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Mixing & Mastering in Logic Pro X | Pop Rock

July 28, 2017

Mixing & Mastering in Logic Pro X  |  Pop Rock

Mixing and mastering are daunting tasks, but thanks to the good folks at Apple, Logic Pro X comes packed with a wealth of mixing tools (channel strips) ready to be locked and loaded on your tracks to teach you the basics of equalization, compression and effects. Let me show you how you can jumpstart your learning NOW!

It's not rocket science

Mixing and mastering is often made out to be this secret knowledge only tray-bearded adepts truly know the ins and outs of. And I must agree: once you start reading on audio mixing, equalization and compression, it goes from 0 to a hunnit real quick (I see you Drake).

Part of the creative process

Every producer mixes, whether they know it or not. When you pick sounds that complement each other in tonality, texture and frequencies, you are in fact mixing your track. Back in them days, choosing the right signal chain for guitars and vocal was the exact same as picking the right synth presets.

As much as we want to make mixing (and mastering) this post-composition / audio-correction exercise because of the computer age, mixing and mastering should be viewed in the light of their purest essence: making the music sound good.

Because the literature is still more geared towards live instrumentation (EQ and compression charts), Part 1 of this tutorial series tackles a live instrument arrangement. It's easier therefore to convey my approach for the following pillars:

  1. Listening to the material before taking any mixing decision (0:48).
  2. Loading up Logic Pro X channel strips a free, creative way (5:53).
  3. The art of audio compression. Hint: it's all about what you hear (7:52).
  4. The art of equalization. Hint: it's all about frequency separation (10:01).
  5. Equalization, the musical way. Because no two snares need the same treatment (14:55).
  6. More on frequency separation. Cause you can never really get enough o' this (18:40).
  7. The backbone: the starting point of each of your mixes. Bass, drums and one main melodic element (31:52).
  8. Putting the finishing touches on a mix. Listen to it on your computer speakers, on your monitors and in some headphones. Are the effects too present? Do I have enough bass / mids / highs? Now is the time to round up all frequency bands and make sure our songs sound full and exciting (42:09).
  9. A little chapter on vocals. This is probably the toughest part of mixing songs (49:18).
  10. Mastering (54:22).

Always remember this: there is NO right way. Try stuff. Be creative. Create your own sound.

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