Power Mixing Courses

The Power Mixing Course series includes 5 individual courses that break down each step of the mixing process in explicit detail. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Mixing Workflows, Compression, Equalization, Effects Processing and Mix Automation. 57 Classes, 440 lessons and over 140 hours of content!

Power Mixing Course

The Power Mixing Course is specifically designed to increase the speed and quality of your mixing work. This is achieved by teaching you the mixing workflows of professional mix engineers throughout the decades right up to the modern DAW era..

Intro Class: The Power Mixing Course

This class defines Power Mixing and the reason for creating this course. It is through my own personal experience that I can teach the techniques of the masters and how they can be adapted into the modern DAW workflow.

  1. Power Mixing Course Overview

  2. What is Power Mixing – My Story

  3. The Power Mixing Mindset

  4. Endless Options = Endless Mixing

  5. Limitation = Resourcefulness

  6. The Vibe First Approach

  7. Getting Started

 

Class 1: Maximizing Mix Efficiency

EVERY MIX MASTER I learned under utilized some variation of these techniques. If you are thinking “I already know this stuff” and its still taking you days or weeks to finish a mix then you need to watch this class…

  1. Assessing & Organizing Tracks

  2. Color Coding

  3. Tempo Maps and Memory Locations

  4. The 3 Tier Mix Structure

  5. Mix Templates and Presets

  6. Track Ordering and Grouping

  7. Minimizing Track Count

 

Class 2: The Mixing Foundation

EVERY MIX MASTER I learned under focussed HEAVILY on the basics. When they were done with all this seemingly “insignificant” work, the mixes always sounded amazing. To ignore these steps is like waxing a car before you wash it, a complete waste of time and energy.

  1. Reference Mixes & Mix Mapping

  2. Gain Structure & the Unity Gain Principle

  3. Editing & Performance Issues

  4. Levels & Panning 

  5. Phase Alignment

  6. Filters and Tonal Shaping

 

Class 3: Mixing With 1 Comp & 1 EQ

This Power Mixing Technique focusses on the basic principle of simplification in the mixing process. If you need more than 1 EQ and 1 Compressor to get a something to sound good, then you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how these tools work in a mix.

  1. A Simplified Approach to Mixing

  2. EQ>COMP or COMP>EQ

  3. Filter First

  4. Compression for Feel and Placement

  5. Tonal Shaping

 

Class 4: Console Style Mixing

Almost all of the amazing pre DAW era mixes were done using the exact same processors for each audio track. “Outboard” processing was limited to the most important elements of the mix like the lead vocals. The simplicity of this approach creates a uniform sonic consistency with the instrumentation while featuring important elements of the mix.

  1. The Professional Mix Studio Setup

  2. Tape Saturation Processing

  3. Channel Strip Processing

  4. Selective Vintage Processing

  5. Analog Summer Processing

Class 5: Mixing at Abbey Road Studios – REDD & TG12345

Everyone reveres the classic consoles but very few have had the privilege of actually working on any or all of them. Most will use the emulations here and there in their mix thinking that they are getting that “classic sound”. Imagine limiting your entire mix to one classic console exclusively… The Classic Console Approach from Abbey Road Studios!

  1. The Classic Mixing Consoles of the 60’s

  2. Mixing at Abbey Road 

  3. Mixing on a REDD Console

  4. Mixing on a TG12345 Console

  5. Tape Emulations and Gear of the 60’s

 

Class 6: Mixing at Olympic & Trident Studios – Helios & Trident A Range

Everyone has heard of Abbey Road Studios due to the Beatles classic abum, but not as many know about Olympic and Trident studios and the many great records recorded and mixed there. This Class focusses on the distinct sound of the Helios and Trident consoles that made them great.

  1. The Classic Mixing Consoles of the 60’s & 70’s

  2. Mixing at Olympic Studios

  3. Mixing on a Helios Console

  4. Mixing at Trident Studios

  5. Mixing on a Trident A Range Console

  6. Tape Emulations and Gear of the 60’s & 70’s

 

Class 7: Mixing on Classic Neve Consoles

The development of console technology during the 70’s was due to the increasing demands for higher track count tape machines and the need for more powerful and flexible tools. The consoles of Rupert Neve left an indelible mark in the history of recording and mixing. This class features mixing exclusively using the Neve consoles of the 1970’s

  1. The Classic Neve Consoles of the 70’s

  2. Mixing on a Vintage Neve Console

  3. Mixing with the 1073, 1066 and 2254

  4. Mixing with the 1081 and 2254

  5. More Gear from the 70’s

 

Class 8: Mixing on Classic API Consoles

Another great console manufacturer from the 70’s was Automated Processes Inc or API. API was formed in the late 60’s and was responsible for many technical innovations that made their consoles highly sought after including computerized fader automation. Although the company has gone through a a number of owners over its history it is still a major player in the pro audio market today.

