The Complete Mixing Masterclass | Jason Allen | 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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      How We Will Learn


    • 3.

      What is Mixing?


    • 4.

      What is Mastering?


    • 5.

      Focusing On The Listening Environment


    • 6.

      Finding Acoustic Problems


    • 7.

      Buying Studio Monitors


    • 8.

      Monitor Setup


    • 9.

      Monitor Settings


    • 10.

      Adding A Subwoofer


    • 11.



    • 12.

      My Less Than Perfect Setup


    • 13.

      Multiple Monitors And Mono


    • 14.

      The First Step In Mixing


    • 15.

      Session Copy and Backup


    • 16.

      Tracking Down Extraneous Noises


    • 17.

      Clean Up The Session


    • 18.

      Tuning Tracks


    • 19.

      19 SortingTracksV2


    • 20.

      Group Tracks


    • 21.

      Marking Sections


    • 22.

      Create Effect Busses


    • 23.

      Compressors And Limiters


    • 24.

      The Art Of Mixing


    • 25.

      The 3 Dimensions Of Sound


    • 26.

      The 3 Dimensions Of Music


    • 27.

      The Focus Element


    • 28.

      Think Subtractive


    • 29.

      Fighting Instruments


    • 30.

      Finding A Starting Point


    • 31.

      Setting Levels


    • 32.

      The Noise Method


    • 33.

      My Mix


    • 34.

      The Mix So Far


    • 35.

      The Stereo Field


    • 36.

      Phantom Center


    • 37.

      Rules For Panning


    • 38.

      Phasing Tricks


    • 39.

      Surround Sound Mixing


    • 40.

      Panning On My Mix


    • 41.

      Working With Frequencies


    • 42.

      Reading A Frequency Spectrum


    • 43.

      The 7 Common Frequency Bands


    • 44.

      Working With The EQ


    • 45.

      Creating Definition: Method 1


    • 46.

      Creating Definition: Method 2


    • 47.

      Cleaning Up The Mud


    • 48.

      Making Room In The Mix


    • 49.

      Adding A High Pass Filter


    • 50.

      Frequencies To Watch Out For


    • 51.

      Creating Space In My Mix


    • 52.

      A Few More Of My Tricks


    • 53.

      What Is In A Good Kick?


    • 54.

      Is Anything Else Causing Problems?


    • 55.



    • 56.

      Using Effects In The Mix


    • 57.

      What Actually Is A Delay?


    • 58.

      Wha tActually Is Reverb?


    • 59.

      A Few Basic Guidelines


    • 60.

      Bus Effects


    • 61.

      Math! Calculating Delay Times


    • 62.

      Feedback Settings


    • 63.

      Delay Techniques For Vocals


    • 64.

      Delay Techniques For Drums


    • 65.

      Delay Techniques For Guitars


    • 66.

      Does Our Track Need Any Delays?


    • 67.

      Timing The Reverb Decay


    • 68.

      Timing The PreDelay


    • 69.

      Bus Reverb Setups


    • 70.

      Reverb Techniques For Vocals


    • 71.

      Reverb Techniques For Drums


    • 72.

      Reverb Techniques For Guitars And Synths


    • 73.

      Putting It All Together


    • 74.

      Modulation Effects


    • 75.



    • 76.



    • 77.

      Tremolo And Vibrato


    • 78.

      EQ Effects


    • 79.



    • 80.

      About Dynamics


    • 81.



    • 82.

      MultiBand Compressors


    • 83.



    • 84.



    • 85.

      Using Compression


    • 86.

      Variation Compensation


    • 87.

      Compression With EQ


    • 88.

      Compressor Settings


    • 89.

      Parallel Compression


    • 90.

      Compressing Drums


    • 91.

      Compressing Vocals


    • 92.

      Compression On Groups


    • 93.

      Compress On The Master


    • 94.

      What Is Focus?


    • 95.

      The Groove


    • 96.

      The Featured Element


    • 97.

      Further Reading


    • 98.

      The Most Important Rule In Mixing


    • 99.

      One More Time....


    • 100.

      What Next?


    • 101.

      Thats all for now!


    • 102.



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About This Class

Welcome to the COMPLETE Mixing Masterclass

This class is for anyone who has made or recorded music and wondered why their tracks don't sound like the tracks they hear on the radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, or anywhere else. This is the missing link in your production workflow.

In this class, we start with the very basics of mixing and work all the way up to finishing great tracks. I walk you through every step of the process and explain the logic behind every decision I make. I'll even walk you through a complete mix from beginning to end.

The goal of this class is for you to learn how to take your tracks from good to great.

In this class, I'll be using Ableton Live, but if you are not a Live user - that is totally ok! I've gone to great lengths to make sure this class is useful to everyone, no matter which audio platform they are working with. So if you are a Logic user, FL Studio user, Cubase user, Bitwig user, or anything else - it will all work. You will be able to do all of the techniques that I walk you through in any audio application.

I'm best known for working with electronic music, but I've designed this course to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to genre. We will talk about mixing techniques for all instruments, sounds, and styles. All genres are welcome here!

Topics Covered: 

  • The Listening Environment

  • Headphone Mixing vs. Studio Monitors

  • Preparing a Track for Mixing

  • Tuning Instruments

  • Grouping Tracks

  • Approaches to Mixing

  • Subtractive Mixing

  • Panning

  • Phantom Center

  • Phasing

  • Working with Frequencies

  • The EQ as the Scalpel of Mixing

  • Creating Definition with EQ

  • The High Pass Filter Trick

  • Negotiating the Kick and Bass in the Mix

  • Creating Space with Delay Effects

  • Creating Space with Reverb Effects

  • Reverb Techniques for Vocals, Guitars, and Drums

  • Delay Techniques for Vocals, Guitars, and Drums

  • Compressors

  • Parallel Compression

  • Compression Techniques for Vocals, Guitars, and Drums

  • Finding the "Focus" of the Track

  • The Art in Mixing

  • And much, much more!

If you are ready to start making professional sounding tracks, this is the class that will start you on that journey. Get started today.

Dr. Allen is a university music professor and is a top-rated online instructor - with nearly 100 courses and 270,000 students.

In 2017 Star Tribune Business featured him as a "Mover and a Shaker," and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes. 

** I guarantee that this course is the most thorough music history course available ANYWHERE on the market - or your money back (30-day money back guarantee) **

Closed captions have been added to all lessons in this course.


Praise for Courses by Jason Allen:

⇢  "It seems like every little detail is being covered in an extremely simple fashion. The learning process becomes relaxed and allows complex concepts to get absorbed easily. My only regret is not taking this course earlier." - M. Shah

⇢  "Great for everyone without any knowledge so far. I bought all three parts... It's the best investment in leveling up my skills so far.." - Z. Palce

⇢  "Excellent explanations! No more or less than what is needed." - A. Tóth

⇢  "VERY COOL. I've waited for years to see a good video course, now I don't have to wait anymore. Thank You!" - Jeffrey Koury

  "I am learning LOTS! And I really like having the worksheets!" - A. Deichsel

⇢  "The basics explained very clearly - loads of really useful tips!" - J. Pook

⇢  "Jason is really quick and great with questions, always a great resource for an online class!" M. Smith


