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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Learning frequency juggling


From:

Audio Mixing Bootcamp

with Bobby Owsinski

Video: Learning frequency juggling

In this video I am going to show you an EQ technique called juggling frequencies. One of the biggest problems during mixing is when two instruments clash because their predominant frequencies are in the same bandwidth. This often happens with two similar guitars in the mix, like if they're both Strats played through Marshals. But it could happen with other combinations too. Sometimes it happens between a guitar and a lead vocal, or a snare drum and a guitar, or a keyboard and a bass. The way to avoid this is to use a method called juggling frequencies. Veteran mixers know that equalizing a track without listening to any of the other tracks at the same time inevitably causes a frequency clash.
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  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp
8h 53m Beginner Nov 11, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Bobby Owsinski reveals industry tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on any digital audio workstation. He offers recommendations for setting up an optimal listening environment, highlights the most efficient ways to set up and balance a mix, and shows how to build a powerful sound with compression. The course also explains how to master the intricacies of EQ; incorporate reverb, delay, and modulation effects; and generate the final mix.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing your listening environment
  • Setting up sessions, subgroups, and effects
  • Understanding which mixing elements to avoid
  • Understanding the principles of building a mix
  • Panning instruments
  • Setting up the compressor
  • Using noise gates and de-essers
  • Understanding the concept of frequency juggling
  • Using the magic high-pass filter
  • Timing reverb and delay to a track
  • Using reverb to layer the mix
  • Understanding the Haas effect
  • Modulating guitars, keyboards, and vocals
  • Mixing with subgroups
  • Tweaking the final mix
Subjects:
Audio + Music Mixing Music Production Audio Effects
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
Bobby Owsinski

Learning frequency juggling

In this video I am going to show you an EQ technique called juggling frequencies. One of the biggest problems during mixing is when two instruments clash because their predominant frequencies are in the same bandwidth. This often happens with two similar guitars in the mix, like if they're both Strats played through Marshals. But it could happen with other combinations too. Sometimes it happens between a guitar and a lead vocal, or a snare drum and a guitar, or a keyboard and a bass. The way to avoid this is to use a method called juggling frequencies. Veteran mixers know that equalizing a track without listening to any of the other tracks at the same time inevitably causes a frequency clash.

The way to avoid this is to listen to other instruments while you're EQing. When you fine-tune instruments that have frequencies that clash, just solo those; here is how this works with these two guitars. Let's listen to them first. (music playing) This sounds so much alike that it's really difficult to determine that there are two different guitars playing at the same time. In fact, it sounds like they are both Gibsons or guitars with humbucking pickups and they are played through the same style amplifier, and this is what you get, where there is no definition.

Now, of course if we wanted to, we can pan them like this, and here is what it sounds like. (music playing) Now you can tell for sure that they are two different guitar parts, but they really have the same sound. Listen once again. (music playing) They are both panned up the middle. It's really hard to tell that they're two different parts there. So what we are going to do is we are going to juggle some frequencies. The way this works is that two instruments shouldn't have their frequencies boosted at the same place.

In this case, neither of them are boosted, if you look at both EQs. So what we're going to do is we are going to use a little bit of subtractive equalization, and we are going to change the sound of both of them by juggling some frequencies. Now watch. Here is the first guitar. (music playing) Now put the Equalizer in. (music playing) With this guitar, you can hear that it's a little bit fuller and there is more body now, and what we are going to do is we are going to carve the other one so it's a little bit more treblier.

Now you see in this 1.5K or so, this is where the notch is here. So what we're going to do is we are going to boost a little bit just in that place on the other guitar, and watch what happens. (music playing) Okay. Now, we are starting to hear that there is two different guitars there: one is a little bit chunkier and the other one is just a little bit more treblier.

Now we are going to actually carve those out a little bit more. I am going to go up to 6K is a magic frequency for guitars. It's about the upper high end of a guitar. Guitar amplifier rolls off somewhere around 8K, and anything above that, if you boost it, you really don't get much out of it, but 6K is a magic number because that's where the high frequencies come in. so watch what happens on this guitar. (music playing) Now, we are getting more definition.

Now if we go back to the other one--and this is the way we are always going to do it. We are going to go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until we get the definition that we are looking for. So now, we may even cut the high frequencies in that same place on this guitar. (music playing) Now, we're going to go back again. And we can see how much we boosted it here to make that sound.

We are going to do something else. We are going to add the highpass filter in, and watch what happens. We are going to get rid of a lot of the low frequencies as well, so you'll be able to hear the definition as soon as that happens. (music playing) Now, you can hear there are two guitars there.

Now they sound somewhat different, but we are going to go back. We are going to tweak it even more. (music playing) In this case, I am going to take the Gain. I am going, where we cut before, I am going to cut it back a little bit. (music playing) And going to go back to the second guitar, move this up a little bit.

(music playing) Now, if we take the two guitars and we pan them a little bit, now you can really hear the difference. (music playing) So you probably have to do a lot of back-and-forth EQing where you start with one instrument, EQ it, then go to the other one, and EQ that, and then back and forth and back and forth until you hear them both distinctly.

Now with this we might spend a little more time and make them both more distinct, but let's hear what they sound like in the track first. Let's unsolo them and have a listen. (music playing) Now, I am going to refine this guitar even little bit more.

(music playing) Now in this guitar one of the things I'll do is also add a highpass filter, add a little bit more definition. Hear both of them. (music playing) Now, you can hear they both sound a little bit different, and they don't sound like the same guitar anymore. And when we put them in the track, see what it sounds like. (music playing) So that's how frequency juggling works.

It's used whenever you have two instruments or vocals that clash frequency-wise. You want to make sure that the two offending instruments aren't boosting at the same frequency. If one instrument is boosted in the frequency range, the other should be cut in that frequency range. Remember that after frequency juggling, an instrument might sound terrible when soloed by itself, but it should work well in the track.

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