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Mixing Live with Plugins: The Basics

Learn the basic principles and techniques of mixing live shows with plugins
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Learn the Foundations of MixingProfessional-Sounding Live Shows


Learn how to mix pro live sound at any venue—from building healthy gain structure, to mixing clear live vocals and punchy drums, to shaping a powerful mix for an entire band.

Join your instructors—Award-winning live sound engineers Jeff Sandstrom and Lee Fields from MxU, the leading resource for education in live sound—and get certified for mixing live sound with plugins.

  • How to start your live mix with proper gain structure
  • How to mix clear live vocals that cut through any mix
  • The important basics of mixing live drums with detail and clarity
  • How to mix live guitars, bass, and synths that get heard in a busy mix
  • Must-know tricks for crafting a cohesive sound on stage
  • Fundamentals of EQ, compression, and effects for live sound
  • Test your knowledge with multiple choice tests
  • Get your official Waves live mixing certification
Watch Course Intro

Course Highlights

  • Build Correct Gain Structure for Your Live Mix

    Getting a healthy signal with correct gain structure is an important and fundamental skill, both in live sound and in the studio. Having proper gain structure will give you the best starting point for mixing. You will learn the fundamentals of achieving this goal, and what implications this has for your signal flow—especially for your use of plugins.

    Features: Glue Mixes without “Squashing”
  • Mix Clear, Powerful Live Vocals

    When mixing live sound, your most important input will often be the vocal—it is usually what the audience is there to hear. You will learn techniques that will enable you to help any vocal cut through the mix, while achieving a tonality that is pleasing to the ear and true to the vocalist’s performance.

  • Mix Live Drums with Detail, Clarity and Punch

    Drums are the backbone of a great live mix. As a live engineer, there’s no better feeling than getting a great sound from your drum kit. You will learn how to get live drums sounding great: how to use parametric EQ to shape the sound of your kick, snare, toms and overheads; how to compress the snare to get it to pop in a mix; how to gate your toms; how compression on overheads can give a great sonic picture of the full kit; and more.

    Features: Fast and Efficient Operation
  • Create a Cohesive and Musical Live Band Sound

    Learn how to add clarity to synths, guitars, and bass: how to compress bass and acoustic guitars for extra punch; how to EQ guitars and keys to help them poke through a crowded mix; and more. Most important—you’ll learn the basics of how to mix all these instruments together, so that when you bring them up around the sound of the drums, you get a result that sounds not just clear but cohesive and musical.

    Features: From Vocals to “The Ringo Drum Sound”
  • Your Instructors: The Leaders in Live Sound Education

    As co-founders of MxU, the leading resource for audio education and live sound training, Jeff Sandstrom and Lee Fields have trained thousands of live sound engineers and audio personnel. As front-of-house engineers, they have mixed for top-drawing touring artists such as Chris Tomlin and for leading houses of worship.

    Features: Multiple Modes Fit Different Material
  • Get Your Waves Live Mixing Certificate

    Complete the course and all the included multiple-choice tests, and get your official Waves Education Certificate for Mixing Live with Plugins: The Basics.

    Features: Precision Modeled Transformers
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