Tricks of the Mix

Producer & recording/mixing engineer Joe Barresi (QOTSA, Tool, Soundgarden) demonstrates how he crafts an explosive drum room sound using the HLS Channel and the PIE Compressor plugins. Blended just right, this sound can greatly enhance your mix.

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When your track has more than a few instruments, learn to avoid clutter and create space in your mix. By using filtering, EQ and other ways to organize the sound field, you'll get everything to shine through the mix with definition and clarity.

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Are you mixing drums that sound weak, thin and lifeless? Learn how to add a layer of power to your mix by selecting drum samples to give your drums an extra lift. Then, learn how to 'glue' them together for a cohesive, natural sound.

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Producer & recording/mixing engineer Joe Barresi (QOTSA, Tool, Soundgarden) breaks down his approach to mixing drums and the benefit of looking at the different parts of a drum kit as a single, unified instrument. Phase, panning, level and parallel compression are all part of his holistic approach.

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Are you under- or over-compressing your mix? Is every compressor serving a purpose? Learn how to improve your mix’s clarity, separation and impact without squashing the life out of it—or leaving it too loose and unrefined.

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Ever summed your mix to mono, only to find that elements become thin and lifeless, or disappear altogether? Chances are you have some degree of phase cancellation. Find out how to spot it and get your mix great in mono and stereo.

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What exactly is it about tape that gives it that 'magic'? Technically, tape distorts and can degrade the audio. Regardless, it remains a highly sought-after sound. Find out why, and get practical tips for applying tape saturation plugins in your mix.

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How do you get your mix to translate onto a speaker as thin as a grain of rice? Learn how to make sure that when your mix is heard on a phone, earbuds or laptop speakers that all the instruments and important parts are there.

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Do you want your vocals to sound larger than life? Learn how to get your vocals to sound big, present, and in-your-face: whether you're working with a great recording or not. Regardless of the genre, learn to make them sound huge!

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Every mixer’s goal is to get to the final mix with maximum speed, without making too many rounds of revisions. Learn how to minimize the number of times you’ll export your mix: from studio acoustics to your mental game and more.

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