Skip to main content

DIs and Basic Vocal Chain

Lesson 5 from: GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Fundamentals

Eyal Levi

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

5. DIs and Basic Vocal Chain

Lesson Info

DIs and Basic Vocal Chain

Some people were saying that they want to hear what the base die sounds like. So let's, do that. Now, let you guys know what this kind of base is? Is a fender jazz bass american model four string that we tuned down to f with one sixty gauge strings, so bypassing z plug ins sounds fun. All right, now that that home I don't know that's, not in my truck. That's. Not in my idea. Uh, what's interesting to note is when we started getting the die on this, and this is another example of why you can't always follow the rules, we strung up a four string in a way that you should not stirring up a four string four story is not designed to go that low, and it sounded like garbage when we heard the diet was those dice and, like, garbage. But the general rule is, you know, d I should sound decent enough, or even instrument sounds good in the room will generally sound good, amped up and ah, you know, that works for based, too, you know, die sounds good, die, but they usually don't sound messed up. And...

so, in this case, it kind of did, um, but I just wanted to see what would happen if we just started messing with it and then I was like wow, this sounds awesome so you know don't don't know you don't need to follow the rules because this does not sound like the way I would want a diet of sound see what I mean but uh you put the stuff on it and I'll show you had some other sessions where the dies or completely proper as well that's the sound we wanted so there's like a sooners started going is like how does that dea how is this happening but cool I'm going to go with it like this is exactly what we were going for um and s o if I was to first of all if I was to follow all the rules all the time I would have not even touched this base we're gonna five string or my six string just because just because uh second of all when the strings were floppy I would have just stopped us from going but I really really was curious the reason I wanted to check it out was I was curious to see if we could get a single coil for string classic base toe work for this kind of music not one of these like crazy modern aa gent bases just they like corn a lot I like corn a lot we kind of want it I don't know what philly plays but I kind of had this like idea in my mind that if we could somehow get a four string with single coils tio to work right that it might just do the trick so we strung it up in a senate like crap oh, but I still wanted to try it out we start going it's like wait this just sounds nasty and mean and hell yeah this is what we're doing so you know ultimately the moral of the story is the rules are there for for you to follow most of the time but don't let the rules interfere with your vision rules are not meant to be your vision most of the time it's not going to work to string up a four string and go that low is you know you should use a five string you were going to go that low uh most of the time it's not going to be good to have floppy strings that low either uh but you know uh it seemed to work in line with what I wanted to achieve with it and then it did so I went with it that's the moral of the story however it sounded like crap once I put like the sands up on it and the q on it and obviously we would have used it but yes, hearing it from there okay? I can't tell ok? So any other questions anyone has about this particular ah particular song there's uh you know other instruments to we could talk about so I don't know there's anything in particular that people would be curious about it was curious, do you? How do you pan those or do you pan those? Do you live like dead center? All three tracks? Well, there's only two things that the base, right? Yeah, yeah, they're dead center. Okay? Yeah, and, uh just so he knows this. Ah, second base is it's ah it's a sands amp with e I mean, just take a look at those settings. Lows and highs cut out completely. And then I added this secure right here and just add it added more hi removal process and then boosted the hell out of the mids and they just tio just have it stick out just a little bit more and I remember you and I talking about this yesterday have sentence this is called an edge based sunday's edge bases get these weird frequencies in there and I was getting that a little bit like if you hear it by itself, it definitely has a little bit of that weirdness. But I think I think you like I said yesterday, if youe be enoughto other recordings, you can kind of get to the point where you realize which ones of those weird frequencies are ok and which ones aren't sometimes she's left in two is actually beneficial justcause it helps bring that instrument a little bit more definition, you know, help, it helps your you're, like, just kind of sense it separately a little bit. Well, exactly, I think I think that one one crucial thing is and I think people to write this down, you use the high end of an instrument like the base to define the low end like, ah, the high end is what lets, you know, what's going on, otherwise, if you just have low and just, you know, just be, like nondescript tones happening, you know, is going on, so you use that that high end to really to get fit its definition, and to tell you what it's doing, even if it's a low and instrument, even if it's there for the sub, like you're you're you are using the high end to define it, so that is important to leave in, because then, you know, was going on a lot better if you were there just to have, like, a sub base with none of that. Well, you'd have low end for sure in your mix, but you there would be no way tio, have a bass guitar be heard in the