Mixing Tutorial

Top Down Mixing Explained®

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17 Videos | Length: 1hr 50min 26sec
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    Why You Should Care About Top Down Mixing

    Learn about the general principles used when approaching a mix from a top-down mindset, and how it forces you to focus on the bigger picture of the song and the music, rather than on specific plug-ins used on individual tracks.

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    First Play Through

    Watch as the initial tracks are dragged into a fresh session, and listen to an initial play through of the different sections of the song "Wrong Place For The Right Thing" in order to get an overall sense of the song we will be working with.

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    Track Layout

    Get acquainted with what is on each track before we get started setting up a static mix.

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    Creating a Static Mix

    See how to build a solid foundation by creating a good sounding static mix as a starting point. Watch how to set the levels and pans so the tracks work together as best they can before adding any effects processing.

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    Start with the Master Bus

    Discover how to set up a processing chain with the goal of enhancing the entire mix as a whole. Tape saturation, EQ, multi-band compression, and stereo compression are used to paint the broad strokes and achieve initial easy wins that tighten up and glue the entire mix together.

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    Before starting with sub group processing, one missing element is added. Reverb. A Plate is set up with some early reflections and pre delay that help the vocals sit nicely in the mix.

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    The Guitar Sub Group

    Hear how some EQ cuts in specific ranges, combined with some gentle Fairchild 670 compression, help give the guitars as a whole a rounder less jangly tone.

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    The Drum Sub Group

    Explore how the Aural Exciter is used somewhat unconventionally to add harmonics and tighten up the perceived midrange of the drums as a whole, before the signal is gently tweaked with the some multi-band and stereo compression.

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    The Vocal Sub Group

    Watch how to use the Aphex Aural Exciter, 2 band Pultech Equalizer, Tape Echo, and Pro Compressor to add focus, clarity, tightening, and polish to the overall vocal blend.

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    The Point of Diminishing Returns

    In order to not lose sight of the big picture, ie: the important parts in the arrangement; see how to make a list of the elements that need attention rather than diving in deeper, and processing the individual tracks.

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    Kick Drum & Bass Relationship

    Hear how some subtle sidechain compression is used to enhance the feel of the groove and give it a bit more of a lilt.

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    Vocal Volume Automation

    See how to add some general broad stroke automation to help the vocals blend better in different sections of the song.

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    Piano & Organ

    Watch how to set up a send to the reverb, as well as some volume automation to bring out musical "answer" phrases in three specific places.

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    Vocal Delay Throw

    Follow along as a send to an instance of Mod Delay lll is set up and automated to effect specific words and phrases on the various vocal tracks.

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    Guitar Solos

    Watch as Eli now uses the SansAmp and Eleven Cab plug-ins to help beef up and lift the guitar solos in the mix.

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    Tweaks & Changes

    Now a couple of last minute tweaks are made to the vocal processing chain and the level of the supporting male vocal.

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    Final Play Through

    Wrapping it all up, see how Eli uses the Pro Limiter to bring the level to nominal values generally consistent with streaming services, and listen to a final play through of the finished mix.

Product Overview

Eli Krantzberg presents an in-depth video tutorial series on the popular mixing technique "Top Down Mixing"! Learn all about this interesting and effective process, and why and how you should use it to mix your songs and productions. The individual tracks used in the video series are also included for you to download and follow along with in your DAW.

Eli starts by welcoming you and then goes over why you should care about Top Down Mixing. He then plays the track you'll be mixing together using this technique, and then goes over the mix track by track, showing you exactly what each track contains.

Building a Static Mix is next, and you'll see how to form the foundation for the Top Down Mix technique, as well as setting up a processing chain with the goal of enhancing the entire mix as a whole. See how tape saturation, EQ, multi-band compression, and stereo compression are used to paint the broad strokes and tighten up and glue the entire mix together.

Moving on, Eli shows you how to utilize reverbs, compressors, exciters, automation, delay and many more processing tools to craft the song into a pro sounding production, using the Top Down Mixing process. And last but not least, Eli demonstrates how to use a limiter to to bring up the overall mix level to values consistent with streaming services, and runs a final play through of the finished mix.

