Fundamentals of EDM Mixing & Mastering (stock plugins only!) | Bram Fidder | Skillshare

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Fundamentals of EDM Mixing & Mastering (stock plugins only!)

teacher avatar Bram Fidder, EDM Mixing & Mastering

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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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.

      Course Intro


    • 2.

      Session planning


    • 3.



    • 4.

      EQ'ing the individual channels


    • 5.

      EQ'ing the groups


    • 6.

      Master compression


    • 7.

      Finalizing the mix


    • 8.

      Master EQ


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Course outro


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About This Class

This is the easiest and most accessible way to learn the fundamentals of EDM mixing & mastering!

If you've got this course finished you'll be able to:

  • mix and master EDM productions
  • get a master to play out in DJ sets
  • be all set to send a demo to a label
  • do this all with stock plugins


It's extremely tempting to get loads of expensive and exciting plug-ins in your DAW for you to do 'the magic' but often times it's the fundamentals where the real game changing moves are made. That's you need to dive into this course, and get ready for action. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Bram Fidder

EDM Mixing & Mastering

Level: Beginner

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1. Course Intro: Hey everyone here at Skillshare. Let me introduce myself as the teacher. In this course. You will be learning the EDM, mixing and mastering fundamentals. An entire course focused on one thing to make you understand the basics of EDM, mixing them all stirring. Let me introduce myself first. I'm Braam fitter, a deejay producer and mastering engineer at a studio Iran gold. This makes us sick. As a di GMP produced outside two labels such as spinning records. And I'm offering for clients all over the world with big hit wreck guts that God's over millions of streams on pretty much all the labels that are out there. I'm super, super excited for this course because I want you to learn the most easy to de pointes way of mixing and mastering EDM. A lot of videos out there, which are absolutely grades. But in this particular course, I've focusing on teaching you the basics. So yes, after this course, you can mix a monster EDM music without difficult plug-ins, without buying plugins. You can even do this with stock plug-ins. And in every DAW, I'm super excited for this course. I'm using my own trek to get a weight loss called every night, which is out. Right now. I'm using this trek as a demo for demonstrating the techniques I'll be using in this course. So you understand what is we'll take to make a song from being prediction, that's finished. Prediction that's mixed into a master ready release. So let's not waste any time and let's jump right in. We go EDM mixing them all, stirring fundamentals. 2. Session planning: Let's start at the start. After the prediction is finished, It's important to say, all right, this direct is finished. It's time for mixing. How can you know that it's ready for mixing? Simply listen to the track and be sure that prediction y's everything is produced. Su ones. When you work for someone else, then you don't have to worry about this. But you have to worry about this first step wishes, as we can see here in the finder. Your stems. Right now, the stems in front of me are well-named, easy to understand, and very, very structured. This is very important because this way you already starts with an understandable file name structure. Very important. So don't miss this step. It's an important note as well to keep in mind that if you are mixing and mastering your own music, it's really, really beneficial to export the stems and not work in the prediction session. This saves so much CPU and it makes sure that your notes are tempted to go back into the production and make it clear move and decision to go into the mixing stage. Keep that same minds. So let's go into the DAW that's dragging these stems and take it from there. Right now our stems are loaded into the session. And before we start, we need to export our premix. This will give us a Guides of any changes we make during the process. We can AB width the before and after. By exploiting the premix, I mean Exploiting literally the sounds that plays when all these stems to get her are being played back. Let's do it. So there we got the premix. Now we can start with the structure of the session. As you can see, we got our session right now here and all the stems are light-colored and in a random order. Now, to get a really focused workflow, I highly advise you to first do this step, which is the planning of your session in a way that you understand it's very easily. What I like to do is start with the full goal on the top. Now they have the effects right on the needs. Have to since an instruments right on the knee, death