Gain Staging and Bussing
starting to put this stuff together. Stock about mixed set up. So setting up your mix is really important. Don't just go from a tracking session and start mixing it. If you do that, you know, of with tons of problems, you're going to end up with gain staging issues all over the place. You're gonna end up with CPU problems, and it's just gonna be a disorganized mess that even before this class, I went in and I cleaned up this session a little bit. I don't know if you guys remember, but we had more rooms. We had another high hat, Mike. We had to ride Mike's and we had kick pads that we didn't use all recording in here. Now to show you guys how to clean up Tom's and laying submit Ian working in this thing. It ah, it behoove me to make the session a little smaller and easier to manage. So I got rid of all those tracks and now we're down to one room second room China high hat, the Toms overheads snare and kick way Easier to deal with. Now if we actually if those tracks I got rid of actually...
mattered for then I would have kept them, but they didn't. So, first rule of mixed set up is ditch anything you don't need. And by ditch, I mean delete. And if you don't delete it if you're if say you have superior drummer that you're using in the mix for whatever reason, I would just disable it and hide it. So Okay, so say you might need to call Superior drummer back up. You might want to change your samples. There might be something else you want to do. Say, you did some thing with a guitar, sim, and you want to Ah, redo the sound. OK, so don't delete it. Make it inactive and hide it. But still you want to get rid of all extra tracks. So right here, I've got extra tracks. I don't know what these. What's on these tracks? Something right here looks unnecessary to me. They're gone. See you later. It's been nice. Goodbye. And you should be the same way. Let's see here. So where the scratch track with another scratch track with the kick Original Kick Superior, The midi? Yep. That's all we need to get started. No, I understand when you guys get a mixed in with a bunch of tracks. It might be hard toe figure out how to do this. So I'm gonna talk to you guys about that. That's what busing is all about. We're gonna cover gain staging first. So gain staging is basically the art of setting gain. And the reason this is important is because you're not in the analog realm anymore, at least of your working a pro tools or not, the in the analog realm, you were able to drive things pretty hard, and they would do. It's really cool. These cool harmonics would set in, distort things really nicely. And that's kind of what that analog sound is all about. A lot of people who then moved into the digital realm thought that the same applied and clipped the hell out of there mixes. That's bad news, unless if you have some plug ins like the SSL EQ you by waves that has a built in emulation of the analog clipping, don't do it. And so far as gain staging goes, that's your first step and start by getting a master fader up. We better drums. They are pretty loud. Make a Master Fader set the output and right away. This is what you want to keep your eye on. All right. Make sure it's not clear. It's pretty hot already. So really quick. First thing going to do is just select all turned everything down. I'm not even listening to what I'm doing. I'm just turning it down. Put the master back to zero. Your master should stay at zero, at least for a while. All right, that's much better. Now, you solo out the kick, find the kick. I want to get it kind of in the middle of the yellow range and then kind of set from there. It's different every time. You kind of want to mind a six to minus 10. It just depends on what your program material is and how many tracks you've got, but basically minus six to minus 10 is a good place to start. So let's see. Now all you're really doing is making sure that you're not seeing red on these tracks and you're not seeing red on your master. You're not seeing red in your plug ins. That's another place where you gain stage. You notice your plug ins have an input and output. See, this is this is well gain stage. Now, if I turn this up, not so good. So undoing if you are in a situation where you like the volume of it but you're clipping a plug in Wait you should do is turned the plug in input down. So you're no longer to clipping the plug in and turn the fader on the mixer up. That's what your failures air for. It's I know it's advanced drum production. This is a fader. You want to know something? This is the number one thing. This is gain. Staging is the number one thing that people get wrong that can turn their mixes around overnight. You know, I was joking about that. There's a reason why you included gain staging in game structure here because, you know, as you said, if you don't get this part right, then everything else is gonna be wrong. So absolutely looking. But it is important. No, no, it's now. I know you were joking, but it you don't gain stage your stuff properly. What's going to end up happening is we're gonna start adding other instruments in and this master bus is just going