Mixing Genres Tutorial

Mixing Rock

37 Tutorials (6hr 44min 55sec)
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    Tutorial 1



    An introduction to the mixing tutorial. Also includes preparing files for a mixer, or what to request from your producers or tracking engineers using differing DAWs. Tempos and tempo changes are also addressed along with setting up main outputs and busses for creating a quick rough mix. All tracks in the song are also briefly reviewed followed by the song being played in its entirety.

Organize the Session

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    Tutorial 2



    In this tutorial we begin to organize the session for the purpose of mixing more efficiently. Using Markers to label the sections of the song makes locating much easier. Adding colors to Markers is also addressed.

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    Tutorial 3

    Track Naming


    Continuing with organizing the session, we go thru track by track and re-name each track for clarity and based on what the track is actually playing.

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    Tutorial 4

    Color Coding


    In addition to renaming tracks, most modern DAWs allow us to Color Code the tracks. In this tutorial, we go through track by track and Color Code tracks based on their instrument and how easily it is to spot them in a complicated session.

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    Tutorial 5

    Track Clean Up


    Cleaning up the tracks is an important part of mixing. Getting rid of extraneous and unwanted noise can really speed up the mixing process by allowing you to focus on just what the mix will be and avoid distractions in the later listening phase. Keeping regions to their correct size, will also speed up the visual part of mixing in a DAW.

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    Tutorial 6

    Re-Ordering Tracks


    Finally we put the tracks in the most logical order to speed up the amount of time it takes to find a specific track and make further adjustments. We also Lock our audio so that it can't be accidentally shifted during the mixing process.

Groups, Busses and FX

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    Tutorial 7

    VCA Groups / Busses


    In this video we set up groups and busses to combine similar tracks to allow us to control things as sub groups and masters. Such as volume rides or muting and soloing specific groups to speed up the mixing process.

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    Tutorial 8

    FX Returns


    In this tutorial we set up FX Returns for things like Reverb and Delay to use DSP more efficiently and to make it easier to use sends for FX when sharing the same presets. Vocal Reverb using Redline Reverb by 112dB, Drum Reverb using Waves IR-1 and creating Ping Pong Delays are all discussed.

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    Tutorial 9

    Mix Bus Compression


    In this video we go thru adding compressors and other effects to the mix buss to give it an overall polished sound and to make the mix sound more cohesive. Also addressed is pre-master buss metering to avoid overloading and unwanted distortion.

Technical Issues

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    Tutorial 10

    Timing Fixes


    At this point we address some other non-mixing related issues that still affect the overall sound of our mix. Using Elastic Audio (in Pro Tools) we adjust the timing of our drum tracks and percussion.

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    Tutorial 11

    Tuning Fixes


    We also address some tuning issues in our song. Using Auto-Tune, we adjust the tuning of our lead vocal using Graphic Mode for pitch correction in real-time.

Basic Vocal / Drum Mix

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    Tutorial 12

    Basic Vocal Sound


    In this video we begin to actually mix the song. We start the mixing process by adjusting the lead vocal, getting a basic vocal sound. It's not the final sound, but it's really close and it allows us to build the rest of the song around the vocal, rather than the other way around. EQ, compression thanks to Softube's FET compressor, reverb and delay are all applied.

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    Tutorial 13

    Basic Drum Mix


    Next we start to get a good drum balance to get a feel for what each track needs to do and what effects should be applied to create that effect.

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    Tutorial 14

    Overheads & Hi-Hat


    In this video we begin getting the overall drum sound from our overhead mics. The goal is to make this the sound or centerpiece of our kit and build around it. EQ, compression (Massey's CT-4) and reverb are applied.

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    Tutorial 15

    Room Mics


    In this tutorial we dig in to the room micas on the kit and see how big and distant we can actually make the drums sound. In addition to EQ and compression, we use the Sonnex Oxford Transient Designer to re-shape the drum mics.

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    Tutorial 16

    The Kick Drum


    As we begin to zero in on the close mics on the kit, we notice how much presence and thump can be applied by adding Samples to the kick drum. Not only do we add Samples to enhance the sound but we also find quick ways to make those triggers sample accurate.

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    Tutorial 17

    The Snare Drum


    In this video we address the Snare drum and see how much crack we can create from it by using EQ, compression and Sonnex's Transient Designer. We also add a few samples to bring out some extra character in the snare.

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    Tutorial 18

    The Tom Sound


    In this tutorial we go through and adjust the tom track using EQ and compression.

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    Tutorial 19

    Parallel Compression


    One of the tricks to creating a great drum track is to use parallel compression. It's also called 'NY Compression', which is when you buss the drums to 2 different stereo busses and compress one of them quite heavily and mix it in to taste. We make use of the Big Blue Compressor plugin by 112dB to create this powerful effect.