after drums and their need deaths. And the bottom have the kick and the bass. This way. The overall way your session is build up. Guy node represents the frequency spectrum because you've got your base on the bottom and your focal on the top because the focus is the most important. And you can mix from bottom to top. Let's do that and let's make sure that we've got that implemented in this session right here. First big gig. We pick the base, subbase, big debate shelter. We make it into a group. And we boot it on the bottom. We call it kick base. Then we got all the drums. We put it right above that. Then we get to get all instruments on top of the drums, then got to get her all the facts. And the remaining stems into the right groups. We need to make the focal group, of course. Now let's close them all up. We have this fairly straightforward order. Let's give some colors. Move the focal up a bit. Here we go. Now we have a clear view of the entire track. All the green stems are instruments, the white ones are the effects. Everything that's blue represents the full goal. The rest stamps on the drums and a dark rat stamps kick and the bass. This is the way I like it. And make sure to the fellowship or copy away that you can implement for yourself. So you can really have a specific way of working with different songs. This will help you be so much more focused and yeah, way better result because you're just really effective. All right, So we've finished our session planning, and it's time for the next step. 3. Levelling: So now let's go into the firm parts. Let's first listen to the song and then go over the first super, super important step into mixing this song, which is leveling. And during listening to this song, I wanted to ask you to try and focus on what needs to be changed level wise, what needs to be louder? What is maybe a bit overwhelming? Do you feel the song? Is every channel present in the sounds elements that's sticking out in an impassioned way. These type of questions are very important during the listening of the song. I want you to take this in minds and tried to already think what needs to be louder and what needs to be quieter. Let's listen. So as you can hear super Gulf song, it already sounds really well produced and it's ready to get brought up to the next level, width somehow for mixing and mastering in a simple way, install plugins. So we're not going extremely in-depth. Are we going to do everything that you need to do, the fundamentals to get it sounding absolutely fire. So let's go and we had a listen. I'm curious if you also pointed out some things on this drag that needs to be brought up and brought down. But if you ask me, I would say that the base could be a bit more intense bass sound. So not the frequencies but the base itself. The more higher and upper mid-range frequencies. If the bass sound a bit far away, they don't sound really present and they sound like they are a bit too quiet. Then I would say as well that the drop focal sounds too far away as well. While in this Req, there is no real melody. So I would say that the focal actually most of the drop its power, its HUC. So I would say to definitely bring it up. So let's keep it simple and let's just adjust those things on the levels, no effects, only levels here. That's loop the drop for this step. And then I'm looping the most busy part of the Drove because if this part is mixed goods, that mostly it's represents an overall goal makes him master as well. That's sad though it's always of course, needed to listen to the overall track as well. But to start, it's very, very effective to just focus on looping the most busy part of the drop. I just did the full goal a bit louder and added some adjustment on the base and third base. Let's listen to the before and after. And the difference, these simple level changes made student Trek. Let's listen to that before first and then the after. Simple Jane chairs. But if you would ask me, I would say it's really, really powerful and it's so easy to think that you need to drop then plugins on every channel and stuff like that. But this course really, really is based on the fundamentals. Make sure that your levels are right. Make sure that you feel your trick. Makes sure that every element is loud enough. And make sure that it's balanced in a way that sounds super, super powerful. 