Tricks of the Mix

Mixing engineer/producer Ethan Mates (Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers) shows how he creates original tracks to sound like they've been sampled: by giving them creative lo-fi mixing treatments for an old, dusty, warped sound.

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Learn how, in 10 easy steps, to mix massive, powerful synth basses to cut through the mix and rattle your subwoofers. By using specific techniques with EQ, sidechain compression and selective blending, you can craft an earth-shaking synth bass for any application.

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Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Kevin Churko (Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osborne) discusses working with some of metal’s biggest bands and shares personal insights on mixing everything from death-defying guitars, powerful drums and screaming vocals to the delicate ‘Sound of Silence.’

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Learn 4 crucial steps for mixing clean, professional-sounding hip-hop vocal leads and ad-libs, from multi-platinum producer/mix engineer Lu Diaz (Jay-Z, Beyonce, DJ Khaled). From cleaning up and adding shine, to creating depth and character with FX.

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Learn 12 vital steps for turning a raw bass guitar recording into the finished, rock-solid foundation that your mix deserves. From phase alignment to leveling, compression and EQ, this step-by-step guide will help get subs shaking and heads bobbing in no time.

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Watch how to get vocal ad-lib parts to accent the lead, adding energy and excitement to a track’s vocals in a smooth and natural way. Mixer & producer Sean Divine demonstrates his process, using chains of plugins in StudioRack.

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Producer & recording/mixing engineer Joe Barresi (QOTSA, Tool, Soundgarden) shares tips and techniques for mixing lead and background vocals to have depth and excitement while leaving little pieces of "ear candy" along the track to keep listeners interested and wondering.

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Are you mixing a session with more doubled layers and stacks of harmonies than you can count? Learn how to manage a large wall-of-sound mixing session with ease, making a super-dense arrangement sound clear and impactful—instead of a cluttered mess.

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Watch how to create a retro 80s lo-fi VHS-sounding synth pad, just like those heard on recordings by Tycho, Boards of Canada, and Com Truise. Download the free preset for the Element 2.0 Synth, and give your track that retro vibe.

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Watch how to mix layers of R&B background vocals so that they blend well together, working to lift and enhance the lead vocal without getting in the way. Mixer & producer Sean Divine demonstrates how, working with plugin chains in StudioRack.

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