Mixing a song is a subjective art, but generally a song begins with the drums, then the bass line, and then each instrument is added in to layer the sound. Create a perfectly mixed song with information from an independent recording engineer and producer in this free video on music recording.
Expert: Frank Green
Bio: Frank Green, owner of DigitalMaster, moved to Nashville, Tenn., more than 24 years ago to further his music recording and production career.
Filmmaker: Dimitri LaBarge
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Learn compression: http://learncompression.com
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Ear training: http://quiztones.com
Drum samples: http://weissdrums.com
Mixing tips: http://theproaudiofiles.com
Advice for mixing musically and what separates good mixing from great mixing.
Great mixing is musical, while good mixing is technical. Both are important. Technical means getting balances and imaging right, making things punch, etc. Musical mixing is following the soul of the music. Understanding what’s there and enhancing it, or turning things down that are non-musical.
– Avid Pro Tools
– Waves H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer
All right guys, Matthew Weiss, www.weiss-sound.com, www.theproaudiofiles.com. I got a really cool one for you today. We are basically going to be delving into the process of what separates good mixing from great mixing. Great mixing is musical. Good music is technical. Both are important. Technical means getting balances right, getting imaging right, making the things punch and do what you want them to do. Musicality is following the sound of the music, understanding what’s there and enhancing that or turning the things down that are non-musical. So, let’s give a little listen to this track right here.
[music 0:44 – 0:54]
It’s got a cool boom-bap, break beat kind of vibe. I like it. Anyway I’ve felt that even while I already pre-treated everything, it’s technically correct, I feel like it could be a little more interesting and more exciting. So, I’m going to flip this out of bypass and play it again.
[Music 1:14 – 1:25]
I’m going to flip it in and out just so you can hear the difference because it’s subtle.
[Music 1:29 – 1:43].
Right, it suddenly comes to life and in a much more, musical way. Well, what I’m doing is I’m enhancing on the idea of phrasing. The bump-ba-do-ba-do-ba-dump-ba-do-ba-do-ba-dump-ba-do-ba-do-ba-di-bi-di-bidump. That’s the phrase and so there are components to this phrase. When we break down the sample.
[music 2:09 – 2:15]
We have this brass band hit that happens on the down beats and then we’ve got a solo, well it sounds like an alto sax coming in and doing that do-do- do-do/do-do-do- do-da-dump, the lead line basically. I wanted to enhance that dynamic more so what I did is I grabbed an equalizer and I set it so that as it plays it’s automated.
On the down beats I have this 870 Hz turned up by over six decibels. That’s that “doump” that’s coming out. So, every time that down beat hits, the 80 hertz pops out. Now, when it switches over to the lead line here, I found the timbre of the alto sax, the tone that made the alto sax really pop out and just while the alto sax is playing that lead line, I have that boosted up by almost 5 dB.
These are fairly dramatic boosts but because they’re switching in and out, they’re not constant, you can get away with doing a little bit more. So, now it’s more 80 Hz on the down beat, more, what, 2.3 kHz on the lead lines and it switches back and forth so not only are we enhancing that phrasing, but we’re also creating a tonal contrast, which makes the entire thing way more interesting.
Anyway, the lesson to take away from all of this is when you’re constructing your music and doing your mix-down, think in terms of musicality. What are the dynamics of the record and how can I bring that out.
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