Ultimate Ableton Live 11, Part 6: Mixing, Mastering, and DJing | J. Anthony Allen | Skillshare

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Ultimate Ableton Live 11, Part 6: Mixing, Mastering, and DJing

teacher avatar J. Anthony Allen, Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What We are Covering Here


    • 3.

      The Power of Audio Effect Racks


    • 4.

      Parallel Processing


    • 5.

      The Famous Fade To Grey Example


    • 6.

      Performance Effect Racks


    • 7.

      The World of Controllers


    • 8.

      Connecting Controllers


    • 9.

      MIDI Mapping


    • 10.

      The Ableton Push Interface


    • 11.

      Wavetable and Echo on the Push


    • 12.

      What are Follow Actions


    • 13.

      Legato Mode


    • 14.

      Setting Up Follow Actions


    • 15.

      Bouncing out Stems


    • 16.

      Loading Stems into a New Set


    • 17.

      Setting up Scenes


    • 18.

      Creating Remix and Transition Scenes


    • 19.

      Adding More Elements


    • 20.

      Using Chain Select Automation


    • 21.

      Mappings and Controllers for Performance


    • 22.

      Crossfader Setup


    • 23.

      Setting Up Effects for Performance


    • 24.

      DJ Performance Template


    • 25.

      More to Check Out


    • 26.

      Introducing James Patrick


    • 27.

      Advanced Techniques


    • 28.

      Session Organization


    • 29.

      Creating Stems


    • 30.



    • 31.



    • 32.



    • 33.

      Stereo Imaging


    • 34.



    • 35.

      Gain Staging Around The Bass


    • 36.

      Build The Pyramid


    • 37.

      Render Settings


    • 38.

      Mastering Theory


    • 39.

      Preparing To Master


    • 40.



    • 41.

      Additional Sweeteners


    • 42.

      Rendering and Referencing


    • 43.

      What Comes Next?


    • 44.

      Bonus Lecture


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About This Class

This course is "5-Star Certified" by the International Association of Online Music Educators and Institutions (IAOMEI). This course has been independently reviewed by a panel of experts and has received a stellar 5-star rating.

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Welcome to ULTIMATE ABLETON LIVE 11, PART 6: Mixing, Mastering, and DJing!

In this course, we will use the real-world experiences of the award-winning instructor and university music production professor Dr. Jason Allen. But don't be worried - Dr. Allen is best known around campus for keeping things simple, accessible, useful, and fun.

Dr. Allen is a professional musician, top-rated instructor, and university professor. In 2017 the Star Tribune featured him as a "Mover and a Shaker," and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes.


In this class, we are going to learn Ableton Live 11, and every aspect of the program. We will focus on how to do everything possible in Ableton Live, and you will finish this course as an expert in Ableton Live 11. Whether you have experience in music production already or not, this is the ultimate class to learn how to use the Ableton Live 11 software for any genre of music.

ULTIMATE ABLETON LIVE 10, PART 6 is everything you need to start making great tracks!

This is a really deep class - tons of content, tricks, and tips. Throughout the different "parts" of this class (there are six total) I'll go through literally everything I know about Ableton Live 11, and everything it took for me to become a Certified Trainer. I'll share some of my own tracks and give you some full sessions from my library to play around with and get you started.

In this part of the class, we are going to cover how to use the Live 11 software to learn the principles of mixing and mastering, as well as how to set up a performance for DJing. Including:

  • Audio Effect Racks

  • Working with Controllers

  • Follow Actions

  • Setting Up a DJ Set

  • Creating a Dynamic Performance Set

  • Mixing (With Special Guest James Patrick)

  • Mastering (With Special Guest James Patrick)

  • And Much, Much, More!

I will be making 6 (six!) complete "parts" in order to bring you the most comprehensive manual on Ableton Live production techniques ever created. Each class has Sets, sessions, and experiments for you to try on your own and follow along with.

You will not have another opportunity to learn about Ableton Live in a more comprehensive way than this.

The course is a roadmap to MAKING STUNNING TRACKS with Ableton Live 11.

All the tools you need to produce great tracks are included in this course and the entire course is based on real-life experiences - not just academic theory.

Meet Your Teacher

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J. Anthony Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


Dr. 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.

