Electronic Music Audio Mixing for Beginners part 1: (channels, frequency and equalization) | Donny Yi George | Skillshare

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Electronic Music Audio Mixing for Beginners part 1: (channels, frequency and equalization)

teacher avatar Donny Yi George, artist, musician, designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      LMMS Refresher


    • 3.

      Headphones and monitors


    • 4.

      Elements of the mix


    • 5.

      Mixer channels


    • 6.

      Volume and Panning


    • 7.

      EQ and Frequencies


    • 8.

      Subtractive EQ


    • 9.

      Additive EQ


    • 10.

      Adjustments and versions


    • 11.

      Outro and About me


    • 12.

      Full mix process (no voiceover)


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About This Class

In this class you will begin to learn how to mix a track. We'll cover topics such as panning and stereo field, frequency ranges and EQing techniques.

This class is intended for people new to music production and mixing. We will be using a free open source Digital Audio Workstation, so anyone can follow along.

The topics covered also apply to audio mixing generally, in other DAWs and for other genres of music or other audio applications such as for video games or video.

All you really need is a computer, though a good pair of headphones or speakers is recommended. We will discuss studio headphones and (monitor) speakers in a separate lesson.

Ideally you'll have completed the previous two classes and have a track that has been arranged and is ready to be mixed. If not that’s ok, because I have provided an original track that you can follow along with.


After you complete this class, you can continue to the final class in this series
Audio Mixing for Electronic Music part 2: Mastering
where we put polish and put the finish touches on your track!


Learn the entire process of creating your own tracks with the Electronic Music Production for Beginners series of classes:

  1. Electronic Music Production for Beginners
  2. Electronic Music Production II: Track Arrangement
  3. Electronic Music Audio Mixing for Beginners part 1: (channels, frequency and equalization)
  4. Audio Mixing for Electronic Music part 2: Mastering

Meet Your Teacher

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Donny Yi George

artist, musician, designer


Hi, I'm Donny.

Hope everyone is doing good.

I like to make art, comics, design and music. I have a masters degree in Illustration and studied mixing / mastering at Dubspot electronic music school. I've been making comics, zines and been involved in the underground music scene for almost 20 years now too.

I also worked professionally for many years as a graphic designer / artist mostly at newspapers, including the Wall St. Journal. 

I love being creative and making stuff. I love people. I love learning.


