Keyboard instruments other than piano are the subject of this mixing tutorial, and here Brian shows you his method, which leaves no stone unturned when looking for ear candy to support the more substantial parts of a song after he has achieved a good raw balance. He shows you how this approach to featuring synthesized sweetening is a hallmark of achieving highly dynamic mixes.
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- [Voiceover] So, keyboards.…The trick for me,…and one of my favorite things about Pro Tools…and any sort of DAW…in my experience is being able to see the waveforms…for little parts that only happen occasionally.…And what I want to talk about along with the important…keyboard elements of a rock mix like this…is what the little things can do…and how you find them and what you do…to make them stand out.…Now as a rule, I can attest to the fact…that there are so many…great-sounding synthesizers now and actually in the past…that they rarely need a lot of help.…
But let's take a look at some of the things I like to do…to make the parts that are there really jump.…Let's listen to the whole song first.…("Reckless" by Max Liberty)…That's this.…("Reckless" by Max Liberty)…Okay, so right away, the keyboards…are making themselves known in this piece.…
This is a huge part of the song.…It's kind of everything.…(keyboard component of "Reckless" by Max Liberty)…It doesn't need a lot on its own,…but what I have done, and I've done it…
Brian starts with the basics of creating a mix template and getting a good raw balance of the instruments in the mix. He then dives deep into signal processing techniques on many types of instruments, including drums, bass, guitar, keys, vocals, percussion, strings, and brass. He'll pick out and treat individual tracks with compression and EQ, add space with reverb and echo, and modulate the sound with flangers and phase shifters. Pro Tools is used throughout the course, but the techniques will work equally well with the DAW of your choice.
- Customizing a mix template
- Understanding the interplay of volume, panning, EQ, and dynamics
- Processing drums
- Processing lead and background vocals
- Gain processing
- Treating the bass guitar and synth guitar
- Placing piano in the mix
- Treating strings and brass