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    Tutorial 20

    Snare / Tamb Overdub


    In this video we work on the snare overdub track along with the tambourine parts.

Bass and Keys

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    Tutorial 21

    Bass Guitar


    Working with bass guitar tracks can be especially tricky. In this video we divide the bass into 4 tracks to create different sounds to be blended together in the mix. Using the SansAmp plug-in and the Bass Amp Room plug-in by Softube gives us a few extra possibilities to create a well balanced low end to the song.

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    Tutorial 22

    Wurlitzer & Organ


    In this video we adjust the Wurlitzer and the organ to cut through the track.


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    Tutorial 23

    Main Guitar


    In this tutorial we adjust the main guitar to find a place in the panning field and cut through what is soon to be a dense mix. We make use of the Tube Tech EQ plug-in by Softube to give this guitar some much needed grit.

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    Tutorial 24

    High Guitar


    In this video we adjust the high guitar to find a place in the panning field and cut through. Adding reverb and delay to make it even more ethereal. We also make use of the Tube Tech EQ plug-in by Softube to give this guitar some much needed grit.

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    Tutorial 25

    Chorus Guitar


    In this video we adjust the chorus guitar to find it's space in the mix.

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    Tutorial 26

    Heavy Guitars


    The heavy guitars are meant to add just a little extra weight in the song, and we show how to achieve this without clouding up our sonic space.

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    Tutorial 27

    Tremolo Guitars


    At this point we adjust our verse pretty guitar to have a tremolo effect to create more interest in the verse. Sound Toys Tremolo plug-in is featured.

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    Tutorial 28

    Riff & Octave Guitars


    Next we adjust the riff and octave guitars to find their place around the vocal in the more open verses.

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    Tutorial 29

    Pick & Chicka Guitars


    Finishing up our guitars are the pick and "chick" guitars. Compression and EQ are used to allow these to cut through without getting in the way.

Piano and Mutes

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    Tutorial 30

    The Piano


    In this video we adjust the piano to give it more top end without making it sound unnatural. The Toneluxe Tilt by Softube does an excellent job of creating a different type of EQ plug-in. Massey's CT4 compressor plug-in is also used to contain the sound.

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    Tutorial 31

    Mute Sections


    Part of any good mix is taking out things that are just getting in the way or are just not that important. We go through and mute some of these non-essential parts to free up some sonic space.

Final Vocal Mix

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    Tutorial 32

    The Lead Vocal


    At this point we're ready to really nail the lead vocal sound. We finalize it using some EQ notching, more compression and still more top end EQ. We also dig in using a manual approach to De-essing that involves volume riding gain riding for a more natural effect.

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    Tutorial 33

    Vocal Harmonies


    By using EQ, compression and reverb we find a nice place for our vocal harmonies to sit. De-Essing is also applied.

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    Tutorial 34

    Octave Vocals


    By using EQ, compression and reverb we find a nice place for our octave harmonies to sit. De-Essing is also applied.

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    Tutorial 35

    Background Vocals


    In this video we use a trick to bring out the top end or breathiness in the vocals. By using parallel processing we create a super bright compressed version of our background vocals and mix them in with original to create a wall of prettiness that envelops our mix.

Automation and Final Mix

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    Tutorial 36



    In this video we discuss how automation can create motion, dynamics and interest in an otherwise flat mix. By working section by section, rather than track by track, we can really focus in and make each part of the song special.

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    Tutorial 37

    The Final Mix


    In this last video we discuss when a mix is finally completed, when to use loudness plug-ins on our reference mixes and finally play the finished mix from beginning to end.

Multi-Platinum Engineer and Producer Kenny Gioia is back with an incredible, in-depth series on mixing rock! This collection allows you to peak over Kenny's shoulder as he takes a multi-tracked rock production and mixes it from the ground up. If you want to see how a professional mixer works his magic, this series is a must see.

Kenny starts with the raw tracks and covers topics such as getting ready to mix, track preparation and correction, using VCA Groups or Busses, effects, mix bus compression, vocal and drum mixes, vocal harmonies and backgrounds, guitars, bass, automation, the final mix and so much more.

This is a rare chance to see how a professional, veteran music producer / engineer crafts a rock mix from beginning to end. What would you pay to sit in on a session and watch? Well, this is your ticket to the show.

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I've played an instrument since I was 10. Drums and Trumpet. I'm 40 now. I can play a little bit of any instrument. Master of none. Rock bands most of my life.

2. What training have you had?

I was taught trumpet classically from grade school up until I graduated high school. I went to Five Towns College for engineering and learned that you can't just learn this stuff from school. I did graduate though.

