From Armin van Buuren's MasterClass

Mixing and Mastering, Part 2

If you want your song to sound as big and loud as what you’re hearing on the radio and streaming portals, it’s all about how you process your master channel. Here’s how Armin approaches his “end bus.”

Topics include: Mixing Layered Leads • Keep Your Reverb Clean • Use the Frequency Analyzer to Understand Your Instruments • Breaking Down the End Bus • Find the Right Loudness • Test Your Mix by Turning It Down

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If you want your song to sound as big and loud as what you’re hearing on the radio and streaming portals, it’s all about how you process your master channel. Here’s how Armin approaches his “end bus.”

Topics include: Mixing Layered Leads • Keep Your Reverb Clean • Use the Frequency Analyzer to Understand Your Instruments • Breaking Down the End Bus • Find the Right Loudness • Test Your Mix by Turning It Down

Armin van Buuren

Teaches Dance Music

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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 how to DJ a set. Your crowd is waiting.

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Comments

Henry P.

I love it how the pluck finds a nice little nest between the low and high portions of the vocal range. That is truly a pro move mixing-wise.

Cosmic B.

Coming from a vinyl background, I can see where he is coming from in regards to wanting the different tracks to be the same volume when you're mixing live.. it is a task to try to get the same volume of each one when there is so much dynamic going on .. at the same time (in my opinion) it does bring a human element when playing live in attempt to have such a clean mix volume/eq-wize throughout the whole set.. little imperfections are kinda cool in my opinion.

Thomas G.

I see. So Armin is also not a big fan of the whole loudness battle going on. It's a bummer, but it's unavoidable to parttake in it…

Lachlan I.

100% agree on not mixing too loud, I've had a big problem doing that in the past, been improving now though.

Kristian J.

Great tips! There's a free plugin called SPAN that helps to check for clipping and frequencies also.

Sharif S.

Ah I see, he turns down the entire mix from the master to test the mix instead of starting from a mix that has every track low, which I how I recommend to start a mix.

Sharif S.

He shows a good example of how EQ works. Also great tips on reverb, it's handled similar to a vocal mic recording but at 300Hz instead of 100Hz. Digital clipping is terrible but if you can get authentic or synthesized analog clipping, it can sound good. I always like a tight and powerful sound but just as much a nice dynamic range. He doesn't mention how you should start the mix on every track much lower than the default 0 Db.

Jonas M.

Great lessons! Just a little curious about the reverb. He uses reverb directly on the channel strip of each track. Sure he EQs it with the built in EQ... Tough isn't it smarter to create an extra channel for the reverb using a send FX channel or an Audio Effect Rack in Ableton? Then you can have the same reverb on similar elements like Lead or Pads, but also you have way more control over it. You can EQ it, sidechain it, not only to the Kick, but also to the dry signal to make it cleaner. Using this technique you could even automate the volume of the reverb for example as a little gap filler. Really curious about your thoughts on that one, because I feel like this is quite important. Like Armin said the reverb can make your mix very muddy and having more control over it can improve your mix quite a lot.

Michael D.

He used the word multi band compression twice but he only had a single band SSL G Bus compressor on the master bus as far as I could see.

Rudi W.

Great Teacher its all about processing on master bus, and loudness . Thanks your Tips!