Students who register for this course will receive ongoing exclusive content and discounts to all future classes in the series. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hey, everyone, welcome, Teoh, My mixing masterclass. My name is Jay. I'll be walking you through this entire experience. Now, I've made this class in a way that I really believe is a must have class for anybody making music at all. Uh, it's not defined by any genre. It's not defined by any tool. It's whatever you are making if you're using a built in if you're using pro tools. If using FL Studio using logic que Base Reaper anything. I've really designed this class so that, uh, you will get the most out of it because we focus on techniques and how to do things that sound good. How to do things that bring out the art in the music and not focus on, uh, any individual software I'm gonna be using able to live in this class. But I've really gone out of my way. Teoh talk about the different tools that are available and how to do each technique that I'm doing in whatever software you're working on. So if you're not unable to newser, don't worry about it. You'll be just fine. Now. There are other mixing classes out there and around, but this class has really been designed to be a comprehensive beginning to end everything you need to know about mixing class. It doesn't focus on any specific little niche thing, but it's about everything. Whether you're doing rock stuff, electronic stuff, country stuff, whatever you're doing. Um, we talked about it all. We spent a good amount of time on drums, vocals and electronic stuff. Obviously a lot of electronic stuff, but a lot of acoustic stuff as well. Okay, so when it comes Teoh how you should pan things, here's what I like to do. So here's my kick. I want that right in the center as it is, the frequency spectrum we call it is what we're looking at here. And these vertical lines are important to know. The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go through my track and I'm gonna listen for any spots that have that kind of muddiness that don't have. Let's start with the big reason that we would want to use compression, and that is to smooth out inconsistent. So throughout this course, we're gonna go through everything that you need to know to get started at mixing. I'm gonna walk you through doing a professional mixing project of mine, actually a student track from one of my other classes. We're gonna do a mixing project on that. I'm gonna narrate every step of the way. I'm going to stop and show you what I'm doing. What's going through my head? What Micah process is and why I am making those decisions. I have nearly 100 online classes at almost 300,000 students in these online classes, so I can promise you the highest level of class experience. So let's take those tracks of yours and polish them up with a really good mix. And we're gonna make those sound like top quality radio ready tracks. Okay, that's the goal of this class is to take your music and make it sound like Justus. Good as anything you hear on the radio or wherever you're hearing music these days. This is a monstrously huge class, the biggest class I have ever made by far. So there's not a moment to lose. Let's dive in and get started 2. How We Will Learn: Hey, everyone, welcome to the class. So, for the first thing I want to talk about is let's just go over really quick how to learn, mixing and what I'm going to guide you through in this class. The best way to learn mixing and one of the things to really keep in mind throughout this whole class is that mixing is like an instrument. So it's just like, you know, learning to play the trumpet or learning to play the guitar. Um, you're not just going to pick it up and sound great. It takes a lot of practice. It takes a lot of experimenting. There are things like this class that are gonna help speed you along on that. But, um, a lot of it does have to do with developing and here you need to be able to hear what you like. Ah, here. What you don't like Ah, and then figure out how to fix it. Ah, and that comes with doing it over and over and over. So what I'm gonna ask you to do in this class is ah, take the the lessons that I'm showing you and put those into your arsenal of tricks and then So when you approach a piece of music that you're trying to mix, you've got all these tools that you can use, but it's going to be something that takes a lot of practice. You're going to see me work on a couple of tracks in this class. I want you to be working on a couple. I want you to be working on your own tracks as well. And there's something to be said for working on other tracks. Call up your friends and say, Yo, send me a track because I'm practicing. Mixing working on other people's tracks will be really valuable to sometimes. If you only work on your tracks, you're gonna learn how to mix your music really well. But not necessarily be a person who mixes all music really well. So try to work on your own music. But also some music of your friends, music and different styles is always good. Um, anything you can get your hands on and don't expect to sound amazing right away. Ah, the more you do it, they're better. You'll get at it. So keep that in mind throughout this whole class that this is something that takes practice . It takes experiment, experimenting. And if you keep working at it and you use the techniques that I'm going to show you, you will get better at it. Cool. Okay, Now, the last thing I want to say about that is in this class, we're going to start off with a bunch of background stuff. Okay, So the first good chunk of this class is going to be about, um, mixing styles, learning environment, Um, how to set up your sessions. Things that you're going to think. Come on, let's just get to the good stuff. Show me, like how to mix with any Q and a compressor and all that stuff. So bear with me, cause this other stuff is really important that we get you into a good listening environment that we get your track set up correctly. This is all extremely valuable stuff. So, um, if it feels like in the first part of this class, you're like, Come on, let's get to it. Please pay attention to what we're doing because everything is important. Okay, That being said, let's move on. 3. What is Mixing?: Okay, so when we talk about mixing in this class, we're primarily talking about making a finalized version of a track. Okay, so we're talking about Ah, the thing that happens after you've written the track and before mastering, we'll talk. Talk about mastering in the next video. So we're talking about working primarily in software like this. Now let's talk about software for a quick second. I'm going to be working in this class and able to live. However you don't have to be. You totally do not have to be working in able to live everything that I'm going to walk you through how to do in this class. You can apply toe any audio software you want. So if you're unable to live, that's great. If you're in pro tools, it's also great if you're in logic for your NFL studio. If you're in Q base, if you're in, I don't know any of the other ones. Everything works the same. Really. We're gonna be talking about e cues and compressors and levels, and all of these techniques will be able to do OK, so don't let able to live. Um, bog you down. Okay? I like able to live. Um, so I'm gonna be using that. But we're talking about concepts here, not specific software. Now, uh, going back to what I just had up. The reason I had this up is this is live mixing. Okay, so this is what things look like when we're in a live setting, and that's not really what we're gonna be doing in this class. Okay? This is ah, a picture of the person mixing red hot chili peppers for a live show right there working at a big board like this, you know? And there's computers. There's computers involved. This is pro tools over here. I can see, um, but when we do studio mixing, which is what we're primarily going to focus on, we don't really usually have a big board like this anymore. We used to, um And if you see older pictures of recording studios, you're gonna see these big huge along mixing boards like this. Um, you don't need those anymore. And I'm gonna teach this class on the assumption that you don't have one. If you do have a big, huge mixing board, then that's great. That could be fun, but everything that we need to do in this class can be done right in this sequence. Er, we can look at it from a mixing standpoint like this. Let me make this a little bit bigger for us. Here we go. So we can work with everything in software, okay? And it's gonna be a lot easier for us and frankly, a lot cheaper than buying one of those big boards. But if you're doing a live setting, you still have these big boards because you really need to get your hands on everything really fast. Um, so but we're not gonna be focusing on live mixing. Maybe someday I'll make a class on live mixing, but we're focusing on studio mixing. Okay, So getting the track to sound great after the compositional elements, more or less are done. So you made it to tune like we have a tune here, but we need to make it sound really good. We need to make it sound like a professional song. You know, um, it might be the case that your making music and you hear your music played back and you think cash, you know, like, I've got good cores of got good harmony. I've got good drums, have got everything here. But it just doesn't sound as good as you know, the stuff coming out of, you know, mousetrap or whatever. The reason is probably, um, one of the reasons is the mix. Okay, so we need to make that mix really pop. And that's what we're gonna work on in this class. Okay, so let's move on and let's talk about mastering real quick and then I'll move on. 4. What is Mastering?: Okay. One of the biggest questions that I get is what is the difference between mixing and mastering? Okay, so let's talk about that really quick. So we basically have three steps in making a professional track. Okay? We have the creative process, okay? Putting everything together, writing it, doing everything. That's probably that's That's the biggest part of making a track. In my opinion, um is getting everything in the right spot making the music right after that, we go into the mixing phase, okay. And the mixing phase is taking all of our levels and just tweaking them a little bit. Get everything where we want it. Using some accuse and some compressors making space. We'll talk about all of these terms and everything later, but getting it to sound really perfect. Okay, um, then once we're done with mixing, we put out a stereo mix. Okay, so after mixing, we're gonna bounce this down to a stereo file, okay? And that's just like the stereo file that you, um, here on Spotify or anything. It's a it's just in audiophile. It's not in the session. Okay? And that's key to understanding the difference between mixing and mastering when were mixing. We're working with the whole session when we're mastering. Were just working with the stereo audio file. This is gone. We don't have this when we're when we're mastering. Okay, so after mixing, we get this stereo audio file. Let me just pull up a stereo audio file here. Um, okay, so here's a stereo audio file. This is just a Cymbal crash. But but you look, it's point. Um, so we have two channels, okay? Just two channels. Uh, not a whole session just to So when someone's mastering, this is what they're going to be looking at is just the final mixed down of the session. And then from here, they're going to dio everything that they need to do to master this song. Now, what is that? Mastering is a whole other process, and what it does is it makes it does a couple things, but the biggest is that it makes the album feel cohesive. So if you're releasing a group of five tracks, it makes the levels match and it make sure that everything works well together. Mastering also makes sure that the music sounds good wherever it's played. In other words, when I'm mixing, I'm gonna mix for the expensive speakers I have here in my studio. Right. I'm gonna make it sure that everything sounds really good on my really nice speakers. But when you're listening to my track and you don't have really fancy speakers, you have just some little old stereo. Maybe in your car, you've got blown out car speakers. Uh, we want to make sure that it sounds good there too, right? Not just on my expensive speakers. So that's part of the mastering process. It's making sure that it sounds good and as many places as possible. So they're going to do all kinds of tricks to make sure that, um, no matter where it's played, it has the best shot at sounding great. OK, so a lot of that has to do with negotiating how much bases in the track, how much trouble and finding good balance is there again? Mastering is another art form. It's another instrument. It takes a lot of practice, just like mixing does right there. It They're kind of two separate instruments that need to be learned, but the key take away is that when you're mixing your working with the whole session. When you're mastering, you're just working with stereo bounce okay? Or the export exported stereo files. That is the difference between mixing and mastering. 