skin, updated a lot of its capabilities. And now it's the most robust audio editor that Adobe has as part of their creative cloud package. Now there are a lot of audio editing programs, digital audio workstations. A lot of them have music making capabilities such as a garage band. Uh, W Audition is more an editor and a mixer, which means it's really useful for not just creating songs, but it works well with after effects Adobe Premiere Pro, all the other APS in the Adobe Creative suite. Now, if you are not a musician, if you're not a singer, don't worry about being able to generate your own sounds for this course, because I'm going to be showing you a lot of stuff that is very Luke based, and I'm gonna cover where we get the sounds for our music productions. And in no way is this considered cheating because actually, a lot of music production in the modern era comes from this style of creating, where the producers don't actually play any instruments or they do a mix of royalty, free loops, producer pack style loops and original sounds. Original singing. Maybe they generate their music in another application like GarageBand, but ultimately bring it into Adobe Audition. Now I love working with Audition. It is by far the best way for my editor that I ever worked with. Wave forms are the visual representation of sounds. So when we start digging into way forms, it's going to be pretty clear what the drum be sound actually looks like and how we can cut it up, create our own loops, manipulate that sound so on and so forth way we're going to cover how to create song structures that are interesting for the listener. So when you start off a song by the time you get to the end of it, there's a lot of things that are going on and create variations. The listener won't be bored by. We're going to discuss mixing and maybe what good levels are for your rhythm sections, your base sections, your leads. We're going to get a little bit to mastering, which is where you prepare a track for final consumption by listeners a whole lot more. It's gonna be an awful lot of fun. And I hope that my love for audition translates into love for addition for you guys out there. So let's get started. 2. Basic controls of the waveform workspace: so welcome to our first look at a Deby addition before we dig in on songwriting in Adobe Addition, I just want to show you around the general workspace. It's really easy to understand, especially if you have used other adobe products like premier. They generally have a workspace on the right. They have the area where your files and effects are on the left. So I am going to stretch this out and I'm going to go ahead and open a wave form. The obvious way to open anything is under the file menu file Open anything recent, I'm going to pick this thing that says U S L F E base. So this is just going to be a single bass sound. This is also a loop, meaning when I push the play button here, you see your play head go all the way to the end, and it continues to look because I have this open loop. Playback Stop is next to play Pause. That's a familiar looking icon. If you have used any piece of technology in your life, these move your play. Head back to a marker. Now there are no markers here, but if I wanted to place a marker in the middle of my file. Say, here, go ahead and place the play head where it needs to. I can scrub it exactly to where I wanted to be, and then I hit the letter, M says Marker one. And now that doesn't affect the playback. But if I wanted to jump to that marker, I utilize one of these. Move, play head to previous move, play head to next. The reason why you will use this will become more obvious when we have a whole bunch of loops and sections of a song going on. But essentially it does mark where you have a section. If you wanted to paste, say, a beat, starting on this little bass note that's really convenient to place a marker there because you can jump straight to it and mix in your beat. This is record. If you had, say, a USB mic plugged into your computer and you wanted to record an instrument or voice directly in there, this is what you would utilize again. This is looping playback. So when this is unchecked and I play this, it just stops because this course is focused on creating music and audition. I like to leave looping on most electronic music is based in the concept of loops, so I'm going to leave it on there of no over here is zoom in to selection. So when I have clicked and dragged an area and I click this now, I am zoomed in close and I consuming even closer to really get in tight on the way form. This is one of the advantages of using audition over, Say, garage Band. The garage man I use is garage mint IOS. That's what's on the iPhone or the I've had. There definitely is a limit to how far I can zoom in, and here I can get as close as I possibly can. Now, if this is too tight and I want to zoom out, that's where my other choices come in. You'll see the magnifying glass with the minus in it that zoom out. And if I want to go back to my full wave form, it's this one. Zoom out full. So highlight, Zoom in and back to the full track. Anyways, back to our full track. This is our left Channel and our right channel. We have the volume measured in decibels 3. Basics of the Multitrack View: if we wanted to have a multi track view, which is where we see more than one track and can do audio mixing between them. We switched to that view under we switch from the single way form view to multi track overhears the upper right corner Neymar session sample. I only have one way form sound open, but I'm going to go ahead and drop it here. If I want to put other sounds in the multi track, I need to have them open in this panel to get those other sounds. I'll go ahead. Go file for me. It's open recent, so we have a kit here. This is another bass sound. The wave forms you have open have this little wave form icon with a twirl down that has their left and right channels. The multi tracks that you have open have this rectangular multi track icon. Go ahead