3. When did you get into recording?

I've been recording since I was 15. Two cassette players wired to a Radio Shack mixer. Eventually I got an 8 track reel to reel by Fostex. I've used just about every DAW and I started using them before they even recorded audio. Vision and Performer were just MIDI sequencers at the time. Before they became Studio Vision and Digital Performer. I got studio jobs because I knew computer MIDI and most studios didn't. I eventually moved up to Sound Tools which was two track. Then Pro Tools made a Audio Media III card which let you have 4 inputs. Gradually I moved up from there with Pro Tools D24, Pro Tools Mix to HD.

4. People you have worked with/for?

Marcy Playground
Mandy Moore
Willa Ford
Lee Ann Womack
Paulina Rubio
Hall & Oates
Head Automatica
Cute is What We Aim For
and many more...

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Hmmm. My Mom always said "Self Praise Stinks". I think it's because I have no ability to talk like a professional announcer, or plan out my teachings. So I teach as if you were sitting next to me. Pretty much off the cuff. I think that engages people more. We're so used to hearing everything done so properly and planned out with unnecessary explanations and proper wording that the brain will actually ignore most of it. Your brain tunes it out like you're back at your desk at school. But if the teacher grabbed you aside and just explained it to you, I believe you'd get more out of it. That is what I try to do.

Products by Kenny

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    Compressors Explained

    Kenny Gioia is back, this time giving you the history and application of all the famous Compressors ever made, as well as their modern day plug-in equivalents! Now you’ll know exactly what Compressor to pick for your tracks and how to use them. This series is long overdue!

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    Delay Explained

    The Delay effect is one of the oldest effects to be used on recordings, and there are many different types and ways to apply it. Multi-Platinum mixer / producer extraordinaire Kenny Gioia returns with a must have series for anyone recording, mixing, engineering or producing music. See how delay can be used to make tracks bigger, wider and just cooler! Learn the important fundamentals and advanced techniques of delay, and you'll find yourself using delay smarter and more creatively.

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    Eventide UltraChannel Explained

    Multi-Platinum Engineer / Mixer Kenny Gioia brings you the definitive series on Eventide's amazing UltraChannel Strip plug-in. Follow along with Kenny as he breaks down all the Features and Functions while showing you What the Plug-In Can Do on Different Sources. He also reveals all the Effects, so you'll know just what to do with them on Your Songs and Productions.

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    Mixing Heavy Rock / Metal

    Multi-Platinum Engineer and Producer Kenny Gioia returns with an all-new mixing series, this time dedicated to mixing Heavy Rock / Metal! Step right up and see how Kenny sculpts an epic song by Days of Samara into a radio ready hit, explaining everything in detail as he goes.

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    Mixing in Reaper

    Multi-Platinum Engineer and Producer Kenny Gioia is back with an in-depth series on mixing in Reaper! This collection allows you watch a pro as he takes a multi-tracked production and mixes it from the ground up, from beginning to end. If you use Reaper and want to see how a professional mixer crafts a mix, this series is a must see.

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Are you just getting into mixing music? If so, boy are you lucky you found this collection of awesome tutorials by DAW guru Russ Hughes, co founder of Pro-Tools-Expert.com! Russ helps those either new to mixing, or who just don't feel satisfied with their mixes by starting right at the beginning, looking at what mixing is, and what makes a good mix. Then Russ performs a full, in-depth "over the shoulder" mixing session, explaining it all as he goes.

In this series you'll learn the essential basics to properly and effectively use EQ, compression, delay and reverb plug-ins in any DAW! We don't just give the textbook meaning of each knob and button, there are hours of practical examples and real-world techniques demonstrated on the most common instruments and vocals.

Mixing Rock is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 5.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is awesome and extremely helpful. This is the second series I've watched by Kenny and he's an awesome instructor. It's like sitting next to Kenny while he's mixing the song in a one-on-one apprenticeship session! He does a great job of explaining how to build a foundation and then keep building on that to end up with a solid mix at the end. He explains some tips and tricks, as well as pitfalls to avoid. I recommend this for anyone new to mixing, and he does things in a way that will work with any DAW. Great job, Kenny, and thanks for the priceless video library Groove3!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Next level understanding Groove3 makes understanding the mix process ...Sooo easy... should've invested earlier.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This is a fantastic series of tutorials. Kenny is an amazing tutor.
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top-notch instruction! Kenny explains how to approach the incredibly subtle and technical task of mixing, and talks about it in a way where it looks easy. It is even starting to feel easy to me as I play with the steps in my DAW, and am seeing real progress!
Date published: 2016-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More Like this Please Kenny! Great Video Kenny! I've just watched this 'firts' mixing tutorial and cannot find fault at all. Really appreciate you showing your approach for this song. Any plans to make some more mixing tutorials? Would love to see how you would approach a simpler rock based band set up -- drums, bass, one guitar, one vocal.
Date published: 2016-06-29
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