Mixing Tips (House, EDM)
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House / Dubstep Discussion of music similar to Deep Dish, Kaskade, Burial, Rusko, Deadmau5.

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Old 10-12-2014, 02:59 PM   #1
Demir Ametov
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Icon5 Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

I have been learning how to mix for about half a year now, but it is very hard to find good tutorials (that are correct) or websites that explain in depth how to mix and why the methods they suggested are preferred. Not only good techniques but explanations as to why they are good.

Basically if you have any suggestions for topics I should research like "Mixing with reverb, stereo imaging, quantisation" please just leave an answer, even if its one worded.

If you have any tips for mixing please share it with me.

Again I realise a thread like this probably exists but this is my first forum and I'm not really sure how to use it and it was easy enough to create a new thread so i created this.

The music I produce is EDM, big room (which seems to be the most popular currently) is not really my thing, I usually make progressive EDM but any tips for any house genre will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-12-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Try to master your low end as much as possible. Most of the people give their time on mids and highs and don't focus on the low end, which is extremely important. Sidechain, compress, EQ it right, it comes with time and fine ears. Cut some frequencies and use more than one bass element for your low end for a richer bass sound.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demir Ametov View Post
If you have any tips for mixing please share it with me.
Okay, so big room EDM, most popular. Here's some tips,

Look at Beatport top 100.
Use a structure template from this variety.
Build your track around this, else Dj's that play the current standard of popular music won't recognize it as being popular and flat out won't play it. Unless they are being edgy, which is more rare and I think you need the most efficient methods to reach maximum feedback potential.

So you have a track that is now structured (or presented) in [A] popular fashion,

Now to some mixing tips.
Limit the fuck out of micro edits (advice given by Deadmau5, who is arguable the most popular house DJ of "our" "time"). Whatever that means.

It appears to me now that what I've just said might seem ludicrous to some, but I'm merely trying to be as realistic as possible. The op asked for advice, and I plan to direct him on a path most viable. These are just my musings on how that could be approached.

Side chain your sub to the sub of the kick. Either split your kick into low channel and high channel auxiliary tracks or just judge it for yourself the old school way. If you want most popular, go the aforementioned method. Everyone seems to be doing this now (Based off information gleaned from Future Music Masterclass videos, which are pretty good if you can find them online).

Everything has to be punchy and have a lot of high end. The rhythm can never break, not once. Has to be sustained throughout the track. But limit the volumes for break downs and and introductions. When I say limit, I mean it. Ride the limiter with automation.

Use compressors, learn what they really do and how to use them. Use them to glue sounds and help them ride with this never ending progression of rhythm (that never, ever breaks remember).

Use very well known catch phrases, melodies and riffs, but from about 10 years ago. This is a very popular method, remixes older melodies and rhythms but putting a modern stamp on them.

Make it LOUD.

Make sure the wave pattern of the entire song LOOKS good. (I know this is queer, but a lot of DJ's actually enjoy this now).

(This remains the same no matter what you do) Give the audience a taste of the melody, and bring it in incrementally. So when it finally drops, they feel like they knew it all along.

Average people literally know the difference between and 808 kick drum and a random kick drum you found. The 808 is that famous! This goes for a lot of "samples." Take advantage of this knowledge!

Keep the sub limited to around -10 dB (Advice given by Reso, a producer currently signed to Hospital Records) with about 1 dB give and take depending on how much high end your song takes up and vise versa. Because, if you have lots of sub, you have less highs. That's the universal limit to mixing

Then send it to a mastering engineer to be professionally mastered to an "industry standard" which pretty much means... *ahem* When it plays at a festival or some sort of club or music playing place, the sound doesn't hurt anyone's ears. It remains at a level volume, the same as all of the other songs that have been professionally mastered to an "industry standard." This means the DJ can mix easier. This means the crowed isn't exasperated by a constantly dynamic Dj'ing performance, and can just get down to the business they are there for half the time, natures business, the calling all average- non artist men and women have in social environments, the calling which some might argue makes most people socialize... and that is, fucking.

The consumer psychology of it all is that you want to basically find what people crave fundamentally, and give it to them. So in terms of lyrics, if you want to make a song about it, you'd talk about money, sex, getting off chops ect. and everyone will naturally be so down with whatever your dishing out because they fundamentally crave those things.

