It’s Called Mixing

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Subdue the vocal effects and pull the band back at the top so the singer can say something profound.

Get the band back up and push the lick in the intro.

Pull guitars back a bit in the first verse. Make sure the vocal effects are back in.

Always ride the vocal.

Push the pad and add a little delay to the vocal for the ethereal first chorus.

Guitars go back up and push the lick in the next break. Take the vocal delay out.

Pull the lead guitar back in the 2nd verse. Nudge the eighth note palm-muted guitar up a bit and let the kick, snare, and hat drive.

Big epic pad needs to come up in the pre-chorus. Ride the drums up with the build.

Drums, guitars, and keys VCA’s go to unity for the big second chorus. Put the split harmonizer in. Don’t miss the harmonies.

Hit the sub-harmonic generator in the bridge. Kill the split harmonizer.

Drums and vocals in the first pass of the last chorus. Long and epic verb on the snare.

Everything in for the last chorus. Drive the guitars and the strings.

Push the lick in the outro. Add the vocal delay to the improv stuff and push it for the trash-can ending.

Now press Next.



You just stand there?

David Stagl

4 Responses to “It’s Called Mixing

  • Brian
    12 years ago

    Great layout of the thought process. It takes a lot of forethought to get that much detail. I do have a question about the split harmonizer. I have researched what a split harmonizer does, but I am curious if the use of it is moot if your PA is mono. The only examples I have read talk about a split harmonizer being sent to a stereo buss.

    Thank you,


    • I don’t think it’s moot in mono. One way to look at it is as a virtual vocal double. You don’t get the width benefits, but you can still get the “thickness” benefits. When I use it, it’s pretty subtle.

  • Robin
    12 years ago

    This is my first visit to your blog. What a refreshing blog!

    You obviously understand this “mixing” thing and the art that is involve. When training others in mixing, I tell them they have to know the music, feel the music, anticipate change, craft the sound to be something that engages the audience. You can’t just set levels and stand there with your arms crossed across your chest. There is little difference between mixing sound and playing an instrument. You can apply just as much finesse to mixing as one can when playing an instrument.

    When mixing traditional sound (choir and orchestra), the person behind the mixing board is probably the second most important person in the room, second only the the conductor/music director. This responsibility is not to be taken lightly and is one of ongoing efforts to improve.

    Thanks for your blog and your perspective. It’s nice to know there are others that take this mixing stuff seriously.