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone, welcome to Ableton Live 11. In this class we're going to cover all aspects of Ableton Live, from just learning the program to recording, to producing, two deejaying, mixing, mastering. Everything is going to be included in this huge multi-part class. This is Part six. In part 6, we're going to talk about mixing, mastering, and DJ. So we're going to show how to take tracks we've already made and convert them to a live performance setting so that we can use those tracks to DJ or do whatever we want. We're also going to focus on mixing and mastering. For that, I'm going to call in one of my colleagues who's a professional and mixing and mastering engineer. And he'll show us how he uses able to mind 11 and some of his top tricks from mixing and mastering. By the end of this class, you'll have completed tracks ready to send out to spotify, Bandcamp, whatever you want to do, everything will be 100% done and ready for string. So what actually is able to Certified Trainer people who have that credential. I have gone through a fairly rigorous process with be able to accompany to prove that not only your an expert at the program, but also, you know how to teach it. So the actual process of getting the Certified Trainer stamp of approval is a two-part process. One, you have to prove that you're a super ninja and the program to have to be a really skilled teacher or else they're not going to give it to you. And you see somebody that says they're unable to Certified Trainer, like me, you should know that that's someone who Ableton itself has given their stamp of approval after a very rigorous process. It's not just buying a certificate. I had to do a two or three-day line exam that included a lot of teaching demos. And in addition to that, I've been out to their international conference in Berlin to present unable to topics to the entire international live community. So it wasn't easy to get. I'm pretty proud of it and I'm hoping to bring the benefit of it to you up. 2. What We are Covering Here: Okay, So Part 6. So, so in this section we're going to get into some of the heavier stuff. And we're really going to focus on kind of three tools built into live or three kinds of areas of life. And they are, in fact, racks follow actions and mappings. Okay, though, these three things are what we're going to use to explore mixing, mastering, and performance. Okay? So, and we're going to start with a fact RAX. We're gonna go into controllers and then we're gonna get into follow actions, which is really fun stuff. And there's a lot of cool new follow action stuff in live 11. And then I'm going to tag in friend of mine to walk us through mixing and mastering. And you can bet he's going to be using a lot of effects racks in his mastering workflows. So without further ado, let's jump right in to getting down in the weeds with a factor acts. 3. The Power of Audio Effect Racks: Okay, So if you've been following along since the beginning of part 1 of this series of classes. You've seen Instrument Racks, you've seen midi effect racks. And in the last class, you saw effect racks just kinda introduced, right? So we already know what racks are and what racks do. But let me just put effect RAX into a little bit of context. Imagine you have a delay. In fact, let's do, let's make this while I'm walking through it. So here's our little demo that I've got for this. I just grabbed a little segment of a remix of a track of mine. Don't even let her know, I suppose. So. Let's build an effects rack and suddenly throw it right on there. And what I'm gonna do is make a super delay. Okay, and I'm just wanna do this as a demo of what we can do here. So I'm going to throw an empty effects rack on there. You can find audio effect rack in utilities. But there's nothing that right, so now I'm going to go to time and space. And I'm going to go to my chains. And I'm going to add our reverb and echo, a phaser flanger. Okay, so I'm going to rename these. This is reverb. This is flanger, I'm just going to call it that. And this is echo. Okay? I'm going to reorder these little bits by dragging them around. Okay, So what I'm gonna do here is I'm going to make a single knob. That's going to take my reverb from milliseconds all the way up to huge. Okay, so what that means is that I'm going to make an effect that's going to start off as a flanger, go up to reverb and then go up to delay echo in this case. Okay, now, what I'm gonna do is go to the chain selector for each of these. I'm going to open this all the way up. Okay, and I'm gonna say this one kicks on around 33. This one kicks on around 66. Know, when kicks out around 40. This one kicks on around 80. Top one kicks off around 50. It's going to let there be a little bit of overlap. That And then we're going to fade this one in faith, crossfade a little bit here to fade this one in, fade out, and fade this one in here. Let's make a little more overlap there. Sam Here. Okay, now, what I have created with this macro is a super delay. Right? Now, I'm going to take this chain selector. It's going to control click on it and map it to macro one. Now, what I've created here is a super delay because we're going to start off with something like a phasor. When this is all the way down. As I go up, we're going to add, cross-fade it into a reverb, which is like a bigger delay, but still a very, very small delay. And then it's going to push all the way into you, an echo, a big delay. So I have a delay that goes from effectively like a couple samples of delay all the way up until a couple of seconds of delay. That's right. Before I do that, let's create one more chain. And just let that dry all the way through so we can still hear the dry. Okay, So here we go. That's our flanger. As our big reverb or exam. I go, Hey, we can make that echo a lot of bigger. I'm going to call it back. All right, so the reason I've set this up is just to show you this idea of cross fading effects and building effect workflows, right? I could make it. So let's say we've always got the delay going AND, or weave. Or we map the stereo width to the same macro so that it gets wider as we get bigger. Right? So there's unlimited possibilities with this. You can get really complicated and you can also do some really amazing stuff. And a really simple way to this is one of my absolute favorite things about live as building audio effect chains, you can do stuff that is just unbelievably cool. So let's talk about what's actually going on behind the scenes with effect racks. 4. Parallel Processing: Okay, so the real power behind the audio effect for AKS comes from something called parallel processing. And here's what that means. That means that when we do this kind of a thing, what we're actually doing is our signal is coming in here and then it's splitting into four. And splitting is actually the wrong term. It's actually duplicating. Okay, So it's not like we have 25 percent of the signal in each channel and an array in each chain. We have a 100 percent of the signal in each chain, right? And it's processing all of them in parallel until the end when it's putting them back together. So that means that you can see how when I added this clean chain, we started to clip, right? Because we've just got too much signal. So you have to watch out for clipping your signal because you've essentially turned this one track into four tracks. That's another reason that at the end of a chain of effects, you might often see a limiter or a compressor just to kind of reel it in and make sure that it doesn't get too out of control. So parallel processing is a blessing and a curse. It makes us really powerful. There are also makes it a little bit dangerous. So keep your eye on your levels here. You can control what's going in. And you could also put a limiter on the other end just to keep it from blowing up on you. It's usually not a problem. I think there's some internal stuff happening to make sure that IT, to rein it in a little bit before it gets to the output. But you will often see a limit or just when you have a bunch of chains going just to keep it from clipping. So watch out for that parallel processing. 5. The Famous Fade To Grey Example: Okay, Let's look at an example that's built into live. This is a famous, uh, sort of famous effect rack. If you go into your audio effects or acts, audio effect rack, Presets, go to performance in DJ and grab this one called knob. This is actually called Fade to Grey. That's been renamed knob one Fade to Grey. Not really sure why. An older version of live, it was called faded gray. Now it's called knob one. And I think the idea here is that what they're trying to say is this is a one knob, big effect. This is what a lot of people use for transitions in performance. And it's almost kinda cheeky at this point, but let's look at how it works. So here's what it sounds like. So what we can do with this is turn this knob up when we're doing a transition. Slap it off. When we're at the end of the transition, like soft transition and transition. Right? So you can cut between two tracks that way you can do it everyone. So let's look at what's inside. Okay? And our chains. So we have just a single chain and we have two defects to effects, EQ three and a delay. Okay? And we have a bunch of mappings here. Okay, so if I move our one knob here, Let's see what happens. So on our EQ three are mids come down, just a little bit though. Are low comes up and our high goes down. Okay, it's cool. We also see that when we're all the way at 0, our delay turns off. And then turns on. When were anything other than 0? And our feedback comes up and our dry wet comes up. Okay, so that means we're doing a little bit of mapping here. So not only have we mapped these parameters, everything with a green dot, including the on-off here to this one knob. But we've also set up some custom mapping settings here with the map button. So let's click on that. Let's see what happens. So here's our knob. Fade. So IQ3, mid gain, that's this one. Right? So that is set at a minimum of 0 and a maximum of negative six. So that means it's just going to move a little bit, right? It's gonna go from 0 to negative six. Now, the second number is negative, which means it's gonna go down. If it was positive six, it would push it up. Okay, so that means that one's gonna go down as I turn this up, let's look at this low-frequency. It goes all the way from 50 to 200 three. So if we look at our mapping, frequency low 50 to 2.03, frequency high 18 to 2.18. So that number is lower. So it's gonna go down. This device on. Let's look at that. Minimum is one. No minimum could be 0, but it's not one. So 127 is the top. That means that everything from one to 127 is going to turn this device on because the device on is a binary button, right? It's got two states, often on. So off is 0, on is anything other than 0. So what this is saying is if that fade degrade knob, or if that fade knob is anything other than 0, turn it on. Feedback is going from 0 to almost maximum. They've cut it off a little bit before the top. Top would be a 100 percent and dry wet. Same deal. Okay, so that makes fairly dynamic thing. Pretty cool. So that shows how just with one chain and two simple effects, you can create this really lush effect by just using one knob and a bunch of mappings. 6. Performance Effect Racks: Now because of the insane ability to do these complicated mappings, you can see why these are good for performance. With performance, we can't stop and tweak, right? We need everything to be set up as much as possible that we can do with a button or not. So let's take a look at some of the presets in the performance. We've already looked at the Fade to Grey one, that's right here. Let's look at this master channel, DJ master channel. So clearly they want us to put that on our master if we have a complicated track. Now what we would do is map all of these two controllers, which we'll talk about in the next section. But let's just hear what it does. Let's go all the way wet with this. And then we can pull out our lows, push in, our lows, get just that kick thump in. So we've got a simple EQ setup. Fellow frequency shift. Give us a little wobble on it. Got reverb. We can wash everything out and reverb decay. Another good transition effect, and then dry, wet and a little volume boost. So a lot of stuff here. Let's take a peek inside. Yeah, you just gotta dry wet and then auto filter, reverb. And an EQ just end, just a whole bunch of mappings. Let's see what's in this DJ tools. But this one on here now I've got multiple effects. Were acts happening? Hey, DJ tools, motion, motion rate and motion shape. Motions solar. To that. And it's called by web labile and change the speed of it, adjusts the shape. That's a cool effect. So this is turning other things on and off, similar to how we saw on the fader faded gray example. We effectively soloing this motion effect. Scratch effect. Skeptical, let's hear it. Get rid of that motion. Man, not a fan of that high-pass High-pass filter for us to play with dry wet and then low-volume touch ups. So there's a lot of stuff in here that is just things made with racks that really useful if you're trying to set up a performance RIG where you might want to throw your tracks on their experiment with some of these, just to get your hands on some stuff that you can do quick. And in a way that gives you a lot of dynamic control over the music and is also totally safe, right? Because with all of these, the track is still flowing through if you play around with the EQ, this motion, even the scratch thing. But then you just crank it off. You haven't lost the baby because the baby is still going. That's what live is. One of the things that live is exceptionally good at. You're not going to lose the B. Always going to be there. 7. The World of Controllers: Okay, so there's tons of different kinds of controllers out there. I think in the first class, we talked about using midi controllers. Now we've used midi keyboards. I think I showed you some guitar controllers. There's lots of different things out here. Out there. This controller that we're looking at here is and Akai APC 40. This is kinda the classic able to in performance controller. In fact, I think that's exactly what APC stands for. In this case. This is designed to work with able to in it's really built for Ableton. As soon as I plug it in, this rack that I have up here, just automatically maps. I didn't do any mappings at all. It just knows what to do with this set. It also knows that track one here is my volume. It knows that my panning is here. So it just kind of works right out of the box. Now not all controllers are going to do that. This one is really designed for it. And obviously you can see I can launch Eclipse and it'll know what clips I have if I'm in session view. Now, another popular controller right now is able to push, or the push to. That is an incredibly good controller. It's not actually super designed for performance so much as it is for composition, but it does work well for performance also, if you want to use it. This APC 4D model is a bit outdated. They've got a couple of newer ones now, but I still like this one. It's it's simple, it works really well and it's just reliable. So the big thing to remember with controllers is that some of them are going to work right out of the box like this one because it's designed to work with Ableton and it has a feature called auto map, which means it just knows what's going on and it'll do it. Other controllers, not so much. You're gonna have to do mappings on your own. You can get virtually any controller to work with live. If you're willing to get into the weeds and do a little bit of mapping. So first, let's talk about how to set up these controllers, and then we'll talk about mapping. 8. Connecting Controllers: Okay, so in order to set up a controller correctly, we need to go back to our preferences. And we need to take a look at our midi tab because all of these controllers are Midea. Okay, so I'm gonna go here. And then I'm going to look here. So my APC 40, it just side. I didn't need to do anything. So it says control surface. And what we're really talking about here is a control surfaces. These are typically not in the shape of a keyboard, although they can be. And a keyboard can be used as a control surface. But what these are is they give us control over a lot of the program. So this particular one needs both input and output. So output is from the controller to live. That's what I need. Input is from live to the controller so that my controller knows what live is doing. That's how I can auto map things and have live actually update the controller to I. Hey, now you'll also see it come up in under midi devices here. And I want remote and track selected. You'll see it again down here as output device. It only needs remote because I'm not inputting midi notes. So essentially, if you want to use something as a control surface, you want it to show up here. Okay? There's a whole bunch of things built in. You might need to install drivers for your control surface if you're using something different. But it'll come up. Now, even if it doesn't come up here, if it only comes up here as a midi device, you can still use it as a midi controller. We're just going to need to do some mappings. So let's go into how to set up those mappings now. 9. MIDI Mapping: Okay, so the key to setting up any mappings, whether you're using any midi device, is this midi button up here. You can also get it with Command M if you want. So I'm going to click on Midea and then anything that's blue, I can map to any midi thing that I have. Okay, So I'm still sitting in front of my APC 40, so let's play around with that. Maybe I wanna do something different with my APC 40. What if I want my crossfade knob to control my dry wet mix of this rack. I'm going to click on it once. Okay, and then I'm just going to move that thing that I want to map it to K and just wiggle that thing and now it's attached to it. That's all I need to do. Get out of midi mapping mode done. And now my crossfade is set to this rack dry wet. This is actually a common thing that you'll see people do is put all their effects on the crossfade knob of a controller so that they've got, they're dry signal all the way over here and they're wet signal all the way over here. And then as they're performing, they keep it on dry. And then if they want to do something like that big Fade to Grey, They just one group and then smash it back over to get rid of it. So I could do more midi mappings. Let's say I wanted to map. What else am I not using? Let's go back into midi map mode, and let's map my LFO rate to this knob. Okay, so I clicked at once up there and now I'm just going to wiggle it here. And now I got it. You can see a little assignment came up there and get out of midi mapping mode. And it takes over. So now this knob is now my rate for my LFO. Okay? And your mappings are going to stay with your session. Okay, so if I save this session, now, my load it back up again. It's going to come right back. It's not going to carry over to another session. Unless I use a template. I could save this as a template over here. And then the mapping, we'll stick with it. But if I just saved my session and then reopen my session, all my mappings will come with it. 10. The Ableton Push Interface: Okay, so let's talk about the Ableton Push to controller. So I have here in Ableton Push too. And the biggest thing that you'll notice about the push to is that it knows a lot about what Ableton is doing. The whole idea behind the push to controller is that you could write a whole track without ever looking at your screen. You need to be connected to able to in a computer to use the push two. Because it doesn't actually have live in it. It needs to talk to live, but it knows just about everything that's going on. So here's my kind of rock of buttons. I can adjust these and you can see it automatically adjusting on the screen. This is actually made by Ableton, so it is integrated on every level. I can go to the track, I can go to my sends. Here's my EQ. It's got really beautiful graphics built into it. So I can just really get control of things. And it has the grid. Now this grid is not so much designed to launch clips. It's actually designed to be more of a keyboard. If I pull up an instrument here, just thrown analog up, and you'll see it update right away. So now I have, I have everything I need to play some music. And in this case, the way it's set up is that it's in C major. These different colored nodes are my Cs. I can queue up any scale or anything like that and make it so I can play totally chromatic if I want. I could adjust any settings of the synth up here. If I can, if I navigate through it, Let's change it to be a rectangle wave. Now, I say that this isn't designed to be a clip slot grid launching tool, but it does obviously have a mode where you can do that. So people do use this as a performance controller where you can go into clip launch mode. And you can do all kinds of fun stuff like this Quantize button can be really fun and give you some really cool effects. But primarily we think of this as a composition tool. He's died you that being said, it is a super great controller and if you got the extra cash, I highly recommend getting one. My favorite thing about it actually is not the performance element of it, but the way that this is basically just a midi keyboard laid out in a really weird way. Helps me just come up with some new ideas, right? Like when I put my hand down on a piano, I'm gonna do something because I know how to play piano a little bit. But here, it's just so different that I might come up with something different just by the way, the things that it makes my brain do, that's just different. So I come up with different ideas, right? Because it's a whole different instrument. So it's kinda fun for that. But it's not my favorite performance tool. 11. Wavetable and Echo on the Push: The one thing though that I should say that the push has that nothing else has, is an absolutely beautiful interface for some of the Live devices, in particular, wave table and echo. If I load up a wavetable device here, let me load up. We basically see the whole wave cable interface. Let me get something a little earlier. There we go. And now we can see it working. And it's really fun to play with the echo effect. With the echo tunnel is also really fun. So it really is a beautiful controller. I just wanted to point that out. 12. What are Follow Actions: Okay, Now, up next, let's talk about follow actions. Now. Follow actions are kind of hidden all over live 11. They were kind of in previous versions of live. They were really kind of only found for the most part in the clip slot grid. But one of the cool features about live 11 is you can find follow actions and a lot of different places now. So in order to learn them, Let's go over to session view and kinda learn them kind of classically how they've been used. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna take this clip that we've been working with. I'm going to add another one, which is this later part of the same team. Okay, so I'm gonna take both those clips. I'm going to take that one and that one. Oops. Select them both. And I'm going to click and hold down like I'm going to move them somewhere and I'm going to press Tab, take him over to Session View and drop them right there. Now you'll notice this big red square. We didn't have that before. Or I guess it's a rectangle. What that is is that's telling me that Live sees my Ableton Push. And this is what's showing up on my push screen. So you probably don't have a big red rectangle unless you have a push. So if I set my push into the mode that lets me launch clips, this is what I'm going to be able to see on my screen, is all this year, right? If I have a bunch more clips, I'm not gonna be able to see all of them. So this red rectangle kinda shows me what's in focus. And I can scroll down and scroll up. The APC 40 does the same thing, although I think it's a green box. Remember? So the red thing just shows me what I'm seeing. I'm going to turn that off by just unplugging my push just so that it's not confusing to those of you that don't see it. Okay? And now it goes away because I'm not going to use my brush at the moment. Okay, so what I have here is this clip. And let's set up a loop here. Zoom in a little bit to set this to be right on this one-to-many. Okay? So now I have that loop going, and now I don't really need to set up a loop for this other one. We're just going to launch and that's going to play to the end. So. What we can do here with follow actions is we can say, I'm going to let this loop for a while. And then at some point something's going to automatically happen. Okay? So in order to get to our follow actions, we have to hit this little triangle here. Now in older versions of live follow actions just showed up through a little button down here, but now they're in this little triangle. Okay, so we're going to hit that triangle. Now we see our follow actions. Okay? So I'm gonna turn on follow action and I get another one of these little double drop-down menus. This one works a little different than the other double dropdowns that we've seen before. What this one does is this says, what percentage of the time is this going to happen? And what percentage of the time is this going to happen? Okay. This is laid out a little bit differently than it used to be if you're looking at an older version of live, this is a little bit different workflow, but it's the same concept. So we could say 100% of the time play the next clip as what that says. Okay, so that means that at the end of this loop, it's going to move on and play the next clip. Let's do it. You can see this one already warmed up. So it automatically went on. I could say a 100 percent of the time. Stop. Play it again. So effectively loop it. Play the previous clip. So go up one, play the next clip, play the first clip on that track, play the last clip on that track, plate. Any clip? Play other which would be any clip except the same one that's currently playing or jump. Not really sure what jumped does. This is a new one. And I assume it means jumped to a random spot. So these two are random functions and this is a third function, random function. I've experimented with this jump one yet. So I only have two clips, so I can't do very much with any randomization, right? But let's say next clip, which will be this kind of brake section. And let's change a 100 percent to 50 percent. So 50 percent of the time it's going to jump to the break. It's actually even make that smaller. Let's make it 25 or so, okay. Every other time it's going to play again. Okay, so now 75 percent of the time the loop is going to, it's going to loop again. But 25 percent of the time, it's going to decide randomly to jump to the break. Let's try. I can kinda tell what it is. The RD is decided for its next move based on what's flashing. Right? It's still going to stay on there. Still deciding to stay there. Still stay in there. This is what you get with random stuff. Still stay in. It's going to make for a very boring old demonstration area. Okay, So now it's got the next section queued up and it's going to jump there. Okay, so what I basically did there was kind of automate what's going to happen after this loop. Okay? Now, what if I wanted to say loop this four times and then go on? I would do there is I would say play the next clip 100% of the time after four passes through the loop. Okay, so now it's going to play through that loop four times and then go on to the next one. So no more randomization here. This is going to be solid. It's going to play the loop four times. You can see this is queued up already. There's 23. And here's far. So now it's going to go on to the next goal. So if you don't want to use randomization in your performance is, or even composition. There's actually a cool composition trick you can do with this, which I'll show you in a minute. This is a good way to just say when I launched this clip, wait for a 16 times through the clip and then go on to the next section. It can force you to move on. So follow actions can be really fun to give your performance both some predictability and also some randomness. 