  1. The Classic API Consoles of the 70’s

  2. Mixing with the 550a & 525

  3. Mixing with the 550b & 525

  4. Mixing with the 560 & 525

  5. Even More Gear from the 70’s

 

Class 9: Mixing on the SSL E & G Series

No single console in the history of recording was so exclusively designed for mixing as the SSL consoles of the 80’s and 90’s. The first to feature compressors and gates on every channel strip, the ability to recall exact console settings and their revolutionary automation system made SSL the “go to” mix console of the 80’s and 90’s.

  1. The Classic Consoles of SSL

  2. Mixing on the SSL E Series Console

  3. Mixing on the SSL G Series Console

  4. Tape Emulations and Gear of the SSL Era

 

Class 10: Mixing on the Neve 88RS & SSL J & K Series

The Neve and SSL era peaked with the release of the 88RS and the J&K Series consoles respectively. neve continued to shape it’s classic sound while SSL focused on creating the most transparent sounding consoles ever built. The result was nothing less than spectacular on both accounts.

  1. The Transition of SSL to the J Series Console

  2. Mixing on the SSL J&K Series Consoles

  3. The Transition of Neve to the 88RS

  4. Mixing on the Neve 88RS Console

  5. The Digital Multitrack Recording Era

 

Class 11: The Mixing Formula Part 1

Emulation technology has not only given us the ability to use the technology of the past but also to assemble that technology into the workflows of master mix engineers. Waves has accomplished this through a series of plugins called the “Signature Series”. Although you do not know exactly what processors are being used, you can quickly emulate their processing techniques and sound for specific instruments utilizing a simple GUI.

  1. The “Signature Series” Workflow

  2. The Signature Series Plugins

  3. The Kramer Mix Formula

  4. The Maserati Mix Formula

  5. The Lord Alge Mix Formula

 

Class 12: The Mixing Formula Part 2

This Class is a continuation of the Signature Series mixing techniques from the previous class. The Manny Marroquin Signature Series cuts a new path from the others by bundling his favorite settings into into individual EQ, Reverb, Delay and Distortion processors instead of creating instrument specific processors. The following lessons feature the classic analog models that are the favorites of the signature series artists.

  1. The Jack Joseph Puig Formula

  2. The Manny Marroquin Formula

  3. Kramer Tape, Tubes and Transformers

  4. CLA Classic Compressors

  5. JJP Analog legends

 

Bonus Class: Analog Mixing Enhancements

This Bonus Class features all of the in-between stuff that glues the console emulations and mixes together. They are emulations of the recording mediums for the source multi tracks and the stereo mixes. In between the tape machines and all the console emulations is the input amplification and buss summing circuitry that are a critical part of the authentic sound.

  1. Abbey Road J37 Tape Machine

  2. Ampex 351 Tape Machine

  3. Studer A800 Multitrack

  4. The ATR102 Tape Machine

  5. Input Amplification and Analog Summing 

  6. On to Effects…!

Power Compression Course

The Power Compression Course is the most comprehensive study of the art of dynamics processing in the mixing of music anywhere. This 12 week course focusses solely on dynamics processing techniques and includes practical applications and demonstrations every step of the way.

Class 1: Dynamics Processing Primer

This class sets the foundational principles for dynamics processing and how to get started on the right foot. Understanding inner workings of dynamics processors, how to hear them  and when to apply them it is critical to your success. Even more critical is learning how to select the best tool and approach of the job.

  1. Defining Dynamics Processing

  2. History of Dynamics Processing

  3. 4 Types of Dynamics Processors

  4. The Parameters of Dynamics Processors

  5. Dynamics and the 3D Sound Field

Class 2: Compression and Expansion Basics

Dynamics can be broken down to 2 basic working methods, Compression and Expansion. The way those 2 forms of processing are manipulated and applied creates an astounding range of control for the engineer. This lesson breaks down the way these 2 forms of dynamics processing can be applied in 4 basic ways.

  1. The Practical Application of Dynamics

  2. Downward Compression

  3. Downward Expansion

  4. Upward Compression

  5. Upward Expansion

Class 3: Compression Techniques Part 1: Functional Compression

This class covers the foundational compression techniques that are used for the majority of your compression work. These techniques focus on the basic dynamic needs of almost every mix and are the starting point for almost all of your other mixing work.

