Using EQ and Compression in Cubase | Will Edwards | Skillshare

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (1h 6m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Learn to Use EQ

    • 3. Learn to Use a Compressor

    • 4. Kick Drum Compression Example

    • 5. Kick Drum EQ Example

    • 6. EQ and Compressor on Snare

    • 7. EQ and Compressor on High Hat

    • 8. EQ and Compressor on Cabasa

    • 9. EQ and Compressor on Congas

    • 10. EQ and Compressor on Rhodes

    • 11. EQ and Compressor on FM Synth Pad

    • 12. Side-Chain Compressor Example

    • 13. Multiband Compressor Example

    • 14. Configuring Mid-Side EQ in Cubase

    • 15. Mid-Side EQ Example

    • 16. Wrap Up and Project Challenge

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About This Class

This course is designed to make the processing of mixing your track feel more like music and less like engineering.  You'll learn how EQ and compression work together to help you make the right musical choices for each track in your mix.  You'll learn what to listen for when using a compressor.  

Students get started by downloading the stems (audio files).  These stems can be used in an DAW (ProTools, Cubase, Ableton, Logic, etc.).  The lessons in this course are presented with Cubase, but the main focus is EQ and Compression which are universal topics that apply to any DAW.  Follow along with this walkthrough-style course to learn how the technicalities of mixing with EQ and Compression.  With these skills, you'll be able to stay focused on your music without having to compromise on a half-baked final mix.

Meet Your Teacher

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Will Edwards

Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician


I am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I perform live on bass, guitar and keyboards.  In addition, I perform live electronic music improvisation.  I've devoted over 26 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from music theory to ear training; from live performance to composition and practice routines.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music.  I compose and perform with Ableton and Push 2 and I have experience with Cubase, ProTools and Logic.  I'm extremely comfortable using web-based to... See full profile

