Advanced Mixing Techniques

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Authored by Richard Mendelson

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Course Code: OMPRD-650

Next Term Starts April 2

3-Credit Graduate Level Course

Advanced Mixing Techniques is a next-generation music mixing course for you to take your mixing skills to the highest level. In addition to an in-depth exploration of traditional mixing topics such as balance, EQ, dynamics, spatial effects, and automation, you’ll explore pitch and time correction and mixing for digital streaming services. Throughout the course, you will mix 12 provided recordings in a variety of Billboard chart-related styles, including R&B/hip-hop, pop, electronic dance, country, rock, and emerging artists. This work requires you to organize, implement, and execute large multitrack mixes in a DAW mixdown environment, in addition to executing technically and creatively advanced mixing techniques and preparing mixes for contemporary streaming formats.

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Organize, implement, and execute large multitrack mixes in a DAW mixdown environment
  • Execute technically and creatively advanced mixing techniques
  • Mix for contemporary streaming formats
  • Execute advanced mixing techniques, such as pitch and time corrections
  • Produce a professional mix across a number of popular musical genres
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info

Syllabus

Lesson 1: Foundational Principles for Mixing 

  • Organizing for a Successful Mix
  • Balancing the Elements of a Mix
  • Panning the Elements of a Mix 
  • Creative Equalization
  • Assignment 1: EQ, Balance, and Pan

Lesson 2: Spatial Effects and Imaging for Depth and Width

  • Historical Perspectives on the Use of Reverb in Mixing
  • Delay Effects within a mix
  • Pitch-Based Effects, Image Widening, and Mid/Side Processing
  • Advanced Signal Routing
  • Assignment 2: Mix Using Balance, Pan, EQ, and Spatial Effects

Lesson 3: Dynamics Processing  

  • Compression and Limiting
  • Gain Staging 
  • Metering and Level Standards
  • Peak Limiting and Competitive Level
  • Assignment 3: Mix Using Balance, EQ, Reverb, Delay, and Dynamics Control

Lesson 4: Creative Application of Automation in Mixing

  • A Brief History of Automation in Mixing
  • DAW Automation (Real Time, Playlist, and Snapshot)
  • Interview with Miles Walker
  • Tips, Tricks, and Demonstrations of Cool Automation Techniques
  • Assignment 4: Mix Using Balance, EQ, Reverb, Delay, and Dynamics Control

Lesson 5: The Land of a Thousand Plug-Ins

  • Plug-In Demos: Tips and Techniques
  • Dynamic Plug-In Demos: Tips and Techniques
  • Reverb, Delay, and Imaging Plug-In Demos: Tips and Techniques
  • Tape, Console, Distortion Plug-In Demos: Tips and Techniques
  • Assignment 5: Mix with the Slate Everything Bundle and The iZotope Music Production Bundle

Lesson 6: Acoustic and Electronic Drum Mixing Techniques

  • Electronic vs. Acoustic Drums
  • Drum Editing
  • Drum Processing 
  • Drum Replacement and Augmentation
  • Assignment 6: Create a High Impact Drum Sound

Lesson 7: Mix Translation, from Large Monitors to Laptops and Back!

  • Low Frequency Mix Translation: Problems and Solutions
  • Midrange Treatments and Translation in Mixing
  • High Frequency Treatments and Translation in Mixing
  • Mixing for Earbuds, Laptops, and Computer Speakers 
  • Assignment 7: Creating Maximum Translation Values

Lesson 8: Mixing Keyboards, Guitars, Strings and Horns and Multibus Mixing

  • Piano, Organ and Synthesizer-Related Mixing Techniques 
  • Mixing Acoustic and Electric Stringed Instruments
  • Interview with Richard Furch
  • Multibus Mixing
  • Assignment 8: Create Stereo Stems

Lesson 9: Vocal Mixing Techniques

  • Editing Vocals
  • Lead Vocal Balancing, Panning EQ, and Dynamics Control
  • Creating a Unique and Compelling Vocal Sound
  • Mixing Background Vocals, Doubles, and Harmonies
  • Assignment 9: Spectral Processing, Image Enhancement, Distortion, and Compression

Lesson 10: Mixing Through an Analog Console Using Outboard Gear

  • Info and Demonstrations of Various Analog Consoles
  • Info and Demonstrations of Analog EQs, Compressors, and Channel Strips
  • Info and Demonstrations of a Wide Range of Outboard Reverbs and Delays
  • Demo of Assignment 10
  • Assignment 10: Emulate Analog Mix Using Slate Virtual Tape and Virtual Console

Lesson 11: Billboard Chart-Related Mixing Techniques

  • Mixing Pop Music and Rock
  • Mixing EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
  • Mixing Hip-Hop and R&B
  • Mixing Country Music
  • Assignment 11: Create a Complete Final Mix
  • Final Exam

Lesson 12: Post Mix Processing

  • What Is Mastering and How Does it Differ from Mixing?
  • Mastering Your Own Mixes
  • Interview with a Top Mastering Engineer
  • Continuing Your Evolution as a Mixer

Requirements

Required Textbooks

None required


Software Requirements

  • One of the following DAWs is recommended: Current version of Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Digital Performer, Ableton Live, Cubase, or Nuendo
  • Digital coursepack containing PDFs, links, and various recordings
  • Plug-ins required:
    • One year subscription to Slate Everything Bundle
    • iZotope Music Production Bundle
    • Magic A/B
  • Plug-ins recommended:
    • Soundtoys Bundle
    • Trigger 2 Drum Replacement
    • Melodyne and/or AutoTune

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Hardware Requirements

  • Storage capacity capable of supporting large multitrack DAW sessions with up to 100 tracks of playback
  • Audio interface
  • Speakers/monitors and headphones
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)

Instructors

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Author & Instructor

Richard Mendelson is a senior faculty member in the Music Production and Engineering department at Berklee College of Music. A long-time educator, Mendelson specializes in mixing and recording. His former students include many Grammy-winning mixing and recording engineers.

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Mendelson's work has been featured in recordings by artists such as Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie, and Garbage, and he is a first-call mix-down engineer in the Boston area. Mendelson is an expert in digital sampling and has created more than 10 international best- selling sample products for Big Fish Audio and East/West Communications. Read Less

Questions?

Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.

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