Young Guru x Skillshare Contest [Lonely Road] | Skillshare Projects

Dusty Loops




Young Guru x Skillshare Contest [Lonely Road]

Hello folks,

My name is Dusty Loops. I am a (lo-fi) producer from Toronto, ON and have been producing for myself and those around me for nearly 10 years. Although I have produced for several of my friends, I have never put out an official project until just now (well, I'm almost done!). The timing of this class couldn't have been more perfect. The track I chose to submit is called "Lonely Road" (featuring Strictly Steele and Scott Free) and will be featured on my upcoming debut project "Lo-Fi Glory".

With 28 global tracks in the session (plus 22 busses), I thought I'd share some of the key elements of the record and how I achieved the final sound. As seen below (unmixed session), I initially started out with 22 tracks and had lightly arranged the tracks after recording the vocals (Track 1-10).

Here is the unmixed bounce:

Below is the mixed session, arranged/labeled with the vocals up top (Track 1-14) and the instruments at the bottom. Track 29-32 are group buss channels tracks I placed for automation purposes.

The four key elements which make up the tracks are the Drums, Bass, Synth and Vocals/Vocoder.

1. Drums (+ percs/break): I applied EQ/compression via SSLGChannel plugin on all the tracks below and set a limiter in place just as a safety net. I added a sinewave to the 'kick' as shown in the class and grouped that kick in one buss and ran it into bus3 labeled 'DRUMS'. I also added reverb to the snare and hihat and panned the fx to the left for a fuller sound.


All the tracks then run to bus3 where I applied parallel compression and then mixed the two tracks into one final bus labeled 'FDRUMS'. At the final drum bus, I added light EQ/complression and saturation to glue all the elements together. Please see below:

I've carried this same process of aux/group busses on the remaining tracks. It keeps the mixing process clean/organized and very helpful for automation and minor touch-ups near the end of your mix.

2. Bass: 'bass 1' is used through out the verses. I added a lowpass filter and light compression (with side chaining on the kick). 'bass 2' is used in the hook and had more tone than the other one. I brought out the tone using the EQ, compressed it fairly hard and added saturation for a warmer feel. It also has side-chaining on the compression with the kick. I mixed my bass with the drums at a low volume and left it right when I was able to feel it.

3. Synth: After EQ/compression, I doubled the synth track for a wider spread rather than using a stereo spread plugin. I panned the 2 sounds just a little outside of the drums range and mixed it accordingly with the drums and bass.

4. Vocals/Vocoder:

  • Hook: I doubled one of the background layers and panned them L/R. Once I treated all the hook tracks and bus them in a group, I mixed in a second aux track with tape delay for a thicker sound.
  • Verses: I EQ'd all the bad tones and then ran in through SSLG for EQ/Compression. I applied parallel compression to the vocals for a thicker sound and added a de-esser on the individual tracks and the group bus. The ad-libs were mixed in with light treatment and delays.
  • Vocoder: I boosted the high frequence on the sound to bring out the air, applied a medium compression and balanced it with some reverb+distortion panned hard R.
  • The vocal fx in the background is doubled and panned L/R. Light EQ/comp and delay used.
  • I mixed the vocals with the snare in mind. I had them sit slightly above it. I used automation on the vocal group bus for some parts where the compression was working too hard.

In the end, I was working with around 5-7 final group busses and it was far easier to find the right balance. Through add and subtract, I sent all the final groups to one bus where I added light EQ, compression, hi-pass filter and a limiter for safety.

Here's the mixed bounce:

Hope you found something of interest in my banter. If I did anyting incorrect, feel free to reach out and let me know. All feedback is welcome!

To reach me directly, give me a shout at: [email protected] or @dustyloops

Thank you for your time!


Dusty Loops


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