The Mixing Process: An Overview | Aaron Carstensen | Skillshare

The Mixing Process: An Overview

Aaron Carstensen, Keep making music

The Mixing Process: An Overview

Aaron Carstensen, Keep making music

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8 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. What Is Mixing?

    • 3. Mix Prep

    • 4. Organization

    • 5. Levels

    • 6. Automation

    • 7. Buses and Sends

    • 8. Ozone Reference

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About This Class

This class is an overview of my personal mix process and information on what the mix process is. In the videos I talk about what a mix is, how to prepare your audio for a mix, organizing your audio and using buses and sends. These topics will help you keep a clean project and hopefully help you get going on your very own mixes. 


- Some of the techniques in this class are ableton specific but there is lots of general information that is useful to all.

- This is an advanced class with lots of information so I will be brushing over specifics to paint a bigger picture. If you have any questions on specific processes I mention in the videos feel free to shoot me a message and I'll do my best to help out.

Meet Your Teacher

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Aaron Carstensen

Keep making music


Hi! my name is Aaron and I am an electronic music producer with 8 years of experience. I have completed my degree in electronic production from the Berklee School of Music and am currently working on my trap metal project Xstitch.

The most recent release here is my Quick Mix: Low End video tutorial. I am starting the Quick Mix series as a way to quickly showcase practical techniques so if you like the first one I'd be happy to make more.

If you've gotten any use from my lessons it would be super helpful to get a follow on Instagram, I'm most active there.

As always let me know if there is something you are stuck on or want me to cover I would be happy to make a tutorial on the topic.

Keep making music!

