Skip to main content

Mix Templates

Lesson 4 from: GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Prep & Setup

Eyal Levi

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

4. Mix Templates

Next Lesson: Prepping a Track

Lesson Info

Mix Templates

This is um you said it's not the sexiest thing but this is pretty much where people and just to put it nicely this is where people have so we'll we'll try toe try to get them away from that because like we were talking about during the break everybody watches tutorials on how to use this compressor in that compressor and get that tone with this and that but not many people know how to do this and this is what stands between uh them actually knowing howto use their tails in a cohesive way no question I had were there any questions from the internet for me before we go? Well I would say let's go ahead and get into it with them and then we'll see what you covered and we'll jump questions later so by the way guys, while you're asking questions love that you are if you could the ask a button it's in the top right corner there of the screen that's where you can ask questions but before you do scroll through and see the other questions that other people have answered if you I also want to hea...

r the answer to one of their questions could the blue arrow that's voting for that and then I see those numbers so I can ask the questions that will help the most people so be sure to do that before you ask a question but all right so you know, we were talking a lot about polishing turds and how that's not a part of mixing and how when you get a turd you basically and to send the turd back and tell people tio redo it, but so there's a general assumption here that that the tracks that you're going to be prepping for mixer pretty well recorded, maybe not the best in the world, but pretty well, pretty well recorded there's like says there that there's definitely other glasses about polishing turds and, you know, that's not what I'm here to talk about, so let's get into segment too, so this is kind of the, uh, the order in which things happen in mixed prep in l a I want to clarify something here because, uh, says new session from a template first, but that's kind of ah chicken before the egg or eggs before the chicken kind of thing uh, where does the template even come from in the first place if you don't have a template in the first place? So I'm kind of assuming that this isn't that we're not talking about your first mix ever. Um, what I would do is I would take your best mix to date and start with that or by the class you'll get a template or pay attention and learn how to make one, but ah it's good to start from a template for a few reasons I'll get into that but so start from template get the tracks in there take care of lots of this stuff that we talked about with the checklist with josh making sure the editing is good renamed them right label everything right consolidate color coded route group take care of all the cleanup and you get a rough mix and then you're good so cool class over it's been great talking to you guys so just kidding so let's talk about getting the new session in from the template so you are here? Uh the idea is that you're starting from a clean slate like we talked about earlier you don't want to be starting from your writing session it's just done uh the reason I have a template is because you have something that's just kind of almost there you put all the things that you would pretty much do or that you know that somebody else will pretty much do most of the time you have a ready to go and then when you start bringing in the audio you know have to redo everything I mean it saves time and ah let's face it our memories are not perfect um I don't know if this has happened you erin but uh have you ever had this experience where you do something really, really sweet on a mix um you know something that you really helped to remember and then a year later you don't remember what that sweet thing wass you like how like you just gone like maybe you side chained the toms to the kicks on some sort of thing and it really worked great for sir mix or maybe like I know just something that would be cooling in a template but it has happened me that like I've done stuff certain points in time where ah uh I go back and are looking like well I did that well I don't I do that every time I think when I was like more starting out uh there's probably tones or something I've gotten and I don't remember exactly how he did it like I would just like dialling the pull against o sounds great printed down didn't delete the stuff I had used to create the sound so over time I've just gotten a lot better it not deleting anything I think I might need to go back and check out you know be it uh like ah vocal effect or guitar effect or anything or like a middie instrument I never delete the middie tracks and the seance since then the plug in chain that would come after that anything I might possibly need to go back to and tweak just disable the track hide it put it away um so so you never kind of back yourself into a corner yeah, I think that like even if ah, you know, even if I just say that whatever many instrument is a one time thing and one mix or whatever was still I guess the general idea is that over time there's going to be a collection of tricks that you'll generally do most of the time not always because every mix is different but just general ways that you like things routed general ways that you like things