LIC Sound - High End Personal Mixing Classes

At LICSound we teach the art of mixing. Creating an audio mix that is pleasing to listeners is a true art form. The manipulation of the source signals' level, dynamics, and panoramic position, and the addition of effects such as reverb and delay, can have a huge impact on the overall feel of a song.

The Art of Mixing explores the many creative and technical considerations necessary to mix in today's music production environment, regardless of platform or format. This course teaches the different steps of the mixing process, including equalization, panning, dynamic processing (compressors, gates, expanders, and limiters), reverb and delays, as well as automation techniques and practical examples. The techniques presented apply to any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), or digital or analog console.

The course analyzes some of the most famous and revered brands and models of mixing gear, including comparisons between analog and digital outboard gear versus plug-in emulations and plug-in unique processors. It features video, sound, and visual examples based on common platforms such as Pro Tools, Logic, and Digital Performer, as well as a hybrid mix performed in an SSL 4000 G console, combined with Pro Tools and a huge variety of outboard gear.

Students will be required to deliver a mix every week for critique by the instructor. For each mix assignment, students will use professional recordings especially made for the course, in a variety of styles. The goal of the course is to impart both a technical and artistic approach to mixing and for students to acquire the core skill set needed to mix multi-track master recordings to a stereo final mix-down suitable for release.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the technical requirements needed to prepare recording tracks for mixing.
  • Implement professional music standards for organizing your mix session and delivering the final mix.
  • Apply editing tools needed to improve musical performance, such as vocal tuning, vocal comping, and tempo editing
  • Understand and use different types of equalizers, compressors, gates, reverbs, delays, chorus, flangers, and many other processors necessary to mix effectively
  • Employ automation techniques, from basic to using all kinds of parameters
  • Apply mixing techniques specific to drums and vocals
  • Thoroughly analyze and evaluate your own mix and others
  • Identify the main mixing trends per genre of contemporary music

Lesson 1: Overview of Mixing Music

  • Overview and History of Mixing

  • Mixing = Balance

  • Panning Perspectives

  • Muting Techniques

  • Building a Mix

  • Assignment 1:

Lesson 2: Mix Setup: Organization, Ergonomics, and Phase Relationships

  • Recommendations from the Music Industry

  • Compatibility between DAWs

  • Importance of Metering

  • Importance of Gain Staging

  • Mixing Levels and Delivery Standards

  • Phase

  • Exporting the Mix

  • Assignment 2:

Lesson 3: Equalization Techniques

  • Equalizers: History, Theory, and Application

  • EQ Parameters

  • EQ Types

  • Plug-in vs. Analog Hardware EQ

  • Creative Equalization Techniques

  • Classic Analog EQ: SSL

  • Neve 1084

  • API 550

  • Pultec

  • GML

  • Manley

  • Assignment 3:

Lesson 4: Reverb and Delays

  • Reverb and Delay as Acoustical Phenomena

  • Reverbs: Parameters, Chamber, Spring, Plate, Halls, and Room

  • Delays: Parameters, Tape, Ping Pong, and ADT

  • Analog vs. Digital, Plug-in vs. Hardware

  • Reverb Critical Listening Exercise

  • Assignment 4: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 5: Automation Techniques

  • Automated Mixing Overview and Historical Perspective

  • VCA, Moving or Flying Faders, and Total Recall: From Analog to DAW

  • Analog vs. Digital, Console vs. DAW

  • Modes of Operation for Automated Mixes: Write, Read, and Update

  • Hands-on Options: Real Time, Off-Line, or Snapshot Automation

  • Assignment 5: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 6: Dynamics Processing Part 1

  • Compression Controls and Functionality

  • Compressor Types, Demonstrations, and Comparisons

  • Solid State, Tube, FET, JFET, Optical Sensors, Vari-MU

  • Classic Analog Compressors

  • Assignment 6: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 7: Dynamics Processing Part 2

  • Limiting and Loudness Maximization

  • Noise Gating and Expansion

  • Use of Side-Chains, Keying, and Ducking Effects

  • Dessing, Multi-Band Compression, and Limiting

  • Assignment 7: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 8: Miscellaneous Unusual FX and Secret Techniques

  • Chorusing, Flanging, Phasing, Tremolo, Leslie Cabinet

  • Distortion, Soundfield Processing, Amp Simulation

  • Reverse Reverb, Reverse Delays, Backwards Compression

  • Sub-Harmonic Enhancement and Low Frequency Extension

  • Assignment 8: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 9: Vocal Mixing Techniques

  • Preparing V ocals for the Mix: V ocal Editing

  • V ocal EQ, Dynamic, Gain-Setting, Leveling

  • FX Processing

  • Vocal Tuning and Time Correcting

  • Assignment 9: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 10: Drum Mixing Techniques

  • Drum Equalization, Compression, Gating, Editing, Leveling, and Grouping

  • Mixing MIDI Drums versus Acoustic Drums

  • Drum Sound Replacement and Samples

  • Drum Timing Correction

  • Assignment 10: Mix "Selected Track"

Lesson 11: Instrumental Mixing Techniques

  • Mixing the Electric Bass, Upright Bass, and Bass Synthesizer

  • Mixing Electric and Acoustic Guitars

  • Mixing Horns and Strings both Real and Synthesized

  • Mixing Exotic and Unusual Instruments and Vocals

Lesson 12: Specialized Mix Directions and Techniques Overview

  • Mixing Pop Overview

  • Mixing Rock Overview

  • Mixing Hip Hop and R'n'B Overview

  • Mixing Jazz Overview