to start clipping all over the place. And before you know it, you're just gonna be completely distorted and disoriented and not know where to start from. So this is something you got to keep a tight watch on from the get go. And honestly, I think it might even be too loud right now because who knows how many tracks would be? Adding every track adds more level to think so turned down even more now Remember, even if it's getting quiet and you want your master at zero always even if it's getting quiet, it's going to get loud when it's mastered. That's what mastering is. Four. You're not making it loud right now. Univ. You're doing a fake mastering chain. Eventually you need to be need to be gained staging Now If you're mixing into a Master Chan, then you know OK, so it's gonna be allowed from the start, But still, you should not be hitting the red on your on your master bus so really simple. Start by turning everything down Now Step two is bussing. CPU is a big issue. Time is a big issue, and conceptualizing mix is a big issue. You put those three together. If you're not organized with those three, you're gonna have a bad time. And if you're not organized with those three things and you're clipping all over the place, you have a super bad time trying to mix. And if you factor in maybe 60 to 70 to 80 tracks of audio, you're gonna want to shoot yourself. So the stock about making the session a little bit more simple basically make a bus for every instrument. And the way that this makes your life easier is say, instead of having two tracks a snare toe, automate eventually and we'll cover how to do that. You end up with one. So basically, here's how you do it to make an ox. Make that a mono ox snare bus. Cynthy Output input on the interface is gonna be some bus that I define. Five is not used. Set the snares toe bus five. You see the snares now coming out over here. So move that over there. So now you don't have to worry. Once you get a good balance of this, you don't worry about messing with this anymore. You can worry about this master level for the snare. Also, it's entirely possible that one EQ You might work for both of these or one compression setting. And that's how you'll save on your CPU your end up using a lot less plug ins if you bust your tracks down and everything will sound more glued. So the way that I have multiple accused on right now that might not even be necessary of with the busing. So let's see real quick. I'm just picking e q. Seven really input on it, some in the output on this some anyways, so you can imagine that we have a kick track and apparel kick track. And then we have three samples of snare plus two natural snares and then four. Tom's plus four Tom Samples and then two overheads was too high. Hat was two rides. That is a lot of tracks I lost count already as opposed toe one kick bus once an Airbus one Tom bus one overhead bus. One room bus that's 55 is a lot easier to keep up with than 40 or 30 or whatever it would be. And ah, mixing is all about what you can handle if if you can't handle 40 I'm sure you can probably handle five. So let me go ahead and bust these times down real quick. Anybody have any questions about busing real quick while I set this up? So you're busting your individual symbols in along with the overheads so that that's all. One bus? Yes. I'm going to make on over basically a symbols bus that will have a blend of every symbol. Okay. And then if we Because we didn't really use room Mike's for that recording. If you had them, What? They go into that as well. Every you know, I was keep those separate because you can do really cool things to room Mike's via really aggressive compression that would destroy your overheads. So you want to leave your rooms open for, um for lots of crazy stuff, but your overheads being that there the picture of the kit. You wanna have those separate? You don't want to miss with that central image? Basically. So, Tom, bus, You can see they're now coming out here. You really want to be crazy about organization? You would just put the buses together and hide the rest of these tracks eventually end up with something like 20 tracks, tracks, 30 tracks for an entire mix that is so much easier than 100 tracks were 120 tracks that will bog your computer down and just make your life hell. So putting this back and there's reasons to not hide your tracks as well. Like, say that you're doing automation blends of samples like on the Phils. You're bringing the samples down and on other parts, like on the hard hits you're bringing the samples up. Well, you would do that automation on the regular snares, so that would be a reason to keep them in the in the visible part of the session. But anyways, I'm sure you guys could see what it would be like to have a mix that's completely clipping all over the place with way too many tracks not knowing what's what which ways of it's not a good way to start, so key. Take away from this is bus everything and don't let it clip. If you do that, you're already ahead of the curve ahead of the competition, and I know it sounds really simple, but you really are ahead of the curve. You do that stuff