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Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Lesson 20 of 26

Mixing Blazing Star Part I

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

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Lesson Info

20. Mixing Blazing Star Part I


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:20
4 Songwriting Q&A Duration:26:32
5 Tracking and Comping Drums Duration:27:24
6 Editing Drums Duration:16:25
7 Drums Q&A Duration:31:15
8 Micing an Amplifier Duration:25:09
9 Rhythm Guitar Tones Duration:18:52
10 Tracking Rhythm Guitars Duration:34:13
11 Tracking Bass Guitar Duration:23:34
12 Bass Q&A Duration:21:45
13 General Q&A Duration:16:30
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Tracking Vocals Duration:18:27
3 Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon Duration:24:37
4 Vocals Q&A Duration:17:50
5 Mix Prep Duration:34:45
6 Mixing in Logic Pro Duration:42:03
7 Mixing Blazing Star Part I Duration:27:14
10 Mixing Blazing Star Part 2 Duration:19:34
11 Mixing Blazing Star with EQ Duration:30:09
12 Final Q&A Duration:24:12
13 Closing Thoughts Duration:11:22

Lesson Info

Mixing Blazing Star Part I

We're finally going to hear some music. Yes, we're going to talk about mixing and what mixing is and how to go about it. And we're maybe first going to talk a little bit about the philosophy of it. Wait, what is mixing? You know, mixing is whether these knobs do what do these favours there's only like there's t shirts for for guys? Like what? Do you know what all those buttons do? These knobs do? Yeah, they just make things louder somewhere like that's. Really, what it is we have, you know, it's either like a channel that the fate or makes everything louder or like the high frequency makes just high frequencies louder. A bus makes the bus letters, all just levels and frequencies and levels. And if you boil it down to that, you know, guitar playing was you hit a string with a finger and you make a sound. It sounds easy in theory, but it's a lot of practice and you've got to put in your hours and you develop a mixing skill. And if you look a this mixing a song mohr of like playing a song...