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1. Intro: everyone. I'm doing a mixing tutorial today, So, um, I'm gonna take you through my mixing process. Ah, this is an advanced class. So, as with some other advanced classes I've done, I'm not going to be going over each individual plug in. So if you have questions about that stuff, you can ask, you know, ask in the comments or, you know, shoot me a message. Um, but what I wanted to do with this is show you what the process is because mixing is a is a big, big job in a big part of it. So, um, what I'm gonna do is next video I'm gonna talk about, um what mixing is, um, And then from there, we're gonna jump into, like, the actual project. I have. Ah, a song for my new BP up. So are in the works. So we're gonna work on that 2. What Is Mixing?: all right. So, as I said in the last video, I want to talk about what mixing is before we jump into this project. Um, so I'm just going to read the Wikipedia definition of what audio mixing is, and then we'll talk about it. Um, audio mixing is the process by which multiple sounds are combined into one or more channels . In the process of sources, volume, level, frequency, content dynamics and panoramic position are manipulated and or enhanced. This practical aesthetic or otherwise creative treatment is done in order to produce a finished version that is appealing to the listeners. Um, so the mixing engineer is going to receive the ah, the pieces of the song um, the recorded stuff and like like Wikipedia said, what his job is to do is pick levels for everything. How loud is everything going to be? Um, he's gonna, you know, embellish things that need to be embellished, like maybe bring out some air and the vocals maybe cut some some of that super low frequency out of the, uh um, the guitars. So that would be not embellishing, but removing things that need to be removed. Um, picking spots where is things need to be in the panoramic. Like I said, the stereo field, Um, so you know, you can pan things left right where all the instruments are going to sit in that way, um, you know, add dimension to things reverb. So all that stuff and really give it, you know, I feel make it, um, make take those those dry stems and make it into a song. Really? Um, that's part of the reason I'm I love mixing so much is it is more technical. Um, but to me, it's just it's super fun. I can do it for hours. Where sometimes with creative stuff I get, uh, I get burned out. Um, so in the next video, we're gonna actually start Makes on this mix. I'm a show you the my process of how I mix. Um, so as with anything on the internet, take it with a grain of salt is what I dio I have. I believe that my sound is really good for a bedroom producer, and I've had people tell me that my sounds really good. Um, so, you know, I'm I'm gonna stand by what I say. If you have something you think you could do it better or you think it sounds better to do it in a different way? Do that. It's your life, man. Just just do do it Sounds best. You know it doesn't Doesn't matter about the rules or what you're supposed to dio. Ah, a lot of this stuff is breaking the rules. Um, a lot of the getting a cool and new sound is breaking rules. That's what I mean. Um, so, yeah, continue in the next video and we'll start digging into this thing. 3. Mix Prep: All right. So in my mixed prep and ah, production kind of hybrid pulled up here, I'm gonna play this Ah, track real quick and so we can get some contacts, and then I'll talk about it. So, meatball. Yeah, I think, um, So, yes, we got a rock track here. Ah, you know, everything sounds fine. Um, the vocals are really dry, which is good. We want that. All the stem should be dry. This would ideally be after you have recorded everything. That's, you know, final. Um So if you want to be a mix engineer, um, or if you're sending things off to be mixed Um, ideally, you want Teoh for mixture. You want to receive, um, dry stems? So not a no re verbs. Ah, compression. All that stuff. Ministers Compression going in. Um, you want everything to have a name you don't want to be. You don't want to search through each song or each track and figure out what it is. This is the basis of guitar. What is it? Names are important you want. You don't want things to be so loud that they're clipping. Um, so if someone's exporting clipping stuff, you gotta, you know, tell him and it's just a nightmare. Um, you can't use it. You also don't want things so quiet that you couldn't even see the way for him. Um, or hear it when you play it back. You know, that's annoying as well. Um, so you kind of want everything in just a nice spot so you can hear it. Um, the names volume you want effects, No effects. You don't want things pan like super hard last super hard, right? Let the mix engineer figure out what's going to be, Ah, where things are going to sit sonically there. Um, as faras editing, um, vocals should be I should have pitch correction and timing done. Um, ideally, the mix engineer would receive them with timing and pitch correction. Done. But as the industry is now, you know, you're not. It's not always cut and dry. People do other things. And you can ask a mix engineer. Be like, Hey, do you do you do this? Um, and how much would it cost to get that done? On top of everything else? Um, it's gonna be depending on the mix, engineer. I do it. Um, I think it's to me. It's part of the process. I'm not really expecting, um, on the artists always know exactly what's going on in the mix process. So I always try to pitch correct in time, everything to get them sounding as tight as possible. So they're really happy with the final product. Um, but yeah, open communication is always good to have. Um, so that's kind of what you want. You like your checklist? I guess of Of what? How the audio should be set up. I'm gonna go over able to specific things right now. Um, so if you look here, I have a color coding system. Don't worry about that too much. We'll talk about that later. Everything's named as I said, um, And then if you look here, I have some of these tracks called X X. The reason I have these tracks called X X, is because I want them at the bottom of my file list when I export everything. Um, so I know Either let's pretend I was sending it off. I know not to send the mix engineer anything. That's XX these air, all tracks that I don't want in the final song um, So I'm gonna show you how, What This Why I'm doing this and kind of what the process is. Um, when I export my stems for a song to be mixed, I go all individual tracks. And what Mableton does then is it's going to go through an export each each track, um, meaning groups as well as the tracks within the groups. So what that means is, you're going to start getting doubles of things. Um, if you listen to all the stems playing, um, after export, you know your cause it's gonna export this choir here, let's use is an example is gonna export that. Great. That's what I want. But it's also gonna export single vocal single vocal. You know, each part of that choir and I don't want that. And the mix engineer would not be happy receiving all those because that's a lot of extra work to have to sift through. Um, so that's what I dio I can pull up. I'll show you what I'm talking about. So I went in and I hit export all stems. And if you look everything has a name, I know what this is gonna be. I have my you know, my growl trackless sea when it sticks here sticks. These are gonna be there like side sticks. Um, and then if I played this track, I'd be able to hear it. Great. And it would be. And, you know, once you put it in a d w what you're going to be doing with it. Um So look as I scroll to the bottom and starting get all these ex extracts. So these are all the extra things that I don't want in my final project. And that's why now I can just go. Where's the first X? Okay, there. Go above it and then pick all those, and they're now we don't have to worry about it now. We don't have to sift through everything and be like, Is this new or is this part of some other group? Ah, what do I need to do with this? Um, and that's an especially big pain for ah, you know, for ah, someone who is just mixing your music. They don't They don't know your whole production process, you know? Um, yeah. So that's gonna be one more thing I want to look at. Is this is also another subjective thing. When I export my stems, um, I hit this normalized button and what normalizes is it takes the maximum amplitude of each track, and it puts that at zero db. So this is also something that could be subjective as's for, like, communicate with your mixed engineer. I like having all my gain stage and reset. Meaning, um, eso I'll take all of these stems. They will be normalized, meaning each track is hitting its max volume hitting zero db. And then I'll pull all the tracks down pre pre pre game to negative six db, which gives it some headroom. And then I drop all the failures. So everything's that. So you can't hear anything and then I start mixing. So this is gonna be also personal preference. Like I said, talk to your mix engineer. I'm gonna show you what I'm talking about in the next video and what's going to start the actual mix. So continue on 4. Organization: All right, s So this is the actual getting into the actual mixed session I realized I said before we start, like, four times. So, um, this is where the action is happening. Um, so I have my final rock mix open, but what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna show you just a I'm sure you the process on how to get your your stems in a mix. Um, and then kind of how I organize them. So I'm just going to take a few these I'm gonna take Let's take the ah, metal drums, the leads, lead vocals. Um, and then what can we get is just crab base. That's fine. Okay, So I grabbed. I selected all those things. A cool thing with a built in. By the way, if you want to bring in a bunch of different stuff like, let's say I highlighted everything, um, and what you would do, except for the exes. Um, And if you have control now, I hit control. And as you see, instead of going in a line, it's gonna dio new tracks for each one. They drop it in, and that's super handy. So if you look here I'm going to sell these guys. We have three normalized tracks. Um, so my first thing I do is select all the tracks, and what I'm gonna do is go into their pregame and basically pull them down to negative six db. And what I'm doing is I'm I'm gained staging, So I'm creating headroom, um, so that there's room for plug ins, toe work. And, you know, you don't want to be pushing the zero db ceiling until the final master stage, So I have given myself room now, um, and then I go through and I listen to each one. See? Okay, so that's a base, I mean ah, sorry. I don't listen through the whole thing. I just either look at it, look at the name and say, OK, base, um, or if I don't know what it is from the name. If I've for gotten I listen. Um, So this is you got some? Yeah, that's right. You're kind of double checking, too. So this is lead box. And then let's see, this is the metal drum kit. So So that's the big the big drum kit. Metal drums. So I've renamed these, um, my color coding eye color code them next. Um, for me, I just do basis are black lead vocals Air light blue Sorry. Any vocals are light blue And then drums are dark blue. Um, it's totally up to you. I would just recommend having a color scheme. And then you can also change these guys the actual track. Um, and then I group things of similar similar, uh, content. So let's say, uh, let's find another here. This is a a drum. So I'm gonna show you this example real quick. So this week in double check, Okay, that's the right. It's the MDL grooves sample pulled down into negative six. And I'm gonna say this is the mgl groove. And then this is going to be dark blue because this is a drum for me. Um, and then I'll show you. So because I'm gonna have, like, 10 vocal tracts of background, you know, a lot of background vocals. You hit control G, which I just hit control G. I put these in a group, so all my drum tracks would go in here and then I can rename this two drums, and this is kind of like organization thing. for me If we want to create buses inside later on, I will do that. But I like to have my whole project in these big groups. The it's almost like, um, will do individual tracks will go into any buses we want on. And then everything goes into the group. So if it's a box, you know, the Vaka group, that's all my vocals, nothing outside. So now that we've we've done that, you're going to do that for every stem in your every piece of audio you have. And I'm deleting the Israel quick and I'll show you my my, uh, final one. So here look. So we have vocals leads these were recorded after, so they don't have names. I should name them, um, a acquire everything. So these are all my vocals. And then I, um, went in and then I did the big group. So we have base. These are both my bases, have a sub base, and like a guitar like electric bass on drums. This one, This is an interesting song. It has a lot of drum kits, not a lot of instruments, a lot of vocals, um, and then instruments. So I have guitars on these also were made later. Um, so if you ignore and then effects these air on my effects as well rise, chant anything you know, one shots, stuff like that. I'm so ignoring these three. I'm just gonna This would be where you're at once. You've completely organized everything. Um, so this is your This is a solid starting place. Um, and so I'm actually gonna cut this into a few sections. Eso If you can get your project here, then you're ready to start mixing. Um, so continue on and we'll start start that process. 