and click that we'll drag our subwoofer in and now these two sounds will play concurrently. I'm gonna go ahead and open a beat sound so you can hear how distinctive it is to have the base against the be and what we can do in the multi track mixer. We've got one here. I am opening this from an application called Spice and I will have an appendix concerning spice. For now, all you need to know is that you can either openwave forms here or you can drag. You're wave forms your MP threes into this workspace, and we'll go ahead and open up. So I got my drum loop. It's difficult to tell if this sounds good as it is without having headphones and communicating my own personal judgment of what sounds good versus what you might think Sounds good. I've spotted a few things already that are problematic in this multi track mix. The main one, of course, is that these sounds only go once they don't continue to loop, and the other one is that my volume level. I am highly in the red here when all my sounds air playing when you're volumes are in the red. That creates an effect called clipping and clipping Me will cause distortion to your sounds . It might be something you are interested in particular if you're playing like punk rock music. But for most of us, clipping sounds kind of amateurish, and it degrades the sound in a way that's not intentional. So to avoid the clipping, reduce the volume of my elements. This little mountain here is volume. I'm going to take the volume down on all three of my elements minus 1.8 decibels. And as I scrubbed the play head, you can see they're still clipping. It's still in the red. Just a matter of going through it all, seeing what it sounds like readjusting. Okay, it goes in the red, but it doesn't hit these edges. I think we're good now. You know what the multi track view looks like. And you know what the standard weight form view looks like. If you are in the multi track and you want to bounce to the individual wave forms, you don't have to switch back and forth here and there. You can just double click a sound, and it will take you back to where you started. 4. Working With Multitrack Stems: another great resource for finding music to work with our remakes competitions. There are countless remix competitions across the Internet. One of the major sites is Beat Port. This is more of a dance music site, but many of the alternative bands that I've ever liked had their own remix competitions. Thing with remix competitions is they aren't open all the time. So if Young, the giant or mute math, had remixed competitions back in 2011 or 2014 those stems are only available for that period of time, and stems are complete tracks that feature on Lee particular sounds. So these stems that I have open an audition are all from a band called Popular in Itself, and I was sent these directly by the band to do a remix for them. We have bases, so this is all the bass sounds. In one three minute track. We have the vocals, all in 13 minute track. We have what's called Rob gets in 13 minute track loops and live drums. These names came from what the band had originally called them. Six individual wave forms that, when put into a single multi track equal the song as we know it, but I'm going to go ahead and throw these all over here. So if I were to do a mix down of these, essentially, what I'd end up with is their original track as we know it, when you are working with stems by another artist, they're not royalty free. They're the property of the artist, so it's not the same as making your own music using the royalty friend. So it's not the same is getting music him, so it's not the same as getting loops or individual sounds from royalty free sites like Spice. However, I think it's an excellent way to learn how to structure a song and how to fit elements together. For example, the bass parts of this song are pretty sparse. There's little based parts and the versus larger base parts in what are the choruses. And then there's a huge chunk here where there's no base at all, something from around one minute, 22 almost two minutes. It's about 30 seconds there. There's no base, and the bass parts essentially mirror what we've got going on with the guitar parts. You see these little chunks here and we can see how that mirrors the base here. Also, what's cool about working with multi tracks is you can compare what you do with your song to what's considered a professional mixing job. A professional recording, which is the final, commercially available track. 5. Creative Loops From Stems Pt 1: Now, when you have all these multi track stems, they're not broken down into loops. So the initial thing that a novice producer might do is just start cutting out certain sections rather than moving them around. There's no markers. There's no loops without putting those in. It is really hard to just sort of pick up one area and shifted or completely replaced the drums as they are. Unless you start breaking these down into other loops, you're kind of left with volume controls and the panning from the right channel to the Left Channel. And that's not really a good way to do remixing. We want to create something that doesn't just change the volume of the individual parts, but is a new approach, a new structure to the song. So where I'm going to start with is the section that's called Loops Minute. Dive into it by double clicking it, and I'm going to zoom in on this chump because I think this chunk looks kind of exciting. I'm going to zoom in really tight on the way form and where we have this little section here. You can see this spike. That is where our drum kick starts I find when you're working with loops. It's the simplest approach to start with the rhythm section because I'm going to put a marker down by hitting em. They want to play through the track until I feel like I've got a section where, uh, the beat has cycled four times. Okay. Should be here going to zoom in where I see that spike start. Hit em. Now I will back up to the first marker Highlight a little bit past my other