my art




my music




graphic design

http... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hello and welcome to Part 1 of electronic music, audio mixing for beginners. Channels, frequency and equalization. This is the third class and my series electronic music production for beginners, where we use a free, open-source and digital audio workstation and take you through the entire process of creating an original track. In this class, you'll begin to learn how to mix a track covering topics such as panning and stereo field, frequency ranges and EQ and techniques. What is mixing you may ask? It is basically we take all the separate sounds and retract and unified your balance and sculpt the sounds using various filters and effects to achieve a mix down. Hopefully you've taken the previous classes and have an original track ready to go. If not, that's okay. I provide an original track you can use to follow along. We'll be covering a lot of principles of audio that can apply to mixing in any situation. Using any software or hardware. For applications such as mixing audio for a film or video games. All you really need is a computer. So a good pair of studio headphones or see your monitors is recommended. We will discuss studio monitors and see your headphones in a later lesson. So let's get started. 2. LMMS Refresher: This lesson will be a quick review of LMS. Lms is a free, open-source, beginner to mid-level digital audio workstation available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Similar in my opinion to FL Studio and download LMS. Lms dot io. Website has documentation as well as an impressive showcase of tracks made with L MMS. In this class, we will be focusing on three parts, the song editor, the beat and baseline editor, and effects mixer. You can close any other windows for now. The song editor is where we arranged song segment. Each track contained instruments and the patterns and notes associated with the sound or beat patterns. To be baseline editor is like a drum machine where loops and beat patterns can be created. Ampex mixer will be where we do most of our mixing. Here we have channels that can be assigned to various instrument tracks to which we can add effects in group in various ways. 3. Headphones and monitors: For audio mixing, it is best to have a pair of studio headphones and or studio monitors. Studio monitors, our speakers specifically designed for audio production. These are important because they allow you to hear accurately with full frequency range and pick up details all the audio. You can get away with using laptop speakers or computer speakers or consumer headphones. But your mixes may not be great because they may distort the sound. Or you may not be able to hear some sounds. Though there is something to be said for listening and testing your mixes on consumer equipment or your car speakers, even because that is what most people will be using to listen to your music. Anyways, personally, I only use studio headphones. I live in an apartment in making noise is a problem. It's not ideal. But sometimes you have to make the best of your situation. I use a pair of sanitizer HD 600 headphones. They have a clean, detailed sound. They came recommended to me and have really elevated my listening experience. However, there are lots of options and opinions of RStudio gear. So research and find something suitable for your needs. If you can try out different headphones in a studio monitors. And notice how the same track sounds different on each device. If you don't have studio monitors or headphones, just use what you do have. This is a beginning class. After all, you'll still be able to work on your mics and you'll learn what to listen for. 4. Elements of the mix: In this lesson, we will be in LMS soloing elements of our mix. My hard drive crashed and the track I was working on in the previous classes was lost. So I made a new one. This is a drum and bass track that is pretty minimal. And it has three main parts. The drums, arpeggiated keys, and a gritty base. And the song editor, I'm using the Solo button to isolate each specific track. In the beat baseline editor, I have a kick. After I solo the kick, I can use the mute unmute button to add each sound back in. And the snare. Open hat, enclosed hats. Here. And the FX mixers, we have the master channel, which controls the overall volume for the track. Generally, you don't want to adjust the volume on the master channel. But for demonstration, I'll decrease and increase the volume. Notice the bar, which is the current volume level, and the little line above it, which shows a short-term PPI or maximum loudness level. If I increase the volume, you'll see a become yellow and red. Yellow meaning is high and red meaning it's too loud. And we'll click into storage. For now, double-click the theater on the master channel. Instead it back to 100% 5. Mixer channels: Now we will set up channels for each of our sounds in the FX mixer will start with the drum. And the epics mixer click the plus five times to add five channels, one for each sound and one for the drums as a group. Then rename each channel by double-clicking on the text. Kick. Snare, open hat. Close the channel, drums, bass line editor, click the cog next to each sound, set it to the matching FX channel. You can also click on the sample name in the editor and in the audio file processor pop-up, check and set the FX Mixer Channel. Back in the FX mixer to set up the drum scanner, select the kick channel, and you'll see it highlighted. Then you click the Send button on the drums channel. The send button on the drums here, and I will turn green. And you'll see a green knob lower, which is the signal strength of the sand. You are now sending the signal of the kick channel to drums channel. You'll also see the Send button active on the master channel. You want to click that button to deactivate the center, the master channel. You don't want it sending to boat. Instead, the kick will be sending to the John Channel 4, then send to the master. Now do the same thing for the snare, open and closed hat. Now you have a channel for each drum sound and the drums as a whole. Click the plus two more times to create two additional channels. Name these channels keys in base. Now in the song editor, click the COG next to the other non-drug instruments and select the matching effects channel. You can also click on the ascent and set the epics channel in the pop-up. If you hit Play, you should now be able to see the volume on each channel. There are also buttons here to solo and mute and unmute. And when you're done, save a new version. 6. Volume and Panning: Now that we have our FX mixer setup, we can start adjusting the volume for each channel. You may notice that I've already made some adjustments to the volume on the tracks in the song editor and beat baseline editor. These adjustments were made during the composition process. We will find tune them now while we adjust the volume, we will also be making adjustments to the painting, which is where in the stereo field a sound is, that is, is the sound coming more out of the left or the right side? First, we need to loop a section of the track that is allowed US and has the most sounds playing at the same time. So press Shift and right-click to set the beginning of the loop. And just right-click to set the end of the loop. Press the loop button in the toolbar. You'll see the loop turn green. Now we can press Play and it will loop. Setting volumes is specific to each track and the sound you want. Well, first, I like to pay in the Hat because it may sound louder after I paint. And in the beat baseline editor, I'll pan the open-air little to write. And to balance that, I'll panda close head a little to the left. Now we already added some interest in sense of space to the mix. Next, I'll bring the house down just a little. Sometimes when I'm mixing, I find it helpful to close my eyes to help them focus on the sound. You'll roll, make sounds pretty good. And on the master channel I have it peaking in the red. I'm going to bring the levels of the drums keys Embase all down. I could adjust each channel individually, but it might be easier, just set up a separate niche channel and send everything to that before it goes to the master channel. So click the Plus named channel mix bus. Then select the drunks channel. Send button on the mix bus and deactivate the send button on the master channel. Repeat this pretty keys in these channels. Now you can lower the mix bus channel so you don't see any peaking in the red on the master. 