  1. Leveling Performances

  2. Groove (Tempo) Based Compression

  3. Compression and Front-Back Positioning

  4. Peak and RMS Compression

  5. Compression for Focus and Presence

Class 4: Compression Techniques Part 2: Compression Enhancements

After the functional compression is applied, it is often necessary to breathe more life into you mix by using exaggerated forms of compression. Sometimes called “hype”, these techniques add excitement and intensity. When all the excitement in place, a good  finishing compression will help to focus the detail of your mixing work.

  1. Layering Compression

  2. Pump and Breathe Compression

  3. Parallel Compression

  4. Mix Stem Compression

  5. Mix Buss Compression

Class 5: Classic Vintage Compressors

There are certain pieces of classic vintage gear that have resonated well beyond their time. These pieces have been part of the signature sound of so many great records that they are still highly sought after and emulated in both hardware and plugin form. This class teaches you how to effectively use some of the most popular vintage compressors that should be part of every good plugin collection.

  1. The 4 Types of Vintage Compressors

  2. Vari Mu: Fairchild 660 & 670

  3. Optical: Teletronix LA2A & LA4A

  4. FET: Urie 1176

  5. VCA: TG12345, dbx 160

Class 6: Classic Console Compressors

Many of the great classic compressors in recording history were created as part of a larger audio console design. Because of the modular design of many components from the mid 60’s on, they eventually ended up in racks and sold as external gear. This class teaches you how to use some of the most notable classic console compressors in recording history.

  1. EMI TG12345

  2. PYE Compressor

  3. Neve 2254

  4. API 525

  5. SSL E Compressor

  6. SSL G Compressor

  7. SSL J & K Compressors

  8. Neve 88RS Compressor

  9. API Vision Compressor

Class 7: Modern Classic Compressors

The rapid growth of recording studio technology in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s led to some amazing outboard compressors that are worth more than just a listen. This lesson covers some of the most popular pieces that were a major players in most high end recording studios.

  1. TubeTech CL1A

  2. Summit TLA-100A

  3. Manley Vari-Mu

  4. Neve 33609

  5. API 2500

  6. Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

Class 8: Compression Techniques for Drums

This class focusses on specific dynamics processing techniques used for drums. Because of the nature of acoustic drums and the bleed between mics, certain techniques are necessary to prevent the individual elements from sounding disconnected. Programmed  Drums, Loops and Percussion allows individual elements to be approached independently, but there are very important considerations covered here that preserve the relationship and groove.

  1. Compression & Gating Basics

  2. Natural Compression Techniques

  3. Dry Aggressive Compression

  4. Big Rock Room Compression

  5. Vintage Vibe Compression

  6. Compressing Electronic Drums

Class 9: Compression Techniques for Bass, Guitar and Keys

Every Instrument offers different challenges and the best approach to compression involves good analysis of the individual sound and the role it plays in a mix. Basses require a solid low end that images well. Guitars need to maintain a focussed mid range area. Acoustic Piano and keyboards cover a broad range of frequencies that require careful consideration.

  1. Compressing Basses

  2. Compressing Acoustic Guitars

  3. Compressing Electric Guitars

  4. Compressing Acoustic Piano

  5. Compressing Vintage Keyboards

  6. Compressing Programmed Synths

Class 10: Compression Techniques for Vocals

Lead vocals may be the most challenging of all to compress because of the human ear’s heightened sensitivity to the intricate details that make each voice unique. Vocals can also present many technical issues such as sibilance and plosives. This class focusses on compressing the human voice to heighten it’s sense of importance in a mix.

  1. The Vocal Processing Chain

  2. Compressing Lead Vocals – Natural

  3. Compressing Lead Vocals – Aggressive

  4. De-Ess, De-Breath, De-Plosive, De-Harsh, De-Box

  5. Compressing Background Vocals

Class 11: Keyed Side-Chain Compression Techniques

This class focusses on triggered dynamics processing from external sources. These techniques range from musical to technical and require a sensitive ear to set properly. Keyed dynamics is perhaps the most misunderstood form of processing unless you have a solid understanding of what they are designed to do.

  1. Keyed Dynamics Side-Chain Signal Flow

  2. Keyed Dynamics for Bass

  3. Keyed Dynamics for Drums

  4. Keyed Dynamics for Instruments

  5. Keyed Dynamics for Vocals

  6. Keyed Dynamics for Reverb and Effects

Class 12: MultiBand Dynamics Processing Techniques

MultiBand dynamics processing blows the doors off the realm of possibilities with the ability to apply processing within band limited areas. Commonly called dynamic equalization, the realm of possibilities ranges from pristine mastering compression to a complete restructuring of a sound. All this extra flexibility also requires a bit more sensitivity to the original sound.

