Kenny runs through all the tracks and procedures for how you're going to go about mixing the song and what specific methods he'll be using in the tutorial. All tracks in the song are also briefly reviewed followed by the song being played in its entirety.
The Rough Mix20:54
In this video, Kenny shows the benefit of making a quick rough mix to get an idea of what will be needed in the mixing process. Kenny also re-orders the tracks to maximize efficiency.
Organize the Session
In this tutorial Kenny begins to organize the project 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.
Continuing with organizing the session, Kenny goes through track by track and re-names each track for clarity and based on what the track is actually playing.
In addition to renaming tracks, Reaper allows you to Color Code the tracks. In this tutorial, Kenny goes through track by track and Color Code tracks based on their instrument and how easily it is to spot them in a complicated session.
Track Clean Up5:43
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 Reaper.
Groups, Busses and FX
In this video Kenny sets up Folders to combine similar tracks to allow us to control things as sub groups and masters. Such as volume rides or muting and soloing or adding FX to specific groups to speed up the mixing process.
Master Buss FX10:24
Watch as Kenny goes through 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.
Basic Vocal / Drum Mix
Basic Vocal Sound15:47
In this video Kenny begins to actually mix the song. He starts 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 him to build the rest of the song around the vocal, rather than the other way around. EQ, compression, reverb and delay are all applied.
Basic Drum Mix14:21
Next Kenny starts 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.
Watch as Kenny begins 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 Impulse Response reverb are applied.
The Room Mics6:17
Kenny now digs into the room mics on the kit and shows how big and distant you can actually make the drums sound. In addition Kenny adds EQ and compression to re-shape the drum mics.
The Kick Drum16:22
As you begin to zero in on the close mics on the kit, notice how much presence and thump can be applied by adding Samples to the kick drum. Not only do you add Samples to enhance the sound but we also find quick ways to make those triggers sample accurate.
The Snare Drum14:03
In this video, watch as Kenny addresses the Snare drum and see how much crack can be created from it by using EQ, and compression. We also add a sample to bring out some extra character in the snare.
The Tom Sound8:48
Next, Kenny goes through and adjust the tom track using EQ and compression.
Electronic Drums & Filter7:18
In this video Kenny goes through and adjust the tom tracks using panning, EQ and compression.
Bass and Keys
The Bass Guitar10:05
Working with bass guitar tracks can be especially tricky. In this video Kenny divides the bass into 3 tracks to create different sounds to be blended together in the mix. Using a distortion plug-in and the Bass Amp Room plug-in by Softube gives a few extra possibilities to create a well balanced low end to the song.
In this video watch as Kenny adjust the Bass Synths to be more aggressive and to cut through the track.
Next, Kenny adjust the other synths that make this song really sparkle.
Piano & Massive Chords8:53
In this video Kenny adjust the Piano and the Massive Chords synths that will lead this track.
Kenny now adjust the main guitars to find a place in the panning field and cut through what is soon to be a dense mix. He makes use of compression and EQ to give this guitar some much needed grit. We also blend the real amp tracks with plugins to get the best of both worlds.
Watch as Kenny adjust the high guitars in the choruses to find a place in the panning field and cut through. You will also begin to tweak the arrangement so that all the parts have an interesting entrance.
The Harmony Guitars9:11
In this video Kenny adjust the Harmony guitars to find their space in the mix. These tracks also contain the guitar solo which will be featured in the song along with panning FX.
Kenny now works on the Bridge Guitars to give them their own unique sound Masseys Tape Saturation plugin is featured.
Final Vocal Mix
Next were ready to finalize the lead local sound. Although we opt for a more lo-fi approach in the verses. Using distortion and EQ and automating extra FX.
The Hook Vocals5:00
In this video Kenny addresses the 'hook' vocals to really blend with the group vocals and really drive the song.
The Chorus Vocal7:01
At this point we're ready to really nail the lead vocal sound. Kenny finalizes 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 using the pre-FX envelope. Custom Actions are used for the process.
The Distortion Vocal6:31
Next Kenny attacks the distortion FX vocal by filtering it even further and adding manual panning FX using the Take Envelopes.
The Background Vocals9:35
By using EQ, compression and reverb we find a nice place for our vocal harmonies to sit. We also split the chorus harmonies from the pre-chorus ones to really tweak each one based on their parts.
Automation and Final Mix
Automating the Toms6:08
In this video we start by adding the cymbal overdubs to really make them sound exciting. Kenny then moves on to automating the Toms to just be louder when theyre being played. Custom Actions are used for the process.
The Final Mix9:05
In this last video, we re-visit the Master Buss FX and talk about using an EQ to find broad issues with the mix, when to use loudness plug-ins on our reference mixes and finally play the finished mix.
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.
Kenny starts off the series with an overview of all the tracks used in the song. Next, after doing a quick rough mix of the song to get an idea of what will be needed, Kenny organizes the project with the use of markers, color coding and the renaming of tracks. After the organization, Kenny gets down to business on all the vocals, drums, bass, synths, keys & rest of the tracks and goes through each one meticulously, getting the best possible sound with the use of EQs, compressors and more.
If you use Reaper for your productions and want to see how a veteran producer / engineer sculpts his mix from beginning to end, this is the product for you. Unleash the power of Reaper on your mix... Get "Mixing in Reaper" today.
Submitted 2 weeks ago
Very Helpful very informative
Very very detailed a lot of step by step information
Submitted 8 months ago
Watching over the shoulder of a master at work!
Kenny's an excellent teacher who demonstrates not only his complete mastery of reaper, but breaks it down so lucidly that you can make it yours and know you're with him every step of the way. I find myself pausing the video and repeating the functions he's demonstrating quite a bit, because he covers a lot of complex material quickly and otherwise you might miss a step.
I am a: Musician, Hobbyist
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