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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Mixing with subgroups


From:

Audio Mixing Bootcamp

with Bobby Owsinski

Video: Mixing with subgroups

Using subgroups of instruments in vocals is been a time-honored way to mix, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. In this video I'm going to show you the correct technique for using subgroups that works either in an analog or digital world. So the first thing to see is right now we have a Vocal subgroup and this has all of the vocals in it, we have an Organ subgroup and that's the subgroup of the high and low of the organ, we have a Drum subgroup and the drum subgroup has all of the drums plus tambourine in it. The only thing that isn't sub-grouped here is the Bass.
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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

Mixing with subgroups

Using subgroups of instruments in vocals is been a time-honored way to mix, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. In this video I'm going to show you the correct technique for using subgroups that works either in an analog or digital world. So the first thing to see is right now we have a Vocal subgroup and this has all of the vocals in it, we have an Organ subgroup and that's the subgroup of the high and low of the organ, we have a Drum subgroup and the drum subgroup has all of the drums plus tambourine in it. The only thing that isn't sub-grouped here is the Bass.

The Bass is just a single channel by itself, but it's so important that we don't want to subgroup it with anything. Now finally what we want to do is group all the guitars together into one subgroup. So here is what we're going to do. I'm going to go to Track, going to say New we want Stereo and Aux Input. There is our Aux input. I'm going to call this GTRS. Now the next thing we have to do is select an input for it. So we're going to say Bus 25-26. Now we want to assign the acoustic guitar to the subgroup.

So what we'll do is we'll say go to Bus 25-26. Now Guitar 2 already has a subgroup and what we'll say is sync the output of that subgroup and let's bus it to Bus 25-26. The same with the first electric guitar, it's already a subgroup, but we'll take the output of that subgroup and say let's go to Bus 25-26. So now all of the guitars are coming out of this one subgroup. Let's have a listen -- (Music playing) That's two electric guitars that are pan left and right and acoustic guitar that's pretty much up the center.

So now what we're going to do is move this over with other subgroups and the way we do that is we click-and-drag. We're going to put this next to the Organ. So now just with these 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 faders we can mix the whole song. And the reason why is all of our channels are feeding into one of the four subgroups that we have and plus the bass cabinet. Let's have a listen. (Music playing) Now you can see all of our five channels are down so we don't hear anything.

So let's start to mix, Drums, Bass, Guitars, the Organ. And let's have a listen to it. (Music playing) And this is an easy way for us to mix just using these five faders.

Now of course we have to get an internal mix within the subgroup, but that being said we probably have that before we even made the subgroup. Because usually the subgroup comes after we make our mix with the drums or mix with the guitars, or mix with the organ whatever it might be, mix with the vocals. Now let me show you one of the principles it's really important to using subgroups. One of the things that we try to do is always keep any of our subgroups below the master fader. In other words, all of our groups here always have to be below or equal to our master.

The reason for that is as soon as we can go above the master fader it's possible to actually cause an overload, and this is either in the analog or the digital domain this can happen. So the worst case would be everything up high, the Master fader down low. And even if we don't hear any distortion, mix can get kind of heavy sounding and the tone can change and it just won't sound right. So let's have a quick listen -- (Music playing) So it doesn't sound that great, doesn't sound that bad either, but certainly we can make it sound cleaner and again, the way to do that is always keep our subgroups below the master fader.

(Music playing) So remember, make sure your subgroups are always lower in level than your master fader in order to keep the signal clean, otherwise you might not hear audible distortion, but the tone of the mix might be slightly altered resulting in smaller sounding and less punchy mix.

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