  1. MultiBand Compression Techniques

  2. MultiBand Limiting Techniques

  3. MultiBand Dynamic Equalization

  4. MultiBand Exciters

  5. MultiBand Dynamic Noise Reduction 

Bonus Class: Mix Buss, Mix Stem and Alternative Forms of Compression

I call this a Bonus Class because I don’t like Class 13, sounds unlucky. Anyhow, this class covers compression for Mix Stems and the Mix Buss. There are many classic Mix Buss compressors in the history of music and most are covered here in this lesson. this class also uncovers the power of Tape Compression and how Tube and Solid State saturation is also a form of compression. Finally, the PCC wraps up with a couple of Automation plugins that are unique Dynamic Processors.

  1. Mix Stem Compression

  2. Mix Buss Compression

  3. Analog tape Compression

  4. Tube and Solid State Compression

  5. Unique Dynamic Automation Tools

Power Equalization Course

The Power Equalization Course is a comprehensive study of the art of equalization in the mixing process. This 12 week course focuses solely on Equalization processing techniques and includes practical applications and demonstrations every step of the way.

Class 1: Equalization Processing Primer

This class sets the foundational principles of equalization and teaches you how to listen ,and what to listen for. This is the most technical of the classes and will provide you with the information you need to make the best decisions every step of the way. You will also learn terminology that will be referenced to throughout the remainder of the course. Understanding the inner workings of the frequency spectrum and what role each band plays in a mix will be critical to your success.

  1. Defining Equalization

  2. History of Equalization

  3. Understanding the Frequency Spectrum

  4. Frequencies and the 3D Sound Field

  5. Frequency Perception and Monitoring

Class 2: Basic Equalization Techniques

Every equalization technique stems from the available filter types with their strengths and limitations. Each filter type has the ability to effectively add balance to or solve a problem with any given individual instrument. This class focusses on the strengths and weaknesses of each filter type and the basic techniques used for each. Beyond the basic principles, most EQ techniques stem from the principle of give and take. Whenever you add frequencies, you are covering them elsewhere. Whenever you subtract frequencies, you are opening them up elsewhere.

  1. The Give/Take EQ Principle

  2. Mixing With High Pass and Low Pass Filters

  3. Mixing With Notch and Band Pass Filters

  4. Mixing With Shelving EQs

  5. Mixing With Parametric EQs

Class 3: Equalizers of the 1950’s and 60’s – Passive to Active EQ

The earliest Equalizers were Passive filter designs (no amplification) with active input and/or output gain stages to make up for lost signal strength. The Pultec EQ series is perhaps the most revolutionary and legendary EQ in the history of recording. While very transparent sounding the limitations of this technology led to the development of Active Equalization circuits. The Era of the 1950’s and 1960’s carried this shift in approach and sonic character.

  1. Classic Equalizers of the 1950’s and 1960’s

  2. Pultec EQs – The Holy Grail of Equalization

  3. Abbey Road Studios EQs (RS56, RS127 & RS135)

  4. REDD 17 & REDD 37-51 Console EQs

  5. TG 12345 Console EQ

  6. The Mowtown EQ

Class 4: Equalizers of the 1970’s – Parametric EQ

Although Parametric Equalizers date back to the 50’s most equalization prior to the 1970’s was designed and built in house for the specific requirements of the staff engineers, not for commercial sale. The EQs of the 1970’s by contrast started to extend into the commercial marketplace and thus required more flexibility and modular design. What you will find is more frequency selections, more frequency bands and a wider variety of tonal characteristics. This period includes some of the most legendary equalizers in the history of recording.

  1. Classic Equalizers of the 1970’s

  2. Sontec MES-432C Parametric EQ

  3. Helios Console EQ

  4. Neve 1073, 1081, and 31102

  5. API 550a, 550b and 560

  6. Trident A-Range Console EQ

  7. Harrison 32C Console EQ

Class 5: Equalizers of the 1980’s – Variable Q and Frequencies

The Equalizers of the 1980’s are predominantly defined by increased flexibility and convenience. Some would say, also at the expense of quality in the realm of large format consoles. What you will find in the EQs of this era is the addition of Variable Q (bandwidth) for parametric and Infinitely Variable Frequency selections. This period also boasts some incredible Outboard EQs including the Tube Tech EQs and Maag NTI EQ3. The decade wraps up with a transition to Digital Console Equalization and the legendary Sony Oxford Digital EQ

  1. Classic Equalizers of the 1980’s

  2. SSL E Series Console EQ

  3. SSL G Series Console EQ

  4. NTI EQ3 Maag EQ

  5. Tube Tech PE 1C & ME 1B

  6. Klark Teknik DN Series Graphic EQs

  7. Sony Oxford Digital EQ

Class 6: Equalizers of the 1990’s and 2000’s – Sonic Purity

The 1990’s was the peak of the music industry on every level including the development of large format high end mixing consoles and outboard gear. During this time SSL went “Super Analogue”, Neve would soon follow with the 88RS in the early 2000’s. Audio manufacturers went super high end with quality including the Avalon AD2055 and Massive Passive by Manley. They also got creative with the use of resonant and tilted filters.