, learning it and familiarizing yourself with the various parts and transitions and sections and then whatever, whatever is in the song you start to like you become you know you become one with the song in a way because you kind of live in your eyes the song you have to know the conductor would know that's conducting an orchestra and in one way or another that is what you're doing you're raising dynamics you're lowering dynamics you're bringing out certain frequencies raising the volume of the frequencies certain things need to go away for a second well, you make room for another thing is going to have its own like exactly so yeah so think without further ado we should play this song ones we've been talking about it in two days and uh you know, you get to walk people about how in through how you did on the whole then we'll get big into each of the different instruments and uh and see how we how we arrived where we arrived with this mix so here it is blazing star sometimes in here wait long long ring out yeah, yeah, but that's what that sounds in a big ring out big ending big epic stuff is big and at because we can make a song and still be on earth but that's a fifty piece orchestra that's death clock that's a lot of my vocals isn't me doubled many times with a big kind of course is that you get here floating in and out all the texture there um a lot of guitar playing a lot of amazing you know, all those kicks sound at home inside of that thing driving that train along and there they all the same level every single one is the same level and every single one of them is because it has to be at that point because there yes there they're fighting against enormous guitars they're fighting against base they find his vocals and an orchestra and everybody is fighting for spaces like like a hole was like a whole lot of attention getting goes a bunch of children on the e u don't want two be first um on dh but listening to it there was always a section in each section there's always something that you grabbed your attention right you know and the decision making process is like what is it going to be in this section? What is it? What is like the primary part and secondary parts and what is like over make sure that we're not stepping on the rhythm section do we not step too much on the rhythm section? Sometimes you can lose that a little bit and that's ok because you know that it's there and you're you're years used to it your brains used to it close it comes back again um yeah there were some just philosophies about how band and orchestra would work together they had to trade off in a couple of sections and they had to unite in the last section so you hear that first kind of what I think is the james bond kind of down and then and then and which has ended up being that riff right there was the end of the entire doom star record on that final just closing piece was the last piece of music I wrote for the doomsday and I thought wouldn't it be great to open a song with that and wouldn't it be cool to go into another section we haven't heard before so the first section is a branding is section that has nothing to do with and so does that bridge section has nothing to do with anything else on then the course is the opening brass of the whole thing when we see the doom start born and in the crab nebula whatever in the top of the whole piece the whole rockhopper yeah so where do you go now so what we're starting out how do we start mixing a song you know it's it's ah if you're lucky you got a decent ruff makes in uh from from the band that wants you to mix your song in this case that rough mix came from us yeah because you know we've been working on it but basically I was talking about this uh previously about starting over and not being married to the the cues and the settings that you had in pro tools which is a hard thing to do to divorce yourself sometimes and actually actually did not completely divorce myself from that actually imported that's nerri accuse that I had because I was really like and what I had come up with andi I didn't wantto uh like chase that again right due to time constraints so I had imported those but the rest of it I was pretty much uh you know, favors down in the old days it was played into a new console and start mixing this thing on dh when when I start mixing this I want to start mixing any song really I try to get a like a big picture of the song as quickly as possible because we're not mixing individual tracks you're mixing a song like it doesn't really truly matter how good to kick sounds or how good the base out of habit the vocal sounds by itself because it plays together and times of you as we've learned already a lot of that stuff sounds like garbage alone just kick sample that sounds like a weird picture spluttering bird robot o r and then my vocals will be like oh that's questionable way have to make sense of it and so the idea is to not necessarily e q everything as so load by themselves but to like treat the song as a whole and try to get into into the the song likas quickly as possible so we heard with this thing sounds like by itself a za final mix but let's turn off some of this stuff and and you know, the idea is to go in and put the favors up and start pushing him around because we're just really making things louder in one place or another uh dui you know, pushing failures up in the beginning is is this is the one thing to do we just want to get an idea of like here you know, this is what the drums do this is with the vocals do this is what the guitars do and how does it fit together and there's a lot of stuff to turn out here but right, well, you turn that stuff off its ah I guess what I would what I would want to know out of this because I mean, I have done my own mixes and what I find myself doing in those really ridiculous, childish ways I have one level and maybe that's what I am calling zero and I keep bringing everything up and eventually I'm in like, the red and I do that ridiculous thing I'm just everything's hideout I have to go to push every like manually everything back down, take everything back down so in order it's probably a smart way to do that speed this up a little sometimes I do just listen to the rhythm section by itself is a first thing so