Drum and Bass Tutorial Day 7: Mixing & Mastering + The Final Song [7 Day Song]
Hi! I’m Dave from boyinaband.com, and welcome to the final day of my seven day song tutorial on Drum and Bass.
Yesterday, we added in some sweet FX to make the track more interesting.
Since then, I’ve added a few more fills and I’m almost finished with the track.
Today, I’ll explain mixing and mastering for Drum and Bass, then I’ll play the full, finished version of the song for you to listen to!
Okay! Let’s begin.
I find the best way to mix is to introduce elements one at a time – So I’ll start with the beat, Then introduce the basses, then the leads and so on.
What I aim for is for the master level to not go into the red. When mixing, it is generally best to cut volumes than boost them. Also, make sure you’re mixing without the mastering suite on – you should make your song sound ace without mastering, then when you add it it will sound even better.
You might feel by taking volumes down that you are reducing the power of the track – If this is the case, turn up the volume on your speakers so you can still feel the power rather than turning up the volume on your drumbeat!
Make sure you listen to the track at several different volumes though and on several different speaker systems. Mixing Drum and Bass on computer speakers is just not going to work, since you can’t hear the Sub Bass at all! Similarly, don’t mix on a system with a big subwoofer if you can help it – that will make you turn the bass down too much to compensate for how loud the sub is making the bass.
A system with what is called a flat response – where no frequencies have any more prominence than usual – is best for mixing. Obviously not everyone has access to this, so the next best thing is to listen to the song on as many systems as possible and see what needs changing on each.
So a few rules of thumb – The drums should be loudest. Look at the waveforms of any drum and bass and you’ll see that the kick and snare are much louder – here I’ve got Pendulum’s “Hold Your Colour” as an example – take a look at the beats – they are at least 20% louder than the rest of the track.
Another thing to notice is that the drop is louder than the intro so it really hits hard – so a good trick is to once you export the track, take it into an audio editor and reduce the levels of the verses so the drop is louder.
Back to our song though, Once I’ve mixed the track, then Reason has the MClass Mastering suite which is really handy for just bringing the track up to that professional level – take a listen without the suite… then with. Much better. There are a few different settings which work well, such as Bass and Drum and Hip Hop, but I like “DeDigitalizer” for this track, which compresses it all, gently boosts the low end and cuts the high around 10khz and applies some brick wall limiting to control the level.
Okay, so with that out of the way, sit back and take a listen to the finished Drum and Bass song. Feel free to post your song as a video response and I’ll give it a listen and make any suggestions I can think of to help you improve it!
Here’s the final Drum and Bass seven day song.
Ace – I’m really happy with that, chances are I’ll be playing it at gigs with my band You and What Army!
Thanks so much for following along with my seven day song – As with the last one, it’s been a lot of fun and I look forward to the next Seven Day Song project! If you haven’t already seen my 7 Day song Dubstep Tutorial, you should check that out as well since a lot of the techniques can be used in Drum and Bass too.
Remember to post suggestions under my weekly video blogs for new tutorials and head over to boyinaband.com to check out my other tutorials and blogs.