13. Legato Mode: Okay, so before I show you my composition trick, I need to talk about legato mode. Okay, so that's this button down here. K. So the way follow actions work now, so far, what we've seen so far is that a follow action gets called at the end of a clip, but it doesn't need to be that way. You can call it whatever you want. So if we said unlinked, It's not going to be number of times through the track, it's going to be number of beats. So here we have bars, beats and 16th notes, right? So let's say every two bars, okay, now this loop is four bars long. Okay, so we're gonna cut in half here. Every two bars trigger a follow action is what I'm now saying. Ok, so everything else still works. We can say, play the next one, every Jew bars. Now if I said six bars here, it's going to play through the loop twice, 2.5 times or 1.5 times actually. So let's just say two bars. And then here for launch, Let's say legato. Now what that means is that it's going to, we're going to be halfway through our loop here, right? We're going to be two bars in. So when it goes to the next clip, it's going to start that two bars in, okay? In other words, it's going to take over the new clip where the first clip left off. So let's think about a practical use for that. This isn't really one, but one would be you have to drum loops, right? And you say every beat, randomly choose to go to the other drum loop or not. So if you're on beat one in first drum loop on B2, you say go to another drum loop and it does. You want it to start on beat 2, not jump backwards to be one. If you had beat one, then you're just going to here B1, a whole bunch of big ones, right? If you wanted to go to B2, and then the next time you wanted to go to beat three, right? So it's always moving, but keeping the flow going right. That's actually the exact composition trick I want to show you. So let's go to a new video and do that. 14. Setting Up Follow Actions: Okay, This is kind of a silly track, but it actually generates some really cool beat sometimes. Okay, So I'm just gonna throw a whole bunch of drum loops into a fresh audio track. Let's call. It's cool. It's cool. Let's go. Sure. One more. Sure. Get weird. Okay, so now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select all of these. Okay? So I've shift click to select all of them. And now I'm gonna go to the following actions and turn it on. And this is going to apply to all of them. So what I'm gonna say is a 100 percent of the time go to a different one, jump around. And we say unlinked. And we're going to do it every one beat. Cool, easy. Now. And we're gonna say legato mode. Okay, so that means every beat, it's going to go to different drum loop. And it's going to pick up where the previous one left off. So it's gonna go from B1 to B2 to B3 to be for exactly how we would want a drum loop to do. But it's going to switch around which one. So in order to kick us off, I gotta do is start with one of them and then it's just going to start flying. Okay. So right now it's still launching by bar. And I, oh, I see why? Because this switched from, this went back to one beats. So I need this to be 0, 1, 0. Let's try that. There we go. Okay, cool. Let's get even weirder with it. And say every eighth note, which will be 2 16th notes. Oops, I didn't set that for all of them. So I'm gonna say 002 16th notes. Golds get even weirder. Let's go every 16th note, switch to another one file. So you can have a lot of fun. We follow actions. I like. 15. Bouncing out Stems: Okay, let's talk about setting up a session for performance. In other words, to DJ a track, how are we going to set things up? So I'm going to go back to this thing that we made in the previous section. Okay, so let's say we wanted to use this as a live performance. We wanted a DJ this in a set. So the first thing that I'm going to do is bounce out the stems. So the term stems can mean a few different things depending on who you're talking to. It could mean each individual track or it could mean the groups of tracks. So for my purposes here, I'm going to treat it as the groups of tracks. I don't want the ability to launch every single one of these tracks. I want to kind of pare it down to the elements that I'm going to want to control independently. So before I do anything, I'm just going to combine these into single loops so that everything stays in sync. So like see how this one is shorter and it's actually two clips. What I'm gonna do here is just select this whole thing and press Command J. That's going to combine it into one clip. Okay, easy enough. Same thing with this one. I'm just going to make this be the whole length. You may or may not need to do this depending on how you're bouncing things. But it's just kind of habit that I've gotten into. So I'm going to select this whole thing and press Command J. It's going to convert it into a clip that is the whole length. So now if I loop each one of these clips, they're going to be exactly right. Now. Let's balance everything out. So I know I'm going to want this voice to be its own thing. Okay, so I'm just going to solo that one and export it. So I'm going to go to File Export. I already have something selected, so I know that my start and length time is correct. Now, when you're in this window, you could export all individual tracks. That's going to give you an audio file for every track that we have here. And that can work for some stems. But because I'm going to group a bunch things together, I'm not gonna do it that way. So I just have this one soloed, so this is all here. Okay, and let's go. So let's call this Vox. And we'll bounce that out. The next thing I'm going to want is these drums by themselves. Right? Now if I solo this, I'm not going to get that delay in there. So let's solo that delay also. Add in that eco will add that delayed back in when we set this up in session view. For now, Let's just solo it as is and spit it out. So Export Audio master, but it's soloed, Let's say drums. Okay, Next, let's see what's here, what this is. Okay, this clicky stuff, weird stuff. So the piano stuff, clicky stuff, clicky stuff, and clicky stuff. Okay, So let's put all our clicky stuff together. That works. So let's export this. And let's just call this clicky. And I'm really just trying to group things together as much as possible. So now I'm going to take everything else that works. And what do we call this? This is like the ambiance of the track, so let's call it ambience. Okay, so now I have all my stems from this track. If I take all of those things, I just bounced out those four tracks that I just bounced out, load them into Eclipse and play them all at once. I'm going to have this. So let's do that. 16. Loading Stems into a New Set: Okay, so now I'm in the same session, but I just went over to Session View. I could go to a totally new session here, but I do want to keep my effects, so I'm going to stay in the same session and load these into the clip slot grid. Okay, so I'm going to grab all of these from my Finder. So there's all four of them. And I'm going to plop them in. Now. Before I let go, you'll notice that if you are holding multiple files and you drop them into the clip slot grid, they're going to show up on the same track. If you're continue to hold these files. So and I clicked and dragged and I haven't let go of that click yet. If I press the command key, it's going to not put them, all four of them in the same track, but distribute them between subsequent track. So if I press command, you see them go across into different tracks. So let's do that. So now I'm going to let go. Okay, so now I have my four things. Okay, so if I turn off my soloing here and I launched this whole scene, one thing to remember is that I'm not dropping these back into the same tracks that they were on before, right? Because they were on all of these tracks over here. And now I'm just using the first three tracks. So I'm going to need to reconfigure my mixer a bit. And that also means I'm not going to want to go back over to Session View with this track. So in most cases actually think it's better just to use a fresh Ableton session for this than to try to use the same thing, because we're probably going to combine a whole bunch of tracks. You know, once you set up a whole performance. But for now, let's just pull some things back and adjust our mix a little bit. Okay, Good enough. So now we've got everything keyed up, ready to go. Now, let's build some scenes. 17. Setting up Scenes: Okay, so now I'm set up to effectively perform this. I can launch these however I want. I can go down here and stop all of them and say, let's just launch the ambiance. Have that go for a bit. Pulling that vocal, maybe dropped the drums down. Right? I can do that, however. And it is sometimes wise to set up scenes depending on how complicated your thing is with just these four clips. We don't need to. Let's do it anyway. So remember scenes are the horizontal row of clips. And we can launch a scene from over here. Basically what it's gonna do is let us set up kind of combinations in advanced. So let's say, I'm going to want to start with just this ambiance like I did. So I'm going to leave those empty. So when I launched the second scene, I want to be sure ambience keeps going, so I'm going to copy that down there. Okay, and then second thing I'm gonna do is pull it in. Just the vocals. And then the third thing will be just the drums and then everything. And I want to make sure that the vocals keep going and maybe I'll actually pull the vocals out here. Okay, so now when I launched my first scene, I'm just going to get ambience. Oops, I launch my second scene. I'm going to get a ambiance and the vocals. When I launched my third scene, I'm going to get ambience drums and vocals. When I launched my foreseen, I'm going to get ambience clicky stuff in drums. Now, if you wanna get fancy, we didn't really have to duplicate our ambience all the way through here. I could get rid of those and just remove that little stop on here, right? Because I don't want to leave this empty because when I launched this scene, right, what it's going to say is play vocals, stop anything on this track because it's going to hit that stop button. Stop anything on this track and stop anything on this track, right? So I don't want to hit that stop button. So one way to do it is just to copy that down. So, oops, so that it hits that Play button again, right? But another way would be to click here and press Command E. That takes away the Stop button. So now this one is going to keep playing when I launched this scene. So maybe I get rid of that all the way through. Could do the same thing with this drums. Just hide that. With this focal, just hide that. Now I'm going to get effectively the same thing. It doesn't really matter which way you do it. It just kinda depends on cleanliness and what you like to see. For me. It's a little bit easier to see what's going on. If I duplicate the clip, doesn't really save memory or anything like that. But either way works. If you have a huge session, you might just want to hide some of the stop buttons. Or if I had like this ambiance is going to play just forever. I might just get rid of all of these Stop buttons and then just know that that one's going on forever. You can do it that way. It's just fine. Okay, so now we have scenes. Let's rename these scenes. So I'm going to go Command R. I'm just going to call this intro. Let's call this Vox enter. Let's call this drums enter, and let's call this main. So this is going to be our main group. Okay? Well, we did just discover a little problem here, right? If I just click on main, I'm not going to launch my ambience unless it's already going. So that is kind of a benefit of putting it everywhere. Now if I just click on Name, we will hear everything. Okay? And now I can jump around, right? I can go back to just the ambient. It's cool. Go here. And if I'm feeling it, I can still just launch stuff by clicking on it. By just clicky stuff. I can do that. So you can go between both. It doesn't really matter. But setting up scenes is a great way to just kind of organize your thoughts a little bit. But still it gives you room to really kind of just improvised by launching clips whenever you like. 18. Creating Remix and Transition Scenes: Now a lot of times what we do when we're trying to set up a DJ performance is we're going to have one session that has our whole performance on it. You're not going to play this one and then close live than open a different track, right? You're gonna put all your stems and everything you need for each track into one live performance session. So let's say we have another tune here. Okay, So these are different songs. Let's even kinda do this and do that, and sure. Okay, So we have two different tunes. So I left some space in between two of them. That can be fine. Sometimes just leaving space is handy. But that space might also be useful. You might decide that you want to create a couple of clips to go in here that help you transition between the two songs, right? For example, maybe let's use this clicky thing or not. Let's use the drums. Let's use the drums to get through there. I'm going to rename this drums transition. Not going to worry about spelling right now. And maybe I'm going to do something to this drum clip. Maybe I'll, I don't know, transpose it a little bit just as I don't know something. So now I'm on our main group. I can use this as a way to start pushing us into this next group, whatever it's going to take to get us into this next group. Maybe it's a tempo adjustment, maybe it's a pitch adjustment. Maybe it's just that huge Fade to Grey effect, right? Just to kinda wash things out for a minute and let us drop in the new track. So give yourself some space between tracks and then make some transition clips that will help get you between the two tracks. 19. Adding More Elements: Another popular thing to do is add some elements to your set that you can play live. You've probably got some kind of controller, like we talked about, whether it's a push to or even an APC 40. You can do this. Or just any kind of midi keyboard or anything. Add some elements that you can play live. So let's, for example, throw in a drum kit. So I'm gonna go, I'm gonna make a new midi track here and throw a drum kit on it. And we'll just leave this right there. That makes it so that with my controller or my keyboard or whatever I want, I can live. Throw in some drums if I want to. This is how you often see performers like playing. And then they've got like some drumsticks and they're hitting a pad. This is just how they have it set up. They have drum kits queued up, ready to go. Now they might have a different drum kit queued up for each track. And we'll talk about how to set that up in just a second. But you might just be playing your 2ND and then just want to throw in, throw in a snare hit. I know that sounds like it's off and I have no rhythm, but it's because of the delay and the screen recording software. Trust me. I have rhythm. It was on the beat. So throw in some elements, doesn't have to be drums can also just keys, can be, you know, your midi guitar, anything that you know how to play and you're comfortable with, give yourself the ability to pick it up and play some notes on that tune. So let's talk about how you might set up different sounds for each song using an instrument rack. 20. Using Chain Select Automation: Okay, so let's say on 12, on this first tune, I want to play drums and on the second team, and I want to play piano, all using the same keyboard. Hey, that's actually easy enough. We don't need to make a separate track and then switch between them live. What we're gonna do is we're gonna take this, we're going to take our drums and we're going to put it in a group so that we have an instrument effect rack. So that was Command G. Put it into a rack. Now you'll notice it's already interact, which is already in Iraq, but now that's also in Iraq. So here we'll rename this chain as track 1. And we'll add a new chain by just control clicking somewhere. And we'll rename this one track 2. Now we'll add our piano. And let's go to instruments. Give me something that sounds like a piano instrument rack, piano and keys. There's a piano. Throw that down there on track two. Okay, so now we have a piano. So how are we switch between these? We could do it a bunch of different ways. As we've seen when we played around with Instrument Racks. We could do it by different key ranges. So when it's in the low side, we have drums, but when it's everything above low stuff, we have the piano. That's how you would do it right there. That limits the notes you can play on the piano. So I don't like that. We could do it with velocity so that when we play quietly, we get drums or loudly we get piano. Probably more practical would be the opposite of that. But that sounds super dangerous, right? Because we're going to be in a performance, we're going to be playing around, we're going to be going crazy. I got to remember to adjust how hard I'm playing notes. And that's not a very good way to do it. So let's not do that. We could just use our Jane's elector and say, We're just going to dedicate a knob to this. Okay, so we're going to find some knob. And we're going to say when it's all the way, since we only need two states here, what I would probably do is that, so when it's, the knob is all the way down, it's going to be drums. And when it's all the way up, It's going to be piano. That way we can just take that knob, smash it all the way down. It's going to be drums, smash it all the way up. It's going to be piano. And might even give yourself a little bit of a range so that you don't have to worry about hitting the absolute top. Maybe something like that. But now you're gonna switch between the two of those. So we're gonna be playing drums down here. I'm going to take that knob, smash it all the way to the top. And now I'm playing piano. You can add as many of those chains as you want. Just keep going. And then just add more areas in here. For the other chains. After you add a lot of them, it will be hard to keep track of. And you might want to switch over to using a button for this, so that you can press a button and it jumps to a certain value. You can do that by mapping this to a macro. And then going into your map settings. And doing a mini-map from your buttons to trigger certain values of your chain selector. So I see people do this where they set up, you know, ten different midi tracks up here. And then they switch which one is armed so that they can play to it. That's a really inefficient way to do it. An instrument rack where you have one track that's has all these Instrument Racks on it. And you can dial in which one you want to play. Much more efficient way to do it. 21. Mappings and Controllers for Performance: Okay, in this section, I've put together just kinda of a handful of random tips for putting together a performance session in live 11. So the first thing we need to dive into is key and midi mappings. We've talked about these a little bit here and there, but there most important now, when we're talking about setting up a performance session for DJ. So the key thing to remember is that we have these two buttons up here, key in midi. Key mapping is going to let you map anything on this. Okay? Midi mapping is going to let you connect more or less any other kind of control or you have connected to your computer. So with key mapping, if I press it, anything, orange can now be mapped to a key. Okay? Now there's one important thing you have to consider here. Let me say, let's say I just want to launch this clip every time I press the a button. Okay, there I pressed. So all I have to do is click on the thing that I want to map and then click on or press the thing that I want to map it to. So I just clicked on this clip, that's tongue twister. And then I pressed a, and now those things are mapped. So now I'm going to turn off mapping. Now every time I press a, I'm going to launch that clip, but it doesn't work, right? And up here you see things turn red. When things are turning red at you, it generally means something's wrong. What's happening here? The reason that mapping isn't working is because I have this computer midi keyboard turned on. That means my my keypad is acting like a midi keyboard, which can be handy if you don't have a keyboard to input notes on and things like that. Using your keypad can be handy. But if I map notes, now I've got a key doing multiple things, right? The letter a is supposed to play a midi note and launch this clip. So it's confused. So that's what this red blinking here is saying. Is it's saying I don't know what you want me to do. So in order for this midi mapping or this key mapping to work, I have to turn off the computer midi keyboard. Now when I press a lot of that clip. So key mapping, just make sure that you turn off computer midi keyboard. If you wanna do anything, anything can be mapped. Also note that you get some extra little controls that come up. See you this row of play buttons and this row of play stop and then some arrow keys here. These are kinda extra things that only come up when we're in the mapping mode, right? They come up in midi mapping mode also. Okay? But what this means is this means play the currently selected clip. Okay, So I'm going to map that to, I don't know, Q, K. And then I'm going to map this arrow down, no arrow up to be an arrow down to our. Okay, I'm going to turn off key mapping. Now what this means is see how this scene is lighter gray. That means it's selected. So with my E and R, Now, I can move that selection up or down, right? And now with q, I can launch whichever one on this track anyway that we have selected. So I could go down here and say launch that one by pressing Q. If I now go up to here. Okay, So when is this useful? I find this most useful when I'm using a foot pedal. And the way I actually do it is not whether this, so I'm going to click on this one and press Delete. That's going to get rid of that mapping. But I'm going to go to the scene, and I'm going to press. I don't know. Q. Okay. So now what I have is I can go up and down, and then launch that whole scene. Right when I get there and I can move them to another one, launch that seem right. So now I can move up or down and launch the scene. So if I did this with midi mapping and I had a foot pedal, and this is how my performance setup used to work. I would dedicate one foot pedal to be up and one foot pedal to be down. And I would go up and down with those two feet petals and then one foot pedal to be launch, I used a Beringia fc 1010 foot pedal. It's around here somewhere. And it has eight, actually has 10 petals on it. So three of them could be devoted to moving up and down and then launching a scene. So don't forget about these extra little row of things you get when you're in mapping mode. Mini mapping mode works the same. You just click thing. Anything that's blue can be mapped. So let's say you wanted to do something strange, like you wanted to turn on or off the metronome. When you move some kind of slider or, or any other kind of controller you've got that could do it. Now in order for this to work properly, make sure that in your preferences and Midea, you've got remote selected on whatever it is you want to control things. Okay, now that I have remote selected, I could go to metronome and press on and I'll present note. Okay, I pressed, see. So now whenever I play the note C, if I turn off midi mapping mode, it's going to turn on my metronome. So if it's off, it's going to turn it back out. So that's cool. So anything blue, you can map. Loop points, start, stop. Arms, record. Tempo. This is like nudging the tempo. Anything in your plug-ins, anything in your mixer, lots of stuff. You'd have a lot of fun with that. 22. Crossfader Setup: Okay, Now one thing we haven't looked at yet is these little buttons down here show us some extra stuff. And one of them is particularly important to us. Here. This little x is going to show us cross-fade. So if you've ever seen in DJ perform, they're often wearing headphones. Hearing something in their headphones, it's different than what's going out to the house, right? And they have a cross fader. We already looked at mapping the cross fader on the APC 40 to a different parameter just for fun. But how a cross fader is normally used is something like this. And typically on something like the APC 40 that actually has a cross fader. That cross fader is going to be mapped to this cross fader, which is like the crossfade are built into live. You can map whatever you want to this. If you've got any kind of controller that has an up, down slider or anything like that, you can map it to this cross fader. Now what this does is you'll see that in addition to this slider, we also got all these little ABs. Okay? So this is a and this is b, right? So for each track we're going to assign it to either a or B. So let's say this one is a and this one is B. These are B. Or you can say these are a. These are all a and all my effects. Or B, if we wanted, could do it that way to all my not all my Effects necessarily, but all my buses are B. But let's keep it simple. Let's say these are bees and these are a's. So now what you're hearing is a and B. So you can slide between them. And this is what's gonna go out. Your master is gonna be a, B or both, or some mix of them. You can set up your headphones, which is this volume here to here the opposite. You would do that in your settings. Or more commonly, your headphones might hear both a and B. And then you can decide which one to send out to the main with this cross fader. So cross faders totally mappable and it's kinda hidden away. Let's look at what else is here. Also, this track delay, I believe is something new in live 11. This is a, this is not an effect. This is a very teeny tiny delay like, like milliseconds that we would use for phasing issues. Like, let's say, you've got a track where this is panned all the way left and as a pen all the way right, let's say. And the left speaker is right next to you and the right speaker is way far away. That might cause a problem because you've got a super long cable heading to the right speaker. So you might delay the left speaker just a little bit, not that much. Just so that it, the sound gets to both speakers at the same time. So you wouldn't use this as any kind of delay effect. This is like a compensating for a weird sound system in a room. Kinda deal. So I'm going to turn that off. And then down here, we have a little CPU meter that shows us what each track is doing. You can see that here. This shows what percentage of my computer is able to is using. So right now able to using 4%, I can get a little more info if I go here. But down here it says what each track is using. None of these are using very much at all. That local one is using a little bit, right? When it's playing. It's got a lot of effects on it and things, but everything else is not even breaking through the smallest amount of CPU usage. So I'm in good shape. If you've got this screaming and this is up in the 60 or 70 percent, then you're at risk of your computer crashing. So if that's happening, you might want to open this up so you can see which track is causing you the problem and then perhaps flatten that track or something to lighten the load. But normally I keep it hidden. And I keep the cross fader hidden when I'm not doing any kind of DJ stuff. So just know about those, especially cross fader. 