Chapter 15 of 33 from Armin van Buuren

In the Studio, Part 6: Cleaning up and Mixing


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.

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

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.

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

Armin van Buuren

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.

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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 building a DJ set. Your crowd is waiting.

Join Armin in his studio to learn how he layers sounds, produces tracks, and prepares for his live sets.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class, along with exclusive audio stems from Armin's projects.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Armin and his label will also give feedback on select student work.


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

this class added so much to my toolbox, how Armin break down everything he does is very useful and inspiring. Thanks a lot Armin!

I learned that when making mashups or a less than ideal transition between songs, reverb is a good tool to smooth out most imperfections. I also learned about the basics of arrangement in creating a song.

very impressed by the honesty, technical detail and genuine caring and inspiration and humbleness shown on this course. Super value and I got more than what I thought I would get which was just technical information. Thank you Armin, superb job!

Yes, I feel far much better confident with myself! Thanks Armin


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!

Matthew R.

Thats the most expensive computer desk I've ever seen. Makes no sense why they're not using it

Mike B.

Can I get an explanation as to what they mean when they talk about A and B?

Sharif S.

Logic looks pretty good but I love Presonus Studio One. Used to use Cubase but have tried many.


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 [INAUDIBLE]. 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: [INAUDIBLE] 27, that's the bass line. You need to copy that over. TECHNICIAN 1: Solid. TECHNICIAN 2: Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] 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 [INAUDIBLE]. 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 [INAUDIBLE] 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 ...