5. Focusing On The Listening Environment: Okay, let's talk about your listening environment. This is the room that you're in, probably the room that you're in right now. Um, but the room that you're going to be doing your mixing in. So why do we need to focus on this? Can't we just use headphones and then the room doesn't matter? Yeah, kind of, Um, headphones are good, and we'll talk about headphones in a minute. But, ah, the listening environment does matter, because you don't want to always use headphones. So if you can, you want to get a set of studio monitors and we're gonna talk about what I look for in monitors and how to set them up. I'll show you the kind that I have, and I'll show you how my room is set up. But, um, there are other things to consider as well. It's not just about how fancy your speakers are, right? It's about, um, the design of your room matters. The acoustics matters now. I'm not an acoustician, so I can't go into all of the math around the perfectly acoustically treated room. But we're gonna go over some general things that's going to make your room sound as good as possible. And why? Why do we care about this? The answer is honesty, right? Honesty is a weird word to use, but I'm gonna stick with it. So by honesty, what I mean is that we need to make sure that our mix sounds riel. It sounds honest. It sounds how the music actually sounds. Right. So we need good speakers. We need good acoustics. We didn't make sure that we're accurately hearing what the computer is doing right, Because if we have crummy speakers and they're adding a whole bunch of base, that means that our mixes probably lacking in base because we're gonna mix the base low because our speakers are adding all kinds of base. Right, So we need to make sure that we don't do that. We need what we call flat speakers, but speakers that are very honest now, Similarly, if we're mixing in a room and, ah, it's got a higher frequency ring around, I don't know, 4000 hertz or so. Then we're probably gonna pull down 4000 hertz in our mix. So when someone else takes it and listens to it, they're going to say, like, there's really just something missing on the high end here because we've pulled it down because our room was not honest, right? It was giving us false information. So that's why the listening environment is crucially important. Because if it's giving you false information, then it's you're going to screw up your mix. Okay, so that's why we care. Now let's go into things we should consider in our listening environment. We'll start with some acoustics. 6. Finding Acoustic Problems: Okay, so let's talk about some simple acoustic things you can do in your room to make it better. So I've drawn a box here, and let's assume this is our room, OK? And this is our desk. All right. So let's figure out the best place to put our speakers. Now. We're going to do this and a little bit more scientific way in a minute, but this is just kind of a general thing. First of all, if this is your set up, let's pull your desk out a little bit. You don't want to be right up against the wall, Leave a little bit of space here. Um, let's say this is a speaker. It's kind of a big speaker, probably. Okay, so here's the speaker, and here's the speaker. Always have to, Right? Okay. So obviously we want them in a stereo pair. So on the opposite sides of each other Now, we could put them right here, right? If we're sitting right here, let's make a little okay, that's us. That's where we sit. We're gonna sit right in that hacks again. That that is whatever this is, where we sit right in the middle Okay, so now we've got the speakers pointed right at us. So they be pointed this way right at our face. Okay, that's pretty good. However, this causes one problem that we want to avoid, which is we have the speakers right up against the back wall. We don't want to do that, so I would pull them out to here. Overlap. I'm assuming they're sitting on top of the desk or on a stand or something. So to be sure they're symmetrical here, but we don't want them right against the wall, so make sure your speakers are pulled out a little bit from the wall. Another thing you might want to do is put them in the corners because that tends to look kind of good. But corners are even worse than the wall. You don't want your speakers in the corners so away from the wall, not in the corner of a room. Another thing that we want to avoid is, let's do this. Let's say that if your listening room is doubling as a bedroom, you might not be able to put your desk right in the center. You might have your desk over here or something like that. Okay, If this is your case, this is also not good. Um, and when I say not good, what I'm saying is it's not perfect, but I get that a lot of you are probably working in a bedroom, a small apartment, maybe a garage basement. So you do what you can't write. Um, if you have to do one of these things, that's not good. Whatever you know, you'll be fine, but try to avoid these things if you can. The reason this is not good is because we have this speaker and it's close to this wall, and it's also kind of in a corner. And this one is not close to a wall. We want thes toe, have similar kinds of things happening to them. Right? So this one is close to two walls, actually. Ah, and this one is close to one wall. So we don't like that. It would be better to have this right in the dead center of the room if we had to write. Because then the speakers, the distance to the walls are both the same. Okay, but if you want to do this, this would probably be the best. Something like this. Okay, so we've got speakers not up against the wall. With a little space here and the space here, I'd say, you know, if you can get a foot of space between the speaker on the wall, that would be great If you could only get six inches. That's fine, too. Here. We've got plenty of space this way. Um, we've got speakers pointed right at us. They are not symmetrical, but that's just cause of my drawing here. Is that symmetrical? That looks symmetrical. Okay, We want thes totally symmetrical, and we want them pointed right at us. And this is something that we're going to do a little bit more. In a minute, we're gonna talk about how to measure this space and get it. Um, just right. So we'll talk about this angle and everything in a second, but those are three things you can do to make your room sound a whole lot better. Okay, Stay away from the walls. Stay away from the corners and make sure that your speakers are the same amount of distance away from whatever walls or corners that they're close to. Right. So this distance is roughly the same as this distance, right? I don't know why I just got arrows there, but that's great. That's what I wanted. And this distance is the same as this distance. Okay, that's the perfect situation. Cool. Okay, So common acoustic problems that you can easily solve. All right, let's move on to Ah, what kind of studio monitors to look for? 7. Buying Studio Monitors: Okay, let's talk about studio monitors. Now, in this in this video, I'm just going to give you some straight up. Here's what I like. Um, but the the key to selecting studio monitors is two things. One Ah, listen to them. These air really hard to buy online. You really can. You need to go to a store and listen to whatever you can. Another thing you can do is go to studios and listen to what they're using. Just listen to his money as you can. And crucial to that is pick a piece of music that you know really, really well. And listen to that on the as many different monitors as you can. Um, I use there's this one album that I always use to test speakers. It's, um, the Art of Noise, The Seduction of Claude WC. Let me show you our nose reduction kind of. You see, uh, this album. I think I've talked about this album before in this class. The reason I use this album is because a. I really love that music be it's recorded, and it's mostly Elektronik. Um, it's really clean. It's really precise. It's mastered really well. Um and I've listened to it a 1,000,000 times, like I know this thing backwards and forwards. So I always use this album to test speakers. You can use whatever you want, but just use something that's really clean. Um, you can It's not something that's really distorted will be hard. So like, like, big rock stuff will be kind of hard Teoh here, all of the frequencies. Although, if you know it, really well, it might be OK, Um, I really like this album for that, mostly just cause I know it really well, So I always listened to that album when I'm testing out speakers, um, so listen to them and find something that that really, um, speaks to you. And what we're looking for is, um, and even frequency balance. So you want to be sure that no frequencies air popping out? It's not like you. You hear some tone coming out when when the music hits some frequency and you're like, Wow, there's this one silent. That's just really popping out that someone you want, you want it to be really flat. Um, so no frequencies are jumping out at you as out of place. Um, going to make sure the volume stays at about the same level all the way across. So if you're listening and you here and you think while the mids are really loud in this mix and I've never heard in this music the mid to be so loud before then you know that that might not be the right speaker for monitoring because you don't want something that's gonna accentuate the mids like that. Um, And then the third thing is make sure it doesn't distort. Um, give it some good volume, crank it up and make sure that you don't get distortion out of it. Um, cranking up the volume when you're mixing can actually be useful. You don't want to mix everything really loud, But, um, there are times when just turning everything up in the lab can be kind of useful. So you want to make sure that it doesn't distort when it gets loud and cheap speakers will do that. So I pulled up here a couple things that look at. I always just like to go to Sweetwater when I'm just kind of looking at prices and stuff. Sweetwater dot com is a retailer in the U. S. So if you go toe shot by category, studio and recording go down to studio monitors and then we're gonna go toe active monitors on active monitor means that it's got an amplifier in the speaker. Uh, let me just show you. I pulled up a couple here, So here's a JBL. If I look at the back right, I can just plug this one into the wall and then I can plug my input into it. I don't need a separate amplifier. You really don't want to deal with a separate amplifier. This will save you money and also save you having to figure out the best amplifier for the best speaker. When you're dealing with studio monitors, I highly, highly, highly recommend. Go with an active monitor. You'll have to plug these right into the wall, and you'll know if it's an active monitor because you have to plug it into the wall. It needs power. If it's not an active monitor, it will need power. It'll leading up. So, um, active monitors is really what you want to look at or powered. Monitor is the same thing. Okay, so popular ones are the JBL, Siri's So JBL is the company. They have a lot of different ones. 305 month to this is kind of a random when I grabbed um, these are popular thes K R K Rockets. I see being really popular lately. We used these that slam academy. They sound really good. I really like him and they're relatively cheap. What is the price on these one? 79 each. So remember, when you look at the prices of these, you need two of them and it is absolutely critical that you get the same speaker, right? You can't have 12 different brands of speakers on the two different sides. Um, you need matched pair. So 179 each. So roughly? Ah, 350 bucks. A little more than that For a pair of the's that's reasonably good. Studio monitors are expensive, right? So 179. Each is a good price. And these air these air nice sounding, relatively inexpensive, you can get some much more expensive ones. Here's the Yamaha HS a eight. This is a popular one that I see of being used a lot. Um, if you flip it over, we can see that it's an active. It's powered speaker. Those are popular. Bit more expensive, right? 