let's just listen to that quick and without any cues or compresses any plug ins on and you can see everything's bypassed the buses who knows what's gonna happen with that could be funny. Um, let's have a quick look here. It was like a song, you know, it's it's somewhere in there, you can see what we're going for. We can tell the drums aren't popping enough and the guitars a little too loud and, you know, there we need to make the like the lead guitars a really loud like this and so we take you on compression we can uh we can get a lot we can we can make space, we can make space for things on in order to to move along here a little bit we will listen to stuff individually. Um, just tio into show what's what's going on. Uh, the, uh the drums we just, uh we listen to the whole drum kit at once and, uh, start turning on some accuse to see what they see what they do, you can tell I, uh, put in the kick in the snare, accuse and order snare plug ins rather on the one my favorite come on, screens comes a lot of work here but that's ok we'll make it um what we do with the kick plug in here this is my favorite ssl plug in this is actually what made uh would allowed me to switch over from the analog mixing consoles to teo this this one has made it louder you right right here just a have a level thing going on and maybe some compression let's see what goes on here, honey when you play it we just level that's that that is our our kick sample and oddly enough, this is what I had ended up with a czar kick sound I ended up changing it from the black tide kick or whatever that thing was called to this one and it is actually a superior drummer kick ah and it's a superior drummer preset and I always say like don't use other people's presets but you can use your own present on and I made this one and this one is actually the ah the death clock present you made for your death clock duplicating we're making a death album three s so as you can see, I turned off the rest of the drum kit because I really just need to kicks for this uh instance of plugging um so that's the cake sample and said it is a superior drummer again you're back disappeared drummer bill that actually he's often and, uh let's see what we have going on for the snare way have two cakes obviously and I duplicated that same set up for the other kick uh that may or may not have used the kick as a like kick to it might be actually kick like the same kick sample all together as opposed to, uh doing really having the, uh like the differentiation between cake one and kicked to and having different sounds for that let's go look at that real quick. No, actually, we did do that. Look at that. We have ah, kick one has a different sound from kick to to actually get that left, right foot and some people some drummers have just one cake with two pedals. Guys have two different sounding kicks off just a little bit different. I'm guessing well, if I remember correctly, I did. I did duplicate that for ah, for jeans kicks mannequin one of them hired in the other one just in actual death clock in the actual death clock kick and severe drop in sapir drummer and using that for for this story actually have to. When you hear those things slightly differently and you can hear the difference in which maybe makes it just have a little bit more life to your life a little bit more reality? Yeah, yeah and, um so let's have a look at the snare you can see I'm using the same play and this is I kid you not when I tell you that this is my favorite plug in is what works for me. I've mixed I don't know how many records on consoles that this is based on and it's just what I'm familiar with, you know that very the ssl is a very warm, very punchy sound. Yeah, it's very, very rock sound to, you know, a lot of a lot of records were and are mixed on those and are being mixed in those plug ins and the consoles, and so again, a lot of pleasing frequencies and thiss they're pleasing what they work for meddling for rock, you know, it's funny when I leave policing for metal has been not pleasing for jazz people, right? Right? I think I believe that when when we're sitting here with a son like this, that has a lot of heavy stuff but it's, a very melodic song when you really think about there's, a lot of melody there's a lot of ah forward motion it's ah, and ultimately it's got it not drive your ears crazy it's kind of make you you have to want to be left to want to sit in front of it and experience I'm gonna that's exciting to you and sounds good so with all those kicks with all those crazy guitars it still has to have some kind of an e q curve on the whole thing that makes it pleasant on the years and not totally boding well yeah off putting or just make your ears tired or make use your ears ring afterwards anyway yeah absolutely well, this plug in is based on an ssl counsel on that has an e q section has a filter section has a compression dynamic section and as a gate section and a little bit of uh could gain input and output gain section so really it's it's no different from having any q and a compressor in the gate separate plug ins but this's can you play this near without in with absolutely uh so let's go you just have to keep moving things around unfortunately but luckily will do or is it that he's come on. All right. So here's the snare without that's not a snare? Yeah that's that's there it sounds like a snare it sounds a little tame it you hear a lot of high hat and stuff is a bunch of a bunch of kick coming in through there? So um one thing that's stumbled upon was actually doubly queuing and other compressing everything um it was actually for a long time battling whether or not I should uh compressed before or after the q and always generally compressed after you give just personal preference is a lot of people swear by the other that's what I swear by this it works for me I sometimes do thie other way around but I do this a lot um however that kind of affects the way the gate works and it doesn't doesn't sometimes works so well actually that was always kind of battling should I do this unprecedented until one day by accident a copy of the same plug in twice for the same things like you know just do it twice it's gonna be twice as good right on but it's actually twice is crazy but on