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1. Introduction: welcome to my mixing course I prepared stems from an electronic music course that I offer. And I'm gonna use those stems throughout this course to demonstrate the important principles of a good mix. I'm gonna be using these stems throughout the course to demonstrate the principles that I'm talking about. So I want you to understand that although I've made the stems available, I've also made them available as wave files so you can import them into any DEA W that you use. I've tried to set everything up so that if you want to use pro tools, you can use pro tools, provided wave files to download and provide audio samples with in the lectures. So you can hear what I'm doing as well as numerous screenshots, so you can see what I'm working with when I'm working with e que or compressors. You can see exactly what the settings are 2. Learn to Use EQ: So we're just gonna create a channel here. I'm going to right click and select. Add audio track. I'm gonna make sure that configurations mono output routing to stereo is fine. And then just abstract so I can even rename this track. I'll just call this, you know, track one. We're gonna use different track names as we go further in the project. But I just wanna go through kind of a workflow. That is typical for me so you can look over my shoulder, so to speak and see what I'm doing. So now when we use plug ins, typically we're using them as inserts. So if we look over here in the inspector, we see inserts and we can actually create any number of inserts in this order. So I'm gonna go ahead and I am going to select an e que and my favorite e que. Is this studio e que Just so you know, when you are looking at these plug ins and you see this three hash mark line here that indicates that these RVs t three plug ins BST plug ins are used in many different hosts, so it's not unique to Q base But Steinberg did invent the VSD Protocol. I've chosen Studio e que and essentially. Now what this allows me to do is to engage anyone of four Parametric equalizers, the gay and his representative. How many decibels you either boost or cut a specific frequency set with the second non. Each one of the horizontal rows is its own e que. Each one of the vertical rows is one of these values either gain frequency or what's called Q factor. So what we'll see here is if we take our second channel or our second e Q. And we boost that and we change its frequency to about two K and then we change the Q. You can see how the values change. This will make more sense when you actually hear it being used on sound. But for right now, I just want to explain how any Q works this CQ. The studio acute contains four bands, which is the proper term for four bands of EQ You. Each band can be set to a different value. Each of these can also have a different type of shelf Orpik. So if we were to say who wanted this to be a cut. There be, ah, high pass filter. And we could then set the frequency of that high pass filter if we wanted this one to be a cut than it would essentially become a low pass filter. The bottom band here is always represented as one, and if we just dragged the stock, we see that its values change. The other value that doesn't change is the kind of boost or cut that it is we've selected Cut here. In other words, this lower channel, this number one band that will only ever apply a cut as a high pass filter. The top band, Band number four, will only ever apply a cut as a low pass filter so we can't run a high pass filter on band for that makes sense because you don't really want ever do that in practical sense, so we can actually drag these dots or weaken set specific values using the knob. We can also double click, and we could type in 56 if we knew for some reason that we really wanted that band to be applied to 56 hertz and that's what the frequency is here. This is 67.3 hurts. This is 56 Hertz 2057 hurts. That's the same as 2.57 K which you'll see indicated often if you look here in the upper corner as I'm moving around, there are actually numbers that indicate the frequency and hurts as the top number and the decibel level of the volume level that would be equal to gain. 3. Learn to Use a Compressor: Now, let's look at compression. I'm gonna go into dynamics and I'm going to select compressor. Now, what a compressor does is essentially takes the loudest peaks and it makes it compressed it . This allows volume in your signal beyond a certain threshold. So, in essence, what's happening here is you have on the right hand side of visual representation. And on the left hand side you have some meters. And on the longer bottom here, you actually have the different values. The first value you want to look at is the threshold. The threshold is in decibels or DB. Okay? And you can see as I made of it, it changes the graphic over him. Now, what this threshold means is I'm setting a specific level at which my compressor, all of these values of the bottom, will start toe work. So if I set this all the way up here, essentially none of these were ever gonna matter. Because this is saying that when I'm at full volume, the loudest that the platform can allow a volume to be without clipping and distortion. That would be my threshold. But we don't really, ever get there. What threshold you use depends a lot on the material you're using. You're gonna use a different threshold, maybe for a kick drum, then you would for a vocal. Now, when it comes time to decide what to do when you're volume hits this threshold, you're going to use the values along the bottom. Yet the first of this is ratio, and this is set to 2 to 1 by default, and you can double click it. You could change it to 4 to 1 just by typing. A four ratio will always be something toe one you can change it here with a snob is Well, let's just change it to port a one. So what this means in the real world is that if the volume coming into this compressor were to have a level that went above this threshold of minus 22.5 by four decibels So in other words, the level coming into this compressor. If that level was minus 18.5 four decibels, louder, then my threshold sending, then the compressor will essentially only allow that volume peak to be equal toe one decibel louder than this threshold. So, for every four decibels louder than the threshold. My compressor will permit one decibel to actually happen. So this will make a little more sense when we use it in demonstration later on in the course. But that's the fundamental map and design of how compressor works. It literally takes the loud signals and compresses them. The rest of these values follow a typical envelope concept, so attack is how quickly do we want to grab hold to that signal and start compressing it? Do we want to hold it for any period of time? When finally, the level drops below our threshold again? How quickly do we release it from the compressors? Control this analysis choice between Peak and RMS that represents the difference between evaluating whether or not the signal goes above our threshold. Based on an average that there is an average level RMS, which means root, mean square or a peak meaning, even if it's just for the slightest smallest fraction of a second that a signal peaks above that. Is that what we're paying attention to or we only looking at averages? The reason that that's an important distinction is that peaks are quite typical, and sometimes they don't really have necessarily a negative impact. But if the average is always peeking above your threshold, you're definitely gonna want your compressed to be acting on it. So that's why this is generally set towards the are mass over. It means square average setting. Finally, you have makeup and auto makeup gain is enabled. This is really helpful. This basically means whatever compression is taking place. So let's say we were using this ratio here and are single went up to minus 18.5. We would essentially be taking that four decibel margin above our threshold and reducing it toe one, meaning that we lose three decibels of actual volume. And auto makeup is basically saying, Well, we're just gonna make up that three by boosting the whole signal up. Three db So it'll still be the same overall volume, but it will sound compressed that home again make more sense when we actually use it. In a real world example 4. Kick Drum Compression Example: in this lesson. We're gonna talk about compression. And there was a couple of different schools of thought on compression as far as where it should be in the chain. Generally speaking, you want to have the compressor before your EQ you because you don't want your e que boosts to create more volume and thereby drive your compressor harder. So