4. EQ'ing the individual channels: Now that we've got a powerful barons going on, it's time for the next step which is queuing all individual channels, of course, only if they need EQ. And what we're going to do is a simple method that you can use for your tracks as well. We're going to solo the kick first and build it up from there. And whenever a sound gets added as where you feel it needs a boost in a specific area of eagles, it's lacking some loudness only in that area. Then we're going to increase that with EQ. If you feel the auto way around That's some frequency range, is adding dirt or making yourself blurred. Now we're going to decrease. That's, of course you can use reference wrecks in your own session. But in this course, I really want to focus on making it specific for your trek. Because every production is different. And this is a very, very structured way to work on EQ in which a trek, I'm not using a third party plugin for this. I'm using the built-in stock blogging by Ableton vehicles. It's a plug-in that everyone has in their DAW so that you can use it as well. Let's start by building up the track. I will do some EQ most. So you can tell from how I go about this. So let's go. Now that we did our EQ most, we're going to listen again to before mixing an after leveling any queuing Gaussian, a difference already is so big. I'm excited to present it to you. Let's go. Now you can see that the queuing and leveling are two of the most, most fo for mixing and mastering techniques. And couple of things I want to dive into a bit more only cueing. I use only simple EQ hair and I didn't really go into moving q and all that stuff. Because I want to show you that you can get great results with a simple EQ, which are building stalk free plugin. You can already got so far. A couple of things. If you are boosting an area, try to listen to the area that makes you feel like it's the area that you want to adjust. So if for example, here, Aris, like here, I felt that's ripping crisp on top. That's dope. That's what you want to have ripping through to Speaker. What did I do? I did a high shelf all the way from monkey and up. Let me bypass this and you can exactly understand what I mean by tackling the area that you want to make you feel like it's the area that you want to adjust. It's subtle, but all these subtle things make big, big differences on your trek. We're closing this chapter, we are going into the next, and that's super exciting as well. It's been so cool, showcasing the effect of leveling and dequeuing simple moves. But often overlooked and social importance to really have a proper understanding of the EDM, mixing them offering Fundamentals. Let's go into the next chapter. 5. EQ'ing the groups: Now that we've got detract, balanced and all the individual channels EQs where needed. We can focus on the groups because the groups to get her, again really benefit from adders and reductive EQ as well. So let's have a listen to, to drop again. And let's try to enhance the overall track by queuing the groups. Let's go. Loving what I hair is just a really powerful way. And EQ into groups makes the group sound more unified as well. Let me explain that a bit more. If you EQ or at any processing on one specific sounds, it changes that sounds. But if you apply it on an entire group, this way, you shape the sounds of the entire group of instruments, which is super beneficial for a more unified group. And you can really hear in this example that it does a lot to the trek. Let's listen to two before and after one more time. Then go into the next chapter. Huge difference. I think it sounds really, really amazing. But we're note that the angioedema. So let's get into the next chapter. We're going to talk about compressing the mart service. Let's go. 6. Master compression: It's time to head over to the master bus. Right now on my mouse to bars, I only got a glue compressor. This is a compressor, but you can use any compressor and follow these settings to get about the same results. This is the building one for able to, but I'm sure that your DAW also has a compressor like this built-in. Let's go over to settings. I'm using slower tech. This means that's if this signal goes over the threshold, the compression hits slowly. This results into three sections. So the spiky energy of the waveform, the stuff gets through steel. If you do it like this, it will totally smashes. Let's listen to the difference. If you can hear that the attack is very important, wouldn't get that ten hair. It's a great setting because it's still leaves a lot of the bunch and it's still compresses a lot as well. So that's nice. Release fairly quick. The slower you put the release, the slower your trek sounds. And that's what we note one is in dance music. So we want to grab the trench ends up till a point that it's still sounds. But when she released out quickly than the ratio, it means the amount of decibels that needs to go in for one dB of gain reduction. So right now it's set at four, would just pretty extreme. But in EDM we want to have a bit of an extreme setting here because we want to have extreme bunch for pop music and stuff. It's a bit different. But in EDM, I at phi to go with a ratio of four if that's too extreme for you, go with two. It means that for decibels over to threshold gives us one dB of gain reduction. Same for to do decibels over the threshold, gets one dB of gain reduction simply puts, the higher your ratio, the more extreme your compressor. What we're going to do with our den weren't one for setting here. We're going to dial back on the threshold until we hit about five decibels of gain reduction here, Let's go. Now, our master is compressed and we're going to make up by the amount of gain reduction that we're having. Let's AB. It's quite a lot of compression. You can dial it back a bit up delta H. But we're going for this setting beagles, it's kind of one size fits all for having powerful compression. In this EDM mixing and mastering fundamental scores. When you get away to mix a monster trucks to sound super fat. This specific Glue Compressor enabled and has a dry wet function. This is the function that you can use to make it parallel. This means edit blends the original signal without the processing width, the process signal. This is super nice because you can decides how much of the original signal you want to keep and how much of the affected signal you want to blend in. It's not needed to use this, and not every compressor has this. And it's gonna be a bit complicated to explain. And this is the fundamental course. But I wanted to give you a taste of how it affects this compression. So let's try and blend in some of the compression. That's the compression. It's right now set at 58%. I think it still, and it sounds good. Use your heirs. What does compression needs to do in EDM? It needs to glue the overall Tareq. It needs to make it more punchy and EDM needs to be loud as well. So if you have uncompressed signal, there's less peaks and it's a bit more controlled, which gives you a better starting points for your limiting later. Easy boots. It means that if you already have a tight sounds before limiting, you can easily push it into a louder master. This was the compression kept there. Now we're going into the next stage, which is finalizing the mix. Let's go. 7. Finalizing the mix: So in this stage, we're going to finalize the mix with the techniques we have learned in this course. What does this mean? It means that we're going to play back a bit of the break, the build and the drop. Going to listen and go back into recession if needed to make any adjustments here. Let's go. Super dope. What I did is change the top cake. I put it a bit louder. I think it's Dover, like that. It's more punchy. Acts to dads. I increase the level by 1.5 dB of the effects group because I felt that they were a bit behind. Then what I did, I tried to increase the focal on the drug, but it made it stick out the bear, which I didn't like, but I did it because I increase the folk winter break as well, which sounds dopey. And I decreased the focal refers a fixed into break because it was a bit yeah. Pulling away from the attention on the focal into break. That's more important and small changes. But this stage is very, very important to make sure that you're ready for limiting as well. I'm not using any references, but you can definitely listened to references as well. I hope you understand that they negotiate cannot just play famous hits, songs and stuff like that. But for your own projects, make sure to definitely utilize reference direction as well. That said though it's important to keep them leveled. Two sounds, the same loudness wise, so that you're not fooled by listening to way louder treks. Pull them down a bit and make sure that they're not going through your processing. So now whenever we got them mixed, find that ice. We're going into the next stage. That's cool. 8. Master EQ: So in this stage, we're going to EQ the moss syllabus. We're going to put the EQ after the compressor. So we're not affecting the way to compressor works. And we are really shaping the overall sound of the master. Makes sure to never really make extreme moves in this stage because it's most likely better to do it's in the individual channels. Then we'll want to do is enhance a bit of the good stuff, get away, a bit of the stuff that we don't want, and make sure that the overall total, the master sounds cool. We're going to start with a low good. We're putting this at 30 hertz. So discuss away some of the sub frequencies that we get old really here. Let me AB, how does sounds? He cannot really hear it, but it definitely helps because you don't really need this specific information and it gives us a bit more headroom, which means that the overall signal gets a bit less, halts, basically, for the limiter to do his job as good as possible. Now let's try and find some areas that we can increase or decrease. What we think is needed in the Master Don't, right here. We EQ the master. Let me erase it truly move that we made. So we first have the low gods. Then we got a really small increase because hair, you've got filled out low mids, the base, It's dope to push it a bit more. Distractors really built on its baseline as well. Then we got some more precedence here to make the song sound a bit more presence and exciting. And we edit some air to make it a bit more crispier, feel a bit better. Let's AB days and it's really powerful. I'm first a being the EQ width and weighed out. And then I'm a being the actual premix with where we add right now, it's pretty extreme. So brace yourselves. Let's go. Baked dear friends. You can really hear that all the exciting stuff now bumps through the speakers. You can feel the trek better. The threat steel is the same trick, but you can more feel it. And that's the entire focus and mixing and mastering is not to change the track. That's something you do in a prediction stage. But it's still make the production feel as good and powerful as possible. That's fundamentally what EDM mixing and mastering is all about. Now, we are closing this stage. We acute the master bus and it's ready for the next stage which is limiting. Let's go. 9. Limiting: So we're now in the final stage of mixing and mastering is Trek. And this stage we're adding a limiter. And the limiter will basically limit everything that goes above the threshold or simply puts. It will enable us to push the mix and to make it as loud as possible. But very important thing to keep in mind is that we not, after destroying the sounds there, we want to push it up to a point that it's still sounds good. Not too far where it's getting this storage. You can use your stock limited here. In this situation here I'm using Ableton built in limiter. And let's go over to settings. When you put it up in Ableton, I only changed the ceiling to minus 0 then I think that that's a good ceiling. What we're now going to do is basically push the Game. Boy, that it still sounds good. Let's go. So 7.25 in this case feels to me like a great setting because it's really bushes. This sounds a lot, but still the overall sounds crisp, clean enough and of a high-quality. This very important if you hear that your limiter is crushing the sounds and it's really changing the sounds, then you're probably too far. Right now. A couple of things are important. We can say that this makes monster basically is finished in the fundamentals of EDM mixing and mastering. What we now can do is a couple of things. We can export the master. Send this trick of as a demo to labels. Or you can export his master, call it rough, and add it onto the stems that you're submitting to a professional mixing and mastering studio so they can hear your flavor and your preferred sound. This is something that's very common for professional mastering studios to half a rough of the clients so they can hear what the client likes and take it from there and try to create a fabrication that's as professional and as good as possible for the final master. But that sets this should give you a grades. Sounds really two. Have a track that sounds good enough to play in your sets of blow to SoundCloud sense to your friends since two labels as a demo submission and basically make impact. So that was the final stage limiting hope that you enjoyed this one. Let's go over to outro and talk a bit more about what we just did. 10. Course outro: So here we are. We've finished the EDM mixing them, offering Fundamentals. Let me go over a couple of things that are fairly important for who is this course? This course is perfect if you are looking for a way to simple in this stage of the trach, be strategic because if you don't know what you're doing, then it's very easy to just drop a lot of plugins, a lot of unnecessary things in your session to try to make it mixed. I highly advise to go over the fundamentals if you are struggling with this. Because the fundamentals really are leveling EQ and compression. If you really Neil those, then you can mix any records in the world's basically you don't need extremely advanced techniques. Of course they can help. But first, neil, these fundamentals makes sure that you know what to do. Couple of things. I didn't use references in this course. You can use references for your own tracks, of course, make sure that their levels so that it's an honest comparison. Or if you feel insecure. This is a tip from de facade. Oh, legendary mix engineer. He said if you're insecure with references, just lower your references so your own Trek sounds a bit louder. This can help you still feel confidence and enable you to learn from those references. And just focus on nailing the fundamentals. And Dan deciding, okay, do I want to mix my own tracks? Is it good enough if you just want to do a quick mix or have to trek in that sense, ready to play out in your mixed tape or in your live sets than yes, of course you can do it yourself. Or maybe you want to work with a professional mastering engineer. In that case. Still very, very beneficial to kneeled each fundamentals and it's great as well if you can, for a fight or rough mix to your engineer and have him or her figure it out from their own words. I hope that this Skillshare course brought you a lot of failure. It was great for my aunt's to do. My name is Brown feeder, mastering engineer here at this mix is sick and I'm doing EDM mixing them all stirring for lots and lots of big trucks on all labels basically that are out there. Next to that I'm a DJ and producer assigned to labels such as mixed mash, spinning records, hexagon, and a whole bunch more. I hope that you had a lot on this course and I'm excited to go more in-depth as well with upcoming courses here. Thank you so much for watching. And I hope that you all have a wonderful time mixing and mastering your EDM tracks. Go.