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Arts & Entertainment

In the Studio, Part 6: Cleaning up and Mixing

Armin van Buuren

Lesson time 17:07 min

Now that Armin and Benno are feeling good about the elements of their track, Benno takes a step back to organize the project and rough in the mix.

Armin van Buuren
Teaches Dance Music
Learn how to make dance music from the platinum-selling producer voted No. 1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine.


TECHNICIAN 1: All right, let's see what will happen here, mix wise, because now we're going into phase two. Shall I just make it sound a little bit coherent. - Yeah, that's minus 12 dB on the master list. We got the stereo out. Ooh, that's wrong. TECHNICIAN 1: Yeah, let's fix that for now. TECHNICIAN 2: Everything . TECHNICIAN 1: So first, let's decide what we're going to throw away, because that makes a lot more sense. What are we going to use from this bass line? - I don't think we're going to use that bass line. That's the bass line, we need to clean that up as well. TECHNICIAN 1: Which one? TECHNICIAN 2: 27, that's the bass line. You need to copy that over. TECHNICIAN 1: Solid. TECHNICIAN 2: Yeah. TECHNICIAN 1: Let's clean up the project a bit so we have more overview, right? - This is a bit of the tedious part of making a new track. But you'll be so happy that-- when you've cleaned it up, it's so much more easy to review your choices and go back. And when you start working on another track and you open this project again with fresh ears, then immediately, you see, oh, here's my kick, here's my bass. Here's my bass line. TECHNICIAN 1: So perhaps now is a good moment to see what we can do with the levels, because this is sounding quite OK. Just a little bit of this low end here. Give it a little bit more room. Might be too much, but we'll see that later. All right? So the kick is not really that powerful here. It was like a head room of like 12 degrees or something. And if we go to-- first, I need to reroute all these elements which are not going to this bus. If we mute this part, you still see output. That's not what we want. Select all parts and route it to the bus. You can see where it's going to, this real handy new feature in Ableton sorry-- Logic. So everything should be going to the bus, yeah. Now we're going to try to do something from scratch here. So for example, that filter is a great one. Let's try to use multiple compression here. I'll start for-- just trying to loop something for . So let's add some compression to it. You can see what it's actually doing. It's suppressing when the kick comes in. And that's what I'm after right now. A little bit more tech, perhaps. I'm not sure at this stage. But I always like to see this going to zero dB. So you can easily without having the levels too much out of control. So let's add another one. For example, like this. TECHNICIAN 2: With all those different elements in your mix that are going on, you want to make sure that it sounds like it's one track. Everything has to glue together. That's why we love using any compressor that involves a pump sound. With a pump sound, we need a quick attack. You can hear the trending of the kick. TECHNICIAN 1: So it's really getting a little bit of glue already. I want to see where my levels are at, so let me ...

About the Instructor

Every week, Armin van Buuren puts 41 million listeners into A State of Trance on his radio show. In his first-ever online class, the platinum-selling DJ breaks down his hits and builds a track from scratch to show you how he produces, performs, and promotes dance music. You’ll learn his technical process for using samples and plug-ins, mixing, recording vocals, and how to DJ a set. Your crowd is waiting.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I threw my hands in the air several times during this Masterclass. What an amazing teacher ! Thanks for sharing all the knowledge and the stories. It really motivated me to create. I had a great time and learned a lot. It couldn`t be better. Its all about the music, the good energy and having fun !

I loved this lessons from one of the best. I learned a lot . Thank you Armin

he spoke about lots of ways to create, showed his creative process clearly

Th e Human element of Armins lessons alone are a great inspiration but its about he he go's things even in the studio its fun first because the music is the passion and this reflects throughout the whole course. I took a lot away form the arrangement tips from gain staging in the drops to layering of the kicks and taking a no linear approach. A very humbling watch


Chris K.

It's unbelievably frustrating how many times throughout this course where they are demonstrating things on their computer screen, and the editors crop out where the cursor is, thereby not allowing the viewer to see where the action is taking place. Happens in almost every lesson.

andres C.

i need a bald guy like that to help me out with my mastering as he helps armin too with that


I like this one a lot more than the last two. Benno teaches you better about Compression and Limiting than AvB.

Tushar M. Recently released this one. Feedback appreciated. Thank you.

A fellow student

Be nice to know what the spec of the computer they are using seems a lot of processing going

Chris R.

Hi! I did this remix recently. Could you give me some feedback?

Arjan B.

Hello guys, would mean a lot to me if you listened to my new track. Tell me what you think:

Rick E.

Don't understand why they would still be creating and adding instruments when they've committed to the mixing stage


He switches his limiter to "Oversampling 16x" and just says "It makes it better". How does this make it better? What is Oversampling doing? Just making it more high quality? Why not always have it on? CPU intensive>? Also I noticed at the very end he makes a sub in Sylenth and puts reverb on it? Armin just said in the last lesson that he doesn't use reverb under 300hz. What am I missing here?

Unique Loud S.

hey Guys I made this progressive song so if you have time. chek it out!