3 50 each. Right, So that means 6 700 bucks for the pair, and then we get into the really high end ones. The gentle X. Um, these sound really great, but they're expensive. So 300 bucks. And this is a low end. GenElec um, this is a relatively inexpensive GenElec. This is a powered speaker. I think the plug must be on the bottom. They must be down here a the bottom. But, um, it is powered. So it is an active speaker. Here's a higher end. GenElec these air 700 bucks apiece. The general like 80 thirties. Um, these are nice. They sound really good, but they're really expensive. So you don't need these. Um, you can do just find with, you know, these j b l's or something like that as long as you hear him, and they sound good and you like the way they sound. Um, so the best way is go into your local music store. If they have some studio monitors set up, listen to some stuff. Queue up music that you know, if you're serious, about buying studio monitors. The store will let you play whatever you want through him. They should know this. So try those things out now. The ones that I use, I don't think they're not made anymore, so they probably don't have them here. I use these blue sky ones, which were really popular about six years ago when I bought them. But I think the company went out of business. Um, they sound really good. I'm probably about due for new ones, though, Um, so I might upgrade this and gentle X, but, um, I'll show you what they look like when we get Teoh. Kind of how everything is set up. Okay, so that's my advice on studio monitors. Let's move on. 8. Monitor Setup: Okay, let's talk about the best way to set up your speakers. Now, I'm going to remind you that the way that there is a perfect way to set things up, but the perfect situation never really happens. I mean, it does in a $1,000,000 studio, but if you're mixing in your bedroom and you can't make this perfect situation happen, just get us close as you can. Ah, and you'll be OK, I'll show you in a minute. My set up, which is not perfect. It has problems. So, um, first of all, so let's go back to our drawing here. So this is US K. This is called the mixed position. This is where we're gonna sit, right? Um oops. I didn't mean to spin it, but that's OK. It's doesn't really matter. Okay, so we're gonna assume we're gonna sit right here at our desk. So I have a triangle here. Perfect triangle, equal lateral triangle, if you will. So first I'm gonna rotate this. So what I want, basically, is a triangle between the two speakers and the next position. Okay, so I'm gonna put this I'm just gonna put the tip of the triangle right in the center of the speaker. Okay. And it's, like, a little smaller. Okay, so here's the tip of one triangle. Here's the tip of the other triangle. Okay, so that makes this tip down here. So that means you have to move this out of the way for a second. That means the perfect mix position is right here. Okay, so we're gonna have to slide way back from our desk. We could make the mix position closer if we could move our speakers in farther. Right for speakers were in up there. Let's bring these to the fronts. We can see where our speakers are. Okay? So if our speakers were right there, Okay, now are mixed. Position gets quite a bit closer. Hey, let's bring this to the front to Okay, let's get our That looks pretty good. Okay, Now, arm exposition is up here. Okay? So we want basically the same distance between the two speakers to be the same distance between the mixed position. Now, I'll tell you, my mix position is not perfect in this way. So I have a situation kind of similar to this right here. And I sit here, okay, so that all that really means is that I'm in a pretty good mix position. But when I really want to make sure I'm hearing everything perfectly, then I just scooch back a little bit of that. I have to scoot back a little bit too here to be in the absolute perfect spot. Um, but most of the time in mixing up here, and then I double check it by moving back. Teoh here. And that's okay. I mean, that's not perfect, but it's okay. So, um, three things to keep in mind when you're placing your speakers first is the distance between them. Okay? And that makes this triangle. Okay. Second thing is the angle of the monitors. Okay, so let's say let's make our monitors a square. So if the speaker is right here, Okay, so that means sound is coming out this way. It's heading out, going down in this case. So we wanted to head straight towards us, So we're gonna angle it right to be just like that. So let's say let's get rid of that. And this is actually what we have. Okay, so there's our speaker. Okay? It's heading right towards us. so. And that's typically what we want. You want the speaker pointed right at you? Um, you want to make sure that both speakers are at the same angle Now, one old trick that's been done forever is if you have any kind of little mirror to put a little mirror on your speaker right here and then sit right here and then and put another little mirror on this speaker and then make sure you can see your face in that speaker and that speaker at the same time that will tell you that they're pretty much at the same angle . Um, that's an okay way to do it now. There also. I mean, some people like to sit a little off center. They don't want thes pointed directly at them. Some people like them to be pointed directly at them. Kind of depends on the speaker. Really. Once you get a set of speakers, then you know, you kind of find the sweet spot where you like to sit. Um, I like to have them pointed right at me, right at my ears. Um, so But that's just me. Other people want him a little off center. Okay, The third thing to think about is how they're mounted. Um, you could put them right on your desk, or you can put him on a stand. The most important thing, though, is that you've got a little bit of something in between them and your desk. Let's look over here in this. So what we really want is not this. See how these speakers air sitting right on the desk. That's generally now we want I think maybe they are for this picture. Just because someone was being ridiculous and said, How maney speakers can I get, um What we typically do is put a little piece of put some foam here or, um, even, like a little strip of carpet or something like that can help. Just something so that the vibrations don't push down into your desk. That can cause some distortion in the low end. Um, here you have a stand, and there's probably some rubber or something on the stand and in the stands going down into the carpet. So that's OK. Um, but typically, try not to put your speakers directly on your desk like this. Um, that's kind of a no No. Okay, We don't like that. So try to put some foam in between the speaker and your desk or whatever. They're sitting up cool, okay? 9. Monitor Settings: Okay, let's not quick about the monitor settings. So if you have active monitors and you look in the back, you've got a couple of settings here. So let's go over these really quick. Remember, what we want is something that is super flat, right? We don't want our speakers to be adding frequencies or taking away frequencies. We wanted to be accurate to what, um, the music is presenting. So most speakers will have something similar to this. Just zoom in here. Okay, So here's where your input goes. You can use, um, whichever these your audio card is putting out. Um, as your input input sensitivity is just going to give it a boost or a cut, it doesn't really matter which one of these you use. To me, it just kind of depends on what you think. Sounds better. Whether you need a little extra volume or not, you shouldn't need them. And I think there's a middle setting here that is nothing. But this will add a little volume. This will take away a little volume. Um, whatever you do, the most important thing with all of these settings is that both speakers match. Exactly. Do not set one speaker to do one thing and the other speaker to do the other thing. I need to make sure they match perfectly. Okay, So if there's an e que built into the speaker, try to set it to be flat. In this case, we have this minus three db. We have 1.5 db and we have zero D V, which is doing nothing minus three. Db is gonna pull the volume down a little bit on the low end. 1.5 is gonna pull it down slightly less on the low end. Basically, what this is saying is that low frequencies it's gonna pull, it's going to make quieter the low frequencies. Um, if we set it to zero, it's gonna do nothing. So that's what we want. Okay, so set that to zero is what I would do. High frequency trim. Just gonna be the opposite. It's gonna boost high frequencies, um, or take away high frequency. So minus two is gonna make high frequencies louder. Sorry. Quieter and plus two is gonna make high frequencies louder, or zero is going to do nothing. So set that +120 Also volume depends on what you need for your room. It's just volume. So, um, super important here that these are exactly the same on both speakers. Think minor. Set to three. I have, ah, relatively small room that I'm mixing in. Um, And these speaker, at least the ones I have, they get super loud. So three as plenty of volume in my little studio here. So, um, I have them set to exactly three. And I just like, make sure that I'm exactly on that dot so that I can set them both to be exactly the same. And stuff done here is just your power. Okay, so those are your monitor settings. 10. Adding A Subwoofer: OK? Do you need a subwoofer? You might, um it depends on what kind of music you listen. Teoh. The low end of the speakers, you get, um, a couple quick tips about subwoofers. One is that if you decide to get a subwoofer, really try hard to get one made by the same manufacturer as this as the monitors you have, um, and ideally, one that's designed to work with a specific model of monitors that you have. Um, in a lot of cases, you might not need a sub when you're mixing. Um, it's nice to have a sob. It gives you a really big low end, but it can give you too big of a low end at times. And you'd be surprised at the low end that a good set of studio monitors can kick out. Um, there's kind of a lot of low in here. What I have set up in my studio is I do have a sub, but my sub has the ability to It has a foot pedal. And so I basically have a little, um, pedal connected to it, and it's off by default, so it's hardly ever on. But when I'm mixing and I really want to hear something through a sub. I push the foot pedal down and then it turns on the sub, and then I hear everything going through this up. But most of the time it's off. I just every now and then turn it on to hear what it sounds like. Threw a sub. It's just a kind of focus in on the low end. If you're doing based music, if you're doing dance music, you might want to have a sub. But be careful about, um, relying on that sub giving you a tunnel low end. But if you're mixing so that when you get into a club, uh, you're gonna play that track in the club and that club's gonna have a huge sub than you might want to mix with us up, right, because that's where the music is gonna be played. So you might wanna that might help you mix it accurately. So long story short, you might not need a sub. You probably don't, um, but if you do get a sub, try to get one that's designed to work with your speakers and follow the instructions for setting it up correctly, also important, and that's all 11. Headphones: Okay, let's talk about headphones, so you're probably if you're like a lot of people are getting starting to mixing, you probably are expecting that mixing with headphones is better than mixing with speakers cause headphones get right up on your ears and, ah, you can make things a bit louder. You can hear more minutia, and that is largely true that you can hear more minutia and things like that. And mixing and headphones is actually good. You should mix in headphones, but in the ideal situation, you would alternate between studio monitors, speakers and headphones. Headphones are good for hearing middle of clicks and things when you're editing, but not so much when you're mixing. But, ah, hearing the fine minutia. Headphones are really good at, um, hearing the overall mix. Speakers are better at headphones can also get tiring. Um, on your head just wearing headphones. You Can. We have this thing in mixing called your fatigue, which is when you hear something so many times that everything sounds bad. Um, that's something that happens all the time. When you're mixing, you just need to take a break and walk away, and I think most people find that when they're mixing with headphones here, fatigue happens faster. Headphones are also less accurate, especially in the low end. Um, when it comes to mixing, they have a tiny little speaker in them and even really great ones. Um, there's just some physics involved in getting those low frequencies to be produced by that tiny little speaker. That's just impossible. So, um, the accuracy of the low end is less good. Which is another reason why alternating between mixing with headphones and speakers is good . So if you are going to so I would recommend having if money is no object, get a set of good headphones to, um, they're cheaper than speakers. Um, let me show you just a couple pair. Um, these are the ones I use. Um, these Sony MDR 75 or six is very popular there. 