You Suck at Mixing 1 Preparing Your Track for a Mixdown


You Suck at Producing


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hi I'm underbelly and you suck at mixing in this series we're gonna go through every step necessary to properly mix down your track in this first video we're gonna learn how to best prepare our track for the mix down journey let's get started okay subjective mixing is the process of blending all the sounds together in our track to form a sweet delicious soup now it's very important to note that mixing cannot turn a song into a non song so before we start it's very important that you're a hundred percent happy with all the creative aspects of your track because once we start the mix down process or essentially committing to the track as is like you would with your first wife if you think your track still might be a song try submitting it to my disc or or it will be happily roasted by hundreds of other producers let's go ahead and open up our computer devices and prepare our track for the mix down okay Syd jacket here we have a nice little slice of pop let's take a listen [Music] absolutely nothing wrong with that I think we're ready to start the mix down process and what that involves is bouncing every one of these individual tracks to audio now there's a couple reasons why we do this first off it forces you to commit to the track as is because we will essentially be baking these tracks the MIDI clips here into an unchangeable audio track now you might wonder why would want to do that well it's probably because you're afraid of commitment okay you're afraid of not being able to go back and endlessly tweak this track and never actually finish anything just like the rest of your life so that's why I would recommend bouncing the audio it forces you to kind of take the creative hat off and put on the technical mix down a hat now I don't really wear hats but I'll probably have to because my bald spot is growing in addition to forcing you to kind of draw a line in the sand if you will audio is much easier on your CPU and also much cleaner to work with as you'll see so before we bounce to audio we're probably going to want to take off the unnecessary audio effects that are plaguing each one of our individual tracks so definitely take off everything on your master and let's just kind of comb through these you notice in this truck I have some congas and you'll notice that I have a sidechain compressor now that's something I'm probably gonna go on to tweak and really refine in the mix down process I'm probably not going to want to bake this into the audio so for that reason I'm going to turn it off however the camel crusher okay let's hear it with it on and then off okay you heard that when I turn it off the congas turned into a flimsy shell of themselves that camel crusher is really integral to the sound it really makes the congas who they are so that's probably something that I'm going to want to leave on and actually baked into the audio next up we have our journey strengths okay I don't like journey and also these are not strengths the EQ and reverb I have going on here probably could be better I probably would want it to week these later on so that's why I'm going to leave them off they also don't change the sound that dramatically so what you would have to do is kind of go through every single one of these tracks and turn off those unnecessary audio effects and only leave what's integral to the sound okay ditto with the unnecessary automation let's get rid of that dinner with the any unnecessary tracks really and also now let's kind of take a look you see here at my drums notice how they're all collected into one massive drum rack and if I was to export this it would all be baked into one I wouldn't be able to extract each one of the individual drum hits because they would all be on one track that is not cool bro so what we have to do here is say I wanted to separate I don't know this kick out what I would do is right-click on the kick and hit extract chains and wowzers now it's its own audio track sorry MIDI track has its own MIDI information its own drum rack and it even keeps any audio effects that I have on that specific drum yet I'm not actually going to take this off but this is a very convenient way to separate out and prepare your drums for the mix down process if you do use drum racks now I would also label each one of these so get no get what's this see what we have here more get basically just label them in a way that's easy to remember and once you have that going it's time to actually export these bad boys now it's very important that you select all individual tracks or selected tracks only if you're feeling particularly our I can just keep in mind that it will bounce groups as one audio track and one also bounce all the audio tracks within the group individually so you'll be getting a group bounce and the individual balance kind of redundant I would actually increase the render length a little bit past the end of your track to account for any reverb tails anything like that and I would also leave normalize on what normalizing does is it turns up every single audio track to make it as loud as it can be without clipping which totally up all the relative volumes you've set for your tracks now you might be asking yourself underbelly why would I want to redo all the relative volumes well it's because you do it better the second time you'd think it's okay plus it also forces you to reckon with every single element of your track so that means elements that you might have buried or hidden in your track will be super loud and actually force you to reckon with them and see if you actually need them at all so that's why I tend to leave normal eyes on it's because I usually get a better relative volume mix down the second time around now I would probably also leave dither off that's something you really only want for your master track leave the bit-depth as it is you can analyze maybe convert some of these to mono if you're feeling like you feeling sick like you have mono and then go ahead and export this create a folder and wowzers there you have it I've already done it once you got that balanced go ahead and create a new blank live set this is where we're going to be actually doing the mixed downing go ahead and take all your beautiful bounces here and click and drag all of them into this new empty live set go ahead and hold down command so that each one of these gets their own track and wowzers look at that beautiful set of fast sausages now let's go ahead and get organized here I'm gonna go to drag these out notice that I've labeled all of them 1:17 that's the BPM so I don't forget and let's go ahead and kind of consolidate and color code all my drums first okay so all these snares I'm gonna make yellow with a assign track color to clip so it's much more visible let's find some other drum elements these high hats here oh it's put them all in the middle there also make them yellow the color of piss and enjoying that recently and let's find uh maybe the claps bring that in there as well anything else that I'm missing basically and you just kind of get organ here and whoops we don't want any groups yet actually we kind of want to reserve those for a little bit later and let's go ahead and open up all these drum elements here and let's organize them in the way so that the elements that are starting off at the beginning of the track are kind of at the top here while the elements that are maybe later on we probably want to leave towards the bottom so we're kind of getting like a downward staircase shape here to kind of help us get organized so I would recommend doing that with every one of these drum groups here every one of these instrument groups so that when we're ready to establish our relative volumes we're super neat and organized wowzers Oh case jacket now that we have our track prepared next time we're going to be establishing the relative volumes of our primary secondary and ornamental instruments I'm underbelly see you soon [Music]