dh then some instances it is twice is good but you have to work it a little bit so what I do in this first plug in uh there's a little bit of this year we're getting a little bit of the high hat and the symbols at a little bit um we put a little bit of snapple top in on with the way let's let's move this around move some of these knobs a bit so we can hear what they do uh one of my things that I do just raise something that, uh that should have uh the uh uh hi endless let's just look at what this knob wait it's a snap to it and let's bypass the gate and the compressor a little mild gating we have a lot a lot of body that we uh ended up getting out of that report with this little end of year not too much this uh some subtracted killing it's kind of like an unpleasant frequencies kind of boxy and going toe not so hot so so we sucked some of that out not too much because it's still need some of that in there and let's look good with the other uh uh plugin does for us this one here andi you can see it's the same thing but you can see the settings are a little different and yet somehow you could see it actually blatantly just doubled up on it on but this one not at all as I use different frequencies for it and the compressor you concede the compressor setting this differently is different as well and I'm not using the gate so it's not completely identical and I probably did back off both of them a little bit from what originally had but together you know, it did make sense they you know it is it is a little wacky to do that I realize that but you know what? But sometimes those air happy after you're going to do you know about it makes sense it's a better it's a more punchy snare that yeah that's that's what it needed to be you know and then sometimes that works sometimes it doesn't so, like it, oftentimes will you just sit with an isolated snare and listen that only you blended with the kid and then see how it reacts to the rest of the kids? So, uh, one thing to note is the compressors this little this little button right here is fast or slow attack. And the way these compresses work, the way I like him is like the fast attack, which is this one here, which is actually the second one in line to make it visually more reasonable. The first one, uh, we compress before we cue it and gated before we you do it, and then we'ii q it then we cue it again, and then we gate. We compress it again. So it's a palindrome so compressed first e q e q compress. Yeah, exactly. It's ah it's a lot of cumin and compressing going on. But that's, what we do these days on that I guess the thing to take away from it is don't be afraid of it. What you're gonna break and I'm going to break a thing. You know, you're getting a little bit in the red, you know, it sounds right. I know a lot of people put stuff in the red, I know that, like I think it depends on the software some of what you can get away with some of the cancer so I know some of like when slayer records guitars I know that they like them just just like just the marshal and their guitar is just a little bit in the red and maybe it just gives us one little extra bite that we didn't have before yeah, but I heard that I didn't know that um you know, the whole thing about getting into the red uh if you're master fader is in the red and it's you're pushing it out and you can hear it distorting yeah, you have something a little problematic but not against too much technicalities these air floating point processors in here which means that they constantly re zero keep it simple constantly re zero re zeroing what they're doing so just because it looks red in here doesn't necessarily mean it sounds red or sounds distorted if your master fader is looking good, you didn't mean so it's not quite the same and I think it's it's like that in the new pro tools but not in the approaches and your pro tools. Once you get into the red and pro tools it start to sound distorted and crappy because it did not have to floating point was fixed point and there he was is and that means that that brings up another question do you? You get all these tracks, sir. And do you have one major master fader? And what? What do you have on that? You know that we'll get into that in a minute. Um, because, uh, you know, I have actually you could see what I have on. They have a bunch stuff on there. We can tell you, it's kind of like a sort of to master that this this, this, uh, this project on the go, if you will, because it had to go straight for me to to to your years on over tv. You know, um, but, yeah, like there's, uh, there's, a bunch of stuff. That's on here. I use this plug in just for level, uh, and, uh, real time analyzer. We'll get into that in a compressor on it and another mastering plug in and a final, the limiter to make sure that have no overs whatsoever.

Class Description

Adult Swim's Metalocalypse is a cheeky parody of metal culture — featuring the shenanigans of a cartoon band called Dethklok. In Toontrack Presents: Studio Pass, you'll get a closer look at the creative process behind this mesmerizing metal powerhouse-turned-TV-series.

Brendon Small is the creator and primary musician driving Dethklok’s music, including its four full-length albums. In this installment of Studio Pass, Brendon and producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, Deftones) will show how they compose, engineer, and mix the music of Metalocalypse – explaining the recording techniques used for Dethklok’s drums, bass, guitars, vocals and effects.

The music behind the hilarious spectacle that is Metalocalypse is no joke. Join Brendon and Ulrich for Studio Pass and learn about the unique creative process behind the music of Dethklok.


John Thaxton

I love Brendon. He has always treated fans super well. There's so much wisdom to be gained from listening to him about workflow and music in general. Great class!

Aaron Thurtell

Being someone new and looking into recording songs, I found this class very informative and in a way essential, the idea of recording seemed over whelming and I had no idea where to start, being a fan of Brendon small and Ulrich Wilds work on Dethklok and Galaktikon I found it very enjoyable and must for any fans of Brendon small looking into how he goes about making a record