100 bucks for a pair. I mean, it's not cheap, but it's not insane. Um, these air good. Another one thes a k g k two forties. I see people using quite a bit. The thing I don't like about these is that this little golden ring tends to pop off. They still work fine. It's just makes it kind of ugly. But, um, you know, these air less expensive. And I see you know, studios using these, um, these signs risers are a little bit newer, but I've been in some studios that have been using these. They're, you know, 100 bucks. So these are all good options, right? Um, you don't need to break the bank on headphones. Definitely get a higher quality set of headphones, not beats headphones. Those generally are really not very good for mixing. They have kind of a false low end to them where they boost a lot of low end stuff. Um, so they're not good for mixing. They're not flat at all. They're not honest. Um, these ones. I see people using a bit thes air. They're more expensive, obviously. But, um, there really nice headphones, the's air. You know, the headphones you want for mixing or not Earbuds. They're not the headphones that you're gonna use when you're sitting on the bus. These air, higher quality headphones. These are things that kind of wrap around your whole ear and give you a really good acoustic. Um, sense of what's going on. So long story short, you can use headphones, and you should use headphones. Um, but try not to use headphones inclusively. If you do have to use headphones exclusively because of where you are. If you can't be loud and you can't have monitors and things like that, that's okay. You can still do a really good job with just headphones, but in a perfect world, you would use headphones and monitors. 12. My Less Than Perfect Setup: Okay, So here's my set up, and I want to point out with all humility. What's wrong with it? Um, you can probably see a few things that are wrong with it right away. Um, I have a unique situation here. So this is where, um, I work when I'm both making music, mixing music and making these classes so you can see my microphone coming in right here. That's primarily for talking in these classes is not the microphone I would use to record. Um, like a singer or something like that. It was just talking like So. The biggest problem I have is that I haven't insane amount of displays. Right. Um, this is just something that I've grown to fall in love with. That I have these air thes air 34 k displays that kind of wrap all the way around. And they're these curved monitors, and I just really like him. I just like having all of this real estate, and it's important to me to have 100 windows open at once. That's just how I roll. So what that means, though, Um, I when I said when I bought all three of these I was like, Oh, my gosh is gonna be awesome. Gonna have so many monitors and it's gonna be great. However, what I immediately really realized once I set him up is that I can't put my speakers where they should go. They should go right here and right here, right? I can't do that cause I have monitors all the way around. So what I had to do, I was raised my speakers up a little too high, so they're actually pointed down, so the backs of them are wedged up. So they're they're on an angle pointing down at my head, so the triangle is more or less correct. Although, um, the chair is too close. I should sit back just a little bit about a foot for it to be perfect. And this thing of having them too high and then angled down is not ideal. That's not very good to do. But I just kind of had to do it. Um, there was this really no other way around it. The other thing that you might notice is that these are awfully close to the wall. Um, they're not in corners, so that's better. But I just couldn't get farther away from the wall. Um, I could pull things out a little bit more if I wanted to, but that makes other problems. So I just kind of compromise. They're not right up against the wall. That kind of look like it from this. But there is about, uh, seven or eight inches in between the wall and the speaker. So they're not as close is. This picture makes it look, um, yeah, so this is my set up. So it's not perfect, right? And the reason I'm showing you this is because I want you to know that I realize that a lot of you are probably mixing in a bedroom or a room in your basement or something like that. And you don't have the opportunity to make the perfect set up, and that's okay. You can get by with doing this. I have really good sounding set up here. You know, I have My sub is over here on the floor. It's down there somewhere. Have a mixer over here that lets me get my hands on the mix if I need to. Um, I also use this push for mixing a little bit, but mostly software. So if things aren't perfect, that's okay. You know, there's still a lot of good things you can do. All right, let's move on. 13. Multiple Monitors And Mono: The one thing I don't think I pointed out is the whole set up that I'm using here and that you would need to use as well if you get monitors. So basically, what I have is computer down here. Computers connected to an audio interface, which for me, is this box right here. And then the speakers are connected to the audio interface. So, um, if you don't know what an audio interfaces, it's something that makes higher quality audio. If you're using a laptop or something and you just want to plug your headphones right into the laptop, that's okay. But this is going to make a higher quality audio signal, and it's going to give me a place to plug my speakers into for the output so you can look up audio interfaces. If you've taken into my able to in classes or anything like that, you know about audio interfaces. Um, I do want to point out using multiple monitors, we could have another set of monitors appear if we wanted to, and you'll see a lot of people mixing or they have multiple sets of monitors like that image that we saw a minute ago this one where someone has an insane amount of monitors. There is a value to having more than one set of monitors. This is silly, um, that they have here. But there is value to it, and that is you can set up a button. And in my setting, I do have a button. You see, little green button, right? There might be hard for you to see, but that little green button will let me switch between, um, sets of speakers. Okay, So if I had another set of speakers here, I could listen to my mix on these speakers, and then I could switch by hitting that to a different set of speakers and here it on another set of speakers, which would be really useful, right? Just to make sure that I'm what I'm hearing is accurate on multiple speakers. And when people do that, they might have a nice set of monitors like these, and then a bad set of monitors. You know, there's there's room to buy a crappy set of monitors, just toe have just to listen to your mix through something bad and make sure it still sounds pretty good. That's important. Um That's something that happens in mastering a lot, but you can do it while you're mixing. Also, another thing that's valuable to do is listen in motto What that means. And again, if you have an audio interface, there's there's a button you can find that will mix in motto. So we always mix in stereo, meaning There's a separate signal going to each of these speakers, but it can be useful. And there are times when you wanted just switch over to listening in mono. But that means that you still hear music out of both speakers, but it's the same signal. Okay, so it sends both the left and the right channel to both left and right channel speakers. You hear all the music, but you hear them out of both. That means your stereo imaging will be gone. We'll talk more about that later. Um, but it can be useful, so I just want to mention it now in terms of, uh, if you're looking for interfaces. Ah, finding where the mono button is can be useful. It's not something that you need tohave by any means, but it can be nice toe have Ah, when you're trying to really nail a mix, to be able to switch over to motto more about that when we get to it. Okay, enough on monitors and are listening environment. For now, let's move on to preparing a track for mixing. 14. The First Step In Mixing: Okay. The first thing we need to do is prepare to mix, prepare the session to be mixed. Now, it might sound like I'm about to go into, like, Ah, some not specifics, but this is the first part of the mix. Okay, this is the first part of mixing is to prepare this session for it. And by the end of this section, we might actually have this sounding a little bit better by just preparing it correctly, right? We're gonna get rid of some noisy stuff. We're gonna tune some things, and we're going to set up a couple of effect buses and just kind of run some stuff through some compressors and limiters. Probably. Um so just by doing this process of setting up the session to be mixed Ah, we probably will end up with a better sounding track before we even get into the nitty gritty. Right? So I'm gonna be using this track, at least in this section. Now, I don't think I mentioned this yet, but I I went to one of my student community pages, which I'll invite you to join at the end of this class. And I asked people to send me their sessions that we could work on. So these are all student tracks that I'm gonna be working on in this class. And, um so these are things that students have submitted for me to take a look at. So I encourage you to check out these students and check out some of their music. These are people from my able to in class, maybe sound design class. Really? Any of my classes that are on here. So this one eyes called. I believe it's called High as a cloud. So let's dive in and start working through the process of preparing it to be mixed. 15. Session Copy and Backup: Okay, so the first thing we're gonna do is make a copy. We want to leave the original as is, and we're gonna work off a new session just because some of the things we're gonna do are going to adjust the song a little bit. And we always want to be able to go back to the original, right? So we don't want toe change things around with the session completely. So there's a few ways you could do this. You could either. Well, let me show you. Here's the session, Right. So depending on what program you're working in, what I have is this is my actual file. Ah, that is the session. And then these are all like, here's the samples. Here's some project info. Here's backups of it. So these are all things that rough. All of these other folders here referenced this file so I could just duplicate this file or I could go back. And here's the project folder. I could duplicate the entire project folder. Either way is fine. It's not really necessary in this case to duplicate the entire project folder because I'm not gonna be messing with the samples too much or anything like that. So let's do that. So the easiest way is just to open it, and then I'm gonna go to save lives set as, and then we need to give it a name. Okay, so there's a couple different ways you can do this. You can give it the name of the date. So today is 5 16 19 Um, that's one way to do it. Or you can say I like to use an underscore there. And this is just whatever you feel like doing could say mix V one and then b two B three before you can keep adding versions. So the date or mixed version one mixed version two, etcetera. Whatever you want to do, right. But come up with a system that you want to use a lot of people, like using the date. A lot of people like using version one version to version three. Um, I like to use mixed version one, so because I don't I don't know. I just don't like seeing all the numbers in the date. I don't know. The date is great. Ah, this is what I do. You can use the date you can use whatever you want. Okay, so I'm gonna call this mix version one. So