Arts & Entertainment, Music

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.

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Topics include: Roughing In the Mix • Dialing In Instrument Sounds • Honing the Lead Layers


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.

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Armin van Buuren

Learn how to make dance music from the platinum-selling producer voted No. 1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine.

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