Analysis of S7E01: NickBee – Mixing & Mastering

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    • #90307

      Start of Season 7, and NickBee’s first ever tutorial. Not my best set of notes, might refine later. Also, NickBee had a Q&A posted on the forum:

      The Master Bus (36:27)

      – This is the video to start with.
      – Track is NickBee’s remix of Mean Teeth’s “We Hold On”

      02:00 – mastering is the final touch, mixing comes first

      02:30 – likes iZotope plugins and Voxengo SPAN, says he writes with no plugins except SPAN turned on, on the master bus.
      – Advises against a limiter on the master while writing a track.

      05:00 – “Peaks don’t hurt you” and focus on how the elements sound

      05:40 – starts with an EQ when mastering.
      – Boosted the highs, but said it depends on the style of music.
      – Cuts everything below 20 Hz, and over 20 KHz.

      08:05 – M/S cut on lows, uses sometimes, but not on this track.

      10:30 – dynamic EQ (Ozone 7), some movement on mids & highs

      12:00 – urges using a reference track, in the same key as what you’re working in.

      13:10 – imager (Ozone 7), gives space & width to sounds.
      – Uses the Learn function to adjust bands

      15:30 – “Repeat the basics, so you don’t lose it” in reference to basic production techniques, in regards to imaging.

      20:20 – thinking about what you want out of a track.

      21:35 – Stereoize function can be over used and adversely affect the energy of a track.

      23:00 – Maximizer is the next insert plugin.

      28:45 – more about Maximizer.

      30:00 – suggests Voxengo’s MSED plugin to boost M/S

      33:10 – CamelPhat

      Mixing – Pt. 1: Kicks & Percussion (29:12)
      – mixdown is not a complicated process for NickBee, his ears are trained from years of experience, he has reference tracks, and the core tools he uses are: EQ, compression, panning, volume balancing. These are 80% of the work, in his opinion.

      03:00 – explains that the intro is mostly the original’s parts, with maybe some volume changes.
      – This is his usual approach to remixes.
      – Likes to keep the music close to the original version.

      04:00 – kick is a one shot sample, probably a techno sample, with some compression (Waves API-2500).

      09:00 – kick layer, likes the mid-frequency sound and what it adds to the main kick.

      10:20 – feels that layering is part of the mixdown process.

      11:30 – kick layer has some EQ’ing, working on layer kick’s high frequencies fitting with pecussion sounds.

      14:00 – using Cubase’s Room Reverb

      17:00 – explains the diffusion knob on reverb, says it’s very useful on snares.

      19:15 – looking at percussion hit sound that occurs every 4-bars.
      – CamelPhat for filters, distortion, and compression.
      – Simple EQ, rolls off in the mid frequency range, has a boost in the highs.
      – Valhalla Vintage Reverb.

      28:45 – if something in a mixdown bothers him, he tries reducing it or elevating it.

      Mixing – Pt. 2: Snare, Percussion, and White Noise (23:43)
      – snare, main layer a processed sample with a reverb, volume and pan balancing.
      – Snare bus with just a Room Reverb.

      03:00 – snare layer with high boost EQ and a Room Reverb.

      07:20 – hi-hat, very sparse, with CamelPhat, EQ, and reverb.

      08:40 – explains there are different mix techniques for different types of tracks.

      11:05 – 30 dB setting used on FabFilter Pro-Q, to set the slop of the cut.

      13:10 – likes tambourines for filling out frequencies.

      21:20 – white noise layer

      23:20 – a white noise riser

      Mixing – Pt. 3: Bass (21:26)
      – always EQ’s out the lows

      01:00 – Trash2 for a touch of distortion
      – Likes vowels from the Convolve section.
      – Multi-band use of the Distortion section.

      04:10 – a second EQ on the bass

      06:15 – mid-range layer sound, sits on top of the main bass.

      11:20 – seeing low amounts of distortion and mix (dry/wet), so it’s little bits of distortion being added.

      16:30 – vocal.

      Mixing – Pt. 4 (18:15)

      – Parts from the original track.
      – EQ and some soft sidechaining.

      02:15 – fast hats with EQ, compression, envelope shaping.

      07:00 – Addictive Drums

      09:00 – suggests making some intro elements quieter, others louder.
      – Makes the intro more interesting.

      09:55 – original track’s synth line.

      11:00 – listens to stabs, watches EQ movement on analyzer.

      13:00 – vocal processing with iZotope Vocal Synth.

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #90328
      ,GENIE HQ

      Thanks H!

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