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In this video Point Blank instructor Paul Crossman looks at how a mix comes together in Logic,...

In this video Point Blank instructor Paul Crossman looks at how a mix comes together in Logic, starting with the drums and bass.

Mixing in Logic Pro X will ensure the drums and bass are correct in a dance track. It is a very essential part of making sure that the mix is right. If you do not get the drums and bass correct, the rest of the track will not work well.

Start mixing in Logic Pro X by looping all the drum elements. In this mix everything is being rendered to audio, which is a preferred way of working. It separates out the production and the writing stage from the mixed stage. You can color code into different sections to make it a lot easier to see what is going on and you can see, for example, the main drum parts are all being colored green and also take advantage of Logic Pro X track stacks to create a track-stack for a drum bass, which you can then use for extra processing

Bring out the basic drum track as it stands for mixing in Logic Pro X. If you choose to start the mix here, take a look at the individual elements, starting with the kick drum. Try to keep the overall level around minus 8db and aim for a master level of approximately minus 6 at the end. This will allow headroom for any potential mastering in the later stages, but it also means there will be no clipping on the master output. Be sure to look at the EQ when mixing in Logic Pro X. Drastic EQ cuts or boosts, at this particular stage, might not sound right and it is better to go back and look at the original sounds. You can move a fair amount of the low frequency using a low cut. If you have a kick drum and a bass all carrying lots of sub information it can get messy when you are in low-frequency ranges.

Use a resonant boost at around 60 Hz, just to give it a bit more of the thump. Also, give a boost up at the high regions. Now, the kick drum is not just about the low-frequency information; you want to make sure that the kick cuts through in the mix and a boost in the upper frequency regions can really help. Once the EQ is complete, add some compression with the tempo. Logic Pro X updated on the previous version and it gives a lot of access to a better compressor than before.

Follow back with Logic Pro X envelope plugin as this is a secret weapon. Add a little bit of attack to catch those initial transients and provide release off the gain. Be sure to view the isolation. If the clap is panned over and you could see a big volume difference between each of the claps, which can be better viewed as a waveform. You can see the transient peaks between these different claps, which can be problematic in terms of getting a consistent level out of the clap. Using a chain of effects can help with the clap sound.

A gain plug can be used to mono up the sound, followed by the gate. Gates are useful (but can be overlooked) when working in a digital environment. Gates were used in the analog days for removing noise, but it is also helpful when working with clap sounds. Bring in the VCA compressor at a high ratio of mix and make use of auto gain. This returns the gain to 0db but the idea is to not use a heavy limiter but rather grab the sound. A great feature of the new compressors is the ability to trim both input and output gain. The actual gain structure of a sound is important, especially getting the sound into each of the plugins, will help with achieving a solid sound quality.

For mid side decoding, use two EQ channels; one mid channel for the stereo and another channel for the side. You can use the two EQs to compress the mid and the side separately.

One of the strengths of mixing in Logic Pro X is the way the bass system works. You can add a simple stereo delay onto the top of the bass to give it a little more movement with a stereo width. Be sure to make use of the low and high cuts to minimize frequency range repeats. The new compressor options help balance the two sounds against each other as well as provide reverb. By using the volume envelope, you can bring attack to your bass sounds and provide clear sounds.


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