marker. I'm going to copy by going at it copy or on my Mac command. See? And then I'm going to pace to new, which is also under the edit menu. You can also hold down shift command and V for pasting to new. Now I'll go ahead to the next marker by moving play head to the next, highlight the rest by holding shift and then hit Delete. And while I I have a loop taken from that. Now that I have this loop, I think I want Teoh. Haven't go a little bit longer than 11 seconds, actually. Wanna haven't go four times. So my next step is to highlight the entire track which I could do either using the mouse or command a I'm going to copy it. And then I actually want this to repeat four times instead of the single time that I have here. So I'm going to move my play head over here and instead of simply just pasting this section so I have a duplicate. I am going to use mix paste. A mixed pace will pull up this menu. It shows you what your copied audio is. That audio you have on the clipboard and existing audio, which currently is nothing because the play head is at the and this way form. I'm going to have this box here, Luke. Pace checked, and I'm gonna have it looping three more times for a total of four. So it'll be the one that already exists here. And then three mawr. New iterations. There we go. Each time it looped, it placed a marker. So it's really easy for me to move to those play heads. And now I have a 45 2nd version of my original sampled loops. Before I go any further, I think I'm going to save this. You never know when this stuff is going to crash or get corrupted. And certainly when you have a whole bunch of way forms over here, it's gonna get confusing unless you start giving them new names. So this one I'm going to be calling Eat Loop, Machinea. There it is. 6. Creating Loops From Stems Pt 2: Now that I know the length of a single loop, which is 11.295 seconds. I'm gonna go ahead and copy this and head over to the vocals. I'll find the first vocal area we have here We came to fame with Okay, moving my play head to the start of this vocal, I am once again going to mix paste. But rather than pacing the actual beat onto the vocal, I'm just gonna go ahead and take the copied audio down 20 So what it will be pasting is essentially silence instead of my loop. I'm also not going to have my Lou Paste three times. I just want to get 11.295 seconds worth of audio out of the vocals to create a new vocal loop. Okay, see what we've got. Now, this song is a little bit unusual because the entire track is not in 44 time. It has this verse we came to fame with. That gets are screaming Walzel base and face to face Bolin where your vice the choice of just fall in line weekends of fame with and then it cuts out a little section and starts the vocal again. I'm gonna go ahead and copy all of this pace to new under edit. And then this little chunk, if I was going to make a remix that kept the same strange time signature as the original track, then by all means, I'd probably leave all of this vocal in, but because I think I'm gonna make a 44 time signature remix for simplicity sake, I'm gonna go ahead, zoom in. And rather than deleting this chunk, I'm going to use this option here. This is volume, even though says that just amplitude Essentially, it's a volume knob. I'm just gonna volume that down to nothing. So I still have a vocal loop. It's still 11.295 in length, but it's going to be missing that little bonus chunk. Let's hear what it sounds like with the beat Select All copy it. Hop over to my beat loop, going to mix, paste it, and because experience has taught me that something that looks as loud as this is probably too loud to mix with something as loud as this, I'm going to see what it sounds like when I mix my copied audio at 80%. Next to 100% of this Machinea beat loop playing with kids are screaming worlds a world base and face to face ball in where you advice a choice. Just fall in line. Okay, not too bad. We will do some refining, but this stage is literally creating our loops so we can build a structure out of them. 7. Stretching A Looped Waveform: I want to touch briefly on working with samples that don't actually have the same BPM. But you want to mix them. So I'm going to open a sample that has a BP of 90 beats per minute. It sounds like this. And then I'm going to open this sample, which is a drum loop that is 110 beats per minute so significantly faster than my 90 beats per minute. If I look at the time on the 90 BPM track, five seconds and 50.333 is how long this loop is. This 1 110 BPM track is four seconds, 363 So if I want this one to fit alongside this one, I'm gonna need to stretch this one. We can locate, stretching under effects, time and pitch, and then we have a few choices here. I'm going to go ahead and do stretch in pitch because when you stretch and pitch something , it's going to by default lock onto slowing it down all around as if you slow down a record player. If you have this unchecked, it's just going to stretch the sound, but it's not going to make the sound. Go any lower or higher and we'll go ahead and see what both of those sound like. So first off, I am going. Teoh, 100% stretch it with stretching pitched locked. I want my new duration to be 5.333 I'll hit Enter and you'll see that it's going to stretch it 122.21%. And now the pitch of that sound is 122 and some change percent lower. I'll copy this, and I'm going to that. The play Hide to the beginning and I'm going to mix paste. I'm gonna mix. Pace them at 50% of the copied audio and 50% of the existing audio Just because I want to see what an even balance of those two things sounds like Pretty cool. Let me undo it and let's hear what the original sounds like without my mix up. E think, uh, mixing the copied audio a little louder and the existing audio a little lower gives me something with a little bit more personality. I like the lower pitch snare of this particular loop. The, uh, snare in this loop sounds like it was done on plastic or wood or something. So it's a good mix between the