23. Setting Up Effects for Performance: Okay, One tip about effects in performance. A lot of what you're going to be doing when you're performing with live is manipulating effects. So you don't really want a situation like this where you've got a ton of effects and you have to scroll over to get to everything. That's just too much on the screen. You really want to simplify this. So this is a good use for a rack, okay? You can use AraC with a single chain just to take advantage of the macros. For example. Let's take all of this. So I'm going to command, I'm going to shift click to select all of this stuff. And then Command G is going to put it in a rack on a single chain. This is going to sound exactly the same. Okay? We've only got one chain going. And it's that. Okay, so we did not change what's happening in the processing of the audio here. But what we did get by doing that is our macros. So with this we can say, Okay, of all of this stuff, what do I really want to see? I want the Dry Wet of this course. So let's map that to a macro. I want the Dry Wet of the AMP. I maybe want to set my amp type to a macro, right? So if I map that AMP type and I scroll through it, it's going to scrub through my different types of amps. It's cool. Maybe I want to do that. Dry weather, this cabinet maybe I want don't need that tuner, don't need that auto pan, whatever. Okay. So maybe those are the only four things I need. So I don't need to look at this huge list of things and scroll around. I can just hide those, can hide the chains. And just have that. Now I can map these to some devices and I don't have to dig through this track at all. Simplicity is great. Okay, So remember you can rename these, control clicking on them. And you can say whatever it is. You can change the color of them just to make them pop and help you remember what's what. And you can do some customized mappings so that you don't go all the way to the top or all the way to the bottom. Whatever you like. This will just simplify everything. Oh, and don't forget, you can get more macros if you want. Now, through this plus button, you can get up to 16 macros here. So that can be really handy or you can scale them down to make it even more simple. Now we just have our four macros that we're going to need here. So put things on an effect rack just to take advantage of the macros. You don't even need to have my multiple chains. Everything all sound the same. 24. DJ Performance Template: Another great tip for creating a performance session is to save it as a template. And we talked about what templates were way back in the beginning when we were looking at the browser. But let's say we've set up everything how we wanted. Our key mappings are midi mappings are Beck's our macros. We've created the perfect performance setting. So what we can do now is go to File, Save as Template. And that comes up here. So we can say DJ, set and press return. Okay, and now that went to user library. But if we go to our templates tab here, it's going to come up. Dj set. There it is. So now whenever we go to create a new one of these, we've got a template all set up. The most important thing about this is that it saves your midi and key mappings. There's not a way to change globally. Key mappings. In other words, you can't save. You can't go into preferences and make custom key mappings in live. You can't add some other programs and that would be cool. A lot of people have asked for that. But to my knowledge, there's no way to do that in live. But with templates, you basically can, because your key mappings will stay in the template. So if I load this up and create something new with it on my key mappings are going to be there and my midi mappings as well. So it's kind of a way around that. So these templates are really great. 25. More to Check Out: Okay, last thing I just want to say about creating a system for live performance, using Ableton Live is that there's no wrong way to do it and everybody does it different. Okay, so the key things you want to do is figure out how to take advantage of what skills you're comfortable with. So if you're comfortable playing a guitar, find ways that get your fingers to move in that similar way. Maybe use a guitar controller, maybe use a different controller that lets you articulate with your left hand and city you're right or something like that. Everybody does it different. A good example that I like to point out is this guy Moldova. He's really interesting and his live performance setup as fascinating because he's really into custom controllers. So he's got this guitar that has all these extra buttons on it. And he's got this crazy contraption that he had built, which is just a fancy controller. It's got a bunch of buttons on it as well. And he's got other things to let me see if I can get to seeing some of the buttons on his guitar. You can see there that are like old joystick buttons kinda all over his guitar. He does some really fascinating performances. So check out the way he does it. It's really advanced, but I think it's really cool to see. So however you decide to do it, just remember that the ultimate goal is to make some good music, right? So don't get bogged down with creating the wildest, weirdest setup. Setup, all your mappings and everything you need, so that you can make some really great music with it. 26. Introducing James Patrick: All right, so as we go into the mixing and mastering portion of this class, I want to introduce my friend and colleague, James Patrick. He's going to walk us through how he works with mixing and mastering in live 11. That's him right down there. He's been a mixing and mastering engineer and just an overall producer of all kinds of music for a really long time. He's a super expert, able to user. So I'm really excited to have him contributing to this class as well. Now one thing I'll point out real quick, his version of live looks a little bit different. It's just in the Preferences. You can kind of rescan it to change the way it looks a little bit. So he's put his into kind of this purple mode, while mine is the standard mode that it comes with, you can play around with those little skins to get it looking and feeling a little bit different if you like. It's fun to do sometimes it's the same program. He just has kind of a purple theme on his cool. 27. Advanced Techniques: Okay. Last thing before we hand it off to James Patrick and then you'll be with him for about 15 videos and then I'll come back at the very end. He's going to get into some pretty advanced stuff. So one thing I'm late recommend you do is if he gets into something and you're like, whoa, I don't remember what that is. Jump back in this class and review anything that is talking about. If he talks about how to use a compressor and you don't remember all the details of the compressor that we went over. Go back to those videos and watch those k. So he's gonna get pretty advanced. So you might have to jump backwards and forwards to really understand everything that's going on. But I know you can do it. So after James Patrick 28. Session Organization: Everyone knows James Patrick here excited to be jumping in on the mixing and mastering level in Ableton Live program. I've been making electronic music for about 20 years and mixing and mastering is just the essential art of balancing everything. So all your sounds are loud and clear and you know, the whole cheeseburger tastes good when you take a bite, There's not too much ketchup or mustard or anything assist well-balanced and easily digestible. We're going to be moving with this song here as our example, through all the stages of mixing that you'll be able to apply to your own songs just one step at a time. And ultimately at the end of this level, we're going to master or maximize our songs volume and loudness and clarity. So it'll be ready for the Spotify stream or our record bag for our DJ Sets or whatever we're going to do for it, do with it. So yet again, James Patreon and happy be taken you guys on this journey. Let's jump in on this track. This track is primarily just raw analog synth recordings and some midi tracks for some drum machines, maybe an acoustic instrument or two, just to kinda spice up the deal, Let's listen to it and see what we are going to be mixing over the next couple of videos. So as you can here, I got drums. I got percussion. I got base, some synthesizer stuff, tambourine, another layer stuff here. So that's kinda the first section. As we move further into the track, we get some pads and some chords. Go over the key change in there for the breakdown. By synthesizer pad. Another element there is some roads keys also sizer, and some sound effects to those guys. Crunchy isn't its own. We also have a nice acoustic drum kit that I sampled. This for the drum fill in his choice. So that's pretty much all the elements. So one of the first things we're going to tackle is we're going to organize the mixer, this whole series of videos up front before we get started on the actual mix is going to be about preparing to mix. So in preparing for the actual mixdown, the first thing we're gonna wanna do is organize the mixer. Now this mixer or this arrangement is pretty well-organized. Thank you. But generally there's always a little bit of refining we can do to make sure that we can see everything and we have a good visual for where all the parts are as for not sifting around and dig in through our mixer trying to find the right sounds. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to optimize the size of all these channels. You can see I have five return tracks. Couple of these are big. I'm going to Shift click on them and make them tiny so they're out of the way. I'm even going to take this scene launcher, which I no longer need and move it out of the way. Then as you can see, I've got this kinda mixer here. No, not a ton of tracks here, but 16 or 17. I'm going to click on one and hit Command a or Control a on a PC to select all the tracks, get the brackets and squeezed the mixer a little bit. Now I get a nice kind of compact view, which is nice. And in addition to that now since I'm going to be adjusting the levels of everything all really closely, it makes sense to grab the mixer channels and make a mess and tall. Now I get a nice big old mixer of all my sounds. I can see them all at once. And this usually leads me to the next step which is really, really effective, which is going into the master channel and go ahead and grab in a spectrum device. The spectrum is an audio effect we can find in our Audio Effects folder, or we can just type in an arrow down Enter. And now we can see not only the mixer, so we can see on the master channel the overall spectral content's. This tool is very helpful for all sorts of audio applications, sound design and acoustics and everything. But here we'll be able to really see how well our overall mixes balanced out as far as low end and mid-range and textures and ambiances and the upper frequency range there. So once we've done all that, I usually like to go through the mixer here and make sure that everything is nicely named and organized. If you've been studying with me in the past or possibly Dr. Jay, you will have a workflow already for keeping your mixer nicely organized. But generally that starts like this. Starting on the left, we should have drums, percussion, and base. Basically the whole rhythm section should be on the far left, starting with the drum kit. And then we should have notes, stuff like melodies and harmonies and chords. Those should all be in the middle. And then we should have sound effects, vocals, and any sort of live instrumentation that we're adding that is like a lead kind of thing. That could be potentially on the far right. Usually, it's the sound effects, the non-repeating sounds and the one shots. And then of course we have our return tracks over here which might end up being in the mixer eventually anyway. You can see if you look around here, I've got baseline to, Let's move that over to the baseline area. I'm like here's melodies, melodies, chords, pads, funky monkeys, more of like a melodic kind of thing too. Let's move this over by the melodic stuff. Grindy, this is a sound effect. Symbol is a non-repeating kinda one-shot crashed. What happens once in a while? And it affects all get this empty midi track and let's get rid of that. Back. Look at this audio track. Pretty sure this isn't being used for anything either. What's double-check? Nothing's on that track. We can get rid of that too. And as we start making these changes, it would be a good time now to do a Shift Command S, it's going to be like a Save As. And I'd say, okay, this is called intelligent democracy music. It's where the turn of crazy turn and political events in our world right now. So that's kind of the inspiration for this. I'm just going to put up the end of this mixed down. So I know like if I want to harvest any of those parts I'm deleting or moving. I can find them in the previous version, but by putting mixed down on the end, I've got it in my project or my life setName that's going to help keep things nicely organized. Cool. So once I've got drums, percussion, bass, melody, harmony, sound effects and non-repeating sounds over here on the right along with vocals, if there were any. And then of course my return tracks nicely organized, then I'm going to look at possibly grouping things. Now, for instance, maracas and tambourine, those are both just handheld percussion. I usually like to filter an EQ those together. So I'm going to Shift click on those two and hit Command G. And I'm gonna say percussion. I'm going to fold that up. Here's my two baseline tracks. By the look of things actually let's double-check baseline to I'm going to hit Tab. And by the look of it, I never even used that one in this session. So this is another advantage of hitting Save As because I know I'll be able to find that later if I need it, I'm going to delete that one. Midi to boutique. This was the midi track I was using to control the analogue synth I have sitting next to me. You can't really see in the camera that I don't really need anymore either. Let's see if I want to save any of that. Maybe some of those midi notes I'll hang on to. So let's look how about melodic stuff. Let's grab these three melodic instruments that funky 12, and let's hit Group on that. Maybe call this melody. Now we're consolidating this mixer is going to help a ton keeping things tight. How about chords and pad? Sure, those are both in the harmony category, command G. You don't have to do this, but it does make things a little nicer, especially if you happen to have a session with a 1000 channels in it or even anything more than, you know, 20 or 30, it gets to be a little unwieldy. So if nothing else for the sake of grouping and just keeping things easy to look at and see all at once. It's nice to group stuff. But I also find beyond just organization, it's really nice and effective to be able to put like a side chain compressor or an EQ, which we'll talk about in upcoming videos on the whole bus. That can go along way with keeping things tied and saving you a bunch of thinking around. So it's grindy symbols and effects. These are all one shots or sound effects. I'm just going to rename this and call this effects. So now look at my mixer, even nicer to look at. Especially now, I can maybe grab all these one last time with and I can fold them up and that's going to make them all kind of the same width. Now look at that nice business. I can see everything all at once. And there's my mixer looks, it's even easier to approach now. So I've got my tracks all grouped and well-organized. I've busted them where possible. I've adjusted my mixer height. I've and I've even put a spectrum on the man's. So one other pro tip that I think is real taste is you can hit Option Command 0 and that'll be Alt Control 0 on a PC if you want. And you can pull this down now you can actually see your whole mixer. And I gotta watch out for not having enough room for my actual faders with the spectrum. So maybe I'll make these a little bit smaller. There's going to be a good opportunity to, because now I can see the whole song with the arrangement overview, but this can be a good opportunity to do a little real estate, so to speak. Maybe I'll pop this up now. I can see the song. We can see the mixer, I can see the spectrum. Everything's all well-balanced and ready to go. I'm feeling pretty good about this. This is kind of preparing for the mix and as kind of like administrative and not very creative as this seems, the more organized you can be when it's time to do a mix down, the more quickly you'll be able to work. And that's really important because each time you hear that song looping over and over and don't know what to do with it. You're going to like it less and less like I say this to my students all the time that the best song in the world on repeat for three or four days, It's going to start to drive your notes. And so don't let that be you with your own original creations because once you lose inspiration, it's pretty much over. So doing all this without listening to it, especially listening to a very loud and just getting things nicely organized is going to help a ton with you expediting the next down and getting on to making more music. And that's really the goal. So this has been Video 1 for preparing the mix and happy to be here. All right, Onto the next video. 29. Creating Stems: Hey everyone, We're back with more mixing tips on where we last left off. We just organized our mixer and prepared this session for the mixdown. The next thing we're gonna wanna do is we're gonna take a look at the arrangement view. And we're going to look at all of our tracks. I'm going to hide the lower window and maybe hold Option and expand all these tracks. Now I can see all their content. And I'm going to ask myself, is there anything in here that I can print to audio? Because one thing that's super true is when you're working with, especially with melodic instruments or harmonic instruments or else any audio tracks that have tons of effects on them with like random modulation and stuff. It's not as effective to mix because you just every time you hear it, it's a little different and it's most effective as a producer to be working with audio. This is part of the reason why in most of these tracks you'll see here are already audio files. I can hold Option Shift or Shift Alt on the PC and use two fingers to expand or contract my different channels to see what's in there. And see that these are generally all audio tracks. And I can double-click on the tracks over here to see that there's no effects on any of the stuff. So this is all pretty much good to go. If I look up here, I've got a bass track. And in particular in live 11, one of the most exciting features in live 11 is note probability, which is really fun, but it also is a little messy because you end up just kind of getting lucky with cool sequences. And that's not a good way to really like proper produce a tune its need for jamming, and it's cool for coming up with ideas. But I want to show you a couple of quick ways that we can print our audio or print our media and our random modulations and chance operations like that to audio and allow us to kinda work more effectively with the parts as like kind of threw a producer lens. So this is our bass track. Let's listen to this thing real quick. So by hitting the letter S, I can solo. We can look at this clip. See how it's not playing all the notes. Let's cure. But it's going to be problematic. So I'm going to show you a couple different ways to flip our tracks to audio so we can see what's going on. My favorite one when we want the whole channel altogether is just to simply right-click on the track and freeze it. And that's going to go ahead and do a little offline render. It's going to essentially record the whole channel to a new audio recording. And you're going to have a couple of different ways. You can kind of extract that recording and put it on a new audio track. And it will still be able to preserve the midi track with all the information on it. If we want to change it later, change the key of the song, or do anything drastic. But for the most part, it's time to commit because we're getting ready to mix. So as this is freezing, it's, it's kinda like fast-forward recording through the whole track. And then we're going to just create a new audio track and drag those frozen clips down. And then we'll have an audio version of the midi track. It's going to kind of slick way to fast forward through the rendering process. This would be the same as recording the whole track track, pardon me, and real-time do a new audio track. It's just a little bit faster. So now you can see the track is frozen. All the processes are being suspended. They're not really happening even though it sounds and looks like they are. And now I can hit Command T or Control T on a PC. I can grab all of these clips. And I can hold option and just drag those down. So now I can see all those, see, all those modulations see where each individual part is happening. That's pretty slick. Anyway. So now I've got my nice synth bass laid out on the track and that works. And it will give me the chance to actually just listen to the audio and see if I ended up getting lucky with the right random modulations. Now the last method I'll show you here for flipping things to audio I'm gonna do to the return tracks. I really like, you know, I've got these like five or six return tracks and a lot of them have like look, this is a random kind of sinewave LFO modulation on the filter or any other sort of random effect that's going to affect the tone or timber throughout the duration of the track. So a really cool thing you can do here is you can select the tracks that you want to turn to stems. This is like basically your stem creation workflow. I'm going to take all three of these returns and turn them into stems. Click on the loop brace and hit Shift Command R. And now for rendered tracks, you can choose selected tracks only, or if you just wanted one, you can just choose one of the individual ones. This is pretty tight. So I'm going to make stems out of a, B, and C. Those are my three like return tracks that have random modulation on them. So by choosing selected tracks only and making sure the loop braces over the whole song. I'm gonna go ahead and just make sure it's a high reservoir of it. Don't really need a dither on there. Let's not put that on there, and then we can balance this out. So now we're in this IDM project and I can make a new folder here called stems. This is good, pretty good workflow. And then I was going to say IDM, just for the stem name and it will still put the name of the track right onto the channel. So now again, this is not unlike freezing it and then dragging it to a new track. But in this case, we're actually able to capture all the audio at 17, even do multiple tracks at the same time. So this is going to be creating what's called a 0 start timestamp, which can be really slick. So we talked about muting the original tracks once you've recorded them to audio, maybe even changing their color to black and calling them originals. Maybe even these are all cool workflows for saving your original parts without having to worry about listening to them anymore. It can be really nice and effective. I also really like doing this workflow to drums. Especially if I have like a chopped up re-sampled drum kit. Because then I'm able to zoom in and maybe do a couple of reverse hits or do some tweaking to the individual sounds. Really, really cool when you occasionally get like a reverse reverb before a snare or even a reverse snare, want to reverse kick. Those are little moves that can be awesome in a production of a song. That the only way to really evoke those is by ditching the midi track and getting into the audio. So meanwhile, let's go to our Effects bus and let's open this up. And I'm going to create three audio tracks by hitting Command T. Now I've got a destination for dropping those new sounds and someone's gonna go to my Finder here, over on this side here, going to get out of full screen so you guys can see that. And I go to my projects, and I go to IBM, and I go to stems. And now I've got these three stem. I'm just going to grab them and head over into the track. And if I go to let go, it's going to put them all in order. But if I hold command, it's going to drop them onto their own channels, which is Shirts, ASD, and look out nicely names the tracks, that's cool. Just to keep them in order I'm going to move the a up to the top and the C down to the bottom. Unfold those up and I can even see the effects that are on the tracks. Those can be really cool things I can use later in my our composition. Maybe I decide for a quick second, I want everything to mute. I can now just get the erase button. Instead of worrying about doing a bunch of automation and stuff, It's going to be a lot more tidy and a lot more clean. This also allows me to put proper fades on the ending of the track. Maybe even use this audio creatively in a different situation. Like for instance, let's listen to this. If I hit Solo, like that's a pretty cool chord. Like, you know, maybe it would make sense for me to hold Option and just move this over here, you have it in the beginning of the song. I can even hit R and reverse it. I can start to do all sorts of cool creative stuff with the track that I wasn't able to do before. So this is actually to be honest with you, a little more of a production tip. But I think when you're doing a mix down, it can be nice to have access to those extra little ninja note, it's going to go look now, I have that reverse-scored. Maybe I'll even just use that once in the beginning. Maybe I'll even nudge it over. Kind of faded out. Now let's listen to that now in mix. Hi. So this cool little ideas you can do to make your song more interesting and also more effective in the mix. So now all I need to do is I need to mute these a, B, and C. And if I wanted to save myself some CPU power, I could even go as far as turning off the effects on themselves altogether. So by doing this, this is going to save me a little bit of hardware resources for applying all my effects later. So I'm going to hold Option and fold that up, fold up the effects bus. And now I've printed the sweet. So yeah, these are all cool, cool little tips you can do when you're doing a mixed on this has been the second video in the preparing to mix series. And looking forward to the next upcoming videos. 