laid out just general just you have the more you mix, the more set you're going to be in what works for you and you're also going to know what doesn't work for you and if you work from a template you don't need to build it from scratch every single time um I know that that seems really ah elementary but it's amazing to me how many people started from scratch every single time there's absolutely no reason to do that and it's hours and hours out of your life that it could be taken care of very very easily so in, you know, just loading a template so I have one loaded here it's a very, very simple one, not much going on in it but it does show you it's just a good starting point um got all the cool master stuff at the top and a way to print um a loud master uh yeah with a fake master I don't I don't do real mastering but a lot of bands like toe have limited mixes because they don't know to operate their volume knobs um they just don't it I don't understand it maybe it's some like you know I have this theory about talent where if you get it you know you get a certain ability in one area you're going to lose it another area and maybe a lot of musicians the better they are playing music the worst they are turning up the volume on their systems so giving them limited mixes is sometimes the way to go even though they sound kind of weird but so in this template right here which actually andrew wade help me with this is kind of like a hybrid of what weight has helped me with and what my my engineering myself have kind of come to and what we've kind of learned over the years but there's a lot of things in here that are already taken care of that we don't even need to think about like so right here it's going to allowed master immediately but we also have the non limited mix right here so I could put them both at the same time and uh everything is routed right here to an instrumental mix front that all at the same time and lookie right here tracks for stems all I have to do is arm them hit record I could arm all of these here record and I'll instantly have all my stems printed instrumentals limited mix and non lewd and mixing of course you can take this as far as you want to go print click tracks like josh was saying vocal of vocal down whatever it's all in how you route this stuff and we were talking about routings later but imagine what a pain in the ass of you set this up every single time and this is just like you know the master section of the whole whole thing I don't know how many of you guys have been asked to print stems for bands but as you proceed with your career and get further it's going to come up and if you don't have a good system for doing this you spend a long time out of your life doing some really boring stuff you think editing drums is boring printing stems the old way is boring like this you get your stems printed in the time it takes to print the song so there's great um you know I know that uh I like to have a drum bus a lot of time in a drum compression bus so there it is and you know all the basic drums air already routed there and obviously you know this is a simple version so around more than more than not always going to just be stereo tom's or whatever uh sometimes they're going to be will always they're going to be individual tom's but this is just to kind of show you guys a very basic overview of how this template works so you got all your drums already there already routed to the drum comp and the drum bus and then that's it right here with these sends already routed to the stems and to the master section easy and then same thing for the other instruments everything here is already routed to all those same places eso yeah, maybe on this particular mix I'm not going to want or a scooped rhythm guitar bus maybe not uh and maybe I'm not gonna want uh you know, compress smashed guitars parallel to that but I've done that enough times to where amaze we'll have it in the template that my guitars go to that and then that goes to the master section we're good why not? Uh and, uh, same thing with vocals for instance like uh why not have lead vocals and backup vocals on their own bus is already set up and then your screen buses lead and backup already set up like why not? Why would I want to set this up every single time? And then right here is you can see these uh these groups these these buses are already routed to the effects down here the vocal effects which are then routed to the master section and so easy you just plug in the audio and go now mind you, there are some plug ins, but they're just stuff that yeah, they're good starting points like echo boy like I know I use echo what most of the time so why not just have that in the template? So you're asking you were telling me earlier, we're asking why there's plug ins in there in that temple because like, you know, I do have long delays on vocals always I mean, they're not always turned up, but and I use eco boy nine out of ten times on that, so why not just have it ready to go? That doesn't mean I'm going to keep it doesn't mean that I'm locked into this, but this is a really much better place to start then say that session we were looking at earlier where uh yeah, I wish I could scroll back about fifty slides to just kind of show it a disorganized session looks like, but sure, you can kind of tell that, uh, starting from a place like this, you're gonna have a lot less to worry about you're able to just start mixing, you know, obviously ah there's something's missing like I'm not