5. Levels: All right. So the how does the mixing start? Um, there's there's a bunch of ways to do it. It's really we're all trying to reach the same end goal. Um, how I start these projects because clearly there's a lot of a lot of pieces. Um, we've said everything up, like if we followed on the tutorial, But from before, um, all our all our ah instruments and all our tracks would be at that negative 60 b. But everything is going to sound different every you know, like a riser. Maybe a little like some reverse symbols Gonna sound super loud compared to a full drum kit . You know, because of the way you know, these volumes work. Just because everything is that the same gain doesn't mean it's going to sound the same. So what? What I do now is I dropped every fader to zero um X, every internal track. So you want your groups to stay at zero db? Because if you drop the's failures, you're not gonna be able to hear anything. But like in here, like, let's say we have all our vocals. I dropped every fader to zero. And this is where I'd start. Um, I don't want to hear anything. Um, the only thing I do want to hear is my I go to the chorus, I'm going to the course for this song, and I'm starting with just might my, uh my metal kit. My drum kit. I'm just keeping my drum kit. Native one just It's my starting point. This is where I'm starting. I mean, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna I'm gonna build up from there. So, like, with this base, I'm gonna bring in bases on top of my drums. Um, this project is interesting because I have, um, a few drum kits. You're probably not gonna have a few junkets. It's just gonna be your main drum kit. Um, and then your base, Um, which is going to be much simpler to mix? You have to worry about their frequency spread and all that stuff. Um, so let's just look at hero quick. I'm gonna start with these. The drums going, you know, they can loop it out. They were going to find a spot. What you're doing is fine. You know you want you want these elements toe to mix. Basically, that's what you're mixing now, Um, so you know, it's a good way to do it is don't look at the volumes. Just close your eyes and, um, you know, pull the knob up and down and there's, like, a sweet spot. So when you go, you know, I brought in that base, I put it back to where I had it because I've already done the process and I liked where it was. Boy, you're gonna when you're doing it blind, it's gonna be like You can't hear it, can't hear it. You start to hear it and then you can pull it up too loud. It's It's way louder now than the drums. Pull it back past that sweet spot. Oh, now it's quieter than the drums. Now bring it up a little bit over then. Kind of just like hone it in. So it's like you're doing this like range thing like until you lock it in. Um, a very useful tool I used for the bases, mostly on Lee is if you pull a spectrum analyzer onto your master master rack, you'll be able to see, um, where you've put these instruments. So let's hear. Let's just do this. So if you look especially in the low end, I don't want things sticking out. Um, if you see this line we saw my kick was just right across here at negative 24 db in the Lo Lo's. And then I just pulled the the base up like a bunch. It's way too loud and you'll see it sticking out above. Um, I know that I want my drums to be pretty much the main thing in the in the low end because of the way I like to mix Andi, if we pull this back to where it waas what you'll see that was based. That's the base a little bit there. Um, now, now we found a spot. You know, after you've used your ears, you can The years are the best, you know. Do you need to do it? Sounds gets the best. But this this visual Tulis super useful. Especially the lock in your low end. Because if you look, we have this nice, flat, low end. Um so we know the bases and sticking out, and we know we're not gonna have to try toe mash it all down later. We know we can double check that. The base is just, like tickling the like the the peak we want. You know, um and then once, you kind of matched those low ends. If you look here, I have trash. Ah, trash. This is a distortion plug in. Eso basically saturation. I've saturated, um, my base because I didn't have enough presence coming out of it. I also see Look at this CQ. Ah, so is kind of like the next phase. It's like we got the volumes, right? Doesn't sound right. You know, um and I This is a heavy, like, pretty heavy rock track. I want this to just slap you in the face. Um, so the bases there, um, it's not overly president. I I kind of want that like now. You know, I want to hear it when it hits. Uhm so I brined it up a little bit, and then I put this trash this saturation on. Um, sorry. The plug ins called trash, too. That's why I keep saying I'm putting trash on it. Um, and what that does is it's beefing it out. Um, and it and honestly, when I went in, I sent this off to a friend and they're like, Do like it Sounds cool, but like the chorus is not has doesn't have the energy I want. And in another song I had, I realized that the base I had I was messing around. But I, like, went hard on the distortion. I think I was, like, part of the reason it's not as energized because I was trying to follow the rules and be like, Don't distort it too much. Um, if you look like I put a pretty hard distortion curve on this, um, and it sounds kind of grinding on its own, but that's when you got to really think about the mix. You know, um, see, like try. Yeah, and it sounds fat. You know, it sounds fat. Um, another big thing I do is I put distortion on my on my drum kit. Um, you can I mean, use what you want. I use this trash plug in because of the multi band distortion, and you can draw curves and stuff. Um Oh, sorry. You can't see that there. Um but, you know, it's really up to you. Use whatever you like. You confined anything. This is Ah isotope. Um, so I'll play this. That's this Is that I'm gonna pull off the distortion eso if you see where have, ah, have a little bit of gain coming back in. Um, usually, we would match those, and we really listen and be like, Where's the distorted sound like, um, already, I've done that. Um, so I know that beyond just thea gain jump, which you don't really want to listen to. I know how it's It's thickening out the spectrum on. It's just making those jumps hit. It's beefing them up. Um, so now you know, like, we have beefy drums and we have beefy base. Um, so you you know, you could, uh I do, um, lead vocals. Usually after I've done drums and bass. Uh, sorry. I'm trying to think I have There's some cursing in this song so I might switch over to this area. Yeah, so let's see, I'm gonna take this lead vocal needed point to you tell you this is our We'll pretend days , so you know, same Same idea, you know, really, really flies all over. You're in the same thing. Peaceful. So loud. Leg now quiet. We can hear. That's a nice spot for it. Because I know with vocals. I want those to be audible. Um, so that's basically what that's what you're gonna do with each track. Um, working. I work bottom up. As we can see, I work from kind of lowland drums base and then vocals and then fill in all those bottom instruments and then you can start putting in, like, let's let's listen to the one shot kind of stuff This, um, like our risers and stuff like that. That's a few different riser. That's my whole effects chain. But my FX tracks group, um, but those will come in last, um, as as with anything, it's do what? What feels natural. Um, and maybe you like to have your vocals starting at, you know, they're where they wanna be, and then you bring everything around them. That's a way to do it. Um, I do like to lock down that low end because the hardest it's the so hard to just nail it. Um, And once you do nail and get everything flat and, you know, um, just distorted, right? Meaning thicker. It's good. You're gonna get just a tight tried is going to sound tight, man. Um, and you're gonna get you know you want, you know, nice. Low in two to balance out the Sicily highs. When you when you when you get the balance, right, everything is just gonna lock in, man. And you're gonna it's gonna be bright. You can get the brightness and the air in the vocals and and man did it just sounds great. Um, so that's setting your levels with a little bit of talked about some of that distortion. Um, So I'm gonna do another video, and we're going to talk about some busing and how I kind of finish up on those groups. Um, and where I'm sending those groups, if you've probably noticed, have a few other tracks open. Um, so continue on 6. Automation: All right, um, so continuing on with the mix I wanted to talk about, um kind of another job of the mix Engineer is drawing an automation and stuff. Uh, so like I said, I'm I'm going over things. Generally. If you have questions, please contact me. I I I will do the best I can tow. Explain something if you need help or anything like that. Um, So I'm almost, like doing greatest hits of this cause I talked about distortion in the last one and, you know, getting like, beefing things up. I'm not really going to go through each track and show you how I beefed it up. Um, I'm gonna show you kind of greatest hits, I guess. Um, So things like this choir here's an example of drawing in automation. Eso I did the I did the choir. How I like to the choir. Um e que compression. Ah, And then if you look, I have this auto filter, um, and I'll show you what this is doing. So when the choir, I'll just start from back here, the choir just in, but as as is it just plays now It's the course that would be the chorus. So it just goes, Give it, um and And what I found was when, um, it was taking energy from the course. Is siphoning energy off from the cores because is very llegado and, um, ethereal. Um, and then it was just kind of wandering into the chorus when it's the course is supposed to B for me, I think it should be like a big event. Um, so I threw an auto filter on, and I did this with a few different instruments, but now also show what I did. Um, So what I did is I use an auto filter to pull this tail out, Um, so that this tale doesn't wander into the chorus. Um, I pulled it in from the bottom. So this is gonna be a lie. I'm cutting the low end, um, or are high pass filters. They call it. And so as it goes, you see Adrian, the automation here. If you look down here and now it's gone, Um, and that also gives room for, you know, everything in the course that the new vocals to come in, Um and it also it's an in the concept where you're removing energy for the build right before the drop drop or chorus. Sorry, I came from Elektronik roots, but same idea. Um, also do it on the drums. Let's look here. I want to see this. Uh, this automation here, this is this is a tiny one, but this is a cool trick. Um, same same high pass filter, the same type I'm pulling out to their I'm pulling. This is at 100 hertz. Um, so as you're listening to the song, you don't hear that I'm pulling out the low, very low end of the drums. Um, because it's a very small amount. But then what happens is after that, everything drops in and the drums get their Lohan back, the bass drops in. So it's almost secretly. It's tricking the audience by pulling out some of that low end so that when the chorus hits you go, what lay just, like slams you. Um And then that's what we have with the rise there. Same idea with risers, you know, build into a hit. Um, So there's a bunch of, you know, the cool thing about me a mixed guys drawing in the automation and all that stuff is like, really, You could do some creative stuff with it. Um, we can look around. Let's see what this is. Oh, yeah, Yeah. Um, I think I did. Ah. Frequency shifter on here. That's what I wanted to pull up down school. Uh, this is a frequency shifter. So it goes like it's it's like pulling the this percussion loop in different directions. And it's just something fun like that Sounds cool. Where should I put it out? Put at the beginning. And it was just like a creative thing, cause I like the sound of it, like, kind of like, you know, it's just it's cool. Um and so I did paint it in that automation, and it just adds dimension to your song. Um, transitions as well. That's important. Um, I noticed that the Shaker just kind of this groove just kind of ended here. I'll play this, um, and then I'll play it with you know, it's fine, but what I did is I added this reverb. Um, so it sounds like that it's pulling away instead of just going, playing, playing, playing, not playing. It's like pulling out and so that everything else can come in. Um, so that's a river. That's just a river that I pulled up to pretty much 100%. Um, I did some reverse. Yeah, I grabbed the this choir. Actually, I grab this end here and put it at the beginning, so the voice comes in, Um, and that's just ironing out the track, you know, um, so if you're a mix engineer, this is a really spot cool spot to be creative. Um, I do a lot of automation, and it's mostly just things, I think. What sound cool. It's not like there's no rules like, Oh, you have to do this, do that. There is some techniques like I showed you this high pass filter thing, but, um, this is the really cool part about mixing. Um, and this is the part that I really get lost in. And I'm always trying like crazy, like glitch, plug ins and anything I can tow to give the track like feeling And, you know, crazy stuff like that. Um, so those were some just, like, fun mix. That's, like, fun mixing stuff. Um, I want to talk about these. Ah, once you've done your you know, you've done? Uh, your levels, all that stuff. Um, I have a few buses here, and this is just because I have, um some let's see some layers that went together, um, and that needed to be kind of dealt with as one thing. Um, and the thing about this is you can't group within a group assed faras track wise, I think with a built in 10 and beyond, you can. So I think things have changed. I'm sorry. I don't have the most recent version of a Bolton. Um, that came out, I guess. Semi. Recently. Um, So what I do here is let me show you. So I found that these I have, ah, fakes. So scream. Great layer and scream layer. See all these these air layers that I wanted to deal with them each individually. Um, because there's panning and things I wanted to do with that. Um so for, like, I took that example of the choir I wanted just acquire. I didn't want to do that this time. I wanted each part, um and that's because I'm in control of my own mix. And I knew what I wanted and what I hadn't done yet. Um, and so this could be useful. Useful thing to do to deal with your tracks? Um, when they're just, like, there's, like, you know, there's, like, what, 10 or 15 of these and they can get overwhelming, especially when some of them are hitting in the same spot. So I will play one of these has to be. You have to be stag to the others. Yeah, that's yeah, funny on their own. But so does, uh, those I put so few press control t to put in a new tracker, put in new audio track, and then you highlight all these. These are all the things that I want to be dealt with as one. But I can't make a group. It's OK. We can get around that. We highlight them all. Sorry. Just these. And then we say, I want that audio to go to. Where do you want it to go? To you? The new track you just made. I wanted to go to that. Um so I'm just going to say that would be 12 audio, the one we just made. So click the one you just made. I'm putting it back to where it was, but And then what you're gonna do is press monitor in on that and let me and let me and then do no input. Um, because you, as you just heard my mike was picking up, um, in a Bolton on that track and I don't want it to take in new audio. You'll get that really annoying. Um, at least for me, I'm getting that annoying late and see talk back thing. And if you record any extra vocals or use the microphones that it's taking input from, it's just gonna get super annoying. So I pressed no input, and at that point you'll have. And then it will be playing through all these. Here, let me show you. So this is pretend we just made this and we did that same process with here. You re stack with Great. Now we have all those, and they're all going into here, and then you can see I dealt with them. It's just the same as you have a new track, but now it's treating all those You could also re re recorded record these into a new track . Do that as well. Um, that's gonna be like destructive if you delete the old one. But you could do this to help with organization and help. Like I see Seeger, I compress them together and I did some mid side e que, um, So I could really get those background vocals to mesh with each other and then behind the vocal, Um, so we can play. So it just sits back there, and it's, you know, I have nice panning and all that stuff. I didn't wanna have to play with each one and try toe, you know, I wanted to I wanted to mash them together. So that's another super handy thing. Um, so I've done that. You see, I did that here. Here. I think that might have been the only place I did that. Um, I could have done it with the guitars and a synth. I did, but I didn't. Um yeah, Okay, so that's kind of the, um, greatest hits of the mixed process. I'm trying to go through and check to do one thing. I did a little bit of dimension. Yeah, I did some ah, split in the chorus. I split the ah All right. I put ah, dimension, I I expanded the dimension of the guitars in the chorus on Lee, Um, by doing pretty much hardpan delays. Ah, really Quiet. Um, I'm not gonna go into what it is. I'm just It's something to think about. Uh, do you need to get the course bigger? Um, you know, do you do Are the volumes all Do they need to be automated? Do you need automate volumes? Two things need to be filtered. You know, of dealing with transitions how you're gonna make the song flow. Um, and then, you know, organization things. How can you Can you create new tracks when able 10 is telling you can't, um, with the grouping thing? Um, yeah. And as you see, So I'm gonna we're gonna move on here in a second. But if you look, um, we still have that super clean project. The project still super clean, and it's it's pretty much it's mixed, you know, it's more mixed, but it still looks pretty similar to how we started. And that's what we want. We just want a nice It's clean and it's easy. And the tracks beefy. Now, um, so the ah, in the next video, we're gonna move on to you. I'm not kind of do final final grouping things as you see. Ah, grouping. Ah, compression and eq you and stuff like that and then Ah, one more After that will do. Ah, reference. I'll show you how I referenced things. Um, so continue on. 7. Buses and Sends: All right, um so as I realized, I'm going through things quickly. Um, so I wanted Teoh double back and mention panning when we're choosing levels. Because I was just doing drums and bass. I wasn't panning anything, but with stuff like that scream, we made the bus for that, um, panning is is deciding left and right where you want things to sit and how you it helps you make the bigger a bigger sound. Um, so I wanted to quickly just show you I have, uh I have what, 12344 layers on that scream. And I The reason I had four layers is so I have room to pan things out. Um, so I'm gonna play this scream again real quick. You could, um and you'll see. You can hear it in the stereo field instead of everything, uh, just coming down the center. Um, so play with play with panning in a similar way that we we did the, um you know, just sorry. In a way, that sounds good to you. Um and how how can you make your track me more interesting? You can automate panning You could do. Um, I'm sure you've heard, like rock or older songs that would just have ah, hardpan guitar left for the intro. And then everything comes in. It's just a tool if you want and more in depth. I have, ah, stereo with tutorial, which is helpful, but also, uh, you know, we could talk about panting later. Um, if people are interested. Um, the other thing I wanted to mention is, if you see, I have this reference track, um, I have this tiny little reference five year death punch snippet here. Um, I know what sound I was going for. I do. You know, I am listening to references throughout the process. Eso find a similar song to yours. Oh, or a similar genre. Um, and we'll talk about references at the end again because I have, like, a specific reference trick, but you should always have them in your brain. Um, and always be like, Well, this band does this, and I like that or this mix sounds weird because they did this. That's what I'm always thinking about what I'm doing. This is like, how can I make a sound that I think would be cooler than what people are making already. So those are two things I wanted to quickly mention before we continue on. So we've done. We got our levels. We got our little tiny buses. We got our, um, automation drawn. We got everything beefy. We got pretty much a solid initial Mick through the whole song. Um, so the last things I dio eyes going to be sending re verbs, Um, and compressing these these, uh, groups together, Um, and this goes back to that organization. Um, if you look here, I have my effects sent. So let's do Let's do, um let's see the sends