now if I look at my file folder here, we have another new and another new mixed version one kept. So if you're using a different Daw, you might have a different set up here. Uh, if if nothing else, just copy this whole folder and make a whole new project folder if you want. Okay, so that's the first thing we're gonna do now. We're always gonna work off mixed version one. If things go haywire, we can always go back to the original. Awesome. Let's move on. 16. Tracking Down Extraneous Noises: Okay, The next thing I'm gonna do is a little tedious. I'm actually kind of a lot tedious, but it's worth it. I'm gonna go through each track, and I'm gonna look for any kinds of little cliques or pops or noise or anything that I don't want in there. That might be something that you didn't notice when you were editing. So really, what? I'm gonna dio. So I'm gonna solo each track, listen to all elements of it and make sure everything is as tidy as possible. Main things I'm looking for. Here are things like an audio tracks cure. Zoom way in on this. Okay? See how this audio track starts right at the beginning. If I zoom way, way and it doesn't? What that tells me is I might want to add a tiny little volume fade right there. Oh, actually, the volumes down right here. Where does the volume come in on this? Oh, it's really slowly ramps up. Okay, well, that's not gonna matter, then. Okay. This is okay. What I would look for is something like this. If the volume was up here, I might say that could create a tiny, tiny, tiny little clique. Okay, so I might do this and that, but way we were again. And just make sure that I ramp up. I don't know that I need to. In that case, in fact, I know I don't, cause this was, ah, gradual fade in. But I want to make sure my audio tracks I don't have any clicks or pops when they enter or leave the same thing when it leaves. So adding a fade into the beginning in the end of any audio tracks can be useful. So I'm going to go through Ah, And also, you know, I'm gonna listen to these midi tracks and make sure that there's nothing strange in them. Um, So I'm gonna pause the video and go through all this and then I'll chime in island posit and walk you through when I find something. So here we go. Okay. I found something. Um, this is super subtle, right? And but that's kind of what we're looking for. We're looking for very, very subtle things. Now listen to this right here. The entrance of this audio file. This is just like a build, right? Like a like a swoosh. Kind of thing. It's just a noise ramp. But when we hear it in context of the whole track, this starts at nothing and gradually fades up. Right, So here's everything right. Okay, so this starts at nothing and just fades up, and that's built into the audio file. There's no fade here. Um, I don't think no, there's no fate here, but when we listen to just this audio file, it doesn't start at zero, right? If we zoom in there, that starts at something and not nothing. So once we get into the mix, that might come forward enough to where you can hear this, enter right and we don't want to hear it enter. So let's just give it a little bit of help here and make sure that it starts off at zero to make sure I don't affect anything before it. But let's give it a nice, good little ramp there so that it actually starts at zero. Ah, and I think I saw in the track this happens kind of over and over a few times, Zoom way forward. There it is again. Yeah, same thing. Okay, so I'm just gonna make a little audio fade and, you know, again, this isn't any, um anything wrong with the way this track was made? That's just what you would do when you would make the track. Because that's what you hear. But when you're going into mix it, we want to make sure that these things are just absolutely perfect. It's got a nice little fade there and zoom out. I think there's 1/3 1 Yeah, do 1/3 time. Okay? And I think that was it. That's it. Okay, so, watching out for those tiny, tiny, tiny little things there. Okay, I'm gonna keep going. I'm gonna pause again, see if I find anything else, Okay? I got all the way through the track. I didn't find anything else. So this track is mostly synthesizers and, um, flattened synthesizers. So we have something like all of this midi stuff which has been rendered as an audio file down here, so that means it's gonna be super clean. There's not a lot of like there's no just recordings with a microphone in this track. So if there was recordings with a microphone of like a singer that I might find some other things that I could clean up, but basically, what we're trying to do in this step is just get rid of any extraneous noise by going through when soloing each track one by one, listening through all of the content and just knocking out any noise that might be buried in there. That alone is actually gonna help clean up the track. Kind of a bit. All those little things you can't really here. When the track is playing altogether, they do kind of add up. So we want to get rid of those that we have a nice clean track, a clean slate, if you will, to start our mix from. So I have addressed those concerns so onto the next step. 17. Clean Up The Session: Okay, The next thing I'm going to do is just get rid of stuff we don't need. And you might think, like, how is that possible? Everything in this session you need? Well, not really. When you're making a track, a lot of the times you have an idea that doesn't pan out and you ditch it, and that means you end up with unused tracks. So we want to get rid of some of those. Let's make sure there's something that we need on every track. Okay, this is here. But is it? Actually, this track is muted all the way from beginning to end. I checked, so this doesn't need to be here because it's totally muted. Let's get rid of that track. Ah, it's just gonna be in our way. And it's not making any sound, however important, that you might have a track that's muted. That's actually being used in a side chain or something like that. If that's the case, watch out for that. Um, but in that case, it wasn't being side chain. This one appears to be muted also. Let's see here I think this one is muted, Um, because it's rendered in this track. It's of this. And then they added it over and over, so we didn't need that. Um, we have that. We have that This is a group track, which we'll talk about in a second. So we do need that. This is another group track which does not appear to be doing anything everything in this group. So it's labeled intro V S t. So I think this was all the intro material which has been made into audio here, so I don't think we need this at all. So we're gonna get rid of that group. Here's intro again. So here we have some audio, audio, audio, audio, audio, audio. Okay, here's another group. This is drum stuff. Lots of stuff happening here. This actually is muted. So this is another case. What they did is they had ah midi track here, and then they turned it into an audio track in the track below it. You can do that with either re sampling or just recording it. Um, if we look at, we would be able to tell the output here would be set to the next track if they re sampled it. So they just freeze and flattened. That's enable Tim thing. But if you're in a different program just called render in place or it might be called re sample or something like that just means that this is the same material on So this one is turned off, so we don't need that anymore. You would want that, though, in your track. Because if you wanted to go backwards and change some notes, you would need that many track. But we're not gonna do that when we're mixing so we can get rid of it. Same thing with this one. Okay? And everything else looks good. Okay, So now I simplified my session a little bit, actually, um, by getting rid of some of those tracks that we didn't need if I close these groups down to a quite manageable couple tracks good. OK, so that's the next step. Get rid of the stuff that you don't need in the session anymore. 18. Tuning Tracks: Okay, The next thing I would do is a little tuning. So if I had any singers, Um, especially if I had singers, maybe some other instruments to like any recorded wind instruments or anything like that. I go through and run them through a tuner, um, and apply some tuning. If I thought it needed it now, I would. I'm pretty judicious with this, so that doesn't mean run him through auto tune and crank it up. What that means is you can run him through auto tune, but be subtle about it. You don't need it to sound like a robot to use auto tune. You could have a subtle amount of auto tune where it doesn't sound like they're being auto tune, but it's just putting them in tune. Auto Tune only sounds like auto tune when you crank it up all the way. Um, so you can do this by we could tune tracks by pulling them out of the sequencer and just looking at the individual tracks and running them through a different program to tune. Um, like a program like Melody Line or something like that. That's probably the best tuning program that I've ever worked with, um, Melody Line is just fantastic. Or we could just do it with the plug in and Melody in will work as a plug in as, well, auto tune or any of the other ones like that. So if I had any vocal stuff or instruments, I would run them through some tuning right now before we get into the mix. And then I realized that everything's out of tune. Um, guitars are harder to tune because they're accord instrument, and you kind of have to tune each individual string. Um, so we kind of just are gonna hope that you know, guitars and pianos and things like that. We're gonna hope that those are in tune. Um, if they're not in tune, it can sometimes be easier to tune other things to them. Um, so like, if if the guitar is a little bit sharp and the singer is in tune, uh, it could be a little bit easier to ah, pull the singer to be a little bit flat so that it's in tune with the guitar. That's ah, more complicated thing. We'll get to that later. For now, Uh, if you've got singers or anything like that running through some tuning plug ins? Cool, I reckon. Him. I recommend Melody line. All right. Off to the next thing. 19. 19 SortingTracksV2: Okay, The next thing we're gonna do is arrange our tracks a little bit. And what I mean by that is we're gonna put them. We're gonna put similar tracks together. So, like all our since together, or all our guitars together or all our drums together, things like that. We're also going to take this opportunity to label our tracks super super important. And these tracks are arranged pretty well so that similar things air close. But, um, the labeling is not great. Like this says nine Omni sphere. What does that mean? Well, um, let's try to put a name on this groups wait to call that, um I'm going to call this clicky synth. It's a sense. It's kind of cliquey. The reason I need to label things in some kind of colorful way is so that when I'm listening to everything and I hear, like, what is that clicky synth that I could be like, Oh, yeah, that's probably the one called Clicky sent. Um oh, I called it click. I want to call it clicky since Okay, so here's effing base. Uh, let's hear that. That's not very basic to me. Okay, so I'm gonna call this single note, Ping. That's one note kind of a ping sound. Um, see what we've got here. This is a group. This is an empty group, isn't it? I think I need this. Gonna leave that for now. It looks like it might be doing something. Okay, so here we have I'm New Sphere, which we call that. Okay, I'm gonna call this Echo Pulse, and I'm just coming up with colorful things. I have a friend once who told me that when he asked to name tracks like this, he has his infant Children do it because it'll be like that Sounds like burnt cookies. And then he'll call the that track burnt cookies, and it somehow makes sense to him sometimes. But that's kind of what we have to do. So, um, it's gonna come up with names for stuff. There was a weird little clique, wasn't it? Gets here that Yeah, this loop has a weird little clicking it. I didn't catch that before. That's okay. So what, we're gonna dio we're gonna try. I can't really cross fade those. Can we? Yeah, I can. Well, that might be better. Okay, that's a little bit better. Um, okay. This one to me is really thick. So I'm gonna call this thick pad, and now I'm gonna go through and just label all of these tracks so I'll pause the video and spare you me going through each little thing here. I found something. I just want to point out here. I've got this drum track here were here. I would call it a snare drum snare drum. But if I go up forward a little bit, I've got, like, a