Approaching A Mix
Is Your Mix Letting You Down? This 6-part course takes the guesswork out of the mixing process directing your attention straight to the essentials of a professional mix.
The insights you’ll learn here will guarantee that you maintain audio quality throughout the process and produce better sounding mixes and masters that sound more dynamic, engaging and emotionally powerful.
Produce Better Sounding Mixes And Masters That Sound More Dynamic, Engaging And Emotionally Powerful
This course looks at 6 fundamental mix areas you should be focused on throughout the production process no matter what DAW you use.
By focusing on these areas when approaching a mix you will develop a more effective workflow leading to a better more consistent mix every time.
- One hour of professional video instruction
- Learn at your own pace, watch as many times as you need to learn the lessons
- 6 indepth videos each focused on integral elements of every mix
Areas of Study
- Gain-staging – optimising the signal flow in your mix, reducing distortion and preserving dynamic range.
- Phase – dealing with offset issues as well as effects and creative use.
- Panning – Giving separation and focus to elements in the mix plus some creative tips & tricks.
- Stereo Width and Depth – Enhancing the left to right and front to back image to create better stereophonic mixes.
- Meters – Using tools to help us visually read our mix, measuring actual loudness as we hear it and the various standards used in metering tools.
About Your Tutor
Alan Gleeson is a musician with 20 years professional experience working in all areas of audio production.
His interest in electroacoustic music, live performance and the science of sound give him a unique and profound perspective on sound creation and music production, knowledge that he is passionate about both sharing as an educator and developing as an evolving sound artist.
Technical skill with an experimental approach to sound.
► Gain Staging
In this video we will discuss gain staging, and why gain staging is important.
If you ever find yourself asking questions like;
- What level should my master channel be peaking at, and how do I set that up and maintain it?
- Why don’t my mixes sound like the Pros?
- Why does working ITB sound so different to working with hardware?
A major influence on the answer to all those questions is Gain-Staging, setting up your mix so that no overloading, distortion or clipping occurs, that you are not introducing unnecessary noise into your signal path you have plenty of headroom for those occasion peaks that the meters don’t catch and intersample peaks.
In the video we are going to talk about phase and what we must consider when creating a mix.
Phase is the timing relationship between the left and right channel signals.
In the creation of a mix there are various processes, intentional and otherwise that will alter the phase or timing relationship between the left and right channels of our mix. We can manipulate phase to create stereophonic mixes but there are also situations that will cause the stereo signal to become out of phase or phase shifted resulting in signal colouration or even phase inversion resulting in phase cancelation and level attenuation.
► Panning Part 1
The next 2 videos will focus on the use of the pan control and placing sounds in the stereo field.
Panning can make a mix sound bigger, wider, clearer and even enhance it’s mood and emotional impact.
How we ear is a combination of many cues but the main ones are timing and amplitude. Offsets in these 2 parameters is what allows us to localise a sound.
The pan control deals with one of these controls, amplitude. But the pan control doesn’t just turn one channel down as you move the pan control to one side. Depending on what DAW you have different “pan laws” are applied, sometimes with options to change them. There are also creative applications and we will explore these too.
► Panning Part 2
In this video we continue our exploration and use of pan. We will look at some tricks to help you get some creative results.
► Stereo Image
Stereo image or stereo width setup is part of the production process that deals with the relationship of sounds in the stereophonic field from left to right. Sometimes we work with single stereo sounds that are spread across the entire stereo field, we can also adjust this width for contrast or effect, at other times it’s the interplay between monophonic sources spread from left to right as in in the drums in the previous video, to create a balanced mix in terms of frequency and amplitude.
Creating a mix that is super wide is not always the goal, certain genres and tempos require a more mono-focused approached which is part of what we’ll discover.
Depth in a mix refers to the front to back relationship between sounds and elements in the mix. Mixes that have depth are said to be spacious and this is often connected to the use of reverb; sounds that have more reverb sound further back or more distant, sounds that are dryer are closers and more upfront.
When approaching depth in your mix, it helps to listen and think about how sounds work in the real world. What makes something sound distant vs. what makes something sound close? In general 2 things, frequency content and ambience or reverb. A sound that is further away will have more reverb and its high and low frequency content will be attenuated.
When working on creating an engaging stereo sound field we can go for realism, hyperrealism or whatever works for the track. It’s all about balance.
In a previous video we looked at and discussed phase meters, this video is about level meters, the various types you are likely to come across and their advantages and disadvantages. Meters aren’t just there to tell you if something is clipping. You will see here that meters can tell you a lot more. Used correctly they help support what your ears are telling you, or not telling you and help you create better balanced mixes.