This tutorial series is an epic journey through the production of a Melodic Deep Tech House/Techno track, covering every aspect of the process along the way, from initial conception to final mixdown (this course is part 3, on mixing down, with creation of sounds and arranging covered in full in parts 1 and 2, respectively). Leaving no stone unturned, the producer Simon Shackleton reveals all of the sound design, audio editing, effects processing, music theory and mixing techniques, so that students receive all the knowledge required to produce professional quality music of their own.
Simon Shackleton has been producing professionally for 25 years, going under aliases such as Lunatic Calm, Zodiac Cartel and Elite Force. His music has received support by DJs across the globe and been featured in films like ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘The Matrix’. Renowned for his meticulous nature, eloquence and ability to produce heavy but musical dancefloor tracks, Simon is the ideal tutor for this course.
In the first part, Simon provides a thorough guide to the creation of every part in the track, from drums, bass and leads, to vocals, pads and FX. An assortment of Loopmasters samples are used for the job, carefully sculpted and layered together, with occasional synths employed for melodic parts. Part 2 then continues the journey, with a detailed look at working the parts into a full-on organic arrangement, which is mixed down in part 3.
THIS COURSE IS PART 3, TAKING A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT MIXING DOWN THE FINAL ARRANGEMENT.
Signing up to the course gives immediate 24/7 access to the streamed tutorials, as well as the Live project from the course, whilst users of all music software can benefit from the 130MB pack of bonus audio samples. Before signing up, check out the free sample module and listen to the track from the course on the Producertech SoundCloud page, for examples of the high standard of tutorial and music quality you can expect from the course. Sign up today to jumpstart your production skills and get on the road to creating Melodic Deep Tech House or Techno anthems of your own!
Sample Module - Adding Width to Tambourines with Panning & Track Delay
Module 1 - Mixdown Discussion
In this first module, Simon talks about the nature of the mixdown, explaining the most important considerations and obstacles a producer faces, including recommendations on software and hardware to rectify them. He then gives his top mixing tips, to assist in clarifying the key aims of the process and help fellow producers achieve the primary objectives.
Lesson 1 - The Mixing Process & Environment - 14.15
Lesson 2 - Mixing Top Tips - 19.25
Module 2 - Kick Drum
Simon begins looking at the all important Kick Drum, focussing on the effects processing initially, to make sure the sound is full bodied and clear, and then bouncing down the stem to help keep CPU usage low. He then moves onto the other kick tracks, which are once again balanced, treated with effects and then flattened to new audio files.
Lesson 1 - Main Kick Warmth & Precision - 21.28
Lesson 2 - Additional Kick and Boom Kick - 19.25
Module 3 - Making the Loops Play Nice!
These lessons address the main loops that combine with the kick to form the groove of the track, showing the techniques used to make them ‘team players’. This includes using EQ, multi band compression and panning, as well as overall balancing of levels.
Lesson 1 - Loop Frequency Adjustment - 15.52
Lesson 2 - Balancing and Stereo Considerations - 7.37
Module 4 - Mixing the Snares and Claps
Simon moves on to the other main drum components, those being the snares and claps, paying close attention to the frequencies and alignment of each, to provide all the missing elements to the driving groove and add subtle variation in each bar.
Lesson 1 - Processing the Snare - 13.38
Lesson 2 - Working on the Claps - 12.23
Module 5 - Tambourines and Rides
By combining artful EQ and track panning with delay, Simon blends together the high frequency rhythms into a coherent, energetic layer that sits comfortably on top of the mix, whilst adding some pleasing stereo information to the track.
Lesson 1 - EQ & Stereo Spread - 17.31
Module 6 - Finding Space for Percussion
A reminder of the way the 2 conga sounds are placed in the track, with a look at the different automation on each, with regard to panning and send effect routing.
