Mixing and mastering electronic dance music is both art and science simultaneously. In this course we’ll be using a deep house style track that’s simple, yet sophisticated, and that relies on dynamics and subtle touches to evoke emotion.
Rarely does a mixing and mastering course come along that takes you through every step, every plugin, every thought, and every nuance that goes into producing a professional deep house track.
That’s exactly what this course does. It’s packed with hours of the best, most up-to-date techniques needed to mix and master a dance track from start to finish. This course uses both native (meaning, included with DAWs) and third-party plugins, but it does not matter which DAW you use or which plugins you have. With the skills and techniques taught in this course, you’ll transform your rough or unmixed project into a polished master ready for release.
Every detail of the mixing and mastering processes are thoroughly explained to ensure you’re not left confused, lost, and frustrated. Extra care went into ensuring that everything is kept simple, easy to understand, and focused on your efficiency and workflow.
Things you’ll learn in this course include:
Producers of deep house music, or any other dance music genre, will find this course unlike any other. The mixing and mastering process is broken down and explained in full detail without being overwhelming – or boring, at the other extreme.
We'll go through setting up simple and effective sidechaining to add groove to the song and keep things sounding punchy and clean.
Reverb and delay are some of the most important effects used in any dance music genre. We'll go through setting up a number of reverb and delay effects that we will use throughout the rest of the course.
Good housekeeping and organization is extremely important for a smooth and enjoyable mixing session. We'll label the different sections in the arrangement so that we have a walk through for our mixing session.
Setup initial instrument levels and achieve a rough balance good enough to continue with to the mixing process
Mixbus processing can bring you closer to a polished sound if used correctly. We'll go through setting the mixbus and how that processing will be used for mixing purposes.
The kick is arguably the single most important element in any dance music song. It has to be strong, clean, punchy and cut through a mix. We'll go through the steps to achieve exactly that.
Mixing all the elements in the intro section of the song.
Having vocals that sound good, on-key and tight can make or break a song. We'll go through the manually tuning the vocals to make them sound on-point and polished.
In this section we will use various effects and plugins to transform a home recorded vocal to make it sound professional, polished, up-front and one that fits in the mix.
In this section we will continue to tweak and mix the vocals.
This section will cover another one of the most important aspects of deep house music mixing, and that is mixing kick and bass. We'll get into EQ, compression sidechaining and frequency analysis to get a clean and punchy bottom end.
In this section we'll go over the synths and melodies in the song and use some use some interesting effects to give character, groove and style to the song that will make it stand out.
We will continue to mix the synths to make them fit with the other elements of the song.
Learn how to use bus processing and effects to achieve present, clear and powerful percussion.
We will review the bottom end of the kick drum to make sure that the sub-frequency levels are balanced and in tune with the rest of the elements in the song.
At this point of the course many of the main elements have been processed and mixed and some need re balancing, tweaking or adjustments.
Part of what makes deep house music unique is the use of subtle, rhythmic and sometimes very simple elements to fill out the mix and add interest and movement. In this section we'll go over these elements and blend them in with the rest of the instruments.
We'll take a look at the synth guitar and give it the warmth, space and effects it needs to give the song its signature hook.
Transition effects are unsung heroes for many dance tracks. They create interest, tension and excitement and are very important to get right in any mix.
In this section we'll go through creating a crowd-pleasing transition buildup into the "drop" of the song using a filter sweep.
A lead pluck is the basis of the entire melody section of a track and it's important to make sure its automation captures the essence of this track. That's just what we'll do in this lecture.
We'll go over some tweaks and adjustments to a very important element in this song, the square pluck to help it blend better with the rest of the instruments.
The vocalist for this song recorded a few more background vocal tracks which we'll be chopping and processing to add some more vocal charm to the mix.
A powerful technique that we'll use to make quick and broad adjustments to the mix as we listen to it from start to finish.
We;ll once again go through the mix from start to finish, only this time in mono, to make sure that it still sounds good and translates well on mono systems.
Adjustments to the sidechain settings to make sure we get the groove and pumping effect that we want for this song.
Automation is another extremely important factor in making a good song great. Well go through the synths and add some filter automation to differentiate the different sections in the arrangement and create a nice flow.
In the first section of the mastering session, we'll listen to our mixdown from start to finish and take notes on what needs improvement. We'll also use a spectrum analyzer to get clues regarding problem frequencies and imbalances in our mix.
In this lesson we'll go through some notes and thoughts on potential problems and issues that we need to tackle during the mastering session. Taking notes and writing your observations as you listen will improve your mastering skills and helps you work more efficiently.
Using reference tracks can drastically improve your mastering skills because they give you a starting point on where your own track should be. You can also use reference tracks to set your loudness levels, balance of frequencies and dynamic range. This is a critical stage of the mastering process.
EQ is one of the most powerful and most important tools you have at your disposal during the mastering phase. In this section you'll learn how to use a Pultec style EQ
Mid/Side EQ is one of the most effective ways to do both broad and surgical EQ to take care of frequency problems during mastering. It gives you the ultimate flexibility and control over the frequencies in a track since you can EQ the mids and the sides independently of each other. In this section we'll use Mid/Side EQ to
In this section we'll use multiband compression with specific goals for each frequency band and to add an extra coat of polish to the song while controlling peaks and levels within each band.
We'll use multiband stereo imaging to ensure each frequency is in its place in the stereo field for a wide sounding mix that translates well on different audio systems.
Learn how to use distortion and saturation to give warmth, richness and character to audio and also introduces subtle harmonics for added presence and loudness.
Peak compression is used mostly to control transients and control loudness. However, we'll look into using peak compression to add more punch, attack and power to the track. By using our ears and common sense, we can set the attack and release times, ratio and knee settings on a compressor to get that deep house attitude.
Using a final coat of EQ before hitting the limiter can be very useful and acts like a final quality control step to get things to sound right. It's also a way to clean up frequencies that may have been added due to compression and distortion.
Ever wondered how the pros make their songs ridiculously loud while still making it sound good? Well your answer is in this very section. I'll show you THE technique used to achieve maximum loudness (in addition to everything we've done before). Best of all, you don't even need any fancy plugins to do it, just a couple of free ones!
In the final step of the mastering process, we'll use a limiter to bring the overall loudness of the song up to commercial standard without destroying dynamics.
Dithering is a topic that confuses a lot of people. It's actually a very simple concept and explained in very simple terms in this lesson. I'll tell you when to use it and when not to use it and why to use it.
A zip file containing all the stems used in the course for you to download and practice with,
Electronic music producer and mixing/mastering engineer with a soft spot for melodic chord progressions and musical subtleties. With over 5 years of experience teaching mixing, mastering and production in addition to several signed releases, remixes and ongoing projects, my life revolves around this beautiful genre we call "EDM."
Whether you're just getting into the game or a seasoned pro looking to add to your bag of tricks, I'm 100% certain you'll find what you're looking for in at least one of my courses.