mix, this wouldn't happen, um after you sometimes so it's pretty cool I normally bypassed thea amp section there because I can't get into some gritty the way I want so use the sand samples the hamp let's use some of the cabs and just weaker you know, tweak the settings in there with mike choices and cab stuff until I find something I like but when you're talking about you know, having no high end definition the base it's funny because sometimes I don't know why pro tools does it but it that plug it has always been a little bit glitchy for me sometimes when pro tools launches over launch the session uh that am peg plugin won't pass sound through until I completely turned it off and then turn it back on sometimes I'll be working for a few minutes to I'm gonna be like, man, something is wrong and then I realized, oh, I'm just hearing like the sub low on the but it's done that to me as well there was this and let me just say I paid for mine eso shouldn't be doing this. There was this other thing that it would do where it would re I'd have to reregister it every single time I opened to mix and have you ever got that bug know what a pain and it wouldn't do the no sound then no sound was annoying too, because before you realize that that's what's going on it's like what when is going in the capital there a balance before after tweaking one thing you know realizing having through it's like yesterday over yeah, exactly well, in this case what it would do was it would shoot noise out so every you know every few saying that yeah, man come on, which is aside though that's a cool plug in so that some people should check that I think glitches aside that is the plug and besides sands and for base in my opinion so it's ah amplitude right it's an amplitude as the ex I came a multimedia makes it I think yeah, I am able to media it's I have it right here. Uh oh. Burning up so people can see it yeah. Besides sands and I think sands amfa's you know is everyone should have sands and two whether a real one or a plug in one and then everyone should also I mean, you see if I have this I have a real one like the r b r b one I think it is the rack one and I still honestly used the plug in something like sounds the same, but it's so much easier flooding is great. This is an pick s v x ray here, hopefully there we go like I said, I have to authorize a plug and I bought I'm not going to do that right now but here it is that's what I was talking about but this plug and right here is it is the plug in this get it okay, thank you I'm not getting any any royalties for that either you just just get it so yeah, but that right there just imagine you're working on a fifteen song album and you're doing mixed notes of bouncing between song a song the song and every time you open a song it does this it is like can you guys get this together because he was tapping to me it's got to be happening in like ten thousand other people too. So all right, so one more thing I kind of want to maybe talk about real quick in this mix because I think this happens and none of the other mixes they were going to be discussing um now I did this with uh ant farm I don't know oh you pot farm people before there was pot farm there was have farm which I thought was really cool but uh that was a tdm thing and I don't have it anymore so in order to recreate this sound I just pulled a vintage ample room real fast when I got here so it's not going to sound is cool but still I just want to get the point across um there's this guitar line that comes in all right now mind you on da ee I see what they going tio turn these on you will see something due to the effects wait, okay, a few things I want to talk about here now before keyboard commandos start saying that they heard a little a little thingy little noise at the end of that um that was a noise that I didn't notice. Sometimes things get passed you because there are a few spots where let's say you can get away with having a click or a pop e I know we said get rid of all clicks and pops with sometimes you don't notice them because of what else is landing at the same time that'll mask it and then you have it's masking and you can't hear it a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it. Did it make a sound so you can't hear it? So does it matter? No, and I think that because it's a downbeat so gets it down b and I made the I made the kick a little louder, the base is getting slapped there, so the fact that the base is going to stop there that already makes a clicky sound so the click from the from the boat guitar line ending just blends with the click the sound of the base being slapped and it's like it doesn't even happen so uh you know that would be one of those exceptions where something doesn't matters if it blends for whatever reason like say that it can if that happened on a snare hit on the crack of a snare it you wouldn't notice it either so when if you can't get rid of something or you you know say you're drawing and add it around and uh and you just cross fading is making it sound weird you can't copy paste ah good hit there like for whatever reason you've exhausted all options you just can't get rid of that syria been in one of those situations where nothing's working uh the solution in that case is to draw it to where something that'll mask it takes place that's a cool little pro tip like a snare hit or a downbeat where there's a base slap something that's producing a similar kind of sound you don't that's not what I wanted to talk about just figured out you go pro tip um the reason I want to talk about this is because it's a clean, trippy part over a bunch of other stuff going on you can still hear it just fine while the music is happening um so there's a few things going on first of all it's limited like crazy that's a very good thing to do to clean guitars when you want to have clean guitar