30. EQ: Hey, back at you guys. We've organized our mixer, we've bounced some of our dynamic tracks down to Audio so we can see everything all tight. We've taken a last couple listens to make sure everything feels good wherever things in place. And now it's time to move into the more exciting parts of mixing, which is still in the kind of preparing to mix category. But we're going to be looking at effects processing. Generally. We've probably learned this in previous sessions at Slam Academy, but there's a little bit of a theory around Effects processing and the general order you put things in. Those rules are all meant to be broken. But definitely when it comes to mixing, it's nice to have a nice solid workflow around Effects processing. And it usually starts with EQ. For this video, we're gonna talk about EQ techniques and some standard great practices for, in particular, shaping your frequency spectrum for each sound. So not only are they as clear and loud as they can be in sounding tasty, but that they're fitting together kind of like puzzle pieces. So this brings me back to the mixer over here. I want to hit tab and look at the session view and even look at my, my spectral view here too. This is also really nice. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go up to my arrangement. Maybe we'll bring us in in the drop here, this last drop. And I'll do a little scaling of the screen so we can see the mixer and I'll start applying effects to my tracks, in particular EQ for this video. Here we go. I'm gonna go ahead and loop this section because I feel like on work on the drums a little bit, so I highlight that hit Command L. Let's take a look at this drum rack. So now I can just go ahead and grab an EQ by hitting Command F and narrowing down. And you'll notice my default EQ already has the first node is the only one turned out at around 33 hertz. Let's just under low, pretty much the lowest note anyone's going to hit. Sometimes for drums, I'll open that up a tiny bit, but you can see where the spectrum is. So I got pretty much everything I need to worry about there. I've cut some unnecessary low-end which is going to be highly effective. And then I might even add a node here that's a bell node. And just boosted a little and surf around. See if there's anything that's kind of unwanted or not tasty. I think these drum sound pretty good overall. So I'm just gonna kinda leave that. Notice this first practice I did was I cut the base and then, and then I grab a narrow bell and I boosted and surf around and listen for something. I don't like Students with the drums to go to my dramas, gravity QA, throw it on there, roll off that Psalm usually right around 30 hertz. And I can look and see if anything's too loud or too quiet. And I can even see on the spectrum that closed hi-hat is pretty darn loud looking at how that thing is way out there and nice and bright. I could of course. Maybe you apply like a high shelf V Q now, and I can put this way up there and chain that a tiny bit. I also can, of course go into the sub mixer here. And we give this just a tiny bit of decrease in the volume there too. We're going to be able to balance out those things anyway, but we're saving a step later. Given that little term, Nice. Try another little boost. Surfing around. I think that nine K, ten K is a little hot for my taste. So I'm gonna push that down just a touch and make that nice. And it's kinda looking for the yucky spot. And if I want to hear what I'm really cutting it, I can hit this solo, isolate. Listen to that kind of metallic ring that's a little much for me. So that's so let band isolate mode is really nice for balancing things out. Let's move on to our base. Oh, base audio looks like there's no base in this section, so let's go let's take a look. Yeah. Oh, you know what I misnamed this. This is this is just a base load that up. And then this guy is that there's audios like what's going on with that. This is the one we really want to check our levels on here. And let's go ahead and check that out. We have the EQ, follow those same steps, cut the base, anything below what you don't need it. You can see there's a really low now. Now, Great up against. I got a sub harmonic in there that might be kind of nice. Generally, the more decibels you can cut down here on the low end, the louder the whole track is going to be able to be here. So I can see where the notes are there generally in kind of the one octave, which is pretty high for a base. So it's mostly kind of a pokey base that's happening, not a lot of sub bass in it, so I think I'll leave some of that but attenuate a large amount of it. We can do that surfing around. I'll make my Q nice and narrow and boost and surfer. Now if I find something I like, I can turn it up a little. But for the most part, this stage is all about making cuts. And like all this stuff is all tastier my ears. So when in doubt, don't lose anything, just do the cuts, starting with cutting the base. Let's try or melodic stuff. You can see why it makes sense to have that EQ defaulted to have the first node and high-pass mode, you can configure that by just putting this into high-pass, put it around 30 hertz, and right-click and save as default preset. But now look, I've got it frequency information down here. That's not doing me any good quite a bit of it. So I just look for the lowest note to get rid up next to that. And that's saving me headroom. And the whole song is getting louder every time I'm able to do that is a nice narrow little peaks, probably not a lot of tweaking I need to do. And the EQ yet just mostly cut in the low end. Let's look at our harmony boss and do the same thing. Listening for the lowest note. Everything seems nicely sloped downward. A nice pro tip is generally the low frequencies should be the loudest part and it should slope gently downward at now, if everything was exactly like that, music would be very stale and boring sounding, you need little pokes. That's the exciting part. But if you did hear something that's spelled a little undesirable, you might look for where those tall peaks are and surf around and those might be the frequencies you don't want. Like this guy, maybe he has some of that. This is our re-sampled effects bus. Let's listen to that. See this guy's looking little loud. You get some metallic stuff up there. Let's surf around and listening boosted. You can even put that solo isolate on right away and surf around, listen to that metal. So I can take no, that's 3.6 K. Another one there on 2k. And scope to that 2k. Definitely one there too in this whole area. I'm just going to give that a little smoothing out. And I might do that 3.6 K as well. They're sick and let go. And now you can describe it again and does attenuate it. You can make it really narrow. And if you decide it's a frequency you completely want to kill. You can go to this notch mode. It's like a band kill. That's just going to totally hack it out of there. Usually avoid using those. Possible. Depends on how serious I am about doing costs. In this case, there's a whole bunch of frequencies up there I kinda wanna attain. So I think I might even put one just a little bit higher than that. Now are the more, the more we do these subtle cuts, the more we're going to be able to turn the sound up. Long-run. So a general rule here too, is that the further you cut deep, as far as amplitude than narrower you want the band to be. If you're going to have a wider cut, just do gentle amounts to kinda smooth it out. This is, this technique is called wringing it out. So we cut the base and we wrung it out. We did that. And notice how much time that saved if we would have done that to all of our individual tracks, sometimes that's necessary, but in this case we're just doing it to the mix buses. If you still need to get more tight results, you can open up the group and go to the individual tracks and further ring out individual SWOT dot channels. So now that I've got them all kind of dishonest, surface level a cut for the base and kind of rung out a little bit to make them sound good on their own. This is one that makes a lot of sense to check out your spectrum now and to go through and solo things again, let's make sure we're retina allowed part of the track. Let's go over here. Actually this section are more sense the stuff i'm, I can look at my slope. I can even hit stop and look at the shadow of the song. This is a really cool chance to do this and make this nice and big. And this, It's a good chance to remember the kind of the pink noise slope. It's just kinda theory of mixing that basically you want to have a general kind of even sloped downward without any big ramps are spikes on its way down. Even this stuff over here, that's going to be a little bit of a it's a sign that maybe things are a tiny bit too bright. You don't want to live and die by this rule because again, this is where the character lives in the sound. You want to be careful about being too heavy handed. But if that's like a big ski launch ramp come into town, that's usually a sign that maybe whatever sound that is could be attenuated a tiny bit. Now we have a couple of options for smoothing that high hat out. I think I'm just going to head up above 10 K. This is a good chance for us to recall our frequency ranges and what they really mean. Obviously, this is r sub bass and are kinda low mids are the kind of the mid range based stuff. And then all of our melodies and harmonies live in the middle. And most of our textures and ambiances are up top now, way up above 10 K. It's pretty subtle as far as what we're really doing. So sometimes you can really kind of hack those down and it doesn't really hurt the overall signal to our shape there. Now we've controlled that a little more and make it big when we look at our shadow now, This is Ben EQ workflows. We did a two or three different workflows with EQs. First of all, cutting the base on everything, and then looking at ringing stuff out. And then the last stage is looking at the spectrum on the master and trying to kind of establish a nice, even balanced throughout all the sounds just by using our ears, but also having a little visual aid of the slope and soloing individual tracks on the mixer. So we can actually really see and hear what voices are populating which part of the spectrum on the master. So this is all then E queuing and preparing to do the mixdown. Thanks for joining me on this journey. 31. Dynamics: Everyone back at it here we're mixing down this kinda EDM breakbeat track and we're moving on to dynamics processing. So let's check our red on the tune and then we'll see where it takes us. Lots of dynamics here. Hi. There are shorter. So by the look of things, we're going to, we're going to have a lot of opportunities to compress some stuff. I'm going to make my volume faders little taller here. The first thing I want to point out is again, once you can see the whole mixer, you can use your ears to decide what sounds could use some compression if you have some experience. Otherwise, a really great way to learn about this is just looking at the volume meters. When you look at volume meters in Ableton, you'll see a tall or set of peaks that are softer green in the background and those are the actual peaks. And then the lower brighter stir are showing up. There is the RMS also they'd known as kinda the average of volume. And so the distance between the peaks and the average is a good visual indicator for how much dynamics there is in the sound and dynamics. In other words, movement in the volume. And what compression really is going to do, as you probably learned in previous lessons, pushes down the peaks. In other words, decreases the overall distance in volume from the quietest to the loudest part of the. Therefore giving you the ability to turn the whole thing up. In mixing though and dynamics processing, we do a couple different compressor techniques, including side chaining, which is expansion, in other words, increasing the dynamic range. So let's start by looking at our meter bridge here and just listen to that groove where we last left off. And I think I'll expand my little arrangement overview and jump us back in, right with those maracas start. And we'll watch our meters balance. You can see it on the master to how much distance there is from the peaks to the average. So I can tell by looking for sure and bases usually a really good place to start, especially with electronic music, is usually want a nice compressed sounding bass, like a nice full low end. And we can see each of these little horizontal marks is like six dB, so that's kind of a chunk of volume. Those peaks are pretty high. Let's go ahead and double-click on the bass track and look where we last left off. We did EQ and on previous, we went through the whole mixer in the previous video. Now it's time to grab just the regular able to compressor. There's a couple of different compressors in live board is going to use the regular compressor because it's the transparent one. It doesn't introduce any distortion or noise. First thing we're gonna do is we're going to pull down the thresholds pushed down those peaks, just like you learned in previous levels. And we're going to then add ratio to decide how much compression is going to be happening. Notice that we're just kinda pulling the threshold down right to kinda where the, the top of the averages not much lower than that because we want to make sure that compressor can let go in between the hips and then ratio. A good rule of thumb with base is somewhere between like three to 18 to one. Musical instruments in general, that's usually a pretty arrangement base. You know, you can go a little harder like five or six or even eight to one. That's like heavier compression. Keeping in mind, we're just compressing the peaks. The envelope is going to make sure that it can let go in time with the release before the next note hits. And also attack. Faster attacks are going to compress the whole sound, whereas slower attacks are going to let the initial transient pass on by. In this case, I pretty much one would compress the whole thing. And you can look at this little window to see how much compression is being evoked by the orange line. And then making sure that compressor can go in between the hits, those peaks. And it looks awesome. So that's some really good for the next method I'm going to demonstrate it. And if this is peaking compression, the next thing we're going to demonstrate is RMS compression. Many wise producers have said, instead of over compressing a sound with one compressor, just finesse it a little and grab a second compressor to throw on there, especially with again, electronic music. If you're not trying to preserve the natural harmonics or beauty of like an acoustic guitar or a harbor a female vocal or any sort of vocal. But instead you're making music that sounds like it's, you know, from space, electronic music is oftentimes supposed to sound alienating. This. Or maybe you just alien is the right word I'm looking for, but larger than life, not an acoustic instrument. You're going to oftentimes will have multiple compressors in a row. And most commonly the peaking compressors first. And then the second compressor is going to compress the RMS or the average. So you can see I switched this compressor and the RMS mode. And now when I pull the threshold down, I'm not going to be watching those soft green peaks. I'm going to be looking at the bright green average. Let's really bring out the volume. And you know, we gather and you're making sure it can let go in between the hits. It's got to have a hard time pull to threshold just to touch. I know from the group through the loop. And usually the RMS compressor while it's compressing just based on the average, you're going to have a little lower of a ratio then usually the peaks. Use your ears to taste there. And again, the envelope making sure that it can. Ground with a nice amount of time. Listen closely for any sort of distortion or clicks that can happen. That can happen if either of the envelopes or too fast. And if you have the envelopes to slow again there, It's kinda hold on for too long and stops sounding natural and punchy. Too slow of an attack will preserve the punch, but it'll end up being too pokey and not under control and off. So I'm kinda like and how this RMS setup is going to feel after the peak. This is a really common base EQ. In fact, it's so is this. By having a roll-off on the sub bass, especially if it's a synthesizer bass or a microphone base, I guess they're going to end up having a lot of low. And so by trim that off and then pushing down the peaks and then squeezing the RMS. We've got a nice controlled dynamic. Still pretty damn dynamic. But let's go ahead and just maybe stick with that for now because this style of this track is supposed to be a little more funky and a little more quirky. So for the third style of compressional mentioned indeed, we're gonna put it right on this track. This is going to be that expansion I was talking about. In other words, adding dynamics to the sound based on the volume of a different sound mixer, in particular the kick drum. So if I just solo that we can listen to these together and I can turn on side chaining and I can take audio from the drum kit. Second dropdown, I'm just going to choose, let's just have it be the whole drum kit to start off. So now this is compressing based on snaps and the snare gram and the kick. That's all pretty tasty. But if I wanted to control what was actually triggering the side chain, I could either choose the individual sound here or I could filter it. I think I'm going to actually just choose the kick drum and I'm going to choose prefects. That's pretty common. Is now look if I just solo, just the bass track and I will put on this little monitor switch. You'll be able to hear this tiny little unprocessed kick drum. And I can derive it really hard. It's nice to have the pre effects because of the effects on the kids and especially the kick drum are usually going to compress that too. And we don't want this big saturated kick trying to trigger our side chain. It's best to have a little soft pokey guy and then just give it a little extra drive that's going to help. It's kinda be a quick attack and release for that side chain trigger. In addition to that. If the cell base of the kick is ringing too hard, you can even filter it with a high pass or band pass filter. Like let's pull this up to like 500 and use this. Now look at that. Now it says given us lots of fast, fast side chains and other opportunities. This view here, I'm just making sure that, that, uh, let go in between the hits ligate down, that is wicked slam. And now let's take it out and monitor and listen about. It's not uncommon to hear a subtle click in there. It's usually not too big of a deal, but if you want to roll that off, you can slow the attack down. You can also turn the lookahead up in this view that's going to give the compressor a little kind of artificial intelligence to look ahead of the signal, allowing you to finesse the stack even more. Let's listen to that with the QG. I might even go as far as to duplicate that exact configuration and choose it just from the snare drum to I've got this instrument rack. Let's got to collapse and snares and stuff. And now I can turn that base down, mix a little bit. Let's hear it altogether. New. There's a chance to see peeking, RMS and side chaining all on the bass track. Let's go ahead and see what other channels in our mixer could use some of that. I'm pretty sure this melody track good. Even if it's just a tiny bit, we can put a little bit of peaking compression on there. And then maybe a side chain right after it was pushed down, some gentle peaks. Let's just duplicate it and turn on that side chain. Now in this case, I'm going to go ahead and do the kit. Let's hear it from the whole kit. And just to see what that sounds like. Usually side chain and gets a pretty heavy ratio, make sure it can let go. That's pretty cool. I like that. The proper side chain setup, if you're going for subtle, you won't really notice it pumping. You'll just hear the trigger sound. In this case the drums punching through them mixed harder because all of a sudden there's more space for them. So don't really even listen to the sound. You're compressing as much as listen to the sound and that's triggering it to see if it feels more clear and present. Now, another thing you can do with side chain is you can go kind of for drama on the side chain. This is a really great thing to do for our pads. I'm going to move to a section where these chords really good. I think that's over here. The sky are thrown compressor on here too. Let's start by pushing down some of those peaks just a little bit. Now hardly any peaks. We go chancel, slow down the release. So it's kinda steady Southeast Asia. I will grab another compressor and what side channels to pick. Now, let's look at a map. So now in this case, if we wanted to get a more dramatic side chain effect, we could slow the release down. We can really hear it kinda pumping dramatically to the group, bring that threshold even lower, going to hell and a side chain pump on there. And even slow that down and roll off some of that clinic if you wanted. Before I go optimizing my storage, I'll say goodbye with that and we'll move on in our next video looking at timber and spatialization processing. Looking forward to it. See you then. 32. Saturation: What's up, everyone? We're doing effects processing on all of our individual sounds. Before we go to balance everything out, we've done some dequeuing and some dynamics processing, and now it's going to be time to do some saturation and some adding some natural harmonics and then putting the sounds into a space. There'll be especially fun with this kind of IDM synth track, especially since a lot of the synth tracks are really dry. Let's drop it in here and the kind of bridge section and see where we're, what we're working with. Start with the base. So the cursors we did in the last video. So that sounds pretty cool. I think we're going to focus a little more on this bass track. You can see the EQ and compression channel strips stuff we were doing earlier. And now it's going to be time to maybe fold some of those up and add saturation. Saturation is kind of a general term for add a little sweetener. In other words, adding a little kind of analog modeled clipping is most common whether it's saturation like tape saturation from a device and able to saturate. Or soft clip limiting, which is really popular for drums in the master channel in your groups. That's, that's most commonly found in the Glue Compressor. Let's go ahead and check out some of that stuff. What saturation does, and again, we're just going to start with tape saturation is it emulates traditional analog devices in the way that they would clip. In other words, when you drive them by heating them up a little bit, it adds natural harmonics to the sound. In other words, adds kind of some musical energy that'll help, like bass sounds cut through the next. It'll also help drums feel a little more loud and punchy overall, just kinda of increasing the general perceived loudness of the sound. Watch out though, because the more you drive into any sort of analog modeling device, the more, well it's distorting the sound. And it also can really suck the base like the sub bass out of sounds and kind of make them sound gross if you're not careful. So let's pick up right where we left off here at this office. First drop and we'll add little saturation to the base. You can see this little line in the sand down here. If you see that little white line, once we start crossing that with the drive by boosting it, that's where the real clipping begins. It's always adding coloration. But the real like heavy coloration begins there. We would have an opportunity to put a limiter on here too, to make sure it never goes in the red no matter how hard we drive it. But usually I don't like that, especially in this case where this base already has a lot of harmonics. Let's pick back up there. Give it a little dry. That's nice. Now sometimes if you're not sure what you're hearing, you can just crank the driveway up and it will really add a ton of coloration. Let's just listen to what it's going to be doing there. So you can hear how those perceived, all those extra peaks in the spectrum really make the thing feel loud. If you're not sure what I mean by that, you can look at it in the spectrum. This device we're using the mixing earlier on the master channel. Here's no saturation. Already a lot of harmonics in there, but if we go ahead and give it some drive, probably a little bit more and we would crank it way down. It's really gets kind of intense. So that could be a lot of fun. They give you this output gain to kind of compensate that way if you do end up driving it a lot without the soft clip limit or you can turn it back down. So a common setting for lots of distortion is to slam it and then turn it down about the same amount, maybe a little less. Now in this case, again, I'm really feeling just a little bit of that analog clipping. There's other modes in here you can learn about. They might be a little more kind of sound design oriented in the saturated. But primarily we're really working just with little drive watching that line in the sand, making sure we're not in the reds here by either soft clipping it or adjusting the algebra again. I might even just turn that down a tiny bit. I'm going to go to a section where there's more base. Let's listen to that in the mix. That's nice. That sounds got a ton of dynamics in a two, It's totally pumping like crazy because we have this side chain compressors on here to back. We have three of them in a row that are really making it pop big time. So that's a really wildly dynamic sounded cool thing to point out is that when you add saturation, you're not only adding natural harmonics, but it also naturally just works as compression. Because the