Royal Artillery – The Brakes (Mixing)

I messed up big time with this mix, because I actually ended up mixing the wrong track – our lecturers wanted everyone to mix the second track by these guys that we recorded, but I ended up missing the memo and mixing the first track instead. So I’m going to have to explain what I did on the other one until the point I realised I was mixing the wrong track.

  • Edited the intro and instead silence I thought it’d be fun to copy paste the drum hit from the start halfway through the intro to hype the listener up a bit more.
  • It was virtually impossible to get rid of the bleed in the vocals so I took the most audible part of the vocals and copy pasted it to where the other vocals were supposed to be.
  • With the vocals that I could actually use, I used a gate to try and remove as much bleed as I could, then a compressor to bring up the levels, EQ notch cut at 230Hz to get rid of the noise a bit further, with some boosts either side of that (Channel Strip), and used Mod Delay III to give them a slapback delay effect.
  • In some parts I duplicated the top guitar gab and transposed it up an octave, just for a bit of variety.
  • At the end I edited in another guitar chord by copy pasting what was already there and transposing it using elastic audio, because it felt like it needed to go to that chord right there at the end.
  • Gated the Kicks, Snares, Toms and also removed silence on tom tracks to remove bleed and gain more control over what I was mixing.
  • EQ – low mid boosts, high mid cuts on toms. Same on Kick channels but more smoother (boosted kick out high a bit more to get more of the impact), snare cut at 550Hz because I didn’t like that tone and slight high shelf boost. Boosted lows and low mids on mid guitar cab for lack of sub cab – boosted high mids on high cab.
  • Used parallel compression – normal drum submix + compressed submix that had a Lo Fi distortion plugin on it + EQ’d to take out most of the lows and mids. Just to give the drums a bit more fuzziness and presence in the mix.
  • Panned the drums as if I was sitting at the kit. Mod Delay III used on high guitar cab and vocals.
  • Kick Out, Snare Top & Bottom, Overheads, Guitars, Drum Para. Comp. submix, Ribbon room mics, and vocals all sent to a reverb aux track (D-Verb) – decay time of 1.2 secs.

Now this is the part where I realised I fucked up – after printing the mix for track one I found out we were supposed to do track two, so I kind of “cheated” in a way by obliterating everything in the edit window and importing track 2’s audio files, but hey it kinda worked, the only thing I had to do then was to Implement the sub guitar cab into the mix. There was a problem with the recording though, as it sounded kinda rattle-y at some parts, but I kinda liked it, it added to the overall grungy vibe of the track. So I didn’t bother editing it out. There was also a recording of one of the guys saying “fuck yeah” so I threw that in at the end for shits and gigs.

After all this, I printed the track to a stereo audio track and saved the session. As I was printing it though I was riding the reverb fader, so I was practically automating it in certain parts to give the mix some variety. I then closed Pro Tools and opened up FL Studio 11 to master the track using Maximus. I just don’t trust Pro Tools with mastering yet for some reason, I’d rather stick to the devil I know.

  • Pre-gain on Low Band: +7dB
  • Pre-gain on Mid Band: +10dB
  • Pre-gain on High Band: +9dB
  • Post-gain on Master: +3dB

The printed file from Pro Tools was very quiet hence the dramatic pre-gain levels. Also, used an automated volume control to top and tail the mix – it took a few times to get right… After that, another mix was in the can.

Overall these guys were super fun to record and even more interesting to mix, so props to Royal Artillery!

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Royal Artillery – The Brakes (Mixing)

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