going to put my rhythm guitars as a stereo there are going to be the actual individual tracks and you know all that stuff's missing there's probably going to be like it a split based track and you know, multiple kicks and multiple snares and all that stuff and then once you have your multiple snares they'll go to their own snare bus, which will then go to the drum and the drum comp us and you know, with symbols bus there like obviously we'll have your overheads and then you'll have your you're close mikes on the hats and whatever but the point is that this is all just good to go um and while it may change, you know there's a great starting point it does that kind of explain you what what I meant or why we had the plug ins before thought I thought we were talking about like, if a client sends you a session with a whole bunch of plug ins on it, you're supposed to mix it and so yeah, this is all perfectly fine working from your own templates, ese. He is great and I do the same thing yeah saves you time I just I don't see men working from a client's template seems like a nightmare um over this ah like like I said, this template here is, uh, it's kind of like a combination of my thinking john douglas is thinking and andrew wade's thinking kind of put together but you know if if I needed to set up a mix for jason suk off he does things nothing like this like there's nothing alike about it except that it's metal um I I would pull up a whole different template to get something for him and uh you know, if if there was something for mark lewis will be completely different too so it's it's good tio understand like josh was saying earlier what different guys want and also that comes in handy for your own stuff is you guys will see tomorrow when I go through different mixes the different mixes that I've done all take on different different types of shapes and forms template wise but this is a very good starting point is anyone have any questions about this one? If you want to take it I do we can take it now from ever, groove says if mixing through plug ins on the master bus than how do you actually handle stems on example of my master bus compressor reacts differently to the entire mix than it does to just say the drum mix. Because of this, the combined stems never really sound the same as the final mix they're all they go to the uh that's a good question they go from the uh what's it called from these buses right here to the stems I mean that's the age old problem of stems anyways, but even with the old school method of bouncing stems where I had to just enable, you know, set a track to record and had record would be the same thing anyways, if you're sending just one track through the master chain that's going to react differently anyway so it will never it will never be exactly the same, at least not in my experience, but have you ever noticed it to be exactly the same? I know that it's not going to be the you that you have to like have every track I don't even know if it's possible to have them all like side chaining into the compressor somehow and when you solo one, you're still I don't even know if it would work because you have to have the bus compressor reacting to every track and then hope that printing down that gain reduction toe one track of the time would cumulatively add up to the same thing, which it won't probably we never would so but also, uh you have to think about why do people use stems? I mean, I realize that sometimes in mastering people will use stems, but they'll blend them into like bring something up or down, but typically the reason that people use stands us for a live you know tio fake the audience out that's why every band wants us now because this is your prevalent thing for bands toe have just about everything in the back tracks and it doesn't need toe or for guitar hero argued well, these this is not set up for guitar hero stands guitar hero uh stems are a whole different story. I am so glad that that's not a thing anymore because you had teo you had to do many of let me see if I remember you had to do kick by itself snare by itself tom's and symbols on one uh guitars in stereo base in stereo. But then the vocals workout tricky because you had to give a single lead vocal unaffected than you had to give vocals with effects. And yeah, is all these different there's like all these different really annoying per outers when you had to do guitar hero stems and, uh, I'm just glad that that doesn't happen and more nowadays you can just get people stereo stereo stands of the drums and it used to be really easy to find the broken out guitar hero stems for, like every song just kicking around on the internet and I think the game developer kind of cut down on that, you know, it was considered piracy and those stems were not really ever supposed to get out to the public, but I have several of them unlike new still and it's really interesting to see how like not every song is bounced out the exact same way you know like yeah there's a lead vocal everything you said is pretty much right on but it's still kind of varies from from stem maker to lord varys varies because when you do guitar hero stems ah you have a list basically with like twenty five points that come from them that you have to adhere to and it takes a long time to do this and at some point you're just like, oh man, I can't just this's going take forever and so some guys were lazier than others and that's all it comes down to but in general bouncing we haven't got in a single complaint