In this video Brian confesses that when he first started mixing, the electric guitar was a bit of a mystery to him, but that he soon figured it out, and here he shows a few of his methods for treating the instrument that is so important for rock mixers. Moreover though he shares his philosophies about when to know a sound is right to begin with.
- [Voiceover] If you're not an electric guitarist…then this instrument could really be…a bit of a puzzle to you.…And I speak from experience because…for a long time that's the way I felt about electric guitar.…I'm going to take this opportunity…to make a point about mixing…that I haven't thus far made.…I've been trying to show you all the tricks of the trade…and really one of the…greatest tricks of the trade in my opinion,…is knowing when not to do anything.…And that sort of became my fallback position…when it came to an electric guitar sound that puzzled me.…
And I want to show you this track for a moment…which has a really nice guitar palette…and not many keyboards to go with it.…Let's play from the beginning.…("Light The Fuse" by Max Liberty)…Let's stop there.…
I'd like you to take note of the…sound of these chugs to start with.…(electric guitar playing)…Now I tried changing those…in several different ways…and I really found that there was nothing…better than the way that sounded just like it is.…And part of the reason is…
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