Mixing Tips and Tricks 9/9 Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Drum, How to Make Perfect Volume Balance
Choroidea Online Mixing Course Vol.1
This online course shows the process of mixing this song.
▲ZENRYOKU syndrome - Words, Music, Arrangement and Guitar by choro
As for DAW, everybody'd go for sound production using equalizer, compressor and other plugins.
But the most important mixing technique is volume adjustment.
The more technique you use, the more complicated mixing will be!
Your audio track will end up to be very unnatural.
The key to avoid it is to start with the basics.
Today, I'll talk about mixing.
The two most important things on mixing are the volume balance and the flow of music.
When it comes to mixing, sound production is not that important, I think.
People are so enthusiastic about production of each sound, but they don't care about making balancing volume.
The important things about mixing are definitely the volume balance and the flow of music .
Wow! I was so concentrated on sound production!
I don't blame you.
Musicians should be concentrated on sound production.
For that reason, the requests I get from musicians are mainly about sound production.
I, off course, accommodate the request, then do what I have to do.
Now, let me explain about the drum and the bass first.
Blue lines are called automation.
I adjust volumes of kick, snare, hi-hat and so forth, to make them well balanced.
I raise the volume where there are a lot of sound sources, like the chorus part.
I lower the volume where there are less.
When there are a lot of sound sources, the sound of the drum and bass can be buried among. But, rhythm is very important for the excitement of the chorus.
So I raise the volume.
I often raise the volume on the chorus part intentionally.
Raising and lowering the volume, modulation is engineers' job.
Most of the time, real performance can't create well-modulated sound.
I know what you mean.
I do live performances, so I do the same thing without noticing.
This is the backing guitars.
I added some backing guitar files to the recorded audio files.
The concept of the guitar is the same as the drum and bass.
At the chorus part, the lead guitar stands out. The backing guitars should be heard with the lead guitar. The balance with other instruments is important.
This is the lead guitar.
Upper three are main intro riff guitars, middle three are chorus riff guitar, the next is the side guitar for the chorus part, the second from the bottom is the riff guitar right before the third chorus, the lowest bottom is the lead guitar.
I split an audio track into many separate channels.
That way I can easily make them well balanced and mix separately.
When it comes to the volume balance of the guitar, the natural flow of the sound is important.
I've hardly seen any engineer splitting audio channels.
It looks to me engineers would gather audio files if possible.
What you do is somethig I also do.
Especially the guitar changes the sound many times in one song.
I can use automation but it's rather troublesome.
I split a track partially.
Here is the chorus part, there should be a rise,
here is the first verse, there should be calmness,
...and so forth.
And the whole thing has to be connected with other instrument.
Of course, this is something the performer's already considered, we engineers even enhance it.
Yes, you're right.
And engineers' technique is outstanding.
The worst example of mixing is that the chorus part doesn't have liveliness. In order to have that, the volume or tempo should be raised.
When I raise the volume, I raise the volumn of each instrument separately.
When I raise the tempo, for example, I add a hi-hat track slightly.
Any way, I do whatever I can do to give liveliness.
This is the vocals.
The most important thing is that the volume of the vocal is steady and the lyric is heard clearly.
You see? There are three points that the volume's raised, which are the chorus part. At the chorus part, there are more sounds. It's hard to catch the vocal sound.
So I raise the volume of the vocal.
And to make it sounds more human, I finely adjust the volume.
You told me where you'd raised the volume previously.
Still I couldn't tell where, when I first listened to it. It was so natural!
I think that mixing is for making music more natural than real performance.
I definitely agree!
Giving liveliness to where liveliness is needed, giving calmness where calmness is needed, it's so natural, and that's what engineers're doing.
It's so difficult, though. You have to get the clear picture of the whole number.
Again, the two most important things on mixing are the volume balance and the flow of music.
The flow of music is more important than each note.
Listen to the number you mixed objectively.
If you ever get bored halfway even if only slightly, blame it on your mixing.
That's all for now folks!
That's all for Choroidea Mixing Course Vol.1.
Here, you can download "ZENRYOKU syndrome" audio tracks.
"ZENRYOKU syndrome" Download Site
On this site, there are "full (フル) ver." "full (フル) ver. with lyric (歌詞)" "Karaoke(カラオケ) ver." "individual instrument tracks(パート別)" "Played by Katzuya Shimizu".
Choroidea Online Mixing Course Vol.1