stick out over over some heaviness first of all compressor limit the life out of it when the life of it but you know what I mean uh limited like crazy so that it you know those the print this down would be a lot more of a solid block you don't want that many dynamics in it because the minute you have a softer hit note so I swallowed by the double based or by whatever else is going on and clean parts especially are tough to get dynamic free because distortion acts like a compressor so without the distortion there you know the dynamics of the performance will be there and a lot of guitar players that are good at medal don't have the right technique for playing this kind of stuff so if they worked on their down picking but they didn't really work on playing arpeggio courts that happens a lot so first step limit it um also get rid of the frequencies I mean this is some normal stuff but bears noting get rid of the frequencies that are going to interfere um especially the low and you don't need that and you don't want you don't want interfering with your symbols or your vocals too much either and uh if you notice it's not completely clean and the original wasn't completely clean either that noise in there a little bit of distortion uh I don't know if us ever tried to do this anyone here ever tried to mix a completely clean base on a metal song never even tried it well it's good you should try you should try it sometime uh clean low end obviously but no no I mean like clean base like some do from a jazz bar walked in and try to play a mouth song or something like no distortion whatsoever no saturation, no drive, no dirt nothing um your question for the chat room I knows we'll take a second to see if anybody in there has has tried really doing that what the results were I can tell you that uh it doesn't work it just it doesn't blend at all. It just sounds like there's a melon in your base in your metal mix and it's the same with clean guitars you don't have a little bit of dirt on them they will and you limit them and you get rid of the nasty frequency you don't need they will end up just sounding like you've got a clean guitar on top of them max not in the mix like you need a little bit of that dirt again it'll help compress it a little bit more but also it will help it blend in it a lot smooth the edges between the clean guitar and the rest of everything so in short, get rid of the frequencies that blend too much, limit the hell out of it and give it a little bit of ah distortions so that it a little just said it blends some and you know the crystallized or whatever that's that is something. Now, this is another reason I want to talk about this. You notice right here. This is not on a send this is this sound in particular? Uh, so I know we talked yesterday about about sending your effects to an ox, like I've been sending sending your tracks to a knock says and effect on it like vocals to the river ox or whatever and most of the time that's the thing to do, however, the idea is not to introduce complexity to the situation, but remove it if this is the sound of this one part and this is this is it except for, you know, these two backwards guitars that happened, which are also basically the same thing? And what is the reason for me to send this to an ox? There isn't, and and also this crystallize er is part of the whole feel of this guitar sound is not there as an overall river for to blend into the mix it's actually a part of this sound specifically without it it's just kind of I mean that's the tone and if I was going to print that down like save I was going to give this to somebody else to mix, I would print it with that because that's non negotiable that's artistically part of that tone that's not that is not a mixed decision that's a production decision so I would say that in general in situations like the's this is where you would be putting some sort of a delayer revert on the actual track itself is an insert you don't think you're about to say something because I asked that question has anyone recorded clean base to the chat room? And they said no we only tried is before not knowing well and how to do it and how to get it to come through in the mix which that people are saying that it's really hard to do and that the base didn't cut through yes to compete yeah, I mean yeah, what happens is if you turn it up it destroys the mix it swallows it whole and turn it down it's gone yeah, it just doesn't work. So all right, so that's what I wanted to basically cover about this song maybe I'll show you guys the vocal chain real quick you sisi just so you see what's going on check on something see now I feel like I feel like something is different uh in that something from the version of version is different there with the effects levels like there's something that was in the original pro tools a tdm version that's not the same which is causing causing that that weird effect I so have his watch for values I did for yeah what yoshii you're dry eyes ok, so again we've got some red and that's okay I just kind of wanted the vocals to sound like they're blowing up um and just to give you guys an idea of the basic vocal chain uh we've got a seventy six now I like to see life seventy six but I would probably use one of your ideas now um you just notice and first of all these vocals were recorded into a distress sir so go essam seven into an fbi into a distress sir and within that since I don't have an eleven seventy six in real life using a plug in but right this is not necessarily the way I would do it now sometimes I do other types of chains where there's problems to correct I'll do correct vic you first or multi pran compression or whatever do that first before you hit this compressor that buries the needle but so first but in this part of your chain for whatever reason I decided to go bury the needle