two, though Now, if I want this stretched, but I don't want the pitch to lower in any way, I'll go ahead and undo what I've done. Undo pigeon stretch. There's my original effects. Time and pitch stretching pitch. Uncheck this. Make sure that pitch shift is set to zero, then back up to stretch. Make sure that is checked. He'd apply, and it stretched. But you will notice that there's a little bit of a glitch happening. This is what happens when you pull away. Former part like that. It's going to try and stretch out what exists there, and it might not sound great. There are ways to cover this up by adding other effects. Other sounds like vinyl sounds. Honestly, though, I can tell when something is stretched that way, and it has this blocking nous to the way form that is really unappealing to my ear. So I'm just letting you know that is something that can happen. When you stretch this stuff out and you don't allow the pitch to shift, we'll go ahead and copy this. Do you are mixed paste as before. Yeah, I can really hear in this chunk where this beat is stretched out and I'm not a big fan of that. However, if you're trying to match a sample that isn't a rhythm sample, but something that has a particular key and you need the key to fit, then stretching without pit shifting is the strategy that you're most likely going to have to use. 8. Structures: So as we're pulling our loops, we need to think about the structure of our song. And the structure is simply where you have an intro where you have a chorus where you have a verse. If those are song elements where the quiet bits are where the loud, exciting bits are, sometimes I'll get out a piece of paper and simply draw a little chart of how I think the song should look. You will be amazed if you do this how easy it is for you to assemble a song versus if you just have a bunch of loops sitting on your audition sidebar and aren't sure where to place them. Once I have a general idea of what I want to do for this song, I will actually loop paste a beat to a new file. The reason why I am doing this is because I want to create a simple sequence of markers. These are going to B every 13 and some change seconds because even though the sound is set to 0% it's going Teoh mark where each loop begins, and now I have a track that is broken down, and now it's pretty easy for me to figure out where I need to drop in my loops. I can save this blank track with markers. I can save this as a blank track with markers, and now I can create my own drum track with markers, vocal track with markers. And once I have all of those filled up with the elements that I want the bases, the keyboard loops, things that I have introduced into the track. I can maneuver each of these into the multi track view and using the volume levels and the left right panning channels figure out exactly how I want this to sound in its ultimate mix , and we will get into mixing in a second. But I just wanted to illustrate how simple it is when you have loops to place them alongside these markers. And if you don't like something you've done, you think the structure is off a little bit. It's super easy to duly chunks of your song by going from Marker eight and Market be working with music this way. Where you have small samples of loops is very much a collage process, and I think that's one of the most fun things about it when you make music and it's 100% on performance, like a person with an acoustic guitar or a band that's playing live. If there's one little mess up in their, you basically have to start from scratch. And when you're working with this sort of digital audio workstation and you have the ability to easily zoom in on chunks and cut the Mount, I find it actually much less frustrating than working 100% live. 9. Voice Clean Up: I want to give you some quick tips on mixing vocals because often times when you have a voice, according even if it's done with a really good microphone, you end up with something that looks a lot like this, where you see some junk in between the words you see spikes on certain words on certain sounds of the words you see phrasing or letters or syllables that are really soft in comparison. Most people, when we speak, do not speak at a consistent volume level, and we have just certain syllables that are going to end up being soft. But thankfully, we have some tools and audition that allow us to correct a lot of these flaws. So the first thing going to do is raise the volume overall, using the volume, I'm going to a section that has just ambient noise, and I'm going to call it capture noise point under noise reduction. Once I have a sample of the ambient noise I want to eliminate, I'll go ahead and noise reduce out the entire file. I won't do it 100% because that tends to take sounds out of the actual words that you want to keep, but I'm going to do something in the neighborhood of 50% 60%. That'll reduce down that sound. Now I'm going to use a vocal limiter. There are a variety of these in audition, but essentially ago effects, amplitude and compression dynamics processing and then select the one that you think sounds best to you. I recommend the straight vocal limiter or the rock vocal. Now I have something that doesn't have all the huge dynamics of a standard vocal performance. If somebody singing soft or somebody's screaming, they're going to be much closer in volume. By doing this, the last bit I'm going to do is just completely eliminate anything that's in between those words, any of that noise that didn't get reduced out. I'm gonna go ahead and turn the volume down on it 100% now. I don't have any reverb or effects on this vocal, but it's going to sound a lot more pleasant and compressed to the ear 10. Evaluating Your Mix: Now we're gonna talk about evaluating your mix, and this is one of the most difficult things to teach. Because not only does everybody have their own personal set of preferences and prejudices on how they like music to sound, but different genres of music require different kinds of mixing. Approach is something that is