Mixdown + Mastering Tips!

  1. last year

    powerup

    16 Apr 2018 User since 2018 + 144 RP

    Hey buds!
    I tought it would be cool to share some of our mixdown / mastering usual go-to's and techniques, no matter what genres we're specialized in.
    Let me start with my tips (pretty basic but useful as they were for me when i started).
    For trap beats:
    -Usual mixing scheme should be:
    *TURN OFF THAT LIMITER IN THE SAME MOMENT YOU OPEN YOUR DAW
    *Kick & snare at 0db (if it sounds too heavy, with correct compression and obvious sidechain for the kick, they could go well at -3db too). Don't be afraid of a clipping kick tho btw, cause when you master the track it doesn't sound bad at all. Keep it at +3db max and you should be ok.
    *808 should be mono yeah, every sub bass should be (maybe i'm wrong tho but well) but it's not bad to add a bit of stereo to it. In some beats, it sounds way better, in others it ruins the whole vibe, but you should try it. Open fruity delay 2 on the 808 channel and load the "Widen" preset. Mess with the settings to get the desired sound and boom your 808 has a lot of more presence. If you're distorting your 808s, be careful and make sure you don't loose your low-end's power. Maybe cutting off some mids could work. When you load that distortion you're like HEY DAMN THIS SOUNDS AMAZING but when you compare it to proffesional using of distortion you're gonna be disappointed. Trust me, XXXTENTACION's use of distortion in his 808's (RIP ROACH, Take A Step Back, YunG BraTz) is in the past.
    *Hi-hats should be boosted at the mids, with 0 low freqs and -1db on the highs. Trust me, it sounds a lot more harsh if you don't do this. Another tip that some guys like the 808 mafia members or RONNYJLISTENUP for example use, is to load a gross beat (fInd a similar plugin if you're not in FL) with the 1/2 time preset, and keep it at 15% to add complexity and vibe to the hat patterns. You can use it only in hooks to add intensity, or turn it at 100% at the breaks (ronnyj uses this at intros and breaks a lot).
    *All pads, arps, flutes, every sound apart from the drums and the bass need all the low frequencies cut, to give space to the bass and the kick. Leveling should be between -12 and -6 db, use your ears, you will know when it's too much
    *I'd recommend to use special mixer tracks for effects and then use automations and linking between the channels to use them. Takes less CPU than loading reverb and delay on every track, right? You will have to mess with the settings sometimes, using automation, but if you're in need of CPU, it's worth it.
    *ESSENTIAL TIP for making beats vocal-ready: Load a parametric equalizer on the master (before any other plugins, make sure it's FIRST) and turn all the frequencies between 2.5khz and 8khz -1,5db down, because there is where the human voice tends to be. You will create space for it and the beat's sound won't really change in a noticeable way. If it sounds muddy for you, or lacks high end, mess with the filters, not difficult at all till you find the righ sound.
    *When mastering, i'd usually go with Fruity Multiband Compressor, load the Mastering 2.4db preset and deactivate the limiter, then load a soft clipper and mess with the settings. Nothing complicated. The artist's engineers will take care of this so it's not crucial when you have a clean mixdown.

    Well, this is all i have to share with you guys. Of course it could not be perfect, i'm not saying this is the absolute truth, but it goes really well for me :) Hope it's useful and you can share your tips too!

  2. DNINE

    20 Apr 2018 User since 2016 Brazil + 128 RP

    Thanks' @powerup' that was a good read :)
    Always like other people's settings.

  3. chrisville

    20 Apr 2018 User since 2017 + 844 RP

    Can never learn too much, learning is every day Thanks' @powerup' thanks for the reminder' @DNINE' :)

  4. Liz Vega

    22 Apr 2018 User since 2016 + 987 RP

    '@powerup' thanks for sharing your tips dude, i really apprecciate, its always good to learn something new! :-D
    "*ESSENTIAL TIP for making beats vocal-ready: Load a parametric equalizer on the master (before any other plugins, make sure it's FIRST) and turn all the frequencies between 2.5khz and 8khz -1,5db down, because there is where the human voice tends to be. You will create space for it and the beat's sound won't really change in a noticeable way. If it sounds muddy for you, or lacks high end, mess with the filters, not difficult at all till you find the righ sound."
    This one is massive,lol.
    If you don't mind i'd add something else...
    *ALWAYS CHECK YOUR PHASE. When i started mixing beats or songs or whatever, i admit that i didn't look at the phase, ok honestly i didn't even know what that was. So what i would like to recommend is to always check your phase, personally i do that in that specific way: i Load up a meter on the master channel (for example i use bx meter from brainworx) check every sound in solo, when i find some phase issues, i put an eq on the sound that is out of phase (for the eq i use or ableton eq or pro-q from fabfilter is fine too) then i cut everything that i think is bringing the sound of of phase, usually the problems stays in the side part, indeed generally i cut out the low freqs and sometimes i turn down the freqs between 300hz to 1kh, well ofc this depends on the sound,, at first use the meter, which is a great helper, then you will see that your ears will recognize a sound out of phase.
    I analyzed a lot of beats out there and honestly there are a lot of phase issues, sometimes is good too, but i don't know i prefer to correct the phase everytime, it sounds cleaner to me, but hey in the music there are no rules lol :-D hope this helps,
    Cheers
    Liz

  5. powerup

    23 Apr 2018 User since 2018 + 144 RP

    '@Liz Vega '
    Thank you for this! Didn't know about it at all. Will be using it :)

  6. Liz Vega

    23 Apr 2018 User since 2016 + 987 RP

    '@powerup' you are welcome my friend :)

 

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