what we might want to do in some situations is actually have the compressor first and then the eq you a second, but with the drums were not really going to be doing a lot of e que boosting. We're only gonna be doing he cute cutting. And so that's not is gonna be is important to have the compressor first. Let's take a look at how the compressor sounds currently, Right now, what we've got is an input meter and showing us what level the input signals coming in G. R stands for gain reduction and this is an inverted meet or so is showing us roughly minus four to minus six. That's a maybe minus four. DV is what is coming up registering here. This number here represents the maximum gain reduction is currently happening with these settings. So if I go ahead and I double click that number, it resets it to zero. See, if you double click any one of these numbers, it resets it. It's always showing the highest value that happened. As I bring this threshold down, you're going to see that this gain reduction number goes up and the meter shows that's getting more and more gain reduction right now. What happens here when we have a lot of gain reduction is that actually the sound of the drum is lost. So if we're listening to this again, it doesn't really even sound like a drum. We're just getting this very faint, so clicking sound at the beginning. As we open up the compressor, we actually get more on the sound. Robert K. And this is the first important lesson of using a compressor. The compressor changes the it's hammer of the instrument, and the Tambor is exactly detail that are here, listens to to try to figure out what we're hearing. What makes a violin sound different from a flute is called Tambor, and when you use a compressor on any instrument, whether it's a drum or a vocal or a flute. It does, in exaggerated forms, change the tambor of the instrument, which could be really an undesirable effect in some kinds of electronic music and e g. M. It's actually desired. You really using the compressor to create new Tambor's. But generally you want to use the compressor in a manner that doesn't change the tambor of the instrument. That's the first main lesson the compressor is got all these technical details like ratio and threshold, but at the fundamental core of using a compressor, we're not just thinking about attacks, and releases and ratios were really thinking about how to preserve the Tambor and at the same time make the instrument sound close to the listener. And they realize the second man topic to understand about a compressor. The more that you compare us an audio signal, the more it seems to be close to the listener here job. So if you want to bring something close to the listener, you want to use a compressor, and that's why it's used on lead vocals so extensively, because we want to make it sound like the singer is right up front in the mix. As we listen to this kick and I bring the compressor. You could hear how it sounds a little bit closer to our years now. Then it did here just a little bit. It's subtle. We don't want to lose the wolfing sound that's in there because that's part of the 808 kick . I like the way that sounds, but I actually want to open it up a little longer. That's gonna be the release value here. Now, you get a little bit of that wolf back. I've got my attacks that super fast gonna happen almost immediately. There's gonna be a compressor on it. I'm actually gonna set a compressor ratio to be a little more aggressive. I'm gonna go for 6 to 1. I'm gonna back this off just a little bit. Looking for about 3.5 TV of gain reduction. That's fine. This is about where I wanna be. I've got my makeup gain sent, auto makeup. You can hear how if I turn that off, there's actually a little bit quieter. Then when it's turned on. So generally for the mixing that I'm gonna do in this course, you're gonna want to leave the auto makeup game on. We're also gonna go ahead and make sure that this dry, wet knob has the dry mix completely excluded. Essentially, that means that over here we're listening to pure compressor output. Over here, we are listening to the dry signal that would exist if the compressor was never placed in the signal change. 5. Kick Drum EQ Example: next. We want to look at using the e que. I'm going to set up a loop up here and, um, just wanting to basically make it so that we can rely on that continually playing a small portion. So I'm gonna go ahead here and select activates cycle so we can see that it's continuing to live. Now, I'm gonna go to R E. Q because I want to start working on that. So let's open up R E Q. And we can see our frequency spectrum monitor, and we can see how where with a high hat was producing a lot of high end. Now, the kick drums producing a lot of loathe first thing I'm gonna do is use a low pass filter , basically cut off everything above about 500. So I'm gonna start here. I'm gonna turn this one off. I'm gonna take this up to about 500 and then I'm going to change this to a hi show, and I'm gonna bring the game down. Like so. Okay, so you can hear how effectively what I've done is I've cut off some of this higher end frequency spectrum that the kick drum was producing, leaving a more sub bass sound intact. If I bypassed this, you can hear how the unprocessed signal has just a little bit more high end. I'm going to leave it there because I know that my kick fundamentally belongs in the low range. And by cutting out some of that higher and mid range frequency from my kick, I make room for other instruments that really belong in that space, like snare or they have been happy. That's a summary of using the EQ you. In the next few lessons, I'm actually going to do the same thing, but for the other drums. 6. EQ and Compressor on Snare: in the last lesson, we set up our gate e que and compressor for the kick that we're gonna do the same thing for the snare. So I'm going to solo the snare. We can hear that playing right there. I'm gonna go ahead and set my threshold about like so again. The use of a gate on electric drums is not as important because generally there isn't bleeding between the drums. But this is really valuable in any situation where you've got a track that's been recorded and you want to make sure you're only getting that specific instrument sound. Now let's look at our cue and we can see our frequency spectrum again. And what we see here is that a snare naturally has this high end, the kind of bulge and this other bulge that we can see is roughly around 180 hertz. Okay, so the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to cut off the low end here where the kick really resigns. So I got my first band activated, and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna get low shelf. I'm gonna bring the game down like that, bring the frequency up a little bit. Makes my scenario little snappier. As you can hear, that's before and that's after it's just a little snappier. Now I'm gonna bring the band five, and I'm gonna kind of essentially what's happening here. Now I'm gonna bring band six. I'm gonna actually bring that up to around 2.2 kilohertz and I'm just gonna give it a little boost. Have about three TV. This is before and after. Okay, now, since I've done a fair amount of cutting here, I'm gonna actually boost my overall signal because essentially the use of these bands to do this big cut in the base and this big cutting amends has actually reduced the overall volume of my signals. So what I'm gonna do, actually is just kind of gauge how loud it is with a features bypassed how much more quiet it is that I'm gonna actually boosted up. It's a little hot. Bring it down a little bit. There we go. So now, whether it's active or inactive, the level is about the same. So I'm just changing the sonic characteristics and actually changing the level the volume. Next thing we want to do is set the compressor. So I'm gonna come in here and again. I'm looking at the gain reduction in putting output, but for the snare, I really want a little bit more off a decay phase in the envelope. So there's the attack, which we want to be very fast. Except the ratio to 6 to 1, which I've always found, is generally pretty good. It's not too heavy handed with drums, but drums, Aaron aggressive instrument with aggressive transients. And a higher ratio at this tends to get the results I like may have the attack be very fast . No hold. And the release for right now is okay. I want to set this to peak. No harm s OK, and I'm gonna leave auto makeup gain on. What you can see is this very sharp image representing our ratio. So as soon as the level hits that, it is immediately being cut off very dramatically. And that's why we see so much gain reduction. Now, I'm gonna use the threshold to modify that by year so that I don't lose Tambor. What changes the tambor of drinking too much? I'm looking for the drum to get close without Timbul change, and that's about where we're at. So again I'm getting ah average of about minus 2.5 to 3 D v gain reduction on my snap. Let's listen to these two together. You can actually use this button here to disable all of the inserts of that channel. So, in essence, we can. Here is what the kick and snare sounded like. Originally, this is what it sounds like. Now it's a little more crisp, and that's what you wanted. 7. EQ and Compressor on High Hat: So let's look at the I have I'll solar the channel and play it. Now I notice I'm not getting any sound. The reason why is that our default gate value is actually muting at the whole time. If we disable this, we hear that open high. So another way of talking about that is that our threshold here is set to aggressively something that back it off like that, going to go to the CQ, and in this case, with my high hat, I actually want runs e que after the compressor, and it's nice and easy in Q base. You can actually just drag these elements around without changing their individual value. So let's set the compressor first. Since that's the next in the order and I'm gonna go ahead and set this a slightly less aggressive ratio of 4 to 1. Leave my makeup on Dr Nick slowly down. I'm gonna be looking here at arm s completely because when I really want to get from the high hat is kind of this long tail, I want it almost sound like a noise from noise oscillator. Just kind of a sh sound. I want a little bit more of that. I'm gonna bring down my threshold. Not too aggressively. You can see that when I use the peak value, I get this more sort of bouncing sound. Where's when I use the arm at it? Sort of. Hold it down. It tamped down on it and hold it down the same time. Ok, so now what? I'm gonna dio release this a little bit to bring him fit. More of the tamarins, thistles, the foreign after It's a subtle difference. But what I've done is basically made the open. I had moved forward towards the listener a little bit more. Let's go ahead and look at the EQ. You will cease in our frequencies sector monitoring here that we're getting a lot of high ends. I actually want to kind of move this back a little bit. Someone actually boost a little closer to about five K and I don't want to do a big boost. I just want to do about two db roughly like that before and after. It's just a little more brittle. And that's what I want for this particular piece. Since it's kind of electronic sound, I want my drums. Teoh have less mid range and mawr, extreme eyes and more extreme lows. Let's listen to how the open, high half and the kick in the snare sound together. Now each of the drums is much more independent in the listeners here. You can really separate them a lot more. Let's listen again and hear how each individual drum now occupies its own space in the frequency spectrum. Likewise, each of these elements is fulfilling its own personality the compression and EQ you engaging that I've done it didn't change the tambor of them so that you can still tell that the kick is supposed to be a kick in. The snare is supposed to be a snare in the high out. Supposed to be I at they're all working together. They're just more articulate. They have a more refined space. So we got one more thing here, the closed I have I'm just going to copy this gate and this compressor and frequency to my clothes high at the way I'm gonna do that is in the mixer console. So I'm gonna go ahead and hit F three and what I can do from here is I can see which channel I'm looking at here is my close. I am open. I am going to go ahead and, um, and delete these, which were the originals from our chain precept. And I'm gonna hold the option key. I mean, a Mac. I'm gonna hold the option, and I'm gonna drag each one of these. And this is essentially creating a copy with exactly the same values deceased. You know, when I look at this compressor, it actually has the same ratio in the same settings as what I had said on the open hat. So it's like I just took all of the plug ins and inserts from this channel and a copy them over here. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and close that. I'm just gonna make a couple of small modifications here. I'm gonna want to just solo my clothes tap, modify the gate, like so, go ahead and modify my compressor so that I'm just getting something a little more subtle. And I want a little more release on there. Open it up a little bit more. Then I'm gonna go to my frequency. Eq you and I can see that eyes inherited this little teak here. I'm gonna want to keep that peak because, after all, closed High hat tenant open I have are supposed to be the same instrument on an 808 drum machines. Course, it's different channels, but in the real world. So I asked the high out, and whether it's closer open, it should have more or less the same Tamra quality. But I do want to boost a little bit more in the high end. That's gonna make this particular close It sound. Stand out a bit against the open sound. So let's listen to how those drums all sound together, all right, but sounding really articulate. There's a lot of boom in the bass. The snare is really clear. This loud crack there's open hats are really obvious. That's a sound like back in the introduction section. I talked about using folder tracks, and this is a great example of when I like to use full detracts. All of these air drums, they're all done. They were basically ready, but I want to keep them organized, and I'm going to right click and create a folder track, and I'm gonna call this folder track drums, and I'm gonna drag this group in here now. I could just have one track there If I solo it. It's solos, all the drums. If I mute it, commutes all the drums. That's what I want. So I've got this one folder track that represents all my drums, even though I can always go in and make individual tweaks to the presets or inserts for those individual elements. In the next lesson, I'm gonna look at the Congress and the Capasa and see how we can make Sotzing as well. 8. EQ and Compressor on Cabasa: All right. Welcome back. So we're now looking at the percussion elements. We've got two of them. We've got the Capasa. We've got the Congress. Let's listen to how those sound together. We can see that our loop has to change to this different area here. So I'm gonna go ahead, change that there clothe. Sounds a bit like a shaker. Very much like. Ah, high half the congress. They sound more like Tom drums. Let's start with the Mombasa. So I'll solo that and I'm gonna open up my do you hear of the mixer strip? And I'm actually gonna copy the open Hi hats Insert values onto my Capasa. Okay, so this is what I'm gonna do. Hold I'm on the Makram and hit the option key. And hold that and drag that over to Michael. Box up. Essentially, I'm copying all of the insert values and current settings over to my composite because I feel like it behaves in a very similar way to my hat. So now let's listen to the kielbasa with the current settings. I'm gonna set this gate a little higher, like so. And I'm gonna go ahead and set my compressor. I don't want to have such a heavy ratio. So I usually find with percussion it's better to be a little more understated with my compression on any kind of percussion. So I'm gonna go ahead and have a little bit of a softer tack, and I'm not gonna hold much longer release. And I am gonna be doing RMS leave on auto makeup gain and bring this down to make it sound a little closer to the listeners here. Yeah, I like that. So we're getting about minus 2.4 d v of gain reduction. That's fine. Now I'm gonna look at my frequency Cube. I can see that it's occupying a very similar space to my open app or closed. Have high hat and the campuses function very much the same way in the frequency spectrum. So now I'm gonna actually take advantage from the fact that there is a little bit of mid range in my cab. Ossa is also higher. And Michael boxes, um, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to reset this value. Just turn it off, boost right here. Just bring it up a little bit. Just about three db Okay. And then I'm also gonna boost around 1.2. I'm just giving that a boost of about six a. D. V. Now, before and after that sounds a little more subdued. That sounds a little more present, a little more after. That's what I wanted. 9. EQ and Compressor on Congas: So now let's turn our attention to the Congress and the Congress. Function a lot like Tom Drums Low Tom Hi Tom in a drum kit. And we're going to see how their frequency spectrum is very different from the kick. Very different in the high hats and calm Bassa even quite different from the snare. But we want to start by loading our effects chain. Basically, I'm always setting the gate right at the edge so that there's, Ah, no real noticeable game. Now I'm gonna go to my frequency spectrum. I'm gonna see there's a lot of base here. There's a lot of cover mid range. There's a little bit of highs. There's a lot of mid range. So what I want to do is actually take some of this low end off mike on this because that's already being used by the kicked in. And I want to take out a little bit of this because that's actually a space that's really being occupied by this, and they're what I want. Accentuate. Is this mid range this upper mid range that none of my drums currently occupied, So let's go ahead and send this to low shelf we're gonna bring that down, and I'm gonna bring a frequency up all by itself. That's such a massive change. Now, suddenly, my congress sounded brittle and especially br conga player. You're gonna think like, Oh, no, he's ruined the Congress. But the thing is, when you put it back in with the drums, suddenly it's going all fill in a lot better. So we want to make sure that our conga is actually featuring its own unique frequency spectrum. Okay, I'm gonna bring up a little bit of the highs just to get a little bit of the sound of the hand in there bringing this up a little more. Thanks. Up now, before and after is a big difference. This one's Wolfie and heavy. This one's a lot thinner, a little more brittle. Now I want to look at the compressor. I don't want the conduct to be too close to the listeners here, so I'm just going to basically, um, deceptive ratio rather high at six. And I'm gonna set the attack very fast. No hold. I'm gonna do auto release, and I'm gonna make this respond to Peaks only. And then I'm going to basically bring this down just so that I get a little bit of game deductions. I'm looking for a peak of maybe, like two TV gain reduction, like that very subtle compression. Overall, this compression is hardly audible at all. But I know because I'm experienced in mixing and editing that down the road. Just that little to BBB that I've taken off the mid range is gonna pay dividends. The reason is this Mid range is the most abrasive to the human ear, and we don't really want to have uncontrolled mid range audio coming through our mix. Mid range can be the first thing to really make someone grit their teeth and feel like you're mix is just too aggressive. And since my Congress here are really featuring mid range, that's the main reason that I want to apply just a little bit of compression to keep it under control. Now this listen to combat again. What we noticed now is that everything seems more present, more articulate. We made very subtle changes. We've only used Gate B Q and A compressor, but we wound up with something that's much more articulate and much more to find in the human here 10. EQ and Compressor on Rhodes: Okay, so now let's look at harmony mixing. So harmony is basically everything that contributes to the harmonic structure of your tune . So this could be the cords. It could be maybe guitar in this example. We're mainly looking at the pad, and we're looking at the keys. I'm gonna go ahead. I'm gonna add our percussions tracks to our drum group track. Kenny, go ahead and make sure that those were all muted, like so So we're really just looking at the keys here. Ah, the bass track is gonna be slightly different. And then the leads, obviously a different, but the pad that's also part of our harmony. So let's go ahead and create another folder track. I'm gonna call it Harmony, and I'm gonna go ahead and add my keys and had tracks to that like, So now I'm gonna go ahead and start listening to them. Let's move the little over here. Some of the smaller lived Theo. So we've got this very kind of organic sounding roads and they've got this very, very digital technology sounding pad. So that's listen to those separate. This is the roads, keys, the's sound kind of work ethic and we really want to let them have a lot of space, right? So I'm not gonna really want to do a lot of compression. Two days. I don't really want to bring them up front too much. This sound of the roads keyboard, which is a traditional keyboard made by Fender, the Fender Rhodes. This sound is very warm, and if you over compress it or you change its e que very dramatically, it really loses a lot of its character, and we want to make sure to maintain character. That's part of what you want to think about as a mixing engineer, what the artist or what the composer was trying to express. And from my perspective, with my experience, I would say that the use of the roads is really to create a texture, is trying to create a mood. It's a very warm sound. It's not something that needs to feature like a lead. It's something that sets and mood, and we want to preserve that as much as we can with our mixing techniques. So the first thing I want to do is I'm gonna add just a little bit of compression to this, not to change its location, routes of listener or to squash it away. Don't wanna mess around its Tampere. We just want to make sure that it is under control. So I'm gonna go ahead and compressor set a very mild ratio of 1.7. Okay, that's very little. I'm gonna have the attack a minute. Set the attack a day about five milliseconds. What that's going to do is it's gonna let the initial sound of my roads make its way to the listeners here. Completely unaffected something. I want you to understand that I only learned late in my mixing career, but I think is really important to understand when you're working on music. Is that what happens at the attack phase? The first phase off a sound tells the human ear and the human brain a huge amount about the sound they're hearing. So when you mess around with the attack, you're more likely to change the way a person perceives it than almost any other thing that you can do. So I'm gonna basically preserve the attack on this so that my roads retains all of its characteristics of the road and I don't have to give it much just the 1st 5 milliseconds. I'm not gonna have any hold. And I'm gonna go ahead and just put this on a lot over these. That'll probably sound fine. What I want to do is I want to basically apply this rather miles compression just until I'm getting, say, two db in game reduction. Just like that. Not much. So when we bypass it, it's hardly even noticeable. We're just gaining some control over it, and that's gonna help us out. That's about all I'm gonna do on this. But I do want to look at the frequency spectrum. So I'm gonna go ahead and load my e que frequency. He cute, and I'm going to see how this looks on my frequency spectrum. Now, what we see here is very clear harmonics. Okay? When you have that kind of very clear spiked very evident on outline that represents very clear harmonics. What we can see is that a lot of what's happening in the low end, we don't be Oh, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to back off. I'm not gonna remove it all. I'm just going to dampen it a little bit on. There's some Bell sounds in this higher range that I want to have to be a little more pronounced way Go now. When we listen to the old way, it's a little more mild, a little more mellow with my cue modifications. It's a little more crisp and a little more direct. That's about as much changes I want to make. I've got a little bit of compression just hanging on to control of the audio signal, but really hardly making an impression, especially with the longer attack. And then I've also got the e que, shaving out some of the frequencies of the kick drum, and the hi hats were already using. 11. EQ and Compressor on FM Synth Pad: Now, let's listen to this FM. Since things is a really heavy handed sound, it's got a lot going on. It's a big, fat sent pad, Theo. Okay, so what I want to do first here is a little bit of compression to maintain control over things a little more aggressively thes e. I've got a little bit of gain reduction. That's fine for now. I'm gonna come back to this in a minute. The next thing I want to do is see what's going on with the frequency spectrum. You're using my frequency. Thank you, Theo. So there's this very little bit of very low in here. I don't want that in there at all. So I'm gonna go ahead and set this to just cut that out completely. Gonna bring this up, Theo. Taking out almost all of the low end and low mid range. Now I'm gonna go and I'm gonna look at a frequency range that my high hat was accentuated. Let's go see where that was. My open. I have. And let's see, I had a little boost in the sixth band here at about five killers. Now I'm gonna want to kill that a little more. So basically, I want to take that out of my pad to make room for the open hi hats and hi hats and Capasa to kind of sit in their own space, right? So I'm actually gonna go to five kilohertz here, and I'm going to drop that down. What a bit. So, essentially, what I'm doing is carving out kind of a hole in the frequency spectrum where my percussive elements that cab Ossa and the high hat open and close can sit more comfortably. There also be a little bit of room in there for the snare. So I'm using my e que to do cuts rather than boosts. And I'm also thinking about where instruments interact with each other, trying to make sure each instrument gets its own unique spot. Now I'm gonna go back to the compressor, and the reason is this I want to have their be a little less shimmer to my overall pad sound. I want to get a little bit more of a dull and melo sound, and that's gonna come from more aggressive compression. So in this case, I'm actually be changing the Tambor by over compressing this pad and you're gonna hear that it becomes a lot more mellow, A lot thicker, a lot richer, and it loses some of the shimmer. So let's see how that sounds. First thing I'm gonna want to do is sit rather high ratio. I want the attack to be almost immediate. I'm gonna put the hold on here for, let's say, 250 milliseconds. That's 1/4 of a second, and I'm gonna use order. Release. Minute set. My analysis arm s auto gain makeup. You can see I've got a really harsh cut off here where the ratio of the compressors coming into effect. Now, what I want to do is bring this down. I'm gonna estimate that I'm gonna want at least 12 db of gain reduction. So this is a really radical compression, Theo. Now, what I've got is a lot fatter, a lot richer, a lot warmer, but it has a less shimmer and less articulation. I suppose it's not going to be arguing and fighting as much with the high hat, the snare and the kielbasa. As a result of what I'm doing here, you're also going to notice that now next to the roads. Theo roads kind of rises above that. Now I still think personally the pad is a little too loud. But that's something that I'm gonna change with mixing favors later on. Alright, so I've got my harmony all set and I got my drums all set. Let's hear how those sounds together thing. Theo, What I'm listening for here is cannot hear the closed half. Can I hear the open at? Can I hear the kick? And so, uh, can I hear the roads and the FM sent? Are they all articulate? Are they all standing on their own two feet here? I haven't changed levels at all. I haven't done any mixing or automation, but I want to make sure that my EQ you and compression is performing that first major task . I want to make sure that everything is present and has its own spot in the frequency spectrum. Secondly, I wanna make sure that none of my changes change the Tambor or character so badly that the instruments aren't recognizable theme really? Here. I think it's a bit loud. I can hear that close theme road out of it more than that earlier relative, Everything else But I've been successful so far, mixing my drums and mixing my harmony. Each instrument at an equal level is articulate. 12. Side-Chain Compressor Example: this is a hands on lesson. So if you want to get started with me and then you can load up the demo project and follow along. Citing compression is a simple concept. Basically, we're flying a compressor toe one channel that having it respond to another channel. So we want to apply in this case, our compression to our base. So we've got a compressor already loaded in there, but we want to enable what's called side chain compression. So along the top here, we're gonna click this button that says, Activate side chain, it turns orange, so we know it's on. Now, if we go to our kick Drum Channel will find that understands one of the send options now is the side chain base subtracted so we can actually send a signal from our kick drum all the way over to the compressor that's running on our base channel. Now, if we listen to the track now, we're going to see how the gain reduction starts to pump. Based on what's happening in the Kick channel, I'm gonna make this compression little more dramatic. What's happening here is that the base is actually being cut through in a way that kick is actually compressing and quieting the base channel so that the kick can be more audible and makes the kick in the base kind of jail back together a little more than if citing, compression is not on. You can use this side Jane compression in a variety of plug ins. Compressors are by far the most commonly side chains, but there are some other side chaining options in other plug ins. If a plug in support side gaining in key base, you'll see this button. Activate side, chain up here in the upper palate. If that button is missing, then the plug in does not support side chaining and probably you don't need it. 13. Multiband Compressor Example: this hands on lesson. I'm gonna show you how to use multi band compression, and we're going to specifically use this to create better defined base, but also midrange and treble across our entire mix. Earlier in this course, we talked a lot about using compression and eq you on each of the instruments as we kind of started are mixing phase so you should be able to understand what compression does. Namely, It allows us to control dynamics to control loudness and how loud things are allowed to get multi bad. Compression takes this concept one step further, and it kind of basically allows you to set up compression for different frequency ranges. Jay, you can have one compression set up for your base range and one compression set up for your mid range and then your trouble and so on. Multiple and compression is one of the most important products to use when you're doing a final master and I'm gonna show you how to kind of set it up here for a pre master in the mastering phase, you're gonna want to use multi bank compression to get is allowed as you can, but motivating compression here in the pre master phase is really about making sure that there's a good balance. And we're gonna look at our frequency spectrum monitoring as well. So we want to start with our stereo output or a main bus, and we're gonna go ahead after the limiter we're gonna add in multi band compressor. What you see here is essentially four different compressors. So we have a base compressor, a mid range and upper mid range, and then our trouble compression each one of these graphical regions appear at the top of the BST window represents the values set by these compressors in the bottom. If we just play the track, we can start to see the gain reduction happening on each of these four bands. Wait, There's a lot of compression happening loathe, little bit happening in the lower range on There's really no compression happening. E u some frequency spectrum analysis so that I can see how the based in trouble is actually showing on a frequency spectrum. So I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna set up this e que again frequency cute on this channel just so that I can kind of have it as a reference. I'm gonna have both plug ins open at the same time. Like so. And now when I play, I e I can see over here acceptable amount of rain, but the high end is really a little too low. I like my overall mix in terms of the blend of instruments, but I want to suppress some of that low end, and I want to bring up some of the high end so that I create a better balance. And I'm gonna be doing that with multi band because I can control the lows and the highs separate. This multi band compressor has a really nice feature where you can actually bypass individual bands so you can kind of hear and see with the frequency spectrum monitoring how the individual bands are actually affecting our frequency output. So return on looping, and I just want loop. I want to look at right now that this compressor is having a little bit of the level of their I want to be a little more so I'm gonna be Oh, I'm gonna bring the threshold down. You can see how I'm able to bring down the Logan here quite considerably. I'm not changing shape. Three level down. What I'm looking to do is to create a very equal display on. And then I'm going to bring up the level using this zero base, bring everything more or less within that range. I'm gonna go ahead and bring more. Now there's a little bit of mid range here. I actually just go ahead, bring up a little bit about three between 501 K I'm kind of getting a little bit a little bit of about zero, so I'm gonna bring them essentially. What I'm doing is bringing down the base and mid range and making a little bit of room for the upper range. Now everything is basically a little more even. I