It doesn't really work on an individual standpoint. because individuals are fundamentally different.
It only works in culture, because in culture, you can find similarities. Culture is like water. It goes on it's way. Whatever is most powerful at the time can place something in it's path, directing it's flow so to speak. An individual might go his own way. But the flow will go the way it's directed.

Boom, then you get into consumer psychology, making a business out of your art. Actually, ceasing it to be art now, making it a commodity.

So there you have it. A really honest view of how I think you can be more popular in terms of mixing your tracks and a bit of production advice thrown in because I'm not doing anything else.

The op asked for a popular approach.
There are many ways your can approach your art. If your looking for maximum feedback potential in the popular spectrum, the pop-culture as it were, you need to follow some guidelines, with your own spin on it. Because that is pop-culture, it evolves. But it doesn't change completely. Like the evolution of a species, pop-culture experiences incremental change.

I hope this was beneficial to you
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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Old 20-12-2014, 04:53 AM   #5
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

i personally like to add a really low freq sine bass to my kicks to give it some extra sub bass. i usually divide my kicks into 3 tracks and layer them with the eq
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Old 26-12-2014, 09:51 PM   #6
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAN View Post
Okay, so big room EDM, most popular. Here's some tips...
Hey, hope it's not too late to revive this thread but I just wanted to thank you. That advice really affected me.
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Old 30-12-2014, 01:16 AM   #7
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAN View Post
Okay, so big room EDM, most popular. Here's some tips,

Look at Beatport top 100.
Use a structure template from this variety.
Build your track around this, else Dj's that play the current standard of popular music won't recognize it as being popular and flat out won't play it. Unless they are being edgy, which is more rare and I think you need the most efficient methods to reach maximum feedback potential.

So you have a track that is now structured (or presented) in [A] popular fashion,

Now to some mixing tips.
Limit the fuck out of micro edits (advice given by Deadmau5, who is arguable the most popular house DJ of "our" "time"). Whatever that means.

It appears to me now that what I've just said might seem ludicrous to some, but I'm merely trying to be as realistic as possible. The op asked for advice, and I plan to direct him on a path most viable. These are just my musings on how that could be approached.

Side chain your sub to the sub of the kick. Either split your kick into low channel and high channel auxiliary tracks or just judge it for yourself the old school way. If you want most popular, go the aforementioned method. Everyone seems to be doing this now (Based off information gleaned from Future Music Masterclass videos, which are pretty good if you can find them online).

Everything has to be punchy and have a lot of high end. The rhythm can never break, not once. Has to be sustained throughout the track. But limit the volumes for break downs and and introductions. When I say limit, I mean it. Ride the limiter with automation.

Use compressors, learn what they really do and how to use them. Use them to glue sounds and help them ride with this never ending progression of rhythm (that never, ever breaks remember).

Use very well known catch phrases, melodies and riffs, but from about 10 years ago. This is a very popular method, remixes older melodies and rhythms but putting a modern stamp on them.

Make it LOUD.

Make sure the wave pattern of the entire song LOOKS good. (I know this is queer, but a lot of DJ's actually enjoy this now).

(This remains the same no matter what you do) Give the audience a taste of the melody, and bring it in incrementally. So when it finally drops, they feel like they knew it all along.

Average people literally know the difference between and 808 kick drum and a random kick drum you found. The 808 is that famous! This goes for a lot of "samples." Take advantage of this knowledge!

Keep the sub limited to around -10 dB (Advice given by Reso, a producer currently signed to Hospital Records) with about 1 dB give and take depending on how much high end your song takes up and vise versa. Because, if you have lots of sub, you have less highs. That's the universal limit to mixing

Then send it to a mastering engineer to be professionally mastered to an "industry standard" which pretty much means... *ahem* When it plays at a festival or some sort of club or music playing place, the sound doesn't hurt anyone's ears. It remains at a level volume, the same as all of the other songs that have been professionally mastered to an "industry standard." This means the DJ can mix easier. This means the crowed isn't exasperated by a constantly dynamic Dj'ing performance, and can just get down to the business they are there for half the time, natures business, the calling all average- non artist men and women have in social environments, the calling which some might argue makes most people socialize... and that is, fucking.

