Brian refers to this segment on the treatment of acoustic guitars as one of his favorites, not only because of his affinity for the instrument itself, but for the importance of it’s role in pop music over the past 60 plus years. Another beast hungry for it’s huge piece of frequency spectrum "real estate," this is a percussive instrument that is sometimes best tamed with EQ and compression rather than left untouched.
- [Voiceover] Acoustic rhythm guitars oftentimes…drive a song as hard as the drums, but they…also can take up too much space in a mix…if they're left wide open, so naturally,…because they compromise practically the…entire frequency spectrum, you have to…pay attention to how much space they do take up.…Let's figure out how we treat acoustic guitars…when they're an important yet small part of…a larger piece, here we go.…(upbeat rock music)…Let's go back to the top, you'll see…there's quite a lot of ride automation here on…the acoustic guitar's aux input.…
I'll show you the quiet passage, and first thing…I wanna talk about is the panning spectrum.…The stereo field is important to me when it…comes to multiple acoustic guitars,…and this one was a little challenging because…there's four main parts, and they kind of…trade off playing in tacit passages, and I…wanted to pay attention to how the panning…came off all the way though the song.…So it starts out here with these two little…harmonics pieces.…(harmonic guitar)…Sort of a question and answer thing, left and right.…
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