haven't boosted any now. I can actually bring everything up. Used db measurements for game reduction reference, Theo E along the centre line and let's listen to it bypassed. And then we'll listen to it with my multi band compressor again. You can a B and hear the different results thing. One is very based on a little bit out of balance. When you engage pressure suddenly everything. Much more, Theo. Now there is one thing I'm noticing the snare is cutting through a little too much. So what I'm gonna actually do is I'm gonna put a little bit of compression just on the snare. So I'm gonna open up my drums folder channel. I'm gonna go to the snare here, and I'm gonna look at my compressor here way. Let's listen to the beginning of the track and just make sure that it sounds nice. I like the fact that we still can really hear all the instruments that kick and the snare are still working pretty well together. The base is very audible. I like the fact that generally we've preserved our mix. I think that intuitively I have been a little bit heavy handed with the multiple compression. So I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna actually back that off just a little bit. But I'm not going to necessarily reduce the amount of compression. I'm just gonna actually change the compression into layers. One of things that I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna take the multi plant band compressor. I'm gonna drag it down. I'm getting back off the threshold until my gain reduction is considerably less, especially in in these two parts of the theme the O new compressor right here. And you know something that I want to make clear that took me a while to learn is that using layers of compression is actually pretty optimal. So compressing, doing light compressing in multiple layers can actually yield much better results than having just one compressor on your master or one compressor on the instrument itself, or even one compressor on a group track or a bus. Having multiple layers of compression, each of which is acting more suddenly than the others, actually adds up to create more realistic kinds of compression. I'm gonna look here to add just about maybe 56 db of compression, and this is on the Master Channel. That's going to kind of compensate for some of the compression that I took out of the multi band, and you'll find that I still get some of the volume balancing, but without it being so heavy handed in one plug in Theo Way theme, there's still a lot in the low end and kick, and the mid range is pretty lively again, but it's overall much more effectively balanced. Let's check it out if we were to disable or bypassed these compressors here. How much more imbalanced our frequency Spectrum monitoring appears a lot more bass heavy, and our first compressor is really just contracting. I could also use the frequency plug in if I wanted to performs. Thank you. I could actually go ahead and boost some things like maybe add a thief. That's how you use multiple and compression. And it kind of helps create more defined base, not necessarily louder base, but more defined and articulate. It also allows the mid range and the upper and the trouble to become more defined as well. In the next lesson, we're gonna talk about mid side e que and see how that works in the pre mastering phase. 14. Configuring Mid-Side EQ in Cubase: in this lesson, we're gonna talk about setting up mid side e que or mid side processing. What this essentially comes down to is separating whatever is in the centre. Whatever is common to left and right in your stereo field and making that function on one channel while on a separate channel, we can listen to what's happening in the far left and far right. And then what we're gonna do is lie slightly different, acute what's grounded in the middle to what's on the very outer edges of our frequency spectrum. Or that's called the side. I'm gonna do this using a free plug in that you can download on the Internet from box and go. The plug in is called boxing Go m S e D. It's free, and it's quite a good plug in, so I suggest downloading it and installing it so have successfully installed the boxing go MSC BSC three Blufgan. What we're gonna do here is a little bit of a work around using tricks within Q base. We're going to create two effects channels and we're gonna actually send our stereo output to those two effects channels and one effects channel's gonna be using the bucks England again to extract just the mid and the other will be extracting just the sides and then they'll some back together and go to the stereo output. Let's go ahead and add to FX channels. I can change the count too to So I'm gonna do this in a select the effect from Spatial and Panter. That's where it just kind of resided when I put it in and I'm gonna go ahead and just hit track and then I'll see you down here. I've got my two channels containing SED. Now. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna rename these bid and side like so the next step is to basically bus everything to mid inside first before it goes to my stereo. Master output. The way we're gonna do that is using effects sends we close those plug ins down and I'm going to go to each track now. And I'm going to select the track, go to Inspector and will change the output to know bus. That's what I'm gonna do for all of these. Once I'm in the mix console, I'm just gonna go through each one of my tracks and I'm going to make sure that I have no bus selected for the routing as the output for each track. Well, this essentially is gonna do is make it so that at least for the time being, there's no sound anywhere. Right now. I want to just take you through this process step by step. See? Really Understand how the signal processing is working? I don't want Teoh confuse you or make more work for you, but it's really important. Just Teoh, get your head wrapped clearly around what we're doing here. I've got basically none of the tracks going to an output right now so that when I play, although I can see them in the failures, there's no sound coming. Now I want to send everything to the mid and side. Okay, so I can't set this to go to two outputs simultaneously, but I can use sends to do that. In order to do that, I'm going to go back to my track. You here and I'm not select the track. Go to my sins. And here I'm going to do a send to mid enable that I'm just gonna leave it at zero. You can tear I'm already starting to get sound again. I'm gonna said this one. This side, it sounds hasn't changeable. That's because currently the processing on mid inside or exactly the same. So I have. I had closed channels. It's going no output to the stereo masters not going directly to the stereo Master and said it's only having a sand effect that is going to my medicine side channels, which are these two FX channels I have down here and you can see them coming up there, then the mid and side channels, respectively. Those are going to the stereo out. So I've kind of creative middleman. I have made a middleman track the mid in size. They're both getting the same input from each channel and I've got. So far, I've only done this. Put the high hat closed. I'm gonna go ahead and do it for all my child, and then I'll come back now that I've got the mid and side send effects set up for every channel and kind of using it as a middleman before it gets to my output bus. I want to make sure that the mid channel is only representing the mids and the sides only representing. Besides, what I'm gonna do is going to go to the inserts for the MSC de plug in here on my mid channel. I'm gonna go ahead and click side meat. Okay, so in the mid one, I'm just muting the sides and you guessed it on the side. One. I'm going to be commuting mitts. So now I basically have a set up here where the mids are represented on the mid channel on the sides are represented on the side channel. I want to make sure that both of these a quick channels are going out to the master bus. Right. So I'm just gonna choose that there now, when I meet the sides, I can hear only what's happening in a far left and car, right? In other words, it's the difference. What's not in the middle? That's what we're listening to when we sold the side and we can hear how we go to the plug in and we were to a Knute the mids of what we're hearing. Likewise. When way I'm gonna go ahead and unm you'd everything and I want to look at both of these plug ins simultaneously When I load up both of my plug ins right next to each other, I can see that the way it's figured is that my mid channel has a science muted. My side channel has the midst muted. And when I play up Theo getting a purely vertical and a purely horizontal display for my stereo output now going through and adding all of these different configurations can be kind of a boring headache. I definitely recommend you do it just so you get familiar with what's happening and will help you learn que bases interface a little better. But I'd have set up a project that contains all of this set up for you so you can download it along with this lecture and just got to get a quick start, know that everything's set up correctly. 