Jump Up DnB 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 the 7 day song Jump Up Drum and Bass tutorial featuring Noisestorm.
Yesterday we put the track in order with the arrangement and talked about the notes and fills, and today, we’ll look at mixing and mastering advice and finish up by listening to the final finished track.
Let’s take a look at the mixing on this track if we loop a section – The breaks and the one shots are loudest, with the bass and lead pads sitting alongside each other in terms of volume. The lead, arps and and piano are quite prominent but the vocals really sit out front. The other pads sit quite far back – particularly the high pitched one since it’s so prominent anyway due to its high frequency content.
You’ve seen the track build up in terms of EQing – this is the kind of thing that you get an ear for over time, but I have chatted with noisestorm to ask his advice on some specifics and some more general things to keep in mind when mixing.
So without further ado, here’s the advice Noisestorm has on the subject:
When mixing Jump Up Drum and Bass, or any genre, always make sure you take a day or two break before attempting to mix a track, as you need fresh ears to do so. Set out to make everything as loud and clear as possible, without clipping, though I do find in some of my tracks, in order for them to be loud enough, some small clipping does occur, but always try to eliminate clipping.
Think about what elements of the track are the most important. In this case it would be the beat, and the bass/ low sidechained pads, as they hold the track together. Therefore, I put these the loudest in the mix, followed by the high pads, then I adjusted everything else to taste.
Something to keep in mind- depending on what you are using to mix with, the sound may be changed, eg: on earphones, you may get a squashed sound, or on some speakers you may get over exaggerated bass, so best thing do do, if you don’t have access to studio monitors(speakers that give off a flat frequency response), is to listen on a variety of different setups.
Once you have everything sitting nicely in the mix, I found that the master compressor in Record can add a nice balance to the mix when I set it to a high threshold, a medium attack, and the ratio to 2, but really play around with it, and see what sounds good for you. Other than that, I don’t really master my songs much more than that, I try to have all my sounds as loud and clear as possible before the mastering process.
So yeah, It’s a balancing act for sure, and this is one of those things that you’ll start to get a feel for after you’ve made a bunch of songs… Noisestorm has made around 50 songs to get to this point, I know I’ve done something similar. So if you’re a beginner, don’t get discouraged, keep at it and eventually you’ll notice things start to sink in.
Some last bits of random advice then:
One thing Noisestorm mentioned is that he finds it extremely hard to get it to be a decent level without clipping, so some songs, there is a bit of clipping going on. and yes, it is good – sometimes it isn’t really noticiable, and is necessary to keep the level of the track up.
One particular anecdote that I remember him saying, when he sent a track that I had spent a lot of time mixing until nothing was clipping to Rollz, a Dnb Producer and he said “wow man, its a good track but it’s about 8 dB too quiet, if I was mixing, I wouldnt be able to use this”
So rather than focusing on the little red light, use your ears to decide whether the track is distorting too much when you’re pushing the volume.
His advice for synths is to aim for clarity first – a great tip for doing so if you are using distortion on synths, is to make sure you EQ out where the kick is hitting to avoid muddiness in the lows and the low mids. This advice on clarity goes for samples too – if they aren’t clear and powerful at the start, you won’t get something clear and powerful out of them.
Remember that while all the sounds are basic, when put together, they form something much stronger. Always look at a sound in the context of the mix rather than scrutinising it on its own.
Some people have always said “oh reason isnt pro, use logic” or “reason cant make things wide”, But it really can, Especially in Record, with the new mixer. It’s really not about the software you use, it’s the techniques you bring to it. Reverb really helps with width, and panning FX left and right, and duplicating a thor patch of a pad say, and paste it twice, panning it hard left and right. But really when you have perfected your sounds, width shouldnt be a problem
Lack of a deep sub also can make the track feel empty, so make sure you’re giving a decent level on the sub.
He also mentioned that he doesn’t usually use the mastering suite, finding that the master compressor in Record really is nice for balancing everything out – check out the difference it makes to one of the drops. Really does squash everything pleasantly with a little bit of threshold and gain.
Most importantly of all – it does take years of practice to refine your ear for EQing and compression, synth making and mixing and all the other techniques that add up to a good mix. Doing tutorials like this is a good start – but make sure you’re also making a lot of music and asking for advice on how to improve it. Don’t get offended by criticism, just see if you can learn anything from the advice. If you’re the kind of person, like him, that gets home and instead of turning on the TV goes straight to their computer and starts making songs, you’re going to get better much faster with that kind of obsession.
Get involved in the boyinaband forum community if you don’t know any producers that’ll critique you – post your tracks and share your thoughts and suggestions on other tracks – if you’re having fun with it, and since you’re watching this you probably agree that sharing musical ideas is frickin’ fun, you’ll make more music and you’ll make better music – which is what this is all about really.
So! Join me in part 2, where I’ll be playing the finished track!
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 Jump Up Drum and Bass song featuring Noisestorm.
I’m so pleased with how that came out, those chord progressions are so uplifting they make me want to cure cancer or something.
Huge thanks obviously go out to Noisestorm whose input made the track what it is – I’d definitely advise checking out his youtube channel and subscribing if you like the tunes. Shockwave is a great track to start on which is what inspired me to ask him to collaborate on a similar style track. So good. I think the most inspiring thing though is to listen to his first released tracks, then to his newest ones. Just goes to show how working hard at your production can seriously pay off.
Now, if you haven’t already, check out my Dance Pop, Prog House, Psytrance, Hip Hop, Liquid, Darkstep, Dirty Dubstep, 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!
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 videos and on the boyinaband.com forum!
Cheers for watching, and have a nice day!