The consumer psychology of it all is that you want to basically find what people crave fundamentally, and give it to them. So in terms of lyrics, if you want to make a song about it, you'd talk about money, sex, getting off chops ect. and everyone will naturally be so down with whatever your dishing out because they fundamentally crave those things.

It doesn't really work on an individual standpoint. because individuals are fundamentally different.
It only works in culture, because in culture, you can find similarities. Culture is like water. It goes on it's way. Whatever is most powerful at the time can place something in it's path, directing it's flow so to speak. An individual might go his own way. But the flow will go the way it's directed.

Boom, then you get into consumer psychology, making a business out of your art. Actually, ceasing it to be art now, making it a commodity.

So there you have it. A really honest view of how I think you can be more popular in terms of mixing your tracks and a bit of production advice thrown in because I'm not doing anything else.

The op asked for a popular approach.
There are many ways your can approach your art. If your looking for maximum feedback potential in the popular spectrum, the pop-culture as it were, you need to follow some guidelines, with your own spin on it. Because that is pop-culture, it evolves. But it doesn't change completely. Like the evolution of a species, pop-culture experiences incremental change.

I hope this was beneficial to you

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Old 05-01-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

it's pretty hard to get the low ends right without proper monitors. you can't really trust your headphones, and some speakers are lacking the sub bass ends.

try out your car speakers, they might be good enough to get the feeling of the low ends. Our car has amazeballs speaker so I use it a lot in mixing the low ends.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Never thought about checking the beatport chart for structure. Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:56 AM   #10
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

I know this isn't what you want to hear but all I have to offer is general advice. I remember when I was running around trying to find the stuff you're looking for now and I never got it, just a whole lot (and I mean a LOT) of "Use your ears" and "it depends on the song". That's not necessarily good advice but that's about the best you can give because mixing is such a specific, situational thing. Mixing takes forever to learn, and you'll find that people don't like sharing the tips they learn for two reasons: 1) People want to keep their hard-earned information to themselves and 2) Most advice you can give on the topic is so specific that you couldn't think to give it unless you're actually listening to a mix and can hear where the song would benefit from using it.

My advice is to keep using what you can get your hands on through youtube videos and keep getting your mixes critiqued by as many people as you can. Also when you see a mix critique thread listen to other people's tracks and pay attention to what people are saying about those. That information can be just as useful as the stuff directed at your music and there's tons of it out there. Just keep at it don't get discouraged.

Two more general tips that are on my mind right now because they were relevant to the mix I'm currently working on:

1) Have your mix in mind from the second you start a song. The more you think about where each instrument will sit in the mix before you add/make it, the less you will have to fight with them to fit after you've become used to hearing them as they are.

2) Similar to the last one, but don't get too attached to how your synths sound before you mix them. You want to keep the timbre, the body and the personality of the instrument, but learn to be comfortable with making sacrifices. It doesn't matter how great a synth sounds if it ducks out half way through the song or clashes with your bass.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:17 AM   #11
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

For the proper "modern day" EDM sound that's huge right now, you want to make sure you fill every last crevice in the audio spectrum. Lots of white noise layered on everything from kicks to snares to synths. EDM rarely has blank space unless it's future garage or something like that, and even some of that stuff is filled up.

So yeah, I would just experiment adding various degrees of white noise to your mixes, and keep in mind white noise could be anything from literally the white noise filter built into Massive, to putting an extreme brick-wall high-pass filter on a sound effect of running water.
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Old 14-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #12
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TFord649 View Post
i personally like to add a really low freq sine bass to my kicks to give it some extra sub bass. i usually divide my kicks into 3 tracks and layer them with the eq
if I'm not mistaken, there are more efficient ways of capturing that big kick sound. layering kicks like that would seems unneccesary, imho
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Old 14-02-2015, 05:48 PM   #13
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

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if I'm not mistaken, there are more efficient ways of capturing that big kick sound. layering kicks like that would seems unneccesary, imho
But you have to agree that it's pretty efficent, when done right.

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Old 14-02-2015, 06:27 PM   #14
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Old 18-02-2015, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

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if I'm not mistaken, there are more efficient ways of capturing that big kick sound. layering kicks like that would seems unneccesary, imho
I do it just for variety. Using one or two layered ones plus a home-brewed synth kick is just like instant character on top of the ability to tailor it a bit more for your song.

