Brian here chooses to end Part 1 of his Mixing Techniques for Pop Music series with a technical discussion of parallel compression and how he sets it up in his mix template for use on live drums. Find out why it’s such an effective technique in music mixing. He shows you his go-to compressor of choice for this effect, but also some of the options he makes easily available.
- [Voiceover] Parallel compression.…It's a popular technique that a lot of engineers talk about.…It's a very effective trick of the trade…and most mixers favor that…over just a straight compression technique.…I want to show you why it's so good…and demonstrate how I have it set up in my template.…I like it especially for the drums,…so I really want to start with just a soloed drum kit.…We've heard this drum kit before,…but I've turned off the room mics,…so that we can just focus on the sounds…that I'm adding to the parallel compressor.…
So, let's take a look at the actual signal flow.…I'm going to scoot over here to the left.…I've got the Mix window open to show you this.…Here are all my sounds,…obviously A through E,…and then, right now I'm just showing you send F with faders.…That is the drums compression send.…I'm scrolling across now so you can see it.…Here are the sends to it.…So these sends are sending to the buss…called Drums Compression,…and that buss is being fed…to an auxiliary input.…
I'll scroll down so you can see the name of 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