Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools
Authored by Jeff Baust
Course Code: OMPRD-380
Gain a greater understanding of two key elements of production by learning the Berklee approach to mixing and mastering using Pro Tools. Essential knowledge for engineers, producers, or hobbyists who have their own home studio up and running, this course presents concepts that go beyond basic EQ and panning. Students will be exposed to more advanced mixing and mastering techniques including parallel compression, understanding reverb parameters as well as discussing compression techniques in mastering. You'll view demonstrations of engineers engaged in the processes, and by mixing and mastering Pro Tools sessions that are provided in the course, you will be able to hear, compare, and discuss the different mixes of your classmates.
By the end of this course you will have acquired a thorough understanding of the entire mixing and mastering process, information that you can apply to any mixing and mastering situation.
Berklee Online and iZotope have come together to offer an educational discount on the required software for the course: Ozone. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase this required software at a discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure delivery prior to the start of the course.
By the end of the course. you will be able to:
- Understand and know the process of mixing in Pro Tools
- Use EQ and Dynamics in a Pro Tools session
- Use Reverb and Acoustic Space in a Pro Tools session
- Use delay, chorus and flanging in a Pro Tools session
- Understand and know the process of automation and dynamic mixing with Pro Tools
- Understand and know the process of mastering with Pro Tools
- Use the iZotope's Ozone plug-in to master stereo mixes with Pro Tools
Lesson 1: Introduction to Mixing
- What Makes a "Good" Mix Good?
- Mixing, Workspace Ergonomics, and You!
- Using Reference Material
- Levels & Panning: The Foundation of a Mix
- The Dynamic Mix - Mix Automation
- Pro Tools Automation: Automating Volume and Panning
Lesson 2: Introduction to Mixing in Pro Tools
- Organizing and Managing a Pro Tools Mix Session
- Track Groups
- Working with Memory Locations
- Starting a Mix
Lesson 3: Shaping the Sounds: EQ and Dynamics
- EQ TypesShaping sounds with EQ
- Using EQ Effectively
- Intro to Dynamics Processors: Gates and Expanders
- Compressors and Limiters
Lesson 4: More With Dynamics Processors: Pro Tools Busses and Routing
- Cool Techniques with EQ and Dynamics
- Creating and Using Subgroups in a Mix
- Externally Keying Dynamics Processors
- Managing Time - Plug-in Latency and Time Adjuster
Lesson 5: More With Dynamics Processors; Pro Tools Busses and Routing
- Parallel Compression
- More Cool Techniques with EQ and Dynamics Processors
- Bouncing Tracks
- File-Based Processing Using AudioSuite
- 2-Mix Compression and EQ: The Master Fader Track
Lesson 6: Reverb and Acoustic Space
- Creating Acoustic Space in a Mix
- Setting Up a Send Return Loop in Pro Tools
- Understanding Reverb Parameters
- Strategies for Using Reverb in a Mix
- Processing Reverb Sends and Creating Multiple Reverb Sends
- The AIR Reverb Plug-ins
- Sending to an External Reverb
Lesson 7: Delay, Chorus, and Flanging
- Introduction to Delay and Delay Parameters
- Short Delays: Timbre Effects and Flanging
- Doubling and Chorusing
- Longer delays; Slapback and Tempo Delays
- More Delay Techniques
- The AIR Delay Plug-ins
Lesson 8: Automation and Dynamic Mixing 1
- The Dynamic Mix: A Review
- Pro Tools Realtime Automation Modes
- Managing Mix Automation: The Automation Window
- Mix Passes, Writing, and Trimming Automation
- Automation and Groups
- Applying Automation: Transitions and Vocal Rides
Lesson 9: Automation, Part 2; Final Delivery of a Mix
- More with Automation
- Sends Automation
- Plug-in Automation
- Creative Uses and Strategies for Mix Automation
- Make My Mix LOUD!
- Bouncing Your Mix to Disk
Lesson 10: Introduction To Mastering; EQ In Mastering
- What Is Mastering?