way clipping works is the more you drive the peaks over the threshold. In other words, heat up that tape deck. You're there's a finite limit to how loud it can get. And that's really the little line in the sand here. And also the more you drive over the top of that you are in turn compressing it to, it's just taking those natural peaks that go over the top and spreading them out over the harmonic series, which is juicy. More about that in our sound design course, it's lambda over. Sure, another thing that's worth considering on the note of it compressing the, sometimes I'll take that saturated and I'll put it in front or to the left like before, my side chain compressors. That way the side chaining is actually also ducking the saturation. It's going to, this, this workflow is going to get you more hard side chain effect because by saturating and after the side chain you're kind of decompressing it, which might not be that tasty. Let's check that out. So in that case, the expansion like the side chaining that's happening is happening after the saturated so that love thus preserving the palm to the side chain is evoking. Let's do another saturation technique that I really like. Let's head over here to our drum kit and go to our kick drum. I noticed in our mix, our kick drum sounds good. We could maybe use a little bit of warmth. It's pretty nice. It's got just some nice compression on it and a slow attack compression giving it a little more body. That's fun, little more punch. And think I want to go ahead and in this case I'm going to grab a different distortion device and able to, and this is a little less common in mixing because the sound is really pretty aggressive, but the Overdrive is great for drums. You can, this is like a filter for our distortion. And then there's that same drive knob you might recognize, if we listen to this by itself, all filtered like this is going to be pretty crunchy, pretty hollow and crunchy. But if you move this way down here, let's just listen by turning the dry wet mix all the way out. That's kinda what we can add here. So that can be nice sound. And now we can pull this back in the mix to preserve the original clarity. More bombs that out to here without it. That's nice little bit of low-frequency boost in there. We're really boosted up like 55 hertz and ride around there. That's really tasty. That's another cool way to use distortion in saturation. Another great way to add saturation and other great tool that I mentioned. And this is generally popular on the whole drum kit designer device called the drum boss. Now for that one, I'm going to go to my drum brakes track and I've got that role in pretty hard over here. Let's loop this. Listen to this guy. So we're gonna go to this drum brakes section and we're just going to grab that drone boss. This is a device and live town or live 11s, that's really rad. It's kind of three different stages of coloration. You have some clipping like the overdrive. You have a transient kind of shape are here in the crunch category and then you have a boom that adds more base. Cool thing about each of these is they're all kind of independent and they are going to have an overall dry wet mix here. So we're on the brakes track. I'm going to turn these guys down. And we'll start with some drive. That's nice. I like that kind of built-in DR and some compression if we wanted to compress it too. Like the transient similar moon still out on that. There's a current control built-in filter on the little darker, like it variety transients here, this is going to commit more energy to the peaks or a little more energy to the tail part of the sound. If you go to the Allows, You know, I think I got that little row and let's see. Yeah, so this is more to the tail and this is more of a peak. That's nice too. And as far as the boom is concerned, the way this works is a nice little tip. You can figure out what your base is n or where key your song as it. And you can move this around to find the right key. Like if you know you're in, you can just see no shift click and adjust this ray to the 43 Hertz zone or 41 hertz. And it was a nice low eels into that. So about if we added an a, Let's go to like 55. That's nice. Now in this case, this is just for a little drum fill. I'm not going to use any of that. In fact, when we use this, a tiny bit of this crunch, just a tiny drive. And this leads me to my next little distortion technique we're doing multiple in each video. This one is going to be all about. This last method I want to mention is that all of these distortion devices have a dry wet mix. So if you really like the sound of distortion, but you don't want to necessarily suck out the clarity or the transient punch of the sound. I'm a really common thing to do is to just drive it really hard and then pull the Dry Wet Mix back, thus allowing the natural clean, undistorted transient and base usually get destroyed by a lot of distortion to still pass through. And then you can use the mix to kind of blend in. So in this case, if we did this in parallel, we can just like go ape shit on this. And then we can pull it all the way back and then mix it into taste. So that's kinda of like that wall of sound on technique from Phil Spector, rest in peace, just recently passed away. This is an idea of saying to create an environment larger than life, he stack things up in parallel. Now for me, in this case with this drum brakes track, I'm actually really prefer in the more gentle touch, little more Titan punching. I'm not so worried about preserving the base or the transients there because it already sounds nice and tight. Nice. So on that note, I gotta mentioned final technique here. As I said, we're putting things in parallel and said No by pulling the dry wet annex back. Even more advanced or kind of also classic technique for parallel processing is to build a distortion channel strip on a return track. Now in this case, I've got the overdrive and saturates, followed by following a high-pass EQ. And I've got my distortion slammed all the way up. So now my drum kit here, this is our main view. Here's what it sounds like without that return, which is parallel distortion or in other words, New York compression. This is it without it. So a nice low and that base is really nice, especially with that overdrive we added. But now I can mix this in parallel. This would be the same as turning up the dry wet mix a little bit on that drum us. But this is doing the whole chain. You'll even notice that I have the Glue Compressor on the end of that chain. And in this case it's soft clip mode. So the glue compressor is not only a compressor kinda the left half of the device, but then it has this makeup gain that you can use to drive the signal into the soft clipper circuits. This is another analog modeled clipping distortion thing we were talking about earlier in the video. But this is one of the best sound and for buses where you have high, low, and mid frequency all sorts of stuff coming through the chimney. Myself. Preserve some transient and slow that down. Transients pretty much brutalized here because of all the distortion earlier. But luckily we have an uncompressed dry signal over here. Here they are together. And we're applying a little bit about New York compression to that drum brakes track, about race. So now we have this whole parallel land of supersaturated, squashed hyper harmonic information with even soft clipping and everything else. No real base. And it's all the heating mixed in, in parallel on a return track. So there's some great distortion and saturation techniques. Overdrive, really edgy and toothy and sharp. So it's got a built-in filter saturated and I sing round and fat. The tape Modeler, the drum boss was classic for all different kinds of sounds, but especially drum grooves like the entire drum kit. And then glue compressor and soft clip mode and even putting it all in parallel. Those are all techniques we covered today. If an Up next we'll put these sounds into a space and we'll be finishing this thing off. 33. Stereo Imaging: So slide. And then for our final stage of effects processing, generally, once we've queued and compressed and saturated stuff and maybe even put a little hyping EQ in there somewhere to kind of boost things and get everything to sound sweet, kind of puzzled piecing everything together. And makes also sends to look at the stereo image of a song and even individual sounds. Really cool thing you can do is you can just go to the master channel if you're curious about how much, how wide your mixes this is, if you're just working right inside of Ableton, you can grab an EQ Eight and you can switch it and turn all these nodes off, so it's not doing anything and then switches mode and midside nodes. By doing that, you have to separate EQs, one for the sidebands and one for the mono bands. And if you switch this over to sides, you'll be able to hit play on the sun. You can see all your stereo frequencies. These are all things that are just so I can see. I got a lot of stereo image in here. Let's go ahead and apply that same technique to some of our individual buses. Here's our pad or harmony track versus our lead. This is where it's really nice to consider which sounds are the lead instruments versus which sounds are the supporting voices. When I listened to this, I feel like the bass and the drums. I mean, kind of an IDM style sign there, the lead instrument. So I want to keep those mostly more up the middle. Whereas like the pads and stuff again, if we go to our bridge section here, which is right here, come here, these guys coming in over here. Also the supporting tracks. So let's go ahead and head over to that bus quick and go to the very end of the chain after the side chaining and everything and do that same EQ technique. Return all the nodes and put it inside mode. We can just look by switching it to sides. Here's the mono stuff. Here's the sidebands. So one thing that's really common is to cut the base completely out of the sides for sure. And it looks like there wasn't any anyway. But if there was, you'd want to get rid of that. And now we can somewhere between 700 hertz and like three or four K. Those are really the areas where our ears can hear the stereo poking out the most. Let's give it a little boost and see what that sounds like. That's given me a little more kind of presence in the stereo image. And that's a real subtle thing, but that's really nice. And if I wanted to get even more action out of that, I'd want to put some stereo effects right in front of it or to the left of it before in the signal flow path. And most common, one would be reverb or delay, or possibly a chorus device. Live has a really nice chorus device we can toss before the EQ. Now in this case, we can use ensembles going to like layer it and give it multiple voices. Classic is just a regular old chorus. Here it is without it. Here it is with. Hi, is that spring and out to the width a little bit. We've got width control here, which we can even overdrive. That's really pushing those supporting voices out to the sign. Also a chance to get rid of more base. You want to hear more coercing, you can turn the feedback up. I have a feeling we probably don't need it here. That's really bringing out emphasizing that LFO modulation in the delayed time, maybe a tiny bit. You'll even notice them live 11 now they give us a little kind of saturation too. That's nice. Miss a chance to kinda hear that thing, doc, and I'm going to slow chain down just a tiny bit. Not click and anymore That's nice. High. So that's a good little stereo image technique. Let's AB that here it is off here does on iOS you can really hear it moving around. Let's do that. Sam, similar thing to the return tracks over here. These are our resampled effects returns already really wide. The trick I'll show you here is you can grab the utility device. You just kinda wanna quickly push things out to the side. You can boost the width knob on the utility control. Now, be careful with this because this is going to essentially turn down everything in genomics. And if you go up real high on this, and you happen to be listening to the finished track and a mono environment where it's like I only one speaker or maybe in a cloud or something where there's little speakers all over the room. Anything that's boosted out to the sides like this basically won't be existing at all in the next. So an old school thing to do with mixing, especially when there was a lot more mixes happening in mono, was to not do too much stereo boosting like that because this is also called the Haas effect. Not do that because if you do that, then you lose the sound in the motto of x altogether, which sucks. So let's, let's try and spread it out a little bit. In this case, I might try that course technique again. You can also try and delay again or a flanger or reverb. Love that warmth technique. We'll have a little last modulation in their widen it up a little. Cut the low end. That's nice. Now let's do that midside and Q technique again. Curious how much, how much stereo image you have. Flip it over, take a look. Give a little boost, maybe. Hi guys, those are nice, shimmery. And we'll get rid of the lows. Like these guys too. Now this is your chance to actually do some cuts to if you wanted. Now for instance, let's say we had a lot of stereo image up the middle. That's going to interfere with our drums and stuff. So you can even really be justified. This is a little more advanced of a trick, but say, you know, your snare drum is cracking that 250 or 300. Maybe just boost, move some of that stuff out of the way. I know for sure that my bass track, that lead base has got a lot of 700 hertz energy. I'm going to cut that. I can even see that in the mono mix real loud. So I'm going to make some space. Hi there. This is now encouraging. This thing would just be a little more surrounding. I can even try scaling it up for more or less. This is super wide now. And it makes a lot of sense now just to do a quick mono mix check. So we'll throw the utility on. We'll put it in mono and see if the sound is like goes away. We don't lose too much, so I think we're doing okay. So I'm going to leave that off, maybe leave it on there for later if we wanted it. And that's a really nice example of a mid-side EQ. Let's go to that harmony track 2 and maybe cut down some of the mid band stuff around that 700 hertz range. Make that a little more narrow. It's going to really be nice for making space for the crack of that snare drum. And you know, anything else that's filling up that space and solo this track and listen to that. And I can see that peak up there, That's a Hadi. Move that guy down here, this in the mix all together. Now, we will move over here where instruments or kick him out of nowhere. Super wide pads over your analysis like these guys have just got a ton of when really immersive and surrounding, you know, even to the point where we can probably turn them up a little more, this is a chance to not forget that we have a gain control here. And then we'll output volume. Let's take a look at this. See how much headroom I have there and let's turn it back up. Kind of making up for some of those dB, we can still probably do a little more. Houston at MCA was checked the effects bus. Nice. Even justify using this utility. Two more drive that is somehow less than that all together, you may not know about this track. So stereo imaging and slot of fun usually starts with a little stereo effects like delay or reverb. And then are maybe even will a chorus and then some mid-side EQ to really smear it out, either ducking the mono stuff for the supporting voices and make room for the drums and the leaves, or vice versa, cutting down on some of that side band energy for anything that's really supposed to be up to the middle. A lot of devices will have width control built-in and they're kind of automating this, but it's nice to be able to really sculpt and control that stereo image. Real nice stuff. So with some more advanced spectral readout devices like isotope insight, for instance, you'll be able to even visualize the stereo width of the sound on. And that can be really nice. But just by using mid-side EQ and looking at what information you have there. That's nice. That's a nice technique. So one last little trick I'll show you, and this is a reverb technique. Whenever I'm dialing in a reverb, in particular on a brighter, tighter sound like let's say a high hat, like listen to this drumbeat. This high hat is pretty clicky. Thing is just really clicky and tight. We're really common and cool technique to try is to grab a reverb, push this thing all the way out wide. All you can hear is the reverb. And I could even make the decay time real short to brighten it up, even, even turn the chorus off, open it up, make it nice and tight and shiny. Bring this in for the click. This is a B. Now we've got that tiny little space in there. You can boost the space around here. That's so much nicer than this region is a reverb under this real subtle. But now as the small balance it out a little favorite colors. So this is a cool way to kinda, you know, first just listen to the reverb by itself and then back it off and get a little better feel for what your ad and you know, and I always never has, always, never, never hesitate to AB stuff there. Just to double-check your mix and make sure it's some good overall. I'll never forget it. So the last thing we haven't done yet here then we're going to do in upcoming videos is really balanced. The volume I can still hear now that we've hyped things and boosted them and saturated and spread them out. We're going to want to readdress all of our levels. And that's really the mixdown and that's right around the corner. So thanks for being here at Slam Academy and plan around with all these fun tools inside of Ableton. And remember, don't forget if you feel like you get close but not perfectly now that you have just keep practicing and all the best. 34. Metering: Hey everyone, welcome back. Now, here we are in the second week of mixing and mastering and Slam Academy and they're able to live program here. We're using live 11 and mixed on this track. Today we're going to focus on getting a good understanding of the overall volume mix and really making sure we've got the right levels for all of our tracks across the whole thing, creating a nice and balanced, really the mixdown is what we're about to do now. So let's start by a listen to this track and looking at our meters, we're going to learn a little bit about metering, headroom, and also about the frequency content that all of our instruments are generating. So going back to that earlier session, really cool thing we can do here. Maybe set our mixer up. However spectrum up there so we can see all the channels. Everything's nicely organized. Let's check this out. All right, so if we look, we've got a couple of different bits of visual feedback we can learn from. First of all, looking at amplitude and let's start with that. So this is where I again, I like to have those meters nice and tall. We get a nice visual resolution for how much, how many decimals we're working with. And each of these horizontal lines is six dB. And I always like to say especially my sound design course, understanding a decimal is kinda like one. Db is kinda like just a little serving of volume, if you will. And generally when we're adjusting things, whether it's inside of a compressor or even on the mixer here, we're going to be moving things up and down in volume and decimals. And one dB is kinda like just barely enough for other people to notice when you're making the adjustment. If you adjust something by more than three dB, everyone's going to notice whether or not they're paying close attention. So sometimes we'll be adjusting things by tenths of a dB by holding, clicking on a fader and holding Shift and using our arrow keys, we can look in these little data fields and tell us, we'll see how many dB we're adjusting. You've got 10 Shift-click before anyone's going to notice really. And like 30 or 30 dB before people are really going to be four, it's going to jump out at people. Those are kind of the areas in the realms are going to be fine tuning our volume. And when it comes to decimals, we can look at our meters to see how loud things are. But as we mentioned in the dynamics video, a couple of videos back, we can see the softer green tall peaks. That's the momentary peak volume, whereas the brighter green lower volume is the RMS, also known as kinda the average volume. The distance between those peaks and the average is like how compressed or how loud something is going to feel. So especially as it relates to our master volume and how much headroom we have overall, it's gonna make sense to keep an eye on that. So that's the first tip is metering and decibels is, and how much one dB, really? The upper little readout here you can click on and that resets the meter as far as the peaking height. So if I click here, they're all reset and now I can just hit Play. In fact, I could go to like a heavier part of the track maybe like the drop. And then I can hit stop and I can see how loud everything is. So like my sound effects tracks are at negative 14 and my harmony track is at negative 7.5. My melodies at negative 12. Look, my kick drum over here is at negative 1.5. Those are good numbers to note because we're going to be readjusting the volume of all of our tracks and try to fill up this master volume with all just the good stuff, making sure that every dB over here is all things that are desirable that we really want. And there's kind of a little bit of a roadmap I can lay out for you as we get onto the mixdown in the upcoming video about how to use those decimals to the best of our advantage. So we have peaking level. We have the volume fader level, which is adjustable intense by holding Shift with arrows. And, and we have peak versus average. So those are all things you want to be aware of. Now, the next thing that's good to look at is the spectrum. And I put the spectrum on the master track couple of videos ago. But that makes good sense to have that there. And sometimes I'll even go to my Preferences here and zoom out and touch. So I can still have those nice big, tall volume meters and a nice spectral view here where I can see the spectrum. Once I get that all set up, usually what I'll do is I'll take the spectrum device on the master again. And instead of having it in this auto volume range, where the y-axis is always scaling up and down all the time like this. See how it kind of starts compressing as sounds get quieter and quieter. In other words, zooming out and zooming out. That's kind of annoying. So click here on your range and put this maximum at negative 0. And then, I guess or 0, same thing. And then for the men range, which is the bottom, Let's put this at around a 100. So that's, so the quietest sound that's going to show up here is going to be like negative 95 or a 100. And then the top of our screen, what we can see is literally the ceiling. So that way when did it stop? It doesn't scale anymore. It just stays right there. And you can even see, okay, if each of these horizontal lines, in this case our 12 dB, looks like my kick is up here. My bass drum is up here at about negative 10. I'm looking down in this little data field, this is really helpful. I kick drums at negative 10, the punch of my kick as around negative 11. And you can see where each of these peaks are and how loud they are. And that'll give you some tips for how to adjust things. A little bit of a standard you can use when you're looking at this slope going down, it's called the pink noise reference. Pink noise is like, not unlike white noise where it's even volume all the way across, but it's actually tilted downward. So and, and this is a standard that we can look at and you don't want to live and die by this. But generally speaking, the loudest thing in your mix should be the base, the base, and then it should, things should get progressively a little softer and quieter as we get up here into the texture territory. So all of our melodies and harmonies are going to be visible here between about 80, 90 hertz and maybe two or three K. And then this is all the ambiance and texture and presence. Whereas the sub bass is up here. And I can even tell by looking, I can probably get away with turning my kick drum up a little bit. Whatever sound is right here, which I believe is the pluck of the bass sound that back to wear a while back, it's a little loud. I can turn that down and we're going to try and achieve and as even slope going down. And when we do that, we're going to probably be mixing all around our kick drum being right around negative 10 or negative, negative 10 or negative 12 is kind of a cool reference. So this is all just more preparation for the mix. We understand decibels, how our meters work, how to adjust intense, how to scale our screen, how to look at our spectrum and have it be in a fixed amplitude range. And how to really maybe glean some tips from what we're seeing when we look at these interfaces. So for our next video, we're gonna talk about gain staging and headroom. And we're going to start to build our mixed pyramid right around the corner. So hold tight and I'll see you in the next video. 35. Gain Staging Around The Bass: All right, we're back here for part 1 of the actual mixdown. This is going to be a lot of fun and there's a couple of cool little principles that I kinda tipped off in the previous video that we're going to be able to cover. First of all, before we get to the actual mix, a really great technique that I want to make sure everyone's hip two is first looking at your mixer and if you have any automation on any of these volume faders, like maybe I did here on my brakes track, I had some volume automation here for the drum fill. It makes a lot of sense to free up that fader and you don't want to ditch the automation because that was a cool thing you did. You can just grab the track and hit Command G. And that'll put it into another essentially mix fader. And you can fold it up and even rename it with Command R. And now you have a new volume control for that overall track. And it's still preserving the volume automation. So there's a lot of work arounds for getting around having mixer automation for volume, but that's probably the best one because that's just going to streamline it allow you to still have your automation. You can still edit your automation. It's all still there. You can see I've got a nice little volume pump on my drum fill. That's cool. So like I like that. I don't want to ditch that. So just hit Command G and group it into another track, group it into a bus, and then folded up. So that's pretty tight. That's a good tip. The other thing that's worth mentioning is, I guess the next step, once you've got everything all folded up into groups, this is to go through your mixer and mute everything. So mute all your buses. So theater can basically you're not gonna be able to hear anything. And look here, I've got a quick automation here on that track. Now this is my original bass track. I'm just going to go ahead and group that so I can mute it. Same deal. We're going to mute everything except for the kick. Like here, I've got my drum kids here are really, really awesome thing you can do now is you can either group that or you could just make a separate track just for your kick drum. This is a really kinda cool classic move for, especially for music That's kick drum heavy like techno or house or anything that's like real bass heavy. You can make a track just for your KYC. And then what you can do is open up the drum kit, mute that kick drum in the mixer. And then right in here, hit Option Command I and take audio from your kit, kick drum. And once you do this, it's honestly, it's probably best to do this. We'll take it post effects and then put it on input monitor mode. Now we can just move this guy over here. We've got a separate track now just for our kick drum. Cool thing about that is that while now when the kick drum hits, it's not compressing all the other drums in the KFC have a separate compressor and distortion track for all your drums separate from the kick. But also this is nice and convenient because you can just show just the kick drum and only advocate in the mix. Now, let's go to the section where the drop is. And I've just got a nice kick drum track. The trick with doing this in this case is that if you did fine tune your compression and dynamics, you're going to want to go back and do that. So I can look at this drum groove, take a look at what's going on in my kit. And the compressor is working a lot less hard. Now in this case, I don't really have any major compression going on on the drums. So I should be just fine. I'm going to rename this group kit folded up. And then I'm going to actually go to that kick drum and give it a little compression. I want a little more room on that. I click, I can turn the saw. Decide how much of that trend Zoom and one in there, That's cool. Asana. So once you've got that kick on its own track, a really cool kind of classic technique here is just to adjust the kick drum. So put your master volume over here all the way up to 0, and then adjust that kick drum until the master fader is peaking at around negative 10. This isn't a hard and fast rule that this is a technique that I've learned for years and it was really great. So, uh, just like kick drum here, until you don't have to reset those guys again until it's had a ROM, negative ten, negative eight, negative nine. We go down just a tiny bit more. And here's where I can click and shift click down and go down to the another dv. We said negative 9.5, That's great. So now what we're gonna do is we're going to, once you've got the kick at negative 10, we're going to essentially use that as like a mathematical tight placeholder to build our whole Nick's around with our master channel at negative 0 and our kick drum at negative 10, you should be able to just use our ears and build this pyramid all around the kick drum, making sure that the kick is like the nice and clear loudest part. But before we start building the whole pyramid, there's one other cool little step I want to mention. Got that kick drum up. And now this is one of the rare stages in the mix where you're going to want to turn things up a little louder on your control room or on their headphones on to correct my headphones up a little. And we're going to go to my bass track and I'm going to turn this down, unmute it. And without looking at the meters at all, I'm just going to bring this up to there you go. So now I've brought that kick drum up to taste like kinda just nestled it right in there with the cake. If I add a sub bass, I'd wanna do the sub bass first. But basically just using your ears, get the kick and the bass fit just right. So by doing that, your meter should still overhear be right around 10 is especially negative time, especially if you had a nice side chain on there, which we do. And that's kind of the beginning for the pyramids. The pyramids going to start up the middle and the motto for the most part, kick and base are usually right up the middle for the most part, at least the low end. And that's kinda the start for your mixed pyramid. Just doing that volume of the base to taste around the kick that's at negative 10 with everything else muted. So that's a good start for building the pyramid, and we'll move on to the other sounds in the pyramid next. 36. Build The Pyramid: All right, so for the next spot, we're going to jump in here. We've got our kick and base, all nice and balanced up kicks at negative 10 bases to taste. And this is now where you've gotta make a kind of a style choice depending on whether or not you have vocals. So one of the first things I'd like to mention is if you have vocals in your track at all, you usually want to mix their volume to just the kick and base because there were like really important and they should be present and loud over the whole mix. And a great way to achieve that is to bring those up around the kick and you just got the kick and the bass role in bringing the vocals. Maybe even fine tune the EQ, make sure they fit in there and the compression, get that just those main voices to fit and then move on to the other, other voices in the mix. Now in this case, I don't have any vocals in this track, so I'm gonna skip that step. But I'm gonna start to build the pyramid now. And I love to visualize a mixed pyramid kind of again with kickin base up the middle being mono. And then as we start moving down the pyramid, the next things we turn, unmute and turn up are the next most important sounds that are going to be like most of the middle, most mono, but have a little stereo such as snare drum, high hats ride cymbals. And then as we move out, maybe then we'll get to like the lead instruments. And then as we move a little further out, accompanying melodic stuff and then harmonies that are usually wider, quieter than everything else. And then on the outside we have the sound effects tracks. Now, luckily, we've been organizing our mixer as good producers properly. So that's pretty much the arrangement of our mixer, but just not exactly. So let's go ahead and move onto our drum kit so I can come here now an open lock it up. And I can start on. These individually are just bring in the whole kit and Tate do this to taste. I'm going to turn it down. I'm just kind of adjusting this to turn that snare drum down a tiny holding shift for tenths of a dB. And we'll see that open hi-hats here. And it's pretty good. I want to turn that down, touch to our course. There's my drums. Now. We've got another, again, another drum track right here. Let's turn that down and listen to this guy, our groups, our shift and arrows. I know I've got some more drum fills over here. It's nice to have this arrangement overview. Now. I subtract the percussion where loud and check the level inside of the group. Click. Already got that group. So I'm gonna set data. And our tamarind down. It feels really good. So now we've got our drums in or base in all of our percussion kinda moving down the pyramid. These sounds now have a little bit of pan. You know, they're not quite as loud as the kick and base, but they're kinda surrounding the kick and base. So let's move on to our melodic instruments. Those are going to be next in the kind of workflow. So I'll turn this down and bring it in. Probably going to go to a section of the track where they're all blast and he would go rhombus. Here we go. It's like us where we had those to check the inside of the mix. Here, this intrusive or who knows, what will happen, is that most MOOC. We're bringing up that melodic voice, just a touch. It's nice to know that feels really good. Let's try this other section. I'm going to move through our early two thousands. And you can see a general rule I've applied is that the lead voice is a little, it's more mono and it's more up the middle and it's little louder. The harmony voices like the chords and sustaining harmony notes, those are more wide and a little quieter. So it made it a point to balance those out nicely. And now lastly, let's look at the harmony boss. Now, I'm just going to solo it to make sure we remember what we're working with. This pad through. The API enables you to use. So that seems to be fitting nicely for our very last track. We're going to unmute. It's our effects must remember these are those isolated return tracks were recorded so we can chop and side chain and stuff. So this is more super wide stuff that's going to be the most quiet. All of our little one-shot symbols, squishy sounds and transition sounds are in here too. So we might want to move around throughout the arrangement and make sure we get the red section. Let's go here to this part. Now, the sudden, very nice. So we've got a nice overall mix, everything sounding good. Let's move over to the next section. Make sure we get all those one-shot minorities. Very nice. So once we have everything all down step, notice it makes a lot of sense to just kinda like double-check. Look over here and master channel and see where we ended up. Our target should be somewhere around negative five, negative six. And negative six dB is really the kind of industry standard goal for a remastered song. And we're going to bounce out and we'll be doing that in upcoming videos. We just went through and built our pyramid. And a lot of people are apprehensive to do this step because they're like, Oh, I've already been working on the song for so long. I've been mixing as I go. And that's great. But what thing that happens is when you're like working on the snare drum, you're going to want it to be nice and loud. And when you're working on the pads, you're going to want it to be nice and loud. And as you go through making the song, Everything's got to be loud and right. But there's something important about a mix when it's like lush and there's some sounds that are in the background, some sounds that are all front. Not every member in the band should be right in front of the audiences phase. And we're able to achieve this pretty effectively by rebuilding armed experimented kinda starting from scratch. Lots of schools of thought out here, out there in the world on how to mix the track. This is just one of many. But starting building your pyramid around your kick at negative 10, bringing up your base to taste, then doing vocals if you have any, and then moving your way down the pyramid until lastly you get to the sound effects and, and the transition sounds and such that are the most wide and quietest, that's going to usually yield consistently good results as far as the mixdown. So we're ready to kick everything out. That's what we'll be doing in the next video. So thanks for hanging out with me. All right. 37. Render Settings: All right, We're back, we've got our mix sound and really good. We're pretty happy with it. Now it's time to do some render settings we're gonna do in this video is we're going to bounce out our negative 6 dB premaster. Now we already built our mix around a kick at negative 10, which left us at about negative 7.7, which is pretty sweet. Let's drop this in at the drop and see what's up. In fact, I think maybe overhears really when things are kicking. The negative 6 somewhere between negative five and negative eight is usually fine. And then as you notice, I was checking my spectrum here just to see how that slope was looking at. This is our last chance to do any mixed tweaks the leaves should be probably poke it out a little bit. I do feel like the overtones on that base are a little hot. So this is our last chance to go through and do any little final tweaks. We've got a little negative six here around there. I'm going to I'm going to look at the sky one more time. So I can just take a little note, I can say, all right, well this F note and this g, which are both red around 350 and 400, as well as maybe this 580 to 350 to 400 and 500, 600. I can just head over to my bass track and maybe team that a little bit at already is kind of nestled in, but I'm gonna give myself one more little node, red around that 350 to 400 range, a little narrower. Push those guys down a little bit. And this guy, maybe I'll bring down just a tiny bit more and maybe why ended up just after our CR shadow looks now, those are a little more even across and kinda steadily hadn't done that. Sounds good to my ears. So last chance for column in each weeks on the mix, double-check your levels, get it between negative six and negative eight. And now we can just go ahead and select all on the whole arrangement with Command a and then hit Command L to set the loop race up around the whole thing. Shift Command R to render to disk and do our bones. Now, if you ended up before doing the bounce, needing to adjust any headroom here, like maybe it was too loud or too quiet, you can just adjust your gain here. Another thing you can do if you want is you can select all on your whole mixer. And like in this case, we wanted this to be up to negative six. Let's just perfect that. Negative six, it's pretty much perfect moment drum filled. With all these selected though I could click here and I can hold Shift and I'm adjusting the whole mixer in tenths of a dB. Let's try over here, which is three, negative four little too far. Reset it. And you keep track over here. Great. So CR I selected all and do a little shift click just to balance it out. I can also just adjust this, but our goal is around negative six and the loudest part of the song. And once we select all, we can hit Shift Command R to go to our render settings. And the big steps you want to make sure you double-check here is that you have all of these guys turned off in particular convert or obviously convert to mono. But normalize, you want to make sure you have off. And then usually put this at 24 bits. And with no dither, you don't really need to make an MP3 at this point, but that's generally your render settings. If your audio was originally recorded all at 441, you could probably be bouncing at 40 for one. Sometimes this will give you an opportunity to bone set and double the sample rate. Not really necessary for electronic music, but if you're making a film score music or classical music and recorded in the orchestra or something where subtleties in the frequency range can be really, really super important. That can be a theory that some people adhere to know. In this case, I'm listening at 44 one, I can go into one of my audio tracks and I can take a look at this sample. It's at 441. So my, all my audio and this session is 44 1s. So now I'm going to actually bounce at 441 or double that at 88 to avoid 48 or 96, I'll put it at 44, 124 bit. That makes good sense. All of those things turned off. Now I'm gonna do my balance. And the last little tip for this video is on the end of the file name. This is where it really makes a lot of sense to put it maybe an underscore and then do negative six. Premaster all caps at the end of the file name. This is important because this is a quiet file with all that headroom on top and high resonance stuff. You don't really want to accidentally put this under SoundCloud or anything that makes sense to keep it separated. So by hitting Save now it's going to be bouncing out my negative 6 file nicks. And this is going to be the thing we're going to drag back into master and our upcoming videos. So when it comes to that premaster, having that file naming correct makes a lot of sense. It also makes a lot of sense to keep this thing well organized. Put it in the project folder and just make sure anytime you're going on down the road, I don't know, make an MP3 or share a track with someone or whatever. Just keep this negative 6 file kind of under wraps just for you because again, it's quiet. It doesn't have fades or anything yet. It's on master. And that's why I really like having that filename stuff really sorted out. And beyond that. And that's pretty much it. So once this things kicked out, we can hit the pause button and we'll move on to mastering this track on next week for the mastering lessons. So, alright, have a great night. 38. Mastering Theory: All right everyone, We're back. This series of videos. We're going to cover some maximizing or mastering techniques. You'll be able to apply it to your stereo mixes. In other words, after you've bounced out a track like we did in the previous videos that's at negative six, kind of a quieter WAV file. We're going to be able to drag it back into, able to follow these steps, to pump it up and make sure it's as loud and clear as it can possibly be. Generally speaking, when you're mixing, assign your kinda mixing it quietly, making sure everything's nicely balanced relative to everything else. Whereas when it's time to master it, it's all about getting it to be as loud and clear as it can be in reference or relation to other tracks maybe in your stream. Because this might be the very last step that anyone's going to touch the song before it shows up on Spotify or Pandora or iTunes or whatever streaming service people are using. And you want to make sure that when your song comes on, it's just as loud and clear as the previous professionally mixed and mastered songs. So there's a little bit of an old theory here called the loudness war. Even dating to the early days of radio, the songs that sold the most records were the ones that were the loudest. Because when they would come on the DJ, you know, would play the next song on the radio and allowed a song would get everyone's attention. So that was kinda the birth of the loudness war. And now it is while I do believe that people have really kind of grown out of that and are looking for something that's a little more dynamic and essential than just the loudest possible thing. Certainly especially in modern genres of EDM and stuff. Loudness is still really, really important. I know I've digit a lot of my own songs are works in progress back in the day where I didn't do this. And often you have to crank the DJ mixer up and it just doesn't sound as good. So we really want to make sure that anyone even listening at home can hear all the sounds and it's nice and clear. And that's going to let us just optimize our listeners experience. So maximizing, I'd like to call this kind of mastering process. And this is really all about getting that loudness up. So if you remember by looking at the master channel, a good place to start is to crank up your meters to where they're nice and hot, tie it nice and high. And you wanna make sure that your meter, your volumes are all 0 down to negative 0. So there is all the way up. And we'll be able to watch when we import our track and make sure, you know that it's peaking below are still around negative six. And we'll be able to see that the RMS metering as well like we were talking about in previous videos. And over here on the master, after we pump everything up, you'll be able to see that RMS get louder and louder. And eventually as the RMS level gets within about six dB of the peaks, you're getting close to a nicely mastered so on now, if it's mixed well, it's probably already pretty close to that. But different styles require a different level of RMS. And generally, if you're going for electronic music, the DJ is going to play or be played at a festival or in a club. You want that net, that RMS value to be somewhere around negative four. Give or take a couple of dB, anything less than that, like negative three is going to sound pretty rough unless it's E cued perfectly. And anything more than that, like negative six or negative seven just isn't going to be loud enough to stack up to the other tunes on your playlist. So that's a little bit about the RMS standard. Another thing I'd like to mention really, really quick, is you want to make sure that if you know you're mastering to MP3 or just streaming service, that is just a little bit of a different approach than if you're mastering to vinyl. For instance, vinyl mastering is its own art form and we're not covering that in this class at all. I'm assuming that after you bounce these tracks out, you're going to put them on Bandcamp or SoundCloud or upload them to destroy kid or whatever. So they go up on Spotify or beat port. That's what we're preparing stuff for. So this is mastering for the digital era and for ideally mastering for our tracks to eventually become MP3s, which is a little painful. But that's what is. So to prepare a session again, we wanna make sure I'm our volumes here are all at 0. And generally you can get rid of any track that you have except for one audio track. And also wanna make sure there's no default effects on there. That's kind of the setup will be going over here to the Arrangement View, will be turning off the grid too, so we can just drop stuff on. This is just like a tape deck now. And we could even get rid of the launch quantization or the accountant if we had one. So this is now going to be kind of all set up for mastering on a single track. And in our next video, we'll start stacking some effects on to our track and getting it to sound nice and loud. So toxic. 39. Preparing To Master: All right, now that we're back here and ready to start importing our session and preparing for mastering. I can tab over to the arrangement view and I can do a couple of quick setup moves. First of all, I can hit Command F4 to get off the grid. So I have no editing grid anymore and I can also go to the county. And if I had one and get rid of that, that's going to be annoying when I'm mastering. As well as turning off the launch quantization. This is now just going to work like a stereo tape deck. And I can drag my track and get it ready for mastering. So I'm gonna go ahead and just grab my tune, my negative 6 dB premaster. And I'm going to drop it in. And I'm gonna make sure I look in here that I've got the negative six db file and I'm going to look across the headroom all the way across and see if there's any big loud peaks. Even this guy here is maybe a little questionable. If I really wanted to be super anal retentive, I could go into the mixdown and figure out what that one little drum hit was. That was a little loud or percussion sound. Maybe it's a field recording. But overall, before we master, It's always nice to see a nice even gain stage all the way across the whole track. Of course there should be dynamics. But if you had like one big random peaks sticking out any bigger than what you see here, you're going to want to probably go back into the mix and fix it. That'll of course get smoothed out in mastering. But the better the mix is, the less than mastering has to really evoke, and the better the final product will sound. So now that we've imported the track and we can see it on the channel. It makes sense to double-click and to look and make sure first of all, that it's not in warp mode. That's really, really important. And you are told me screwing this up, if you have your track being warped at all. And then in addition to that, you want to put fades on the front end of the file. This is an oftentimes overlooked but critical stage of the mastering engineer mastering process. So let's go slide this over to the beginning of the song. And now I'm just going to say the first sound that I hear. I generally want to have it around the first 16th note. The theory here is that after you hit Play, you have like a split second to take your hand off the button before you hear the first sound. That's going to ensure that no audio fades or anything are fading in and taking away the punch from the first sound. Like even let's just say for instance, you did have a track that started just like boom, and you dropped it in like this. You wouldn't want to master it like that. You'd want to zoom in. You can see my 16th note here, There's my first 16th. I'd probably put this like read somewhere in here. And then I'd go in on this first hit and just make sure that that phage see how it was even smooth enough that first hit, that's ghetto. You want that first it to be fully there, but you don't want no feed because that'll sound like a click potentially. So somewhere in there with just a little fade, about a 16th note in, and it would sound like this. All right, So right when you pull your hand away, it hits play. Now in the case of our production, we were smart and we went ahead and gave it some silence and the beginning of the track. So now I can just say, all right, let's go over here. Get this first hit to be somewhere a little before that first 16th note, that's a nice little amount of breath, maybe a little less. And then I'm going to go ahead and put a little fade in here to make sure there's no click in the beginning. Let's try it out. So that sounds great and feels great. Now we're gonna go to the very end of the track and do the same thing. Let's head over here and here's where I really like to make sure I can see my meters because we're going to be waiting for the sound to get become completely silent. And it looks like it's silent but it's not. We're going to wait until that thing goes all the way out. Right around there. That's great. And I can see where that line is. Let's drag myself through right about there. And then I can go ahead and hit the fade. Let's try that. And imagine like how long do I want this to be playing before the next song starts around there? So I'm actually going to bring it in a little closer. We're just going to finesse and that altro fade. This is again overlooked. But important technique of the mastering engineers for let that thing fade out. That's probably great. In fact, I feel like it's even still a little bit much just enough time for the next track on Pandora to fade in or whatever. So that's, that's a good setup. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to grab that loop race, and I'm going to drag it over to the very beginning of the song, making sure to include any silence that I manually put there and then bring this out to the very end of the track. Get a little closer in on here. My advice is get that right to the end. Now we've got a nice setup or a track is imported. We can see the whole game stage loop braces around the whole amount of time with fades. We're not in warp mode. And now there's no any addition, there's any additional junk in the session either. Like even if you did have some return tracks, you can go ahead and delete all those guys. Any additional sessions, any additional stuff? Always, of course, making sure there's no default effects on the track. Volumes are all at 0 as well. So this is just deleted at 0. And we should be good to go, just start processing this track and actually pumping it out and making it nice and loud will be doing that in the next video. 40. Maximizing: All right, so the video you've all been waiting for, this is now the processing section of the master in class, so we've imported it, everything's nice, plenty of headroom fades in and out. Everything feels good. Time to apply some sauce. So the general channel strip theory that we've covered in this class in the past, especially in the mixing level around starting with frequency effects where you cut and then amplitude effects where you squeeze the dynamics. And then maybe some saturation or distortion to add harmonics. That's kind of the basic idea, the same flow we're going to follow. This is going to be even more specific. So generally speaking, the main devices we use in our mastering channel strip when we're working entirely within Ableton are as follows, EQ Eight and then multiband dynamics, and then glue compressor. And those are the three kind of standard Mastering tools you're going to use pretty much every time. Now let's walk through setting those things up just like we did before. We're going to want to cut the base. Now I think I'm going to go to a part of the song That's nice and loud. I'm just going to go over here. That's cell-based dropped. It's kinda role in right there. I'm going to make sure to not be boosting at all and I'm just cut and usually somewhere between 2033 hertz, 2528 is usually a pretty good spot. I've got that really deep sub bass Robin Wall, which I do really like. So I want to preserve that as much as I can and try and get close. And yes, that feels pretty good. So I cut the base, that's easy. Next thing I would do is maybe wring it out a little bit. So let's turn on a band. And if you remember from mixing, we wring out usually somewhere between like three or 400 hertz up to about six or seven k. That's really usually the zone we want to watch out for. So overall to me, this feels pretty pleasing to my ears, so I'm not going to think about it too hard. And I remember, don't forget that technique for mixing and mastering where you can make your band more narrow and solo isolate it. Definitely some ring and going on right there taken out 3.06 hertz. Now naturally with content that has a lot of melody and harmony and key, it's going to get louder when you're hitting notes that are in key like that sin key. That's in qi. Doo, doo doo. So we're listening ideally for things that are undesirable. Definitely had a couple of squeaky ss over here like this guy. That's not in any way. I don't think let's cut that just to touch. So we could do that a few times if we wanted to know overall and listen and feeling like it's pretty solid, Let's do one more and just see if we can do a more gentle slope or boost. I'm going to give this again backup right around four or five on the queue. Definitely some stuff going on there. I'm going to take that topic. And this is a kind of process you can repeat kind of ad nauseum, but do it in small amounts and usually do it at quiet or volumes to make sure you're not fatiguing your ears unnecessarily once you've done a little bit or ringing out, I also like to look at the very, very top and make sugar sometimes on accident, especially when you're working in headphones, you'll end up with unnecessary boosts down here and that can be really grows sonic. So let's grab a shelf. Usually go somewhere up around like 10 K. And we'll listen to the shelving. We're going to see some peaks up here. Those little frequencies won't matter too much at quiet levels. But when you crank it up or you're in front of a big sound system and they're going to be pretty nasty. So that's the EQ setup. So that's a big, big part of the mastering or maximizing stages, those subtractive EQs. And I am going to probably readdress them after I apply some glue compression and soft clipping, just like we did in mixing, where there's this relationship between squeezing the dynamics and cutting the unnecessary frequencies. But let's, I'll leave it at that for now and we'll get a chance to do some more reading and coming up soon. 41. Additional Sweeteners: All right, Now that we've applied some ringing out EQ, let's go ahead and move on to multiband dynamics. I'm going to turn the glue compressor off. And then I'm going to follow, I'm going to walk you through how to really properly dial in the NVD device. This guy is really sweet, really powerful the way it usually starts as you want to solo each of the three bands. This is three different compressors in parallel. One just for the lows, one for the highs, and one for the mid-range. These little sliders here are going to adjust the frequency band for cutoff. So if I solo this, I'm only hearing the frequencies above 2.5 K, and so on. So let's adjust this. I want to get as much information in the highs and lows to kinda narrow in on the mids, basically separate my instruments to the best of my ability. So I'm going to solo this band and adjust this until I can just hear the kind of shimmer and not any of the body of any of the sounds less sometimes I'll listen for the snare drum. And I really don't want to hear too much snare and this thing at all other than maybe just some shimmery, shimmery. So that's cool. Now let's do the lows. I'll also listening for the snare, for instance. I'll bring this up, but make sure I don't hear the crack of that snare of the body. That's nice. Now here's to have no subs and no shimmer goal. So that's the first step. Next step will be able to look at each of these bands and decide which of them is the most dynamic. And if it needs any compression, usually the one that's moving around the most is going to be the first one you address. And you can tell we're in RMS mode because this is turned on. So we're just looking at the averages which makes the most sense at this stage. Decent amount of dynamics across the board. Let's start with the highest. So in order to compress the highs, I'm going to, this is my threshold right now. I'm going to grab this, I'm going to pull it down to r. I'm just kinda tick when those tops. Keeping in mind, this is my RMS compressor. And now I can click in the middle and just pull down. I'm clicking here in vertically pulling down. And you'll notice these little horizontal lines are getting closer together. What's happening there is that What was 10 dB? The whole vertical lines here, pardon me, vertical are 10 decibels apart. And as they get closer and closer together by clicking here and pulling down, we're actually decreasing the amount of dynamics above the threshold. This kind of a cool way to look at compression. So now that I've done that and it's kinda sounds still pretty cool. I can see at best I'm doing 10 dB of gain reduction there. So now I go to this output game and turn this up to around 10. Now before I do too much of this, I'm gonna take it out a solo to hear it altogether and adjust this to taste what I'm shooting for around town. Assume it's called this down. What just hitting those little Grayson, those tops. Now let's add little compression by pulling down a little lower. Looking, I'm cutting off about five. Let's take it up to solo and rebuy us up our whole level to balance that up to around negative five and positive five partner. Again, I'm just adjusting this to taste approximately going around this number. Awesome, So that's sounding pretty good. Let's AB that Marla so much presences, gain and head multi-band dynamic stage. It's always kinda shocking given to me I've done some million times. Now let's solo the bass and do the same thing. We want to be really careful to not compress the bass too much, but I'm going to listen and I'm also going to cover some of these upwards parameters here for the base, this might be fun, so I'm going to look and let's see where that compression should be. Usually again, the threshold should just be tickling the tops, making sure that when the signal gets quiet definitely goes below the threshold. And now I can add some compression here. You can see the little VU meters start to separate it. That's indicating how much gain reduction there is, about three. And again, I won't balance it out till I take it out. A solo, Of course. So another thing you can do with the base and with any of these frequencies is you can apply it upwards, compression or expansion. So if I bring this up like this, and I evoke compression down here, it's essentially going to keep the base this loud. So if I do like heavy compression, which is upwards in this case, it's pushing that sub bass up. In other words, not letting the sub bass get quieter than this. This is like the OTT setting. You've seen those OTT presets, I'm sure, especially if you're new at ETM, stuff from making issued super-duper loud upwards compression is really cool. Another thing that's really tight you can do with this device that I really like, especially if I'm doing some, say the original mix engineer me or someone else over compress the bass. You can actually reverse this and see how if I pulled down now I'm actually expanding the vertical lines. So they're further apart, going to re-add some bounce to my base. So whenever the base in this case turns down quieter than the threshold, it's going to push it down and out of the way it kind of like a gate does. Let's listen to that. Now that's adding dynamics to the quiet parts of the sound. Now in this case, so my ears, I kinda wanna upwards compress. So I'm gonna give this some compression. Let's listen to that altogether. We wouldn't do a loop algorithm, for example. And that feels pretty good, let's say B. And here's what it sounded like before. The movie American. Fun thing you can do with multiband dynamics too, is there's a scale here, an amount for all the ratios. So if you turn this down when it's just like turning it off and you can do more or less. Sometimes I'll end up kinda overdoing it a touch and I'll pull this back just a little bit to get a little more into the kind of sexy dynamic state. What will happen is if it's too loud, when you turn it up loud, it's going to hurt your ears. And so this again is a chance to go back and do more wringing out if you wanted a interface. Try that. Lastly, that all sounds pretty fog and good to me. And let out a little bit more. Compression is a subareas algorithm, for example, or lose. Great. So yeah, this is, I mean overall I who the EQ sounded pretty nice on this thing and the multiband dynamics definitely too. Let's listen. But one last time without any defects, they are great at some happy with that. So last but not least, it's time to turn on the glue compressor. So the glue compressor is really two different devices in one, by default, your soft clips, which might be off and this is probably down. The first half of the glue compressor is the kind of actual compressor which is based on the threshold. And then these three controls now, any gain reduction you'll be evoking is going to show metering. And in this case, if I'm going to do anything with the left half of the device, I'll just give it a couple of dB of compression maybe. And generally speaking, in mastering, you want that thing to be pretty fast. I usually don't go all the way up fast, but as a starting point, That's a good start. And I'll bring this threshold down. Just a touch tour. I'm just tickle in a little bit of the peaks is a herbal tea. And actually I, I, I don't really like too much of that compression, so I'm just doing enough honestly, it's going to push down that really little flagrant guy. Let's see, Let's watch that little meter jump when it hits this little loud part of the signal. Scary because it's like pushed it down, push it down by like a DB or something, that's fine. Okay, So now let's go to the second half of the device. And I'm going to hit this section, bring it in here. For the second half of the device, I'm going to turn on soft clipped limiting. Two ago. The soft clip limiter has a little light when you drive into it with the makeup gain or lose. So I'm doing now is I'm turning this up and tell I'm starting to see that light flicker just a tiny bit. And now that I just thought Flickr I let go. Let's hit play again right where we left off and see that light just barely flipping over. So that's where I hit Pause and I tab over the mixer and I take a look at this mixer. Remember I'm up here at 0. And so my, ideally when I'm pushing this makeup gain up, right when I see that flicker is when my peaks are going to be hitting 0. And in fact, you can see this field here is remembering my last peak, the soft clip limit or peaks you off at negative 0.5. So again, if I reset this, turn this down to where peaking at negative 5.5, bring that back. So usually when you got to turn your speakers down a little bit, system's going to start to get loud. And you can see right there, Twenty-five years. That's what the SAR quit limiters general factor in reverse. And now I get to decide how much RMS am I going to finally have, just like I mentioned in the earlier videos today, RMS headroom is how much zeros here, average volume. And so we want to bring the RMS usually somewhere around negative four and negative five for like maximum volume kind of EDM stuff. And if I crank this way up, it's going to be bringing that RMS up super loud. It's also going to be evoking a lot of coloration or distortion from the soft clip circuit. If I have this down low, will have greater distance between the peak and the RMS. So you can see when that snare drum clips claps sound like negative five. So we're peaking at negative five and our RMS was at like negative 20. So we have like 15 dB difference between the RMS and the peak, which is to dynamic. So we're gonna go ahead and boost this up to bring the peaks up in somewhere around five or six is when we're going to start to hit the soft clip circuit. And we're going to keep going until we see that RMS get up there around negative six, negative five, somewhere around there. This is, my RMS is getting up there around negative three. So I'm actually going to turn this down a little. And now we have used as a sentence introduces perfectly working out. In the next premise, more beats per million threshold down to us. Now this is going to be a nice loud file. So the EQ for cuts, multiband dynamics for separating each band and giving them a little bit of upwards or downwards compression or expansion. And then the glue compressor for doing any final trimming of any peaks plus mostly just boosting into this nice coloration circuit. The soft clip circuit won't let it go in the reds. But anytime you see that little light flickering, we are evoking some distortion now, normal mastering engineer is soft clipping the tracks quite a bit, especially in heavier genres like dubstep or dubstep. Anything heavy like that, there's going to be soft clipping, especially on the peaks like the drums and stuff. So that's all handling that right there. So those three are your main devices. Now, if you wanted to get into some really fine tuning of things like the stereo image, especially like if you're doing acoustic music, It's really common maybe to sneak a little subtle reverb in here after the multiband dynamics and before the soft clip circuit, and then after the reverb, you could even do a little midside dequeuing. Another technique I've seen people do a lot on the note of stereo image is put an EQ Eight right here before the Glue Compressor. Turn all the nodes off, but put it in mid-side mode. And then go to the stereo bands and just cut any unnecessary low-end information. Let's see how much stereo information there is in the suburbs. See, that's how it should look. Just gets dropped. Our nice, so there's no stereo image. And the base, if I did see movement in frequency content down here on the stereo bands, I would for sure cut that out of there by just laughing it off around 80 or 90 hertz, maybe even a 100 hertz. I can even put the steep shelf, steep cutoff that's going to allow me to push this threshold down even further. You also could consider putting a little boost on the highs. I usually say be really cautious about doing too many boosts when you're mastering. It's mostly about cuts. Cuckoo. In this case. If you don't need it, don't use it. I think it's fine. This is our master channel strip. So before moving on, I would shift, click on all these and hit Command G and show the header for the rack. And I'd call this IDM master channel. And I'd save that into my library that way. I'm not going to use the same settings, but at least I'm remembering where I left off last time. And if I decide there's any tweaks I need to make on the track itself. I can do that. And I'll have this as a good jump off point for tossing stuff in there. So BAM, there you go. So that's about it for this video, the master channel, channel strip. You can definitely pay people to master your music nowadays, pretty cheap, but this is a really great process and it's really also good for your brain. Next time you go in and you're doing your mic's, you'll get a better mix if you've tried to master your tracks yourself too. All right, so onward with analysis of our work and doing little AB comparison. This master with our favorite tunes. 42. Rendering and Referencing: All right, So we just finished mastering our track and now we're going to tab over the arrangement view. We're going to click on our loop brace, make sure it's includes the beginning and ending all that silence stuff. Effects are all on. Volumes are all at 0. We can just click right here, right off the top on the loop race and hit Shift Command R. And we're going to be able to include them Master, of course, you can pretty much leave all of this stuff turned completely off. And here's the one final time when you're going to want to add some dither. We'll talk about dither in a sec once we hit OK here, a nice 24-bit 441 wave makes sense. You want to make sure it's the same sample rate or double of the sample rate of the original recording. This was a 40, 41 bounce, so I'm going to leave it 24 bits for sure. And then in this case, if I wanted to make an MP3, I could, I'm going to turn that on just to save time. But this is a really nice MP3 engine. It does give you a really nice MP3 is. So once you hit okay, you're going to want to put this into your project folder from your original track. And in this case, I'm just going to call this the name of the song, intelligent democracy music. Just the full name of the track. No spaces, no assembles of possible, doesn't matter too much throat into your project folder. So that's going to render that out. Now I get to tell you about Deere there. So did there is a filter that will remove aliasing and other words like any subtle digital distortion that gets left behind from converting the file between different sample rates and bit depths, especially if you did have some recordings in your session that we're different sample rates, the dither is going to help filter out any unnecessary noise. In other words, then when you do like normalizer, master the file when you pump it up, you'll just be pumping up the good stuff. And there won't be any leftover distortion frequencies that are unwanted artifacts due to sample rate conversion at some totally nerdy shit. But now that we've gotten past the nerdy stuff, Let's get into the fun stuff. I'm going to grab my wave and I'm going to drop it right back into my session. We'll get a chance to look at our song and see what it looks like. Usually like to vertically Zoom my tracks to be about the same. You can use Shift Option and two fingers. Get him to be about the same height. And look at that. That is a nice loud, spicy meatball. And now if we wanted to, we could just mute this track and we can zoom in on this and make sure it got dropped and right at the top. Oops, I just didn't quite aim that drop in at the right spot. And now we've got a nice mastered track. Usually what I'll do is I'll go in and look at the loudest part of the track and check out what the peaks look like. Even these peaks here There's see that see that little roll-off on the top. It's not a sharp corner, it's a curve. If you saw like a sharp jag and corner, that's the kind of distortion that's going to leave unnecessary or undesirable harmonics. Now in this case it's kinda curve and enroll in off the top. That's that Glue Compressor, soft clip limiter. And if you decided after listening to this, you know, it's a little too much, we would know what parameter to go back in and we'd go right in here and just turn this makeup gain down a tiny bit. And you're going to have a little more dynamics in the mix. Now in this case, let's just listen to this thing quick and see how it sounds. And making sure we're at 0 for peaking at negative 25. Or RMS here is about negative seven. Well, what's that sub bass head for? Probably be up around negative four. Whoops. We haven't ever met mode. This kind of volume is how you're going to need for a DJ cell or a nerve. There's the slope is negative for a house not only do a certain age or a certain energies. So this all sounds good. I'm listening closely for any sort of weirdnesses like overloads or distortion that sounds yucky, everything feels pretty good and sounds nice. It doesn't hurt my ears at all. I'm pretty happy with this. So last little tip I can give you, and this is what any mastering engineer should always make sure to suggest, is that you go ahead and before really calling it completely done, take one of your favorite artists tracks in that style and the style of the music that you're mastering, especially if it's not your own tracks, you absolutely want to do this for sure. I'm going to go ahead and grab an, a effects to enzyme. Let's probably close and take a look at the waveform here. Now this is a song of a similar genre. And if I look at it with about the same kind of height on the track, I can see what that's looking like too. Let's zoom in on the loud kick drum part of the track here and see what that looks like. Let's look at a FX Twins peaks, see how they're hitting the top of their kind of rounded off. That looks about the same. Let's listen RMS wise and see what that sounds like. Negative four becomes very fine to him to love him. So now that's a good start. So the next thing I would do is throw up the cross fader. And this can be kind of painful because nailing a mix like your favorite producers can be really hard. But I just will unmute my master track, have them side-by-side, and then I'll assign the cross fader here to be a and B. And then right here on the cross fader switch itself, the fader itself. I'll hit key mapping. And you'll notice you can key map to the left or right of the cross fader. So this will allow me now I can hit Shift Spacebar, and now I can have one or two and a B, S. Now what's the word distress? And this kinda get a feel for how it feels it off. And you know what I'm taking away from this. First of all, we could be a little louder. Isn't that amazing? Like how could this be louder? But it really could be. I think we could have, we could get away if we really wanted to. We could pump up our own track a little louder even with that, with that makeup gain on the glue compressor. Now the thing I'm noticing is that his track is peaking at 0, like all the way up. So if I reset this fader, our peaks are going all the way up. Now, generally speaking, when you're mastering your own songs, you want to give them a tiny bit of headroom. This is because, especially they say when you convert your track to an MP3 and it does get this little bit of distortion that can happen if it's all the way up to 0. So there's different schools of thought on that. If you wanted to add the 0.5 dB, There's a couple of different ways you can do that. You can go to the original track and you can just put a utility on there and add 0.5 and that'll put your peaks right up at 0. Another thing you can do when you do go to bounce it out, you can just turn normalize on and that's going to end up for sure guaranteeing that you're WAV file is at negative 0 dB. Different schools of thought on that. I personally like to leave a half a dB up there on, especially because I know I'm going to turn this track into a wave or into an MP3. And I've just read a little bit about how there's a good argument for leaving a tiny bit of headroom on top of the file if you're going to convert it to an MP3. So either way, that leaves us feeling pretty confident we can AB between our tracks. The answer is kind of a breakdown. So let's go to a part where they're both kick. Now it makes lot of sense to have a similar kind of mix going on in this sections of the songs are so different. I felt like the beginning here was really where it was kids. Now, if we go over here yeah, like somebody just align those sections up if you wanted. So here we're going to have a nice AB mix between these two. And that's generally pretty satisfactory when things feel good and nice and well-balanced and similar types of sections of the song. Of course, you wouldn't want to compare the build or the breakdown to the drop or something, but lining those up can make sense. And now we've got a nice feel for how this works. We can call this reference track. And that can be another thing we could easily build into our templates. And now we have an AB with a switcher that we can have, right, nice and packed up in there under the hood. So we'll know that we'll be able to pounds check the reference and then the original track. And you can just keep making new versions, making little tweaks. This is a really great place to leave off. So again, there's lots of different schools of thought when it comes to mixing and maximizing or mastering your track. And so, yeah, thanks a lot for taking this class. Appreciate you very much and look forward to working with you in upcoming courses. And I hope you wish you all the best. All right. 43. What Comes Next?: All right, We have reached the end of Part 6. Huge amounts of live 11 material. I hope you had a good time. I hope you've learned a lot. What next? Well, the big thing that we haven't tackled yet is Max for Live. So I highly encourage you to check out a Max for Live course. I'm going to have a brand new one dedicated to live 11 out shortly. It's going to be the next thing I start making. And it's not all going to be about programming Max for Live. Some of it, a good chunk of it is going to be about just how to use Max for Live and how to find things that other people have made and they're giving them away for free. There's a huge community of people just making crazy and amazing effects and instruments using Max for Live and then just posting them around and giving them away for free if you know how to find them and install them. We will, however, also talk about the basics of programming in Max for Live. I actually learned how to use Max before I learned how to use live. Max was around for a long, long time, even if it's older than live. But I'll go into all that history when we get into Max for Live, it's really fascinating actually. So I hope to see you in that class. If not that class, I have a 100 other classes that you could check out that take advantage of live. Everything from composition to songwriting, to film scoring, to making beats and audio recording, all kinds of other stuff. So please check some of that stuff out to go even deeper into all of these concepts. 44. Bonus Lecture: Hey everyone, want to learn more about what I'm up to you. You can sign up for my e-mail list here. And if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also, check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me. And one of those two places are or both? And we'll see you there.