15. Mid-Side EQ Example: we're back. I'm hoping that at this point you've got the boxing of plug in, installed correctly. You want to. You can use the quick start projects from the last lesson, can download that and make sure all the sands and so on are set up correctly so that we can start doing a little bit of mid side processing. So I want to take a second just to reflect on one. The topics we talked about earlier called phase cancellation and we talked about how sometimes if the year is a positive amplitude coming from the left speaker and negative attitude come from rights because they can actually add up to zero phase. Cancellation doesn't usually wind up silencing an instrument tire lee, but it could wind up making instruments something and or change its tambor. Now, when you're doing mid side processing here, you can really run very, very, very high risk of creating phase cancellation problems. There are two ways that engineers deal with this. First of all, don't do it if you don't know what you're doing, because there's a very high risk that you will wind up creating some kind phase cancellation and the second possibility is to use what's called a linear phase devices or VSD plug ins with linear phase e que in your face compression and there are a number of many or phase plug ins available. This would be a great application for linear phase plug ins. Mainly I'm wanting to demonstrate for you, give you some hands on experience on how you could set up mid side within Q base and apply a little bit of it as well as monitor what's going on. I'm not gonna actually apply a lot of mid side effects, because in my experience, it definitely does run the risk of addicts and face cancellation. And a good mix with good panning already should sound pretty good. I think what we're gonna do in this lesson we'll take my mix up just a little bit, you know, it's just gonna prove it a little bit, and it also has the benefit of demonstrate to you how mid side works. What we're gonna do is we're gonna make the mids a little darker and the sides a little brighter. Okay, so I'm gonna go to the side and I am going to just solo it, okay? and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna add this plug in. I'm gonna add the studio Q. This is really my favorite e que been enable spectrum So I can see that. And what I want to do is I want to try to basically boost this sort of upper mid range right here. So there's ah, Peak, which is happening right about here. I want to get between that peak and this peak over here. So I'm going to go and enable this just a very subtle change. Okay, lets a b that very subtle. Now I want to check that along with my mid and side together. Make sure it doesn't sound terrible Theme, right? It's not a huge difference, but you could hear it more when it was sold. Next, I am going to go to the mids, and I'm gonna just solo that I might add another studio e que. This is by for my favorite you. It's just real select. I'm gonna enable spectrum and what I want to do is dark in this. I'm gonna boost around 200. I'm going to enable the band and Theo Theo, I don't want to do too much here. I just wanted to darken up the mids a little bit, and then I wanted, decides to have this boost is well in the upper range. Okay, so I've got to Ikeda's happening here, and they're doing very simple things. They're not boosting too much, but what it does is it shows you how mid side can work. You can certainly experiment with that mess around with it. I do caution against doing anything too dramatic, but you will find that doing a little bit of mid side tweaks like this really does make your mixed sound a little wider. A little a little deeper. And it can really get great results provided that you can avoid phase cancellation. Theo, I would encourage you to try bypassing the mid side plug ins just so you can kind of, baby. What are mid side work did to the overall mix? I'm gonna unsold it out and then listen to the mix. Theo. Final thing I want to do is say, how does our stereo field look? What we want to generally see is that the vast majority of our audio is grounded in the center. OK, we don't want to have a stereo field mixed where everything scattered all over the place and we don't want things to be too wide. I know there could be drawn towards a widening and may be used. Why the BST plug ins? You really, ultimately are just trying to use the stereo field to place things like in the real world. In the real world, sound comes at us from all directions, and we want toe kind of stay true to that in our mix. Otherwise, our mix is going to sound out of place, is going to sound a natural. Let's go up to our stereo channel, and I'm gonna add the M S e d. Plug in here. We're not gonna use it for any processing, just for monitoring. Now, what you're going to see when we run this is that there's primarily a vertical line, and that represents that most of our audio is in the center, but you'll also see how it kind of scatters out in both directions, and that's what gives. It's kind of a three dimensional. We want a little bit in the wider stereo field, but we want our song to be mainly or attract, rather to be mainly grounded in the center. So let's see how Theo 16. Wrap Up and Project Challenge: a tous point. We're pretty much done with the course, although I did add a final bonus lecture to this conclusion section, of course, and it really covers related courses that I have. And Resource is that I also make available online that are gonna help students of this course. Okay, so there are a few coupon codes that I want to make you aware of in case you're interested in rolling and telling my other courses and also want to provide you with some links on music protest dot com, which is my website. And I have a variety videos, free online sources as well as some pdf's and downloads things that I think instrumentalists, producers, engineers and general musicians who are taking this course are gonna be interested in. I've created a page on music protest dot com at music protest dot com. Ford slash que based students. If you go to that girl, you're going to see a couple of coupon codes that will get you the lowest possible price for these courses, and you'll also see some links to some of the articles that I've written that I think will be useful for Cube, a student's I've also created a couple of Q base project templates that I think we're gonna be handy for you. Please check it out. I put that content together directly for students of this course, and I think that it'll enrich your experience with que base. I think that will enrich your experience with learning music theory within a d aaw environment. Thank you so much for taking the course. I greatly appreciate you enrolling and again, If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I'm highly committed to responding to any of my students concerned. I'm willing to make modifications to the course if students feel that it's necessary. I'm interested in ideas for other topics, maybe new sections or lectures, or even things that I do discuss in this course that you think maybe I need to discuss in more depth. If you love the course and you think it's great really safe the day for you, please leave some feedback, so I know and it really helps me get the word out to other students. If you have any concerns about the course, Adul or even just suggestions, please reach out to me. I love to hear from you. Finally, I want to invite you to do that que base challenge. The challenge involves using the stems from this course to create your own mix. Once you have a track mixed that you've mixed on your own, it's not just a duplicate of what we've done hands on in this course, but something that's your own work. Uploaded to a service and share link on our discussion board posts information about how you went through the process, what you thought was great about your mix, whether or not you'd like to hear feedback and invite specific questions about your mix, I'm always gonna be checking the discussion boards to listen to the mix is that anybody puts up and I look forward to hearing your work. I hope this course gives you a lot of new insights and inspiration for working with Q base and working with your recorded music. I wish you luck and please stay in touch