shaker. So this is why we kind of want these to be on separate tracks. Um, so that I can label them correctly. So I'm going to do here is I'm going to duplicate this track, okay? And then I'm gonna delete all the snare stuff from it so that I've got two separate tracks . We're gonna call this top one sneer stuff and this bottom one, we're gonna call Shaker stuff. Okay? What is this? Sneer stuff? Shake your stuff. Okay, so here I can call this snare shaker. Cool. So good to separate those sounds. All right. Um, I've gone through and I've labeled everything in a way that makes sense to me. My favorite is the duck. Since it sounds like this, it just sounds to me like a duck being poked with a ah, hot poker or something. I don't know. Weird, but we gotta put a name on stuff. Okay, Next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna arrange these by type of sound. Now, what this person has is they have things arranged by and where it happens. Like we have intro stuff kind of groups together. Um, And then later things grouped together. But that's not what I want. What I want is similar sounds groups together. Okay, so what the top here? I have basically that the main drum beat. Okay, so I'm gonna leave that together, so I'm not gonna break that up because I think combining all of those things into one. Ah, chunk is good. Ah. So let's see what's in this cliquey synth group. It's actually not a group. Sorry. Uh, let's see what's in this cliquey sent here. It's just this Oops. It's just this. Okay, so let's keep that in mind for a minute. Um, here is a single. Oh, that single note thing that we looked at earlier this so That's a sense. Something to drag that down to be with some of these other sense. Okay, And here's this. It's this kind of percussive. Let's leave that there. The spirt thing. I didn't rename. Yeah, because that's the one we don't I think is doing anything, so let's get rid of that. I'm pretty sure that's nothing. Now, Okay, so now we have all these intro sounds, but I'm actually gonna put thes where I think they belong. Okay, so this is a percussive synth. So let's put that down with rhythm sense, because that's what it is. Um, that's another big synths. So let's put that down there. Oregon, it's in Oregon. I'm gonna put all my since together, Um, so I can tell, despite the names that these are big sense. OK, so, boom, I'm just gonna pull this boom and the swoosh out of this intro group because all right, so I don't need that intro group, so I'm gonna get rid of that group, So I've got boom swoosh be. I think I just meant to write swish. Uh, and I have this cliquey sense still appear, but let's put that down with all our other since. Okay, so boom, swish more drums. Let's put that whole group of drums up the top. And now here's all my sense. Now here I have noises. So these little noises are like noise bursts, and they will go just great. Combined with the boom and the swoosh, these solutions will go good with the other switches. Okay, there's another swoosh and another swoosh. Okay, so I'm just trying to put similar sounds together so that when I'm mixing, I know what I'm doing here. Okay, so I have drums, drums, boom, swish, swish, swish noises, good rhythm sent, sent synth, quickie synth, single notes, Sands Bright synth duck synth bunch of sense. Great. Um, So now I could group my tracks. So let's go into a new video and talk about grouping tracks. 20. Group Tracks: okay up next. We're gonna group tracks now. You can do this in any audio program. You should be able to group things. So these air groups right here. So this is kicking base. I'm gonna rename that. So unable to his command are to rename something. But, um whatever program you're in, you can rename it. I'm gonna rename this, um, that beat. What would I call that beat? Um, it's the word I'm thinking of. I was gonna call it beat in all caps here. This is more drum stuff, so we'll just call that drums for now. Okay? Boom, swoosh, swoosh noises. So I'm gonna highlight all of that stuff and then able to in its command, G But whatever you want, whatever program here and just go to file, make a group or track make a group. Um, however, it works in your software. So now I made a group that I'm gonna call clicks and noises. Yes, because that's what all this stuff is. So I'm just gonna group things by their big sections. Kate. Now, here's all of our sense. So new group, we're going to call this since Boom. Look at that. Look, how clean our session is now. Just four tracks easy. But what's important here is that, um, this is not Actually, there's actually something important happening here because when we put something in a group that actually helps us a lot because we can mix groups right, we can turn the volume of this whole group up or down. We can add effects to this whole group. We can pan the whole group. Um, there's a lot we can do to the whole group, and that will be really useful. For example, let's say the sense are all getting kind of out of control, and maybe I just want to throw a compressor and limiter on all of the sense. Um, I could just throw that on the group, and then it's done. So having things in groups by similar kinds of sound, really valuable, a great place to start. Cool. Okay, let's move on to just a few more things to do to get us all set up 21. Marking Sections: Okay. Next thing this is going to save you some time. In the end, we're gonna mark are sections. OK, so in any program you could do some kind of marker or locator or something like that. Um, it's usually at the very top of your session. So for me, it is kind of control. Click up here, add locator, and then I can type something in, like, intro or whatever. Okay, That's not actually where I want that. So I'm gonna delete it. You don't need one right at the beginning. So the intro is the intro. That's fine. Um, but you would want a mark, Like, if you were working on, like, a song, you'd want to mark the chorus 1st 1 verse to the bridge, things like that. So, in this song, let's just listen through it, See if we confined main sections by where the beat enters. Its gonna be right here. Nothing there. Oh, I'm so load. Huh? Okay. - Okay . So I'm gonna mark right here, and I don't know if I'd want to call this the verse or the chorus or what, but probably I'm gonna call it in this case, I'm just gonna call it, uh, beat enters. And if you want to be fancier about it, go back to bars at a locator to buyers before your locator that you just added and then do the same thing. But I like to do like dash dash ero are, ah, open bracket to make a tiny little arrow and then right, beat enters. Um, what this means is that I can click here and jump right where the beat enters, or I can click here and jump to bars before the beat enters. That helps give you a nice little leading. Great. So ah, whatever marker you make, make 12 bars before it. Also, if you want, It's just kind of a nice thing. Okay, So I'm just gonna go through and Mark anything else that I find. Find out that. Okay, I'm gonna call that something. I don't know what I'm gonna call it. Let's call it, um, percussive synth enters, Okay. And then we'll go back to bars. I will say proc synth. Okay, let's keep jump forward a little bit. Okay, Um, this is the new section, so let's just call this, um It's called his big beat, too. That's just what I'm gonna call it. And then this transition to big beat to is useful. This is gonna take me think this is going to require some intention to jump into this section, Get it just right. Right. So having this located here will be really good, because really, I'm gonna want to work on making this really kind of pop. Probably Mark that, um perk Synth enters again. Go back to bars. Accents. Okay. Here. I'm gonna mark this as drums out. Okay. Here, I'll mark this one again as, ah, big beat one, because it's kind of going back to pick. Meet one. Don't really need 12 bars before that, because I have one right there. So okay, here. I'm just going to write out and then because everything kind of stops there and then big beat in there. Okay, let's do cookie synth enter again and let's get that right where I wanted it. Okay, um, to do out there, lead into out. Okay, Here. Let's dio since I want to find where those drums come back in, Okay? Drums kind of fade back in, but I'm gonna call it right here. Big beat one big beat one. Okay, so with beef fades out, So right here will just say how true. And then we'll say here how true? I suppose. Great. Ok, so now we've got markers. Right now I consume way out if I want and just say OK, take me to that clicky synth entrance right there. So having those markers really valuable, Um great. Two more quick things. 22. Create Effect Busses: Okay, The next thing I'm gonna do is create a couple of effect buses. Um, so depending on the software you're in, this might be called in effect bus. It might be called Ascend or return. Um, it could be set up to be either way. But really, What this is is let me go into we're going to some of my drums here. Let's look at just this one, for example. Okay, so right here, I can. This is this is an effect bus. So what I can do is turn this up and it's gonna send this much of the signal down to send a okay, what's called send A, which is actually this track down here. So the reason I would do this is let's say I want to put a delay on something, OK? But I want to put the same delay, unlike a bunch of different tracks. Okay. I would put the delay here. Actually, have one set up right here. So here's a delay. I can say I want this. This and this toe all go down to that delay, right? Maybe not all of it, but a little bit of it, So I don't want to actually do that. Something turn these off. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna set up four effects down here that I'm gonna use later on . This is just kind of a starting point, OK? Nothing fancy. Um, now, by default able to and gives you a reverb and delay down here, I'm gonna change those a little bit. I'm gonna change this to short reverb that I'm gonna add another ah, return Call it long reverb here. I'm gonna have a short delay And here I'm gonna have you guessed it Long delay sums. Gonna make reverb short long and delay short Long. I'm gonna set these up so that when I'm listening and I say, Oh, I wanted to throw this to, like, a long delay for just a second. I've already got one down here and I could just throw it to it. We'll talk more about how buses work later. This is, uh, just a set up thing. You might find that you have effects that you love to use over and over. If that's true, set him up on a bus. Okay, so, uh, I'm gonna get rid of this and this. So now I'm just going to go into my effects. Audio effects reverb have to say ambient room for short reverb. Okay. And then I'll use that same one for long. Reverb accept. What I'm gonna do is for short reverb. I'm going to go into do a short, little pre delayed here. I want my decay to be a little bit longer than that, but one point 1.5 seconds, Okay. Always make sure the dry wet is all the way up When you're working with sentence like this , bus tracks like this sends return buses, bus tracks, whatever all the same, more or less. Okay, so now in this one, I'm gonna set my pre delay to be a little bit more, but still not that much. Maybe four. No. Sorry. I mean, I'm gonna set my pre delay to be really short my decay time to be, like, four seconds or so. That's too much. Let's say three seconds. OK, that's a long river. Now, here is gonna put some kind of just plain delay, not a green delay. Um, the new one enable 10. 10 would be great. This echo will work pretty Well, so what I'm gonna want here is all the way wet. Actually, let's not use Echo. Let's use, um, the ping Pong delay. This one's just a lot easier. And is it years, so feedback pretty low. This is a short one. Try wet all the way. This is like a week. You kind of And this is actually sink to the beat. So this is our short one, So I'm gonna make it like a 16th note. Well, this will be an eighth note. Let's make it 1/16 note. And then same thing on our long delay except will make this one quarter note feedback down dry, wet up. Quote. So those are the things I want. Awesome. Now I'm all set up so that when I want to do that, let's just let me just show you what it's like. So here's this thing said now, here are my four effects. If I want to send it to that long delay, I just turn it up here. There it is. The long reverb is here. Short reverb. I will be able to hear in this case a short delay cook. All right, let's turn those pull those back down, so we're not sending to it. But those are all set up now so we can use them quick when we want him. Okay, One more thing. 