See the individual tutorial descriptions for more info. If you mix your own music or anyone else's, you should definitely know how to use the Top Down Mixing technique, which will only add to your mixing toolbox arsenal and skill set… Watch “Top Down Mixing Explained®” today!

Tutorial Song Credit: The Morning Stares - Wrong Place For The Right Thing

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Top Down Mixing Explained® is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 19 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from WOW!!! Already use top down mixing, but this video gives great ideas and shows that simplicity is the most important thing.
Date published: 2020-12-14
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very straightforward demonstration of the top down method Krantzberg has a pleasant instructional voice which keeps the listener engaged. This video is very easy to follow and helpful for engineers looking to quickly get a mix into good shape. Would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2020-09-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very, VERY helpful... and Reaffirming As always, Eli is excellent in his presentation, articulation and being able to maintain the overview while diving into the detail. This material reaffirms many things I already know and understand yet I've found many new concepts to take home and put to use. Thanks Eli
Date published: 2020-08-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Another great tutorial by Eli Krantzberg . . . The term Top Down Mixing is a popular one these days in the recording industry. Eli does a great job of explaining the meaning.
Date published: 2020-02-26
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Even good for who dont want to use Top-Down Mixing Very good production. The thatcher is clear and helpful and explain very good what hi is doing. (I have not view all episodes)
Date published: 2020-02-12
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent course I really enjoyed this course. As with all his courses the instructor keeps the material moving along at a good pace whilst drilling into details when needed.
Date published: 2020-02-09
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Great exposé of an alternative mix process This is a great opportunity to follow an expert on an alternative process to mixing. A rare occasion to be looking over the shoulder and listening inside the head to choices made and how to apply them from the top to the bottom. Most of us usually start from the track to the master. I wonder what the difference in the artistic result and the time to finish is using this method? Maybe one day I make 2 mixes of the same song, one from the top the other from the bottom. Thanks most enjoyable learning
Date published: 2019-12-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great tutorial! This is a real helpful guide for your topdown mixing plans!
Date published: 2019-11-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very informative and inspiring As always, Eli's courses are just great. This shows how you can get a great foundation very quickly without getting lost in the detail. You probably need some audio mixing experience though, since using multi-band compressors is not really beginner stuff.
Date published: 2019-09-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from What a time saver ! Wow this is probably worth my 1 year groove subscription by itself. Really well done, you get a sense of sitting with the production of the track seeing all the little tips, and some tricks. I can see this saving me hours or months of wasted time . Love the Guys voice, lovely pace, cut where you don't really need to see things so your not sat around looking at growing grass. Excellent, I think I could say this is a perfect Groove production. Wow
Date published: 2019-07-11
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from "The change is subtle" = I will hear zero change I liked the concepts covered. To me, there is still a blur between what is production & what is mixing. For example: the echo/reverb he added to particular words of the singing (was nice) but seemed not to be mixing to me. I was looking for more of an overview rather than actually mixing a song but this was very good.
Date published: 2019-02-11
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Awesome tutorial Every step was well explained. I will definitely use some of these techniques.
Date published: 2019-02-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Top Down Mixing Explained. Eli Krantzberg is the best. He really works through all of his videos in a logical and understandable way. Have not finished the video set at this point, but I plan to complete in the near future.
Date published: 2019-01-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great video series I love these mixing videos and Eli does a great job describing the process. Look forward to more videos like these!
Date published: 2019-01-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Outstanding Series Concise, informative and well-paced. Gave me a lot to think about.
Date published: 2019-01-18
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Intelligent mixing method This is a well thought out, sensible approach to mixing. Top Down Mixing is a good method for attaining solid gain staging levels. Eli is superb as usual.
Date published: 2019-01-15
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from time saving method time saving method, useful with not complicated mixes
Date published: 2019-01-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from helful basic to complicated
Date published: 2019-01-12
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from great videos this video game me nice and new ideas, amazing course
Date published: 2019-01-12
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