Reaper Tutorial

Mixing in Reaper

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31 Videos
Length: 4hr 44min 5sec
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    Tutorial 1



    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.

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    Tutorial 2

    The Rough Mix


    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

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    Tutorial 3



    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.

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    Tutorial 4

    Track Re-Naming


    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.

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    Tutorial 5

    Color Coding


    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.

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    Tutorial 6

    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 Reaper.

Groups, Busses and FX

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    Tutorial 7



    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.

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    Tutorial 8

    Master Buss FX


    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

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    Tutorial 9

    Basic Vocal Sound


    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.

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    Tutorial 10

    Basic Drum Mix


    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.

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    Tutorial 11

    The Overheads


    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.

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    Tutorial 12

    The Room Mics


    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.

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    Tutorial 13

    The Kick Drum


    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.

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    Tutorial 14

    The Snare Drum


    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.

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    Tutorial 15

    The Tom Sound


    Next, Kenny goes through and adjust the tom track using EQ and compression.

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    Tutorial 16

    Electronic Drums & Filter


    In this video Kenny goes through and adjust the tom tracks using panning, EQ and compression.

Bass and Keys

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    Tutorial 17

    The Bass Guitar


    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.

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    Tutorial 18

    Bass Synths


    In this video watch as Kenny adjust the Bass Synths to be more aggressive and to cut through the track.

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    Tutorial 19



    Next, Kenny adjust the other synths that make this song really sparkle.

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    Tutorial 20

    Piano & Massive Chords


    In this video Kenny adjust the Piano and the Massive Chords synths that will lead this track.


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    Tutorial 21

    Main Guitars


    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.

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    Tutorial 22

    Chorus Guitars


    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.

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    Tutorial 23

    The Harmony Guitars


    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.

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    Tutorial 24

    Bridge Guitars


    Kenny now works on the Bridge Guitars to give them their own unique sound Masseys Tape Saturation plugin is featured.

Final Vocal Mix

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    Tutorial 25

    Verse Vocal


    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.

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    Tutorial 26

    The Hook Vocals


    In this video Kenny addresses the 'hook' vocals to really blend with the group vocals and really drive the song.

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    Tutorial 27

    The Chorus Vocal


    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.

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    Tutorial 28

    The Distortion Vocal


    Next Kenny attacks the distortion FX vocal by filtering it even further and adding manual panning FX using the Take Envelopes.

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    Tutorial 29

    The Background Vocals


    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

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    Tutorial 30

    Automating the Toms


    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.

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    Tutorial 31

    The Final Mix


    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

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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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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.

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    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 101 - Mix Session from Hell

    Platinum producer / engineer Kenny Gioia now reveals a day in the life of a mix engineer, mixing a song from beginning to end, and how to handle all the common problems you'll encounter on your way to that perfect mix. You even get the session files so you can mix along in your DAW and see and hear the results in real-time!

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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 is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful very informative Very very detailed a lot of step by step information
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from 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.
Date published: 2016-08-13