all about booty. Bass is literally all about booty bass and is intended to be played in a car with a massive subwoofer or a club, something that is quiet acoustic, even if it's Liu based, acoustic music is gonna have a much different set of circumstances that it should be mixed under. So my intention with this is to give you a set of tips that will cover whatever kind of music it is you are intending to make. First of all, you absolutely should be mixing with a great set of headphones, the best set of headphones that you can get your hands on. These do not have to cost $200. I have found headphones that were great for mixing music and only costs the neighborhood of 25 $30. Um, earbuds. Certainly if you are used to listening to ear buds, and you are on board with whatever quality sound they have. Then perhaps when you mix your own track, you are going to get something that is close to how you think music should sound. But personally, I don't think mixing music on your buds is a great way to go. I do make music while wearing earbuds. I certainly composing on my phone and my iPad and use earbuds for those. But when I'm mixing it, headphones that go all the way around the year. That's my recommended way of evaluating music during the mixing process. Now, once you have your mix down, you can go file export. You're gonna make a single wave file from this mix, and at this point you can apply effects to the entire track. You can apply equalization. You can fix the base. You can take the trouble off of everything here. It depends on what your track needs, but I will say when I have a visual representation in a single weight form of the track, it can look pretty obvious where your flaws are. I have had tracks where I thought the base sounded great and I mixed it down, and I noticed they looked really anemic, meaning it looked really thin in some parts. And I could tell it was thin because even though there was a bass instrument, the bass keyboard or guitar that's supposed to making sounds, I see these really large pops, which are the base kick drum, and they're very far apart now. I'm not saying your bass instrument should be mixed to the same level, the same visual level as your based kick drum. But when they're far apart, you know that something that is a low tone is not mixed is loud as something else that is a low tone. Conversely, if you don't see any of these kicks and all you see is the visual representation of your baseline going through Ah, then you know that you have mixed the beat too low for it to be effective in any way. But let's say you are happy with your mix and you're happy with whatever e que you have done after the fact. I still think that is good policy. Teoh get a fresh set of ears, meaning somebody who is not you but also somebody whose opinion you respect and you're aware of how they judge music, I would send the track to them, let them sit with it for a few days, maybe a week. And then whatever notes they send back take to heart. Because ultimately, when we make artwork, uh, it is gonna live in the greater world with an audience, and that audience isn't us anymore. So if you send your track to a few people who you respect their opinions and they come back telling you that areas are over mixed, like the vocals Air too loud or the guitar is kind of weak, it's not exciting enough. The track gets a little boring, you know, really strongly take their opinions into consideration. Both your audience and critics can see things that you can't see because you are too close to your creation. The other recommendation I have is for you to evaluate your track in the environment that it's intended to be listened to. David Byrne from Talking Heads made an excellent book, and one of his theories, which I believe is true, is that music is designed for the environment that it's meant to be heard in. For example, punk rock was designed to be heard in a scummy club, and, uh, the space shaped the music. And when that music is taken out of it and putting like a shopping mall or a church, it doesn't fit. It doesn't suit the music, and the music sounds terrible there. Similarly, chamber music, choral music, things that are meant to fill these vast, elaborate spaces. They don't function when they're done on a street corner, in the same way that a guy with an acoustic guitar might sound great on a street corner like he's just a guy, he's Bob Dylan. He's reflecting the city that surround him. The booty Bass music is intended for cars and subwoofers. No club music is intended for a club. So if you have created a track that is intended for a particular space, then you must evaluate how that track sounds within that space. Does it mean if you made a club track that you can rent out a club? No. But somehow you've got to test it out in the closest environment that you can come up with . And if that's just a whole bunch of friends over at a house having a party and you throw that track on to see what the reaction is. If it's somewhere that people dance and they actually dance to your song, then you know you've done something right. 11. Audition Wrap up: friends. I want to thank you for sticking around through this course. I hope you got a lot of value out of it. Mixing music is one of the great creative pleasures of my life. It does not cost a lot of money to do. And you could be very, very creative with very, very little not to mention that we live in an age where things like producer packs ripping from video, uh, effects that would have cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in the past. All of this stuff is accessible to us. We really don't need a recording studio to make killer tracks. So if you have made something, go ahead and host it as a private link on YouTube video, you can dropbox it to me. I'd love to hear what she made. I would love to hear your feedback on the course. I also have many other multimedia courses relating Teoh audio mixing, video editing, special effects photography, a whole lot more to please check those out and I'll talk to you next time