- Mastering in the Project Studio
- Professional Mastering Studios
- Tweaking Your Studio Space
- Mastering With Pro Tools & Ozone: An Overview
- EQ: Corrective and Creative
- The Ozone EQ
- Ozone Digital EQ Mode
- Digital EQ Surgical Mode
- Broadband and Lowband EQ
Lesson 11: Mastering Part II: Limiting and Compression
- The Mastering Process
- Compression Techniques in Mastering
- Using the Dynamics Module
- Multiband Compression with Ozone
- Loud Mastering Issues
- The Ozone Maximizer
Lesson 12: The Final Touches
- Stereo Image Manipulation and M/S Processing
- The Ozone Imager Module
- The Exciter
- Dither and Redithering
- Dither and Ozone
- Mastering Workflow
- Bouncing the Audio and Assembling the CD
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
Completion of Pro Tools 110, or equivalent knowledge and/or experience.
- No textbooks required
- Pro Tools 11 or higher (Intro or Artist editions not sufficient)
- iZotope Ozone 9 or higher (Elements edition not sufficient)
- Audio interface
- One of the following studio monitoring options suitable for mixing (both recommended):
- Studio monitors (pair), such as JBL 305Ps or better, as well as necessary cables. Monitors with 8-inch woofers are recommended, such as JBL 308Ps or better.
- Professional over-ear studio headphones, such as Sennheiser HD 600, beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, etc.
- iLok USB required to use Pro Tools offline. iLok Cloud (free) may be used instead, but requires a continuous internet connection while using Pro Tools.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Author & Instructor
Jeff is a professor in Berklee's Synthesis and the Music Production and Engineering Departments. A composer, audio engineer, educator and multi-instrumentalist, he has created scores for the ESPN, New England Sports Network (including music for the Bruins and Red Sox), Avid, Sony, Polaroid, Sharp, Reebok, Lotus, and others. He works primarily in his own facility, Coral Sea Music. As an audio engineer, Jeff has worked on projects for such artists as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, NBC-TV, Andre Previn, Itzhak Perlman, Jessye Norman, and Dawn Upshaw, as well as labels such as EMI, Philips, Nonesuch, and many others. Specializing in digital audio production, Jeff works with technologies such as Sonic Solutions, high-resolution audio (96k/24bit), HDCD encoding, and mastering as well as forensic audio and restoration tools. Jeff holds a M. A. in Composition from University of California, Davis, and a D. M. A. at Boston University, where his primary area of concentration was electronic and electro-acoustic composition. He has been published in Berklee Today, Electronic Musician magazine, and various Internet e-zines.
David Lefkowitz has been teaching in higher education since 2000. He has taught courses such as physics, acoustics, electronics, sound design for visual media, music theory, audio technology, digital audio, advanced recording, and advanced mixing. David served as the assistant department chair for the Audio Production department at the New England Institute of Art. He also moderated/coordinated for the Boston area Pro Tools User Group (PTUG) and has presented at the Parson’s Expo and at other events. He is a Pro Tools certified expert instructor.
Under his independent business name, Lefko Productions, David worked on records with international and regional artists including Johnny A, Stuart Kimball, the Beloved Few, Entrain, Kol B’Seder, Dany Silva, Bana, and the Mendes Brothers. Bana and the Mendes Brothers were featured in the Putumayo World Disk Series. Dave was a principal business partner of Renaissance Recording Company, a commercial recording facility in Boston’s Back Bay where he worked as the chief recording engineer.
David's passions are composition and songwriting and he is currently producing his fifth full-length album. David is additionally skilled as a playwright, a show producer, a show director, and as a musical artist. Unyfi, David's audience-centered comical rock arts show featured his compositions. Unyfi performed at the Regent Theatre and at A.R.T. Oberon in 2015. Recently, David has been venturing into sound design and so far has worked on various films including Archie's Betty, Celling Your Soul, and Whaling City. David also produced and directed a film dedicated to the legendary Boston rock club "The Rat," featuring a variety of Boston rock artists including the Dropkick Murphys. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and Broadcast Music Inc. Read Less
When taken for credit, Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools can be applied towards these associated programs: