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TheAudioMasterclassMusicProductionandSoundEngineeringCourse

MODULE10PRACTICALASSIGNMENTNOTES

Here,wehaveaselectionofmixesofAllOrNothingbyAudioMasterclassFeaturedArtists,FoolsFaith.You
willhearfivestudentmixes,withaninterestingcombinationoffeatures,a'broadcastquality'mixbyAudio
Masterclass,andfinallytheoriginalproducer'smix.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix1.wav

InMix1itisevidentthattherearesomeclicksinoneoftheopeningguitars.Thesearepresentinthe
originalmultitrackrecording.Dependingonhowtheguitarsaremixed,theseclicksmayormaynotbe
audible.Itwouldbebettertoremovethemjusttobesurethattheyarenot.

Assoonasthedrumsstartitisevidentthatthereisaratherlongandpoorqualityreverbapplied.Thereis
noabsolutenecessitytoputreverbonthesedrumsasthereissufficientlivelinessavailableinthe
overheadsandroommics.Itmightbedesirablehowevertoputsomereverbonthesnareandtoms,but
notsolong,andofbetterquality.

Thevocalismixedratherlowinthisversion.Itisaudible,butitdoesn'tstandoutasthemaincomponentof
thesong,whichitis.

Thetomsareratherloudandprominenthere.Itisimportanttomakethedrumsetsoundlikeadrumset,
withallthedrumsandcymbalsgellingtogether.Ofcourse,youcanbringoutcertaindrumsifyouwantto,
butalwaysitisagoodplantomakethedrumsworktogetherwellasaunit.

At2.33,clearlythereisamistakeasthecymbalcutsoffearly.

Intheinstrumentalsection,thesologuitartrackismissingentirely!

Thesolovocalsectionat3.16hashadadistortioneffectapplied.Thisdoesnotseemtoworkaswellasthe
delayinMix1.However,itcouldhavebeenmadetoworkbetterwithalittleEQ.

Thenewguitaratat4.06comesoutquitewellhere.Nottooquiet,nottooloud.Onceagain,EQmight
havehelpedthesoundblendinalittlebetterandseemlikeanintegralpartoftheband.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix2.wav

InMix2,onceagainthereisreverbonthedrums.HoweverhereitsoundsmuchbetterthaninMix1.The
higherpitchedofthetwomainguitarsisratherthinandlackinginlevel.

Thevoiceisquitedullsoundingonthismix.Itishighenoughinleveltobeclearlyaudible.Howeveritis
takinguprathertoomuchspaceinitslowerrangeoffrequencies.Also,thereisaratherlongand
unpleasantreverbonthevocal.Itisusuallyagoodideatooptimizethevocalasmuchaspossible,andthen
considerwhetheritneedsreverb.Ifyoucansayexactlywhyitneedsreverbthenyouareprobablymixing
alongtherightlines.

Onceagaintheguitarsoloismissing.Butthedoublekickdrumpedalisheardtofulleffect!Perhapstoo
full.

Bythefinalchorusesofthesong,thesoundisbecomingverythickandcongested.Themainguitarsare

Module10PracticalAssignmentNotes
actuallydifficulttohearexplicitly.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix3.wav

Mix3isinterestingbecauseitisdifficulttopickoutmanyfaults,althoughthesolovocalsectioncoulddo
withsomeattention.Thismixiswellbalancedamongtheinstrumentsandthebandsoundslikeacohesive
whole.However,youmightconsiderwhetherthesoundisdullandcongested.Ifitismerelydull,then
applyingEQinthemasterchannelscouldhelp.Butcongestionthatiscausedbyinstrumentsfightingeach
othertoclaimspaceinthefrequencyspectrumisimpossibletocure,otherthanbymixingthetrackagain.
It'sworthsayingthatitispossibleforamixtohavetoomuchclarity.Youshouldjudgethisyourself,in
comparisonwithothersongsinasimilargenre.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix4.wav

InMix4theopeningguitarsaremuchlouder,whichisgood.However,theyarereallytooloudfortherest
ofthesong.Theyshouldhavebeendroppeddowninlevel.Thevocalhereisquitedifficulttopickout
clearlyduetotheoverloudguitars.

Thesolovocalsectionhasaninteresting'radiovoice'effect,whichshowscreativityinthestudio.However,
overallthismixisaboutasthickandcongestedasitispossibletoget.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix5.wav

Mix5featureswaytoomuchreverbinadditiontocongestion.Onethingyouwillrealizeasyourcareer
progressesisthatwhenyoufirststartedyouusedalotofreverb.Butasyougotbetterandbetterat
mixing,youusedlessandless!

Thetomsinthismixareabsolutelythunderous,waybeyondanynecessity.Theguitarsoloisoddlyquietin
comparisontotheotherinstruments.

Onegoodpointaboutthismixisthattheorganblendsinwell.Theorgancanbeatrickyinstrumenttomix;
togetjustrightsoitfulfillsitsfunction,butdoesn'tstandouttooprominently.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingMix6.wav

ThismixhasbeenpreparedbyAudioMasterclassasanexampleofa'broadcastquality'mix.Atop
professionalmixengineerwouldspendawholedayperfectinghisorherwork.OnrecordingsmadeforTV
orradio,orlivebroadcasts,theengineerhastogetthemixtogetherveryquickly.

Whatyoushouldnoticeaboutthismixisitsclaritycomparedtotheothers.Thishasbeenachievedby
EQinginstrumentssothateachhasitsownfrequency'territory'whereitisstrong.Otherfrequencieshave
beencutbacksothattheydonottrespassontootherinstruments'territories.

Examplefile:AllOrNothingProducerMix.wav

Finally,theoriginalproducer'sthoughts.Havingreadthecommentsoncongestionearlier,youmight
considerthatthismixiscongestedtoo.Butitisn't.Listenagainandyouwillnoticethatyoucanhearevery

Module10PracticalAssignmentNotes
instrument.Eachinstrumenthasbeenoptimized,toahigherdegreeoffinessethanMix6.Theresultisa
trackthatpossessesclarityand'weight',whichisnotatalleasytoachieve.Therearenotricksorquickfixes
thereisnosubstituteforexperiencehere.

Youwillnoticethatthistrackappearsdifferentfromtheothersinthewaveformdisplay.Thatisbecause
theoriginalproducerhasappliedlimitinginthemasterchannels.Thelevelhasbeenloweredinthiscopyso
thatitissubjectivelymoreinlinewithalltheothermixes.

Inconclusion...

Therearenorightsorwrongsinmixing.Theessenceofthemixisallaboutlevel,panandequalization.
Instrumentsneedspace,instrumentsneedtoblend.Thevocalshouldbeclearandsupportedeffectivelyby
everythingelse.

Aimtomixasmuchasyoucanandasoftenasyoucan.Thegreaterthevarietyofmusicalstyles,thefaster
youwillprogress.

Endofassignmentnotes

Module10PracticalAssignmentNotes