Dirty Dubstep Tutorial Day 7: Mixing, Mastering + The Final Song
Hi, I’m Dave from boyinaband.com and welcome to the final day of my 7 day song on Dirty Dubstep.
Yesterday we discussed fx, arrangement of the song along with the notes and rhythms, and today we’ll be adding the finishing touches to mixing it, then bringing it up to a nice level with the mastering tools in reason 5.
When you’re mixing, try to mix on a pair of flat response speakers if possible, since overly bassy hi fi systems or regular old PC speakers will end up giving a false representation of the sound – this is especially important with a genre of music this bass-heavy.
If you don’t have speakers you’re used to that give a decent all round representation of the frequency spectrum, Then make sure you test your mix out on a few systems – in headphones, on the car stereo, out of a giant megaphone sellotaped to the side of a blimp, just to see if the track is nice wherever you hear it. You don’t want to have a good mix in your car and a bad sounding mix while you’re riding a customized dirigible!
The beat and bass are, as per usual, generally loudest – try to keep them out of the red though – I’ve let the beat creep into the red (not clipping though – there’s an important difference) but with the basses, I’m keeping them low into the yellow so I have room to do some playing with frequencies in the master. The leads, since they’re higher pitched, don’t need as much volume to stay audible in the mix, and the pads should be comfortable lower in the mix.
The FX can be awkward, since reverses need to be nice and loud, but you don’t want the cymbols swamping the track, so feel free to change some levels in the mixer within the FX combinator.
The other thing to think about is stereo space – if you have two sounds that live in a similar frequency, try widening one so it is able to sit in the mix either side of the other sound. You can do this with chorus, or if you’re being a bit clever, routing one channel through a tiny delay with no feedback and full wet/dry, then pan the channels hard left and right.
One last protip is to automate the overall volume of the track once you’ve mixed it all down – bring the the volume up a few dB when the drop hits and it will feel like the world is collapsing. Or at least a bit louder. Either of which is good for dubstep.
So that’s the mix, the best thing to do is give it a few days after you’ve mixed it, come back and mix it again with a new perspective. Not a new perspex “Tiv” – which would be an African people living around the Benue river in east nigeria made out of clear acrylic resins. I’m not sure if they’d be able to help, though it is always good to get an outside opinion on the track as well.
Then it’s time for mastering!
I’ve got another mastering suite than I had before, one of which is on 8 band parallel compression mode, which is brilliant for bringing up the overall level of 8 different frequency bands, but it can result in the track sounding over-compressed if you’re not careful.
Then in the other one I’ve just left it on Default mastering suite since I really like the “loudness curve” option on it, which brings up the bass and top, I’ve just brought that option up to about ? and it’s so much more present.
If you’re worried about the lack of dynamic range, i.e. the punchiness of the kick drum, don’t have the master gain so high. The song will be quieter, but when you boost the volume of the system to a comparable volume, it’ll feel ten times punchier.
Unfortunately, since it isn’t possible to tell DJs to make your track much louder than the rest, you might have to sacrifice this dynamic range for the volume to compete with the volumes of other tracks in clubs.
That’s about it for the mix and master, tune in for part 2 where I’ll be playing the final song!
Okay, Feel free to post your track as a video response to this one. Now it’s time to sit back and take a listen to the final finished 7 day Dirty Dubstep song.
Ouch, my face. I guess this is the time when you have to think of something disgusting to post in the comments about how disgusting that was and hope people thumbs-up it. Either that or just steal it off another youtube video of a dubstep song.
Thanks for following along with my Dirty Dubstep 7 day song – Now why don’t you sign up to the boyinaband.com forum to talk about what you’ve learned or ask any questions you might have relating to your productions?
Also, if you haven’t already, check out my Psytrance, Hip Hop, Liquid, Darkstep, G Funk, Bassline, Trance, Drum n Bass, Electro House and Dubstep 7 day song video tutorials – experimenting with different genres that you wouldn’t normally make is a great way to learn more about production, plus it’s seriously fun!
So yeah – cheers so much for watching, hit the like and subscribe buttons if you found this tutorial useful and I’ll catch you on the next tutorial and on the boyinaband.com forum!
See ya round, guys!