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Old 28-02-2015, 09:14 AM   #16
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

In my opinion the most important tip and thing about mixing is that you have to get your sound selection right first before anything. If you are selecting sounds which clash and simply don't come together as a solid music piece then you are off to a crap mix from the very beginning. You need to analyze where your sounds are most prominent and give each their own space with EQ. If you have picked your sounds well then your mix will sound half decent before you have even put an EQ anywhere. From there you use EQ to make it sound better.

But seriously don't overlook this advice. For example a rookie producer might have a bass synth in his track but it is playing an octave too low. As a result there is too much low end frequency content and so the producers goes on a 1 hour EQing spree to try and "fix" it. Well EQ doesn't fix everything. If that producer had just moved his bass one octave higher the problem would be almost entirely gone. You see how such a small decision can have such a large impact? It is not always obvious to new producers where each instrument should be sitting in the frequency spectrum. Many producers will have chords and a lead playing in the same octave with fundamental frequencies in the 200-500Hz range and then they wonder why they cannot get the mix sounding right. Well perhaps because you have 3 to 4 notes playing in the same frequency range. Move the lead up and octave maybe? Open up the voicing of your chords? Doing a little change like that may save you hours of EQing AND it will probably sound better in the end anyway.

This is why I always say that the 3 most important things about mixing (in this order) are 1) sound selection 2) eq 3) compression
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Old 18-06-2015, 06:19 PM   #17
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

I think that the quickest tip I can give is
Sidechain EVERYTHING exept the kick
Eq everything so you remove all of the bad freq
NEVER BOOS ANYTHING ON EQ WHILE MIXING!
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Old 19-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #18
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Thanks for the insights! Gotta say I like how you think. I couldnt agree more on your statement on pop-culture. That on the dance floor its all about following the beat, and tapping into some primal state of mind. And in that state everything revolves around the basic necessities, - of sex, commodities (money, swag- etc.) and the "idea of love".
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Old 15-12-2015, 11:33 PM   #19
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evione View Post
I think that the quickest tip I can give is
Sidechain EVERYTHING exept the kick
Eq everything so you remove all of the bad freq
NEVER BOOS ANYTHING ON EQ WHILE MIXING!
Sidechain everything? you're joking right? lol

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Old 03-01-2016, 09:27 PM   #20
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Re: Mixing Tips (House, EDM)

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Originally Posted by CallAndResponse View Post
In my opinion the most important tip and thing about mixing is that you have to get your sound selection right first before anything. If you are selecting sounds which clash and simply don't come together as a solid music piece then you are off to a crap mix from the very beginning. You need to analyze where your sounds are most prominent and give each their own space with EQ. If you have picked your sounds well then your mix will sound half decent before you have even put an EQ anywhere. From there you use EQ to make it sound better.

But seriously don't overlook this advice. For example a rookie producer might have a bass synth in his track but it is playing an octave too low. As a result there is too much low end frequency content and so the producers goes on a 1 hour EQing spree to try and "fix" it. Well EQ doesn't fix everything. If that producer had just moved his bass one octave higher the problem would be almost entirely gone. You see how such a small decision can have such a large impact? It is not always obvious to new producers where each instrument should be sitting in the frequency spectrum. Many producers will have chords and a lead playing in the same octave with fundamental frequencies in the 200-500Hz range and then they wonder why they cannot get the mix sounding right. Well perhaps because you have 3 to 4 notes playing in the same frequency range. Move the lead up and octave maybe? Open up the voicing of your chords? Doing a little change like that may save you hours of EQing AND it will probably sound better in the end anyway.

This is why I always say that the 3 most important things about mixing (in this order) are 1) sound selection 2) eq 3) compression
WHYYYY COMPESSIONNN WHYYY PLEASE TELL ME. I Never understood what the hell does a compressor do. Why , when , and how much do you use it ? I know you would answer 'it depends' but please explain a little. I know what it does but I never felt like I needed to use one such as the need to use an EQ. I never used a compressor in my tracks. And a lot of people say the Fruity Compressor in FL Studio sucks , but I can't judge because I don't know how to use one. Don't tell me a compressor controls the dynamic range of sound. I know what it does. Give me examples. please

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