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 6:34

    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.

  • First Play Through 5:24

    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.

  • Track Layout 6:07

    Track Layout

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

  • Creating a Static Mix 9:29

    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.

  • Start with the Master Bus 10:11

    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.

  • Reverb 4:58


    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.

  • The Guitar Sub Group 5:48

    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.

  • The Drum Sub Group 9:55

    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.

  • The Vocal Sub Group 6:46

    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.

  • The Point of Diminishing Returns 8:28

    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.

  • Kick Drum & Bass Relationship 5:01

    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.

  • Vocal Volume Automation 7:00

    Vocal Volume Automation

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

  • Piano & Organ 1:35

    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.

  • Vocal Delay Throw 9:08

    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.

  • Guitar Solos 3:44

    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.

  • Tweaks & Changes 3:39

    Tweaks & Changes

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

  • Final Play Through 6:39

    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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