7 min read

D8 Skills #37 & D9 | Unit E | Mixing 'Someday' & 'Blankenship'

Today, I came into college on a day off to make some progress with the mixing, and writing about mixing, of Someday by JayTay, and Blankenship by Loft.

Here's what I did with 'Blankenship':

The first thing I did was make a bus for each instrument, such as a drum bus and lead guitar bus, so that I could apply plugins to the whole instrument and use a single fader to adjust volume in the mix.

I applied the following EQ to the kick’s batter head, mainly boosting the highs at 7.4kHz so that the transients snap through the mix. Then the resonant head can have the deep body of the kick:


I applied a low shelf boost to the resonant head kick, along with a surgical cut at 100.1Hz because the was an annoying resonance there:


I applied a low cut, tiny surgical cut at 299.4Hz, and a top end boost at 7.16kHz to the snare miked from the top which removed mud, suppressed an annoying resonance, and made it cut through the mix respectively:


I applied a low cut and very slight high shelf boost to the snare miked from the bottom:


I made a bus for the snares and added a compressor to control the inconsistent hits:


To give the drums a little more of a grander sound, I added some reverb to the snare. I made a bus called ‘drum verb’ which is where I sent both snare channels to. The first plugin in the bus is the following reverb:


I then added a high pass filter so that the reverb didn’t muddy up the mix:


Lastly, I added a gate so that the reverb tail ends reasonably suddenly before the next snare hits:


I added the following ‘Peak Limiter’ to the over heads bus to compress them and control loud peaks:


When getting to the room mics, I decided to mute them because they didn’t fit well in the mix.

On the entire drum bus, I added this limiter to glue it all together:


For the bass, I muted the DI box, and stuck with the Audix D6 with the Shure SM57.

To the D6, I added 3 plugins. I didn’t add any to the SM57. Here they are:

I added a gate set to be triggered by the kick so that it opened when ever the kick hit. This made the bass sound as if it was played a lot tighter to the drums. I decided to add a top-end boost to the D6 and not the SM57 because the D6 was very tight and rhythmic, whereas the SM57 was more for consistency and humanness. I then brought up the SM57 to a good level that sat nicely underneath the D6, and compressed the D6 to bring down the peak levels, however increasing the overall average level making it sound fatter.

To the lead guitar (there are three channels) I panned one slightly left, one slightly right, and left one down the centre.

I added a low cut to the lead bus to remove unnecessary mud:


Then added some compression:


To the rhythm guitar bus, firstly I added a time adjuster plugin to delay one side ever so slightly from the other side which creates width. I wanted the rhythm guitar to be around the edges of the mix, with the lead ripping through centre:


Lastly for plugins, I added a low cut to the rhythm bus:


Finally, I automated the volume on the over heads to duck down at a moment when the ride cymbal was hit extremely loudly:


And added the Maxim plugin on my master out just for the submission so that the level was at a good loudness:


and here's what I did with 'Someday':


As I did in Blankenship, I created a bus for every instrument for the same reasons.

On the kick’s batter head, I added the following EQ, mainly boosting the highs so that the transients cut through the mix:


I added a low shelf boost to the kick’s resonant head to give the kick a deep thump, which sits well with the top-end tap of the batter head:


I applied the same gate to the snare miked from the top and bottom. I did this to completely separate the snare from the bleed from the rest of the kit, so that I could add reverb just onto the snare:


I applied a low cut filter and surgical cut at 267Hz to the snare miked from the top:


I applied a low cut to the snare miked from the bottom to remove unnecessary mud that builds up in the mix:


To add some more space to the kit, I created a stereo bus with a reverb on, and sent the snare channels to it. I added a low cut after the reverb so that it doesn’t muddy up the mix:

I applied a low-cut to the over heads bus:


And the following ‘Peak Limiter’ to the over heads bus to compress them and suppress loud peaks:


I highly compressed the drum’s room bus to exaggerate the sound of the room, which makes it sound grander:


I compressed the entire drum bus. This squelches the over heads with the rest of the kit, and generally glues it all together:


For the bass, I decided that the DI didn’t sound great in the mix so I muted it. I then employed the same technique as I did in the Blankenship mix where I applied a gate (to the mic on the Fender amp) with is triggered by the kick which makes it sound a lot tighter, and then brought up the other channel (mic on the TC amp) to make it sound natural, human, and consistent:


I then applied a sharp boost at 2.38kHz to get the bass snapping through the mix:


I then compressed the entire bass bus, having it compressed constantly in order to bring down the peaks, and bring up the whole recording making it sound fatter and more consistent:


With the 3 rhythm guitar channels, I panned one a little right, and another a little left leaving the other in the middle. I then applied the time adjuster plugin to the bus to make the guitar sound even wider by delaying one side very slightly from the other:


I then lightly compressed the rhythm guitar bus, making it sound more consistent in volume:


Since I automated the lead guitar’s volume right at the end of the song so that the song ended seamlessly, I couldn’t use the fader to adjust volume, so I added a gain plugin to do this instead:


Finally, I added the plugin ‘Maxim’ to the master out just so the volume in the bounce would be at a normal loudness for a song.