Lesson 1 - Conga Treatment - 11.08
Module 7 - Bassloop EQ & Sidechain
The first module looking at one of the toughest jobs of the mixing process; getting the bottom end right! Simon starts by focussing on the syncopated bass loop, showing the various effects used to bring it out in the mix and remove unnecessary elements, then moves on to level handling by means of compression and automation.
Lesson 1 - EQ, Saturation and more - 11.44
Lesson 2 - Level Sidechain and Automation - 7.04
Module 8 - Sub Bass in a Balanced Rhythm Section
A look at the sub bass track, making sure its content has the relevant frequencies and amount of gain, so that it provides the necessary fatness without treading on the toes of the other kick and bass elements and balancing nicely with the drums and percussion.
Lesson 1 - Working on the Sub Bass - 16.09
Module 9 - Pads, Strings and Novachord Lead
Simon moves through the first of the main melodic parts, flattening then forensically analysing the levels and frequencies, making changes to devices and adding automation when required, to ensure all parts are fulfilling their required roles.
Lesson 1 - Pads - 9.22
Lesson 2 - Strings - 8.29
Lesson 3 - Novachord - 6.33
Module 10 - Making the Synth Leads sing
The synth leads are treated with the same precision and care as the previous melodic parts, paying particular attention to compression and EQ, whilst also adding stereo enhancement via effects return channels.
Lesson 1 - Oberheim 1 - 15.31
Lesson 2 - Oberheim 2 - 6.52
Lesson 3 - Bouncing Lead Synth - 16.02
Module 11 - Chords Unity and Placement
The final group of melodic instruments is mixed, firstly looking at the chord stabs, which are balanced, EQ’d and compressed, as well as additional panning automation applied, before moving on to the atmospheric dub chord.
Lesson 1 - Stabs - 13.25
Lesson 2 - Dub Chord - 8.49
Module 12 - Vocals Groove Layering
A detailed lesson on EQ treatment of the vocal parts, ensuring that they contribute exactly the right pitches into the mix to help them sing and sit as a perfect additional groove layer for the rhythms.
Lesson 1 - EQing the Vocals - 14.13
Module 13 - Effects Sweeps - A family affair
The various noise sweeps and transitional elements are mixed, balancing, EQing, compressing and automating them with the same due diligence.
Lesson 1 - Working on FX - 12.26
Module 14 - Ambient Effects - Time & Place
Simon carefully balances the vinyl crackle and ambient vocals to help them sit correctly in the mix and stereo field, automating levels so that they tell a story and add the necessary real world components to the track.
Lesson 1 - Mixing the Ambient FX - 16.09
Module 15 - Bus Mixing - New Perspectives
How to create Mix Buses for all the main sound groups, to allow a smaller group of individual faders purely for adjusting of levels.
Lesson 1 - Mix Bus Creation - 15.16
Module 16 - Effects Returns - Attention to Detail
As with all other channels, the effects returns require the same scrupulous attention to detail, making sure no unnecessary frequencies or sonic artefacts are being added to the mix.
Lesson 1 - Mixing the Effects Returns - 29.06
Module 17 - Final Balancing - References and Blind Mixing
Reference tracks are added to the project to serve as comparisons and help calibrate the ear, then the bus mix channels are used to rebalance the master, making absolutely sure the levels of each of the main components is sitting perfectly in the mix.
Lesson 1 - Adding Reference Tracks - 10.13
Lesson 2 - Rebalancing the Master - 13.08
Module 18 - Final Tweaks 1
The last minor changes are made to the parts in the track, working first through the groove elements, with small automation adjustments here and there, as well as additional EQ, and then the master channel, to help maintain a good level balance between breakdowns and drops.
Lesson 1 - Rhythms & Master Automation & EQ - 13.10
Lesson 2 - Melodies Automation - 11.07
Module 19 - Final Tweaks 2
Simon completes the mix by making some final adjustments to level automation, making sure the various leads and melodic accompaniment is all playing nicely, then exporting the final mix as an audio file.
Lesson 1 - More Automation Tweaks - 11.06
Lesson 2 - Final Play-throughs & Export - 8.59
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