23. Compressors And Limiters: okay, The next thing and then do the last thing to get us set up is some compressors and some limiters. So these are volume effects effects that manage the volume of different things. We're going to talk more about what these are shortly, but just to get us started, what I want to do is preemptively throw some of these on tracks that I'm nearly positive. I'm gonna need him. Um, for example, this particular compressor is called a glue compressor. This is able to specific thing, so if you're not using able to and you don't have this, but, um, any kind of compressor will work. I'm gonna throw that on a drum group. Both drum groups in this case here is just a normal compressor. These cliques and things not positive is going to need a compressor. These since probably won't. If I had a singer or drums anything like that, I would throw both a compressor and limiter on those, um, and then bypass. Um, you know, just set him up, and then, um, turn him off because you're probably gonna want to use them. We don't know for sure, but probably so it's a good idea just to throw them on there. So I put one on this whole beat, right? So just having this compressor going already just by its default setting without doing much . Ah, we probably just kind of improved this mixed quite a bit. So let me just here. A little bit of it where it kind of cooks. Oops. Um, soloed on some stuff. Okay. See, it's already a little crisper. Not a lot, but a little bit just by putting that compressor on there, tightening up some of those noise things. And then in addition to that, we've got ourselves all set up so that we can dive in and start doing some real mixing without too much distractions. So now we're all set to go. Okay, moving on. 24. The Art Of Mixing: Okay, So in this section, we're going to talk about, uh, the main elements to the mix. Now, this is really important to understand, because for the rest of the course, we're gonna work through, uh, how we build each of these elements into our mix. There are really six elements that you want tohave represented in a mix, and maybe I'll just point out here There's a lot of different ways to approach mixing and a lot of different ways to approach a mix. But this is how I learned how to do it, and this is the way that a lot of people do it. I should also say so. With that in mind, I want to re emphasize if I haven't done this enough already, that there's an art to this. You know, there's an art to mixing, and I'm not just going to be able to give you a formula that's has turned this up. Turn this down, and at the end you'll have a great sounding mix. There are certain things that we will do in order to make things sound better that are usually true in most cases. But in order to make a great sounding mix. You're gonna have to work in the same way that a painter works. You know, you're gonna have to say like, yes, I should put, you know, a blue cloud here. But what if I put a red cloud here? You know, what if I did something off the wall here, and that might be the thing that makes it brilliant, you know what I mean? So you need to approach this as an art form and there are and what we're gonna learn to do , uh, is identify kind of these main elements that were looking for and find what is the normal. And then you should be able to say But in this mix, I want to do something different. I want to focus on something really unique. I want to give it a lot of color. I want toe just really paint it really bold this time. So you'll have the freedom to do that once you understand how these things work. So there's the three dimensions of sound in the three dimensions of music. OK, so, um, let's just really quick talk about the differences between sound and music. This is a big philosophical thing that we don't need to go into, but basically to me. What I'm talking about when I talk about sound is I'm thinking more about the mechanics of the recording. I'm thinking about frequencies. I'm thinking about panning things like that when I'm talking about music. I'm talking about more of the musical elements, uh, in the mix, so I'll differentiate those a little bit more as we get into them, which is right now. So let's jump next over to the three dimensions of sound. 25. The 3 Dimensions Of Sound: Okay, The three dimensions of sound. Now, keep in mind there's gonna be a section on each one of these moving forward eso right now, I'm just giving kind of big picture. Then we're gonna dive in deep on how to craft these shortly. So the three things we're talking about when we talk about the three dimensions of sound are frequency panning and space. Um, so let me define a little bit of those frequency. This is the easy part, right? A lot of the time when people are mixing what they think their job is is just to make one thing louder than the other. Right? That's balance. That's different. That's a musical element that we'll talk about in the next video. What I'm talking about here is frequency. What we need to do here is basically make sure that all frequencies are coming through and all frequencies are easily represented. Let me show you what that might look like If I just take a spectrum will be working with spectrums a little bit later. Let me open this up. There are a lot of different spectrum utilities you can use, but I put this one on the master track, and I'm just gonna look at the frequencies of my music. Okay, so in the vertical here, we're going to see the volume and in the horizontal, we're going to see the frequencies. We're going to see low stuff down here, high stuff up here. And then how high it goes will be how loud it is. Okay, so there's what my track looks like. Okay, So what do I have here? I have. So what I have here is a lot of low stuff and then decent amount of mid stuff on the high stuff trails off right, And that's OK, That's pretty normal. But we want to craft this a little bit more and maybe make sure we have a little more high stuff. Maybe the low stuff isn't getting too overpowering, like that's a pretty serious low end right there. And this shouldn't curve all the way down like this. So we'll look at how this works later. But what we're seeing here is this is a spectrum and we're seeing all our frequencies represented, and we can tell what needs work and what doesn't need work. So that's one element of what we're going to be working out is making sure all the frequencies are coming through, and there's a good representation all the way across of all the different frequencies. Another element of sound is the panning, So the panning is the left and right balance. It might also be a three dimensional kind of panning if we're talking about mixing and surround sound, Um, I'm not sure if we'll talk about that in this class or not yet. Maybe we'll save that for a future class, but panning we will definitely be talking about. You know, that's if something goes in the left ear or the right here. We call that panning, and that is a key element to the mix. Um, the way the music feels in the two speakers and everything in between. It's not just left and right. There's things you can do to put music all the way, uh, in basically and as wide as you can see. We put music in that space, and we want Teoh again. Go back to the painting a picture analogy. We want toe paint, a picture that takes up the full canvas right? Not just one little spot on the canvas we want to use the full canvas, and we do that with panning. That also takes us a little bit into the third dimension, which is space. Okay, so space you can think about as more of a three d space. Think about, um, something that's really close to your face and something that's really far away. Okay, that's space. So panning, in a way is the left to right space and what I call space. Other people call it dimension. Things like that. I like to call it space. Depth is another thing. Depth works pretty well. Um, so panning is left and right. This is forward or close and far. Okay, so you can do something like like if somebody's recording, like right up on the mic like this, like they're right in the microphone like I am right now. Then my voice is really close, right? And you can do that in a mix to give a certain effect. But I might also add a bunch of reverb to something to make it right now. Different kind of death. Now, ST. But see how using this in a more subtle way adds a lot of space to the mix right way. Want things to feel like they're in way. Want the listener feel like maybe we want to feel like they're small will That has a lot to do with, um, how we mix. We want to put people in this space, and that is how we do it. Okay. Those three dimensions of sound frequency, panning and space. 26. The 3 Dimensions Of Music: now there's also the three dimensions of music that we deal with now. There are a lot of dimensions of music, I would say, and I'm using this word dimension a little weird, but, um, the ones that were concerned with when were mixing our balance, dynamics and interest. Okay, so let's talk about balance first balances that first thing that a lot of people think of is mixing. It's Are the drums too loud? Are the vocals too loud? Um, what needs to come up? What needs to come down? That's balance, right? And a lot of people make by doing that and then just stopping there. But there's so much more to mixing as we've just seen those three dimensions of sound. But balance is one of them, right? So we don't want to forget about that. That is an important element, making sure the balance is right, making sure that we hear everything where we want to hear it. We want to hear the vocals in front of the guitars. We want to hear the guitar solo in front of the backing guitars, all of those things so Balanced definitely plays in, and we will work on that dynamics is another one. That's the volume of the the whole Let's say so. We will look at. Is the chorus louder than the verse? Should the bridge get quiet and be quieter than the chorus? But these are dynamic questions that we're gonna ask. It's not, Ah, is the vocalist louder than the guitarist like? That's a balance question. The dynamic question is, for the whole, right. So should the chorus be louder than the verse for the intro? Be quieter than the first verse. Things like that you want to have some dynamic contrast that's important in a mix. If everything was just full force all the way through, then um, you're gonna exhaust the person listening to it. You know, they're going to get to the end of that song and be like, Oh my gosh, I can't hear another track by this person because it's just an assault, right? So dynamics is an important thing. The third element is probably the trickiest and requires the most interpretation, and that's just interest. So what is interesting about this mix now the thing that we tend to focus on is finding in the music the most interesting element. OK, so finding something unique in that music, finding the thing that needs to be the focus. Okay, I talk a lot about the focused element. Um, we'll talk more about that in just a second, but finding that interest point and then making sure that it is clear that it comes to the front, the thing that is the most important is the most prominent thing in the mix, right? So that's the kind of interest element, so we'll work on that to later in this course. So those are the three dimensions of music, as I like to call them. So, combined with the three dimensions of sound, we have six main things that we need to work through. We have the six dimensions of sound, which are our three dimensions of sound, which are frequency panning and space, and then the three dimensions of music which our balance dynamics and interest 27. The Focus Element: Okay, so let's talk a little bit more about this interest point or the focus. So I think of this like a camera. You know, I've been using the painting analogy for a while, but but let's switch over to a photography analogy when we're working with the camera. We might see a lot of things in the picture, but there's one thing that we're that gets the focus of the camera, right? So, in music, that could be a lot of things. Now it's really easy to say. Well, it's gonna be the lead singer, right? Um, it's easy to say. The lead singer is the most interesting thing, but it might not be, um, so I want to talk a little bit more about what I mean by focus here. Um, what is it in this song? You know, this song we're working on has no singer. So what's the focus? What should we focus on here? I don't know. Um, I'm gonna have to analyze this a little bit more and get a little bit deeper into it to really try to figure