bouncing sums like this since guitar hero stop being a thing um two years ago you couldn't have done this uh so tio just toe go back to what I forget his name was asking yeah of course it's not going to be exactly the same but you can then just maybe run the stems through master of us if you want but the point is not that you're recreating the mix. The point is that you have individual elements of the mix to be able to use later e for master and you need to bring something up or down or whatever he blended in or live and you'd use and backing tracks or whatever if you need tio recreate the mix, we'll open up the mix and re created, you know, fix the mix. Um hope that helps you okay, any other questions from uh, you're right about this time we've got we've got a couple more here got one from zach, sebastian says when I have my kicks tracks dry, hard compression sub active going into my kick bus, same thing with snares tom symbols into their own bus, all those buses go to my master drum bus. When I do this, I get a crazy amount of hiss from the plug ins there's a gate to newt that hiss when there's nothing playing, but is there an easier way to eliminate this? Yeah, I get better with your game staging, which we'll talk about later or if you're using waves, plug ins turned the analog thing off, it could be that just a guess, but if you're getting noise, then ah, then it's either either he's using waves, plug ins and the analog buttons on, and all that does is create noise or is driving things just way too hard. Um, turned down great and then one more on dh four other people also voted for this ah, a lot of people on it, how far in should we go when rough mixing in prep I've had a lot of experiences where I've had creative ideas when rough mixing would you recommend me stop a moment and explore those ideas even if they involve complex trial and error or should I just jot them down and save them from mixing? Um well I guess it depends on it depends on what the rough mix is for and how important that idea is to you if the rough mix is something like what josh knew and I were talking about something that's going to another mixer tio basically give them the layout for what the song is supposed to be an idea that's very very important that you need in there of course do it but I mean if if what you're talking about is distracting yourself from getting the job done and just you know, holding off on handing your tracks off to some because you're afraid of somebody like you're afraid of a big boy seeing your shitty tracking job then don't do it uh not that that's the case but that's sometimes the case people will stall so yeah just depend I mean, you know how important is the idea if it's important go for it? Um you don't want remember your name of that psychic lady who did all the yeah yeah you're mixers not miss cleo it's just a dude if you knows howto make things sound kind of cool hopefully they're not in your head and there don't they're not going to understand everything about your music unless you help them understand it so even ideas that important in there of course put that in there so the rough mixes for that's the purpose of the rough mix so ok so yeah I just had some screen shots of a kind of what we just went through so and I did say this earlier um there is a chicken or the egg thing going on here there's a view of who haven't really gotten that far along in your mixing aren't gonna have a template to begin with erin I know you have one uh but not everyone does and you can't have a template before you have a template so uh shameless plug or whatever you want to call it is yeah you purchase the class you will get a template and it's going to be d a w specific even though the one I'm showing is in pro tools we will be making one for q base one for logic uh and if there's enough of a request for another d a w uh we'll do that as well but ah you know you know if there's two requests for some obscure russian dw probably not going to do it um yes oh yes option one is uh get the class and get the template and work off of that uh it's a pretty good one another one is used. One of your previous mixes as a template. If you're far along like aaron, is that's going to work just fine. And if you don't feel like, uh, like getting the class and you don't have a template, then you know, pay attention and take notes, because I just showed you one. Um, I don't know how you're going to remember all that. But, er, you know, human mind is an amazing thing.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Eyal Levi - Mastering Metal Mixing - Mix Prep Slides.pdf
Eyal Levi - ProTools Batch Track Rename.qkmx
1-on-1 Mix Critique with Eyal Levi.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptx
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptxt

bonus material with enrollment

Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Boring subject but Eyal delivers the material in an entertaining way. He really does a great job of showing why the prep and organization are crucial to a solid end product. This is much more important to get than the latest and greatest plugin, and is easy to implement and will ultimately save you time and money down the road. Its a no brainer to listen to what Eyal is saying and to apply it. This has been a great confirmation on some of my workflow and has revealed some new methods I had not thought of. Thanks for the great class! cant wait for the next two days. Always impressed with you and the creative live team.

Student Work