  1. SSL J & K Series Console EQ

  2. Avalon AD2055

  3. Summit EQF 100

  4. Manley Massive Passive

  5. Neve 88RS Console EQ

  6. SSL C200 Digital EQ

  7. Little Labs VOG (Bass Resonance EQ)

  8. Tonelux Tilt EQ

Class 7: Modern Plugin Equalizers – Active to Dynamic

The modern DAW era unchained EQ designers from the limitations of physical components to pursue the limitless world of algorithmic equalization. Although this seems like an easy shift, designers soon realized that audio engineers, and consumers, were so tuned into the sound of analog gear that many of the early designs were decried as cold and lifeless. Through the world of analog emulation, and a lot of experimentation, designers soon came to realize how to design the building blocks from which digital EQs could realize their full potential. The following EQs are some of the exceptional designs that are revolutionizing the way we use equalization.

  1. History of Digital EQ and Emulation Technology

  2. Waves H-EQ (Hybrid Vintage EQ)

  3. FabFilter Pro Q2 (Unparalleled Flexibility)

  4. brainworx bx V2, Sonoris Mastering EQ, MDW-EQ5  (Mastering)

  5. Flux:: Epure V3 (Morphing EQ)

  6. Sound Radix Surfer EQ (Harmonic Detection EQ)

  7. Voxengo Gliss EQ (Program Dependent EQ)

  8. iZotope Dynamic EQ

  9. Waves MetaFilter (Modulated Equalization)

Class 8: Equalization Techniques for Drums

This class focusses on equalization processing techniques used for drums covering a broad range of musical styles. Because of the nature of acoustic drums and the bleed between mics, certain equalization techniques are necessary to prevent the individual mics from creating frequency imbalances with the other elements of the kit. The result of improper equalization is a sense that the elements of the kit are not ‘connected’ or are grossly exaggerated.

  1. Equalization Basics for Drums

  2. Natural Equalization Techniques

  3. Vintage Equalization Techniques

  4. Agressive Equalization Techniques

  5. Super-Hyped Equalization Techniques

Class 9: Equalization Techniques for Bass, Guitar and Keys

Every Instrument offers distinct challenges based on its fundamental frequency range and how the harmonic series shapes its tonal character. The best approach to equalization involves good analysis of the individual sound and the role it plays in a mix. Basses require a solid low end that images well. Guitars need to maintain a focussed mid range area. Acoustic Piano and keyboards cover a broad range of frequencies that require careful consideration. This class will help to guide you in the right direction with a list of Do’s and Don’ts for each instrument.

  1. Equalization for Basses

  2. Equalization for Acoustic Guitars

  3. Equalization for Electric Guitars

  4. Equalization for Acoustic Piano

  5. Equalization for Vintage Keyboards

  6. Equalization Programmed Synths

Class 10: Equalization Techniques for Vocals

Lead vocals may be the most challenging of all to equalize because of the human ear’s heightened sensitivity to the intricate details that make each voice unique. When improperly recorded, Vocals can also present many technical issues such as sibilance and plosives that limit our ability to equalize them effectively. This class focusses on equalization techniques for the human voice to heighten it’s sense of detail and importance in a mix.

  1. Equalization Techniques for Lead Vocals

  2. Equalization Techniques for Doubles and Harmonies

  3. Equalization Techniques for Background Vocals

  4. Equalization Techniques for Group Vocals

  5. Equalization Effects for Vocals

Class 11: Equalization Techniques for Musical Genres

This class focusses on a broader overall approach to equalization based on musical genre. Each style caries with it certain tonal configurations and balances for each instrument that are signature aspects of the style. Because each song is unique, these techniques will serve as a template for your frequency balancing. Once the template is in place, more creative frequency shaping decisions can be made to enhance the message and meaning of the song.

