MIXING IN ABLETON
I’ve been making music for the past week with a few friends in hopes of releasing something new on my blog, but I’m always coming across the same problems every time I finish. This time I’ve gotten extremely frustrated. My mix doesn’t sound as good as I want it to. I was listening to some Latin rap music my friends was playing me. I was just so impressed with the mix I could hear the automation clearly and everything sounded crisp. EDM and certain pop songs are the same way. I have a shit tone of Waves Plugins that I don’t use and don’t even know what the fuck they do. Since I’m going to be doing some research I figured I’d walk you through my current workflow and post updates of the notes I’ll be taking from the information I gather.
I preloaded my Drum Rack with all of my favorite samples, so when I load a new project all I have to do is sift through each one on my M audio Axiom pro, instead of clicking through folders and files. Majority of the time I play out my drums to the bpm. I start off with a clap to keep me on beat and then add percs, hats, snares and etc. I’ll replace the clap if I need to later on. I usually add the kicks last. I like to separate the kicks from the rest because I add reverb to everything in that track and I add plugins to my Kicks. Its also easier to format. I might even copy my kick pattern and add an 808 if I don’t already play out the 808’s.
I have two go to VST Plugins which are virtual Instruments. I went through a lot of different VST’s one year while making over 100 tracks. I would make a track and post them on soundcloud as soon as I was finished. (If I could figure out this mixing conundrum I would do it up here as well.) Saurus and Spire aren’t as popular as some others. But they get the job done and they give me my own sound. I may get some new ones or I might just sample more. It depends how I feel after I post this blog.
SHAPING A SOUND
I use filters like filter freak to shape sounds, I also use eqs and what ever other plugin I can find that can make a sound sound more unique.
There’s a couple different ways to format but my favorite two are the 4 to 8 bar intro into a 8 bar hook with a 12 to 16 bar verse. Or if I’m doing a pop song a 12 bar hook and a 4 to 8 bar verse.
It is completely up to you to eq or compress first but with the research I’ve done so far, and how my workflow is set up. I compress before I eq. First I add a gate to remove background noise, I compress with H-Comp lightly, I add a de esser to remove all high frequencies, I eq with fabfilter pro q2, then after eqing I add the Api-2500 to compress fully. I also have this saved as a preset to tweek each time.
After your beat is made, your vocals are laid, and mixed. Its time to master before you render. Mastering is where you put a whole bunch of shit on a bus track to bring out your mix. My current preset is L1 limiter, Api 2500, Fab filter MB, L1 ultramax, and Kramer Tape. I use to use Izotope to master my wav files, but I like using one program to do all my work in, but that’s where I got the idea from.