first on eleven seventy six and then into an e q now let me play and play you this without the queue on this guy's voice eyes there we go don't have that group so my groups changed we owe you're filling your eyes so without the hugh he actually does sound kind of powerful oh I want you shy you're filling you are at the same time it's too full frequency that would that would just get in the way of everything else so by any of the q you're filling your now by itself it sounds a lot it sounds smaller obviously um but it's much more focused which is what you need you need the vocals coming out in a very focused way so I raised the highs I raised the mids and I actually ducked out the lower mids that got in the way of the guitar because there was a lot of low made coming through on his voice now a lot of the times I don't specifically cut out low mids on a vocalist however in this case because of all the distortion on the guitars and just the amount of just low and stuff going on I actually what I needed was for the vocal to be focused over that it can couldn't have more noise added down there so I chose to I chose to bring out the upper part of his voice then after that yes there's the answer to the question is of course there's some saturation on it I and say punish level this is without it see you can't even hear it you are way the way from the distress sir do you could you get some pretty subtle saturation of the distress of this sounds really cool um I probably was not at this point in time I've been doing that lately yeah yeah I agree you again um but no we're filling you are you're the difference the that it's not I do have it set to punish but the mix is about halfway through halfway up it's not it's also it's only half punished but it is a pretty good amount of distortion but again the distortion is adding more of that mid range which is what I was trying to bring out with the queue really wanted tio pin the needle on him and get it to basically be like a flat block of a vocal of just made arrange power and attack over the you know the wall of low meds and subs coming from the music so that's what in addition to adding more aggression of the voice is helping those meds cut through the mix is this something two quick questions? Um trade wants to know what do you mean by burying the needle you're talking about like just slamming it right? Yeah take a look at the needle on the game the game reduction needle on the eleven seventy six you're filling you are it's buried yeah it's something yes like when you're you know if you're driving at one hundred forty miles an hour and your car only goes to one hundred twenty miles an hour you bury the needle that's what that's what it means and then j k wants and know what your distress or settings were roughly on the vocals during that tracking so you said you tracked this through a distress sir generally what are you d a is there a parameter that you sort of go for or is it different with every vocal um I don't remember entirely but I will say that more than likely it was at a tender one on the distress sir because that does something special with a quick release and a medium attack and a about six to ten on the game reduction and then of course who's going to go through life with other d s sir I don't have any to explain that to you and then I just felt like I just felt like I still then have enough of those meds just popping through so a boosted one point to a little bit on the voice um and now notice where earlier showing you guys where I was making the cuts on the guitar who's right in this area uh because it really wanted these vocals to cut through the people were asking how do you get the vocals to cut through on a mix? Well boost the hell out of the mids! Distort the mids! Compress the mids. Like, do whatever you got to do the mids to, like, make them solid and push him and also get rid of, or at least at least control those same things those mids and the other instruments that would get in the way that share atonality like a guitar, for instance. Yes, sir. Is that why you did a low pass on the the guitars, tio, get away from the vocals? Uh, which one? This, uh, let me see if we're talking about the same. Do you mean this low pass right here it that it will that's that you do that for a few different reasons. You do that because the upper the the highs on a super to surrogates are pre mushers, fizz, fizz and noise. Like, let me I want to show you you can really hear that very well in this room, but it just it cuts down on the amount of fizz. And now the thing about the fizz that's bad is that it takes away some of the clarity of the guitar. It interferes with your ability to hear what note is being played and, uh, even worse, is an interferes with symbols because that's the range in which the detail in the the, I guess, the shine and the glimmer of the symbols they're going to be. So you want to make sure that the upper end of the guitar is not clashing with symbols and then also the vocals. What I guess gives vocals and expensive sound is up in that range to. She just kind of want to get it, get the guitars out of the way and there's nothing good in the guitars there, anyway, this painful and nasty. So even if it was an instrumental record, I would be, I would be doing that. Um, even though there were no symbols, I'd be doing that because it just sounds gross.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus - 1-on-1 Mix Critique with Eyal Levi.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mastering Metal Mixing - Mix Fundamental Slides.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptx
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptxt

bonus material with enrollment

Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Jorjhan Castro

It is great, I have learned a lot, thanks,...greetings from Colombia

Student Work