first. Um So, like I said, I'm not gonna go in depth and how sends work. But I'm gonna show you how I do. Ah, descending here. Um, for my effects, I just sent Ah, a good amount of this signal into my send reverb. The return has a reverb on it. 100%. I have a plug in reverb. It's called Orel River. Actually, this this reverb is free. Uh, Orel River free reverb. It sounds really good. So you can pick that up? Um let's see. Um, vocals. I put a little bit in, um into my send Nothing on bases drums. I put my main drum kits pretty heavy into the reverb. Um, and then I put my guitars pretty heavy into the reverb. Um, and that's so what? This is doing all solo, This sand reverb. Um, it's, uh I actually don't use sends all that much. I know some people do really like him. Um ah, this is a way to give a complete and uniform dimension and, you know, real nous to the track. Um, oftentimes, I'll throw an individual reverb on something if I want to give it to mention this Send reverb is what I do at the end to make things every everything in the songs sound like it's coming from the same place. Um, So I'm gonna play when I would see, uh, you want It's free. Want to give it some running track, and I'm gonna show you Cut and give it Teoh. Look, there we go. So you might have trouble hearing this. Let me. Ah. So you know, I can hear kind of this is this is soloing out this return track. It's and that's just the reason for the track. Um, so that's a good thing to do. You can do that with, you know, anything if you any effect you can put on here. Um, so that's one of the final things that I dio. Um, and now I want to talk about the sending these groups off. Um, So what I dio if you'll look, I have This is called streams bus. Adjust your instruments. Um, And what I do is I take the same way that we did the scream layers where we said, creating new track send to pick the audio, too, and you go to whatever track you want to send it to. I took the base and the instruments of my guitars and since and everything, and I sent those to this new track I made called streams Streams, bus instruments, bus. Um, and then what I did with this real quick is I did some mid side, um e que, which means, you know, those guitars are super heavy and super loud. Um and so I scooped out a little bit of the middle where it was conflicted with the vocals . And then I boosted a little bit where I wanted to tow hugged the vocals um, so mid side beacuse Very good thing to dio. Um, I also used a glue compressor, and this is kind of just squishing everything together. Um, And then from there I sent the stream the instrument bus. The effects basically sent everything to a new one. A new stereo bus. And this is my whole track. It's pretty much a master. The reason I did that is because I felt like it. You could just go the master. That's fine, too. I put a final e que and then, Ah, another vintage. This is just a nose unfinished compressor. Just a super light. See the ratios at 1.5? Um, and the the what I'm doing with these these buses is is is, like little tweaks and getting a bigger and bigger hold on the song. So you start off. You know, we started off with the drums and we have the drums and we're trying to balance the drums and the bass. And as we add more elements, that gets to be a bigger and bigger project, and we want to keep it organized so that we can hold onto everything you know, and then it's kind of like, consolidating and, you know, we're putting like I have Let's see, compression compression on the instrument bus compression on my drums, compression on my vocals. Ivory vocal is all being squished together a little bit. And then I'm putting those into one track and squishing knows together a little bit. And so that's the tricky thing about audio, I think is the compression in the process is very. It can be at times hard to hear one compressor. But once you put it through and you can hear what's happening and you put it through these different stages, it's like, you know, you pre bake something, you you microwave it. I don't know. You sear the outside and then cook the cook it through, you know, stuff like that. It's the process where each one is building to this final product that's super polished. Um, so yes, And then we have, um if you look, I have my master turned down. So the that for this tutorial, I would have this at zero db. I have I'm dealing with a few different things that you wouldn't be dealing with. Um, Theo at the end of this coming out of the stereo bus into the master a little bit. Yeah. Peak. Um, I have around still native six db of headroom. Um, and that's you want headroom. Ah, for when you're sending off to the mastering guy. Um, and that was you know how we said at the beginning I put the tracks the pre gains down negative six. Um, And then I started mixing them out at a You know, even if I have the fader at zero db, it was at negative six. So I'm all mixing around that level. I'm in you and you want headroom. You want tohave? Um, room you want to be touching? Negative or zero db um, because things, you know, plug ins take at some ad gain, and you just want to stay away from there. And you're not gonna hurt anything by being negative being a, you know, negative. What Ford A negative 10 is like pretty good zone. Once you get to quiet your starting to reach that noise floor and it's it's just find a comfortable area for you. I like negative six. I don't know why I just picked it. And I always mixed towards native six um, so, yeah, that's gonna be, you know, that's pulling up to the end of the mix where, um, you're going to be exporting um, and testing them in the car, testing it on other speakers tested on headphones, testing on your phone, tested it, send it to friends basically everything. And, you know, take a, uh, get a big and a wider picture as you can of the track, and then you come back in and, like, tweak. I usually do the these final buses like way put it to the stereo and the, you know, the instruments bus and all that stuff. I usually wait on that until I know it's locked in because these final compressions and stuff shouldn't be changing the song that much. So as I was saying earlier, I sent this to my buddy before those, and he was like, Is, is right. This is wrong. This should be that you know his in his opinion, as 1/3 party listener, he's not an engineer, he's just a guy. He's like, This is a cool rock track. But I wanted to, like, hit harder, and I'm like, OK, that's what a consumer wants. Um And so I did what I needed to do. Send it back. He's like, Do this Sounds sweet. I'm, like, camped on this track and then I start pushing them together, and then it's just adding that sweetness and that finally, Q on the stereo, just like make it sizzle and make it ready to be mastered. Um, so I'm not gonna go into mastering avid tutorial upon mastering as a as a final video. I'm gonna do, like, an extra. I guess I'm gonna show you what I do with the ozone on referencing, um, just to double check things. But it's definitely not required. And if you don't have ozone, you you might you might not take that much value out of it. Um, but yeah, that's my mixed process. Mixed prep all the way to the end. Getting like locking in that tight sound. As always. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up. Leave a comment. Anything? Um, I really do want to help. I think that there's so much opportunity to create amazing stuff, and there's so many, you know, naysayers and people being like You can't do that, and it just really grants my gear. So keep making music, guys. And thanks for watching piece 8. Ozone Reference: All right. Last last. Ah, piece of the mixing tutorial. This one is. Ah. Like I said before, if you don't have ozone, this is a specific, um, feature of ozone. Um, so I mean, you could watch it and see what it is. It's pretty cool. Um, if let's see. So if you do have those on, uh, I mentioned reference tracks. Um, and I'd say this this like, like how we looked at this frequency spectrum of the bass and the drums. This is a tool to a secondary tool. It's something to check with. It's not. It shouldn't be your go to I don't think because it's kind of like cheating, but it is useful. Um, so if you pull up Ozone. Ah, and you put in the equalizer, there's this matching function down here. Um, and this is super cool. What you're gonna do is I pull in, Um, my, uh, my reference track or something like it doesn't you know, something that I think sounds really good. Um, this 500 death punch song. Let's do it. The gym all the time. It's a really big rock track, and I'm always like, man, it sounds so cool, especially in the headphones. Um, so I have it here, Have the chorus going on, then what? I have Ah, I have this just the track disabled so that it doesn't play when my songs playing. But if I hit so little play and my son won't play So we have this nice flippy switch. Um, and then So what I do is I throw ozone on the master. Um, because this reference track is not going to my stereo bus. The reference is just going to the master. So that means that this reference and my song are both going to the master. Um, and if you look here, we have a couple options. We have this. This source curve says capture clear. We have target curve captured clear. And then some controls in the center, which don't do anything until we've captured and our source in our target. So what we're gonna do is our source curve means, um our track that we want to effect the one that we want. Teoh, Um, you know, that's our track. Um, and then the target curve is the one that we want to sound like. Um, sometimes I get him confused. I just overlook it. I was remember. Target Curve is the one I want. What's my target? I want a sound like this Death punch song. I want to sound like the five. Your Death Point song. So either one used to I start the song. So now we've captured, um, It see it had information already. Um, we captured that five very death punch song. Um, And so now we need Ah, we need our song. What do we want our source to be? So we'll play our track. Sorry. I need forget about the cussing. I'm going to just do a short one. Okay. Perfect. Um, so, usually I'd let it play longer, but, um, that's okay. So sorry. So this needs to be turned on Enable matching. Um, so now it automatically has created a curve for us. Um, So what this is is we have to Ah, to controls. Here we have the smoothing and the amount. Um, So if you look here, I'm gonna bring down this to a more reasonable Yeah. I mean, you can really crank this thing. Ah, it's not it. It can be misleading. That's the thing about all these these automatic things is it can be misleading, you say? Well, I'm missing the whole bunch of, you know, 900 hertz when really, I just turned the amount to in an exorbitant level. They're not that different, so I usually try to keep it pretty smooth. You know, look like right in here is nice. That's too much. That's too detailed. I don't really care about all that. I just want to see a general curve and then an amount that is, like, reasonable. So if you look, our curves are pretty similar. Um, I really like I I've done my process a bunch, and I knew it was gonna be pretty close. Um, I usually go pretty light on the low mids, and then this wasn't theirs is an MP three. So it's not picking up all that high end. So I don't Actually, this curve is currently affecting our music. Um, but I don't use this. I just use it as a reference, Um, and then I go in and that So I turned off the master, um, there the ozone that's on the master, that I go to the stereo bus. And then if you look at this. E que Here, um, this CQ is my version of this. If you see, I saw that there is, like, some loan, some around one k looked like he needs a bump around two K. This is my bump. It's not the same. Um, but it, you know, it's I'm I'm basically testing those spots. Um, and then at the end, I custom created a e que that I was happy with, um And it's not gonna let me let me just plays. That's I mean for try me for you might not even be able to hear a difference just from that because it's such a small amount. I just in pulling out. If you look, I'm pulling out some of that super low sub frequencies and then giving the high mids They're the mids mids. Ah, just a little bit of a boost and then pulling out a tiny bit of that harshness and then bumping up some of the air. So this is one of those super small things that unless you really sat there and tried to listen to it, and I dio I'll close my eyes and turn things on and off to see if I can actually hear the difference. That's what that was. So that's how I actually, like, implement a reference. Um, as I said in the last one, it's good to always have. It's always good to have a reference, um, in mind through the whole process. And you should be listening to other songs while you're making music and and mixing And um , you know, So you don't, you know, mix yourself into a weird frequency whole. I've done that where I come out of the mixing room and or the song and it it's just like wonky, like I've mixed it almost like there's too much low end And then I mixed it like angled, Um, as far as what we're hearing, So it's way too dark, and I'm like it sounds like fat, but it's like it's too dark. You need to listen to what the industry standard is, um, or like, maybe you're like, man it like I'm gonna turn these. I want that those vocals to sizzle, bro. And you turn up those high end and then you come out and you mix the whole track to that like super harshness. Um, and it comes out and it has no punch. And you listen to it on like headphones. And it's like piercing your ears. Um, you know, you've got to get that balance, right? So that's what references Super important. That's just a cool way to implement it. With ozone, you can do. Ah, um, just a more practical, I guess. Second double check. Um, so once again, that's the That's the whole mixing process. Let me know if you have questions. Hit me up and keep making music. Guys, peace out.