7. EQ and Frequencies: Eq stands for equalizer, which is an audio filter that isolates and adjust the volume of specific frequencies of sound. Frequency is the pitch of a sound. It is measured in hertz. Different instruments make sounds in specific frequency ranges. To observe this, in the FX mixer, select the master channel. And in the right section, click Add effect and search for spectrum, and select the spectrum analyzer. What this shows you is the volume of a sound measured in decibels on the y-axis and the frequency on the x-axis. If you press Play, you will notice that the whole track lighter, though predominantly in the 40 through one k range. Because this track is really bass heavy, other tracks may look different. Now click the little mute unmute button on all the channels, except for the master drums and bass mix. Now we can listen to each instrument individually and see what its frequency ranges. The kick is around 60 hertz. With some high-end in the 300k range. The snare is mostly in the one k. For k range. The open hat is for K to 10 K. The clothes hat has a lot of strength around 15 k, but they're going down to 2k and a bit around 300 hertz. The keys are mostly between 400 and one k, and the base is 40 to 200 hertz. So what we wanted to do with equalization is based on this information. We will sculpt the frequency range of each sound. Let's take to purchase additive and subtractive EQ. 8. Subtractive EQ: First we'll do subtractive E queuing to clean up certain tracks will be reducing certain frequencies. Unmute this snare. And notice in the spectrum analyzer, it's a little bump in 20 hertz range. Let's get rid of that. On the right, click the Add Effect button and find the LMS equalizer. This is called a parametric equalizer. If this is your first time seeing an EQ, don't feel overwhelmed. It's basically one set of functions repeated multiple times with slight variation. The top part is a graph like the spectrum analyzer. The bottom part has columns per separate filters. For now we only need Filter1. Click on the one to activate it. This is called a high pass filter. And as the name suggests, it let higher frequencies pass filters out lower frequencies. First click the 40 ADB, increases the precision of the filter. The line in the graph shows the filter. Notice the slope changes as I switch from 12 to 24 to 48 dB. I just did Frequency knob or double-click to get about 80 hertz. Now that little bit of low end is gone. Notice also the two different colored waves. The darker blue is the before filtering in the lighter blue is after. We have the same problem with the clothes hats. So let's do the same thing. Select the clothes hats channel and effect. Here we will use the high-pass filter again and filter some of the low end. Play around with the frequency until you get something that sounds good to you. I'd like to keep a little bit of that low end. So I'll set it at 500 hertz. You can double-click the faders a knob to input precise numbers. On the kick. I like to filter out there very lowest frequencies, the Sundays, so that it doesn't interfere with the sub bass from the base. And this is also the reason we filtered out the lower frequencies of the snare and closed hat. We'd like a resound to have its own space in the mix. When multiple sounds are in the same frequency range, that makes me sound muddy and unclear. It's especially more of a problem in the lower frequencies than in the higher frequency. I set the high-pass filter to 48 dB and 40 hertz. You can turn the filter off and on to hear the changes you've made. In some genres of electronic music like house music, that kick emphasizes that the sub bass and lower frequencies and base, since maybe in the higher frequency ranges, there are many ways to EQ. So here we use subtractive each queuing for artistic purposes to get things that sound how we want them to. And also for more technical reasons, to keep our mix sound and clear. 9. Additive EQ: Now we'll do a little additive eat hearing where we boost certain frequency ranges. I like to have a little high end on the kick since we are cutting the low end, go to Filter five. This is a peak filter and target specific frequency ranges. Raise a level, then adjust the frequency and you hear how it sounds. You can also adjust the bandwidth to get more or less concentrated control. I think it sounds good at 300k with the three dB boost. And speaking of base, Let's add an EQ to the base. Filter 2 is a selfie q and is set to raise or lower frequencies below it. One last change will be adding a little bit of emphasis to the snare. I'm going to add another equalizer to this narrow channel. It's a common thing to layer multiple ETUs. You could also use multiple filters on the same me here. By using a PI filter and boosting a little around 1600, the snared, given a little more emphasis, that lets it cut through the mix. So about 20 decibels around 1600 works for me. Feel free to make any other adjustments you like. Doing its parts. Eyes in part are. So play around and see if that sound like. 10. Adjustments and versions: Now that we've set up the E queuing and panning, we can go back in and bounce a level somewhere. Finally, sounds good to you and emphasize in de-emphasize different elements. You can also create different versions of your mix. To here I'm going to push the base even more in this version. And another way of adjusting the EQ is by grabbing the point in the graph and moving it about. I'll save this as a base mix and then export the mix to a WAV file. Since this is an intermediate mix cell, it is 16-bit, will use 24 bit for the final mixdown. Also save the original mix and export it to. 11. Outro and About me: And that's the end of Part 1 of electronic music, audio mixing for beginners. The project for this class is to work on a mix. Please present a before and after of your mix using the techniques we studied in this class. If you'd like, you can present different versions of your mix where you try different approaches. You should be able to hear the difference and the before and after. You'll also be able to start using the mix as an expressive, artistic tool in addition to providing polish to your tracks. And then next class, we will finish the mix and go over topics such as three verb, compression, limiting and metering. So thank you so much for taking this class and I'll see you next time a little bit about me. I've been producing and releasing my own music under the name depth death. Danny George. Parts available on most streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music and Amazon. And it's also available for sale on Juno download and Bandcamp. I studied mixing and mastering get splat electronic music school in New York City. And I've also learned a lot through reading, watching videos and classes like this. I think it's cool that you can make your own music in, although there's a little bit of a learning curve at first, it's not really that hard to get started. So I hope you enjoyed this class and other classes, and I look forward to listen to your music. 12. Full mix process (no voiceover): It