Week 1 – Mixing Explained

1. Review the basics of mixing & mastering (we only cover mixing on this course). Watch Liina’s video for a brief overview of the mixing process and what we’ll cover over the next 4 weeks.

2. Test your hearing with this frequency spectrum test which goes from the lowest frequency humans can hear (20Hz) to the highest (20kHz). Your specific hearing range depends on your age, ears and ear training. This wave has a consistent volume level but you will perceive the lower frequencies as quieter. To get the most out of the video and avoid damaging your hearing:

  • If you increase the volume at the beginning of the video, be sure to lower it as the frequency increases.
  • If you don’t hear anything below 40-50Hz even at full volume, try headphones as your monitors are probably incapable of playing the lowest frequencies.
  • If you stop hearing sound near the end, don’t increase the volume.

3. Now review the notes on active listening and practice with the video below. We will be practicing this throughout the course as we make changes and mixing decisions.

4. If you haven’t already completed these steps in class, import the Breathe stems into your Mixing Project and prepare the session for mixing: 🎧 😎

6. Now use Gain Staging to ensure that there is no clipping in your project. Remember – red is bad! The notes below give an overview of Gain Staging, and this article goes into more depth.

7. Extra step for anyone using Ableton Live Intro: Live Intro has fewer Devices than Standard or Suite; it doesn’t have Spectrum (which allows us to visualise incoming frequencies) or EQ8 (a better EQ than EQ3 or Channel EQ which are included in Live Intro). Please download and install this free plugin to help you identify and equalize frequencies during this course. See the video below for more details on using third party (i.e. non-Ableton) plugins in Live.

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