  1. Equalization Techniques for Jazz and Classical

  2. Equalization Techniques for R&B

  3. Equalization Techniques for Rock

  4. Equalization Techniques for Metal

  5. Equalization Techniques for Electronic Music

Class 12: Tonal Shaping Equalization

Where equalization defines the Amount of gain at a given frequency area, Tonal shaping defines the Density at a given frequency area. Understanding the difference is absolutely critical to achieving satisfactory results. One of the most powerful aspects of analog processing is not the gain itself but rather the components used to achieve that gain. When matched well, you will feel a sense of solidity in the imaging rather than a feeling of emptiness. This class will focus on the elements that bring tonal density to different frequency areas to our Equalization work.

  1. Tonal Shaping Versus Equalization

  2. Tonal Shaping With Tubes

  3. Tonal Shaping With Transformers

  4. Tonal Shaping With Amps and Speaker Emulations

  5. Tonal Shaping With Distortion Plugins

  6. Tonal Shaping With Analog Tape 

Power Effects Course

The Power Effects Course focuses specifically on effects processing techniques. This course is designed to teach you the inner workings of effects processing with detailed explanations and audio examples of each effect. Through this course you will learn how to quickly and efficiently achieve any effects sound you are looking for.

Class 1: Power Effects Primer

This class sets the foundational principles for effect processing and how to get started on the right foot. Understanding Effects signal-flow and where to apply it is critical to your success. Even more critical is selecting the perfect effect for the sound it is serving.

  1. Defining Effects- (Wet Effects vs. Dry Effects)

  2. Effects and the 3D Sound-Field

  3. Effects Signal-Flow (Sends vs. Inserts)

  4. Achieving Size and Depth With Effects

  5. Making Effects Most Effective

  6. Selecting and Managing Effects (Effects = Emotions)

Class 2: Delay Effects

Delays are the most simple of all the effects and the foundation for all time based effects processing. The manipulation of a simple delay can create a tremendous number of uniques sounds and effects. For this reason, it is the perfect place to begin.

  1. Defining Delays and Echoes

  2. Parameters of the Delay 

  3. Short Delay Effects (Slaps and Doublers)

  4. Medium and Long Delay Effects

  5. Automating Delays

  6. Tape Delays and Vintage Delay Processors

Class 3: Early Reflections: Defining the 3D Sound-Field

Some of the most powerful effects in a mix are the ones that are felt not heard. Early reflections provide the essential binaural cues that give us a clear sense of the space that we are in. When used effectively in a mix they create the sense of size, depth and intimacy that can provide the sense that the music is in the same space as the listener.

  1. Defining Early Reflections

  2. Creating the 3D Space

  3. Tonal Shaping With Early Reflections

  4. Adding Presence with Early Reflections

  5. Adding Depth and Size with Early Reflections

Class 4: Reverb Part 1: A Reverb Primer

Almost all of the amazing pre DAW era mixes were done using the exact same processors for each audio track. “Outboard” processing was limited to the most important elements of the mix like the lead vocals. The simplicity of this approach creates a uniform sonic consistency with the instrumentation while featuring important elements of the mix.

  1. Defining Reverb

  2. The Parameters of Reverb (Size, Time, PreDelay, Diffusion, Damping, etc…)

  3. Natural Reverb ((Rooms, Chambers, Clubs, Halls, Churches)

  4. Mechanical Reverb (Plates and Springs)

  5. Working With Convolution (Impulse Response) Reverbs

  6. Working With Room Emulation Reverbs

  7. Vintage Reverb Units Part 1 (Plates, Springs and Acoustic)

Class 5: Reverb Part 2: The Practical Use of Reverb

Every type of reverb exhibits a unique character, tonal quality, shape and sound. Matching up these characteristics with the needs of the dry signal is a powerful way to get the sound you are going for quickly and effectively. This class focuses on the unique signature sounds of different reverb spaces and where they are used most effectively in a mix.

  1. Live Performance Approach to Reverb

  2. Tight (Dry) Reverb Approach

  3. Medium to Long Reverb Approach 

  4. Mixing Multiple Reverbs

  5. Vintage Reverb Units Part 2 (Digital Reverb Units)

Class 6: Modulation Effects Part 1: Classic Modulation Effects

Ever since the first person pressed their thumb on the flange of a moving reel of tape, modulation effects became a staple of music production. Modulation can be applied to the direct or delayed signal and can control pitch (frequency modulation), volume (amplitude modulation), position (pan modulation). The shape of that modulation can range from square wave to sine wave or be modulated by any audio signal. When combined with the direct signal a wide variety of tonal character and stereo enhancement effects can be created.

  1. Defining Modulation Effects

  2. Delay Modulation (Phase, Flange Chorus)

  3. Amplitude Modulation (Tremolo)

  4. Frequency Modulation (Vibrato)

  5. Pan Modulation Effects

  6. Vintage Modulation Effects

Class 7: Modulation Effects Part 2: Filter Modulation

EDM has brought to the forefront of modern music a powerful combination of the modulation capabilities of synthesizers and resonant EQ filter shapes too difficult to create in the analog realm. This amazing combination has lead to the broad sweeping transitions and sonic soundscapes that define EDM and the modern era of music. This class is dedicated to EDM specific modulation processing. I will also touch on some of the Vintage predecessors to these sounds.

  1. Understanding Synth Modulation and Resonant Filters

  2. Mixing with Frequency Filter Sweeps

  3. Mixing with Filtered Amplitude Modulation

  4. Mixing with Filtered Frequency Modulation

  5. Mixing with Stepped Sequencer Driven Filters

  6. Mixing with Side-Chain Modulated Filters 

  7. Vintage Modulation Effects

Class 8: Distortion Effects

Distortion is an inherent part of every audio processing device both analog and digital. Distortion characteristics range from subtle forms of harmonic distortion to head ripping overdriven noise. The source of the distortion plays a huge part in the tonal characteristic created. Understanding the different types of distortion sources will allow you to reshape dead lifeless sounds with ease.

  1. Defining Distortion

  2. Amplifier, Speaker and Pedal Distortion

  3. Analog Tape Distortion

  4. Tube and Solid State Distortion

  5. Digital Distortion Effects

  6. Mix Buss Distortion

Class 9: Pitch and Frequency Effects

This class features Pitch Processing Effects starting with the Vocoder and TalkBox effects and extending through to Aural Exciters, Octavers, Pitch Correction and AutoTune effects as well as Sub-Harmonic Synthesis. This class covers some of the most controversial and unusual effects that stretched the boundaries of what was possible.

  1. Vocoder and Talk Box Effects

  2. Aural Exciters

  3. Octavers & Harmony Effects

  4. Pitch “Correction” Effects

  5. Sub Harmonic Synthesis

  6. Other Pitch Effects

Class 10: Combining Effects in a Mix

Lost in the details of how each effects processing technique work individually is how they are all combined together. All forms of effects processing can be used separately or in combinations to help create and shape unique textures for individual sounds. Additionally, you must consider how all of these effects will blend together in the overall mix. This class is dedicated to the interaction of effects and how to balance and blend them into the final master.

  1. Classic Effect Combinations

  2. Compressing and Equalizing Effects

  3. Balancing Foundational Effects (Mix Shaping)

  4. Temporary Effects (Transitions and Filling Spaces)

  5. Fixing Performance and Technical Issues with Effects 

  6. Final Thoughts and Advice

Bonus Class: Creating 3D Effects

Mono compatibility be damned, this bonus class is specifically designed to feature new emerging technologies for 3D monitoring and effects processing. In this class I will feature some old 3D effect tricks as well as some new ones you will want to know about. If you are interested in the emerging effects technologies for audio, video and gaming, this class is one you will not want to miss.

  1. Old School 3D Sound Effects

  2. Surround and 3D Monitoring for Headphones

  3. Creating 3D Panning Effects

  4. Creating 3D Delay and Reverb Effects

  5. 3D Emerging Technologies & the Future of Effects

Power Automation Course

The Power Automation Course is a comprehensive study of the art of automation in the mixing process. This 8 week course focuses solely on Automation techniques and includes practical applications and demonstrations every step of the way.

Class 1: Automation Processing Primer

The history of automation sets the stage for all the terminology, techniques and advancements that have occurred over the decades. Each revolutionary advancement uncovered new possibilities and more advanced tools and computers systems that controlled them. Today, virtually everything can be automated, but the foundational principles of automation remain the same. Understanding these principles and a tried and true process that has endured for decades will help you achieve the same professional results.

  1. Defining Automation

  2. History of Automation

  3. The Tools of Automation

  4. The Automation Process Step by Step

  5. The Finished Mix

Class 2: Pre Mix Automation Techniques

In the past, limitations of recording technology like analog tape forced engineers to be far more mindful of setting proper levels. This included level balancing compression techniques and the manual riding of performances during the recording process to limit distortion and tape hiss in the playback. The modern DAW era offers far more dynamic range but also leaves many recorded performances with inconsistent levels. Automating these imbalances plays a huge role getting consistent and effective results from the dynamics processing that follows. Inter Processing and Post Processing automation make up for lost performance dynamics without losing the flexibility of setting static fader levels while building a mix.

  1. Pre Mix Gain Staging Automation

  2. Region Editing and Mutes

  3. Pre Processing Automation

  4. Inter Processing Automation

  5. Post Processing Automation

Class 3: Foundational Automation Techniques

Throughout the process of mixing a song, static fader levels are used to set the general balances. At some point in the mix, it will become apparent, that static fader levels are holding up the development of the mix. This typically marks the engineer’s transition from processing work to automation. The first stage of automation is to establish the envelope of the song by setting the peak and low points. Some styles of music like EDM have very fast and dramatic shifts in dynamic while others ebb and flow more slowly. Whatever the shape and pace of change, every song will also need to establish a primary and secondary focus the the rest of the tracks respond to. This foundation sets the stage for the detailed automation that follows.

  1. Monitoring Tips for Setting Levels

  2. The Give/Take Automation Principle

  3. Mapping the Song Envelope

  4. Gain Staging Automation

  5. Establishing the Primary and Secondary Focus

Class 4: Detailing Automation Techniques

Detailing Automation establishes the consistency, focus, and brings out the nuances of individual performances. Most of this work will focus on phrase by phrase, note by note and transitional automation to enhance the dynamics of the song for the listener. There are many techniques and methods covered in this class that help to facilitate the efficiency of this sometimes tedious process. Particular attention is paid to the transitions from note to note and section to section where the song is woven together. This helps to establish the dynamic shifts from soft to loud & loud to soft, narrow to wide & wide to narrow, so that impact of each section is felt as well as heard.

  1. Techniques for Refining Automation

  2. Phrase by Phrase Automation

  3. Note by Note Automation

  4. Automating Transitions and Fills

  5. Pan and Width Automation

Class 5: Advanced Automation Techniques

There are many tools in that can help to enhance workflow and productivity in the mixing process. Many of the techniques covered in the 2 previous classes will be revisited here with the added benefit of live performance automation. These are the same techniques used by professionals for decades to sculpt mixes in a more natural and responsive way. Whether you have a work surface or not, this class will provide valuable insight in your approach to applying automation. I will also cover some advanced, and sometimes complicated, automation techniques for working with group automation.

  1. Using Work Surfaces for Automation

  2. Automation Modes and Preferences

  3. Using Write, Touch, Latch, Snap and Glide Modes

  4. Trim Automation

  5. Advanced Automation Enhancements

  6. Writing Track Group Automation

Class 6: Automation Techniques for Vocals

If the total time spent on automation in a mix was 4 hours, working with the vocal tracks could easily be 2-2.5 hours of the total process. The average listener’s experience with the subtleties and inflections of the human voice are dramatically more sensitive than any other instrument. Getting every ounce of expression from a vocal performance requires intense focus and meticulously detailed work, but is worth every ounce of energy in the end result. When applied correctly, a vocal can sound equally focussed and understood when tucked deep into a mix as it would be raised above it. This work prevents the obvious issue of a vocal performance sounding disconnected or lost in a mix when the desired overall level is established.

  1. Vocal Automation Primer

  2. Automation for BG Vocals

  3. Automation for Lead Vocals

  4. Automation for Harmonies and Doubles

  5. Vocal Automation Plugins (Vocal Rider)

Class 7: Automation for Plugins and Effects

The DAW has allowed for automation processes that were once either impossible to achieve or could only be performed live when the mix was being printed. Today, the range of possibilities may be as simple as the bypass of a filter in the bridge section of a song or as complicated as the live performance of sweeping filters, feedback controls and pitch dives. This class covers a wide range of demonstrations and offers solutions for enhancing the production to achieve a professional sounding result.

  1. Bypass Automation for Plugins

  2. Functional Plugin Automation

  3. Creative Performance Plugin Automation

  4. Automation for Sends

  5. Advanced Plugin Effects Automation

Class 8: Mix Buss and Mix Stem Automation

Mix Buss and Stem automation, on the surface, seems like a simple end of the mix finisher for your song. Set the output level, slam in a fade and your good to go. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many considerations that will greatly enhance your ability to create alternate versions, print stems and provide the mastering engineer with a well polished mix free of artifacts, noise and clipped starts and ends. Detailed understanding of the signal flow and it’s relationship to dynamics processing in the stems and master fader will help prevent any undesired effects to your carefully crafted mix.

  1. Mix Buss and Stem Automation Primer

  2. Insert Automation for Mix Buss and Stems

  3. Mix Stem Level and Balance Automation

  4. Master Fader Automation Techniques

  5. Final Refinements, Tweaks and Print

  6. Power Automation Course Wrap Up

LEARN THE ART OF MIXING FROM A 33 YEAR PROFESSIONAL!

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