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After seeing the theoretical notions here, let's put them in practice. How can we make our recorded instruments clearly distinct from one another, what frequencies should we boost or cut, where should we place the instruments, etc.

We are going to study the complete mixing of a song I wrote: Life.
Instrument after instrument, we will see what plugins and virtual instruments were used and how, and we will proceed until the ultimate mastering stage. Of course, this is my way of doing things, this is not a recipe that everyone should apply in all circumstances, but that's an example that can be used as a solid base, in order to know what amateurs can do when there's no outside help.

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Concrete exemple with a song of mine: LIFE

I made this song entirely in my home studio. And my home studio is only vaguely related to professional recording studios. It's just a room in the appartment, it isn't soundproof and my neighbors don't appreciate tube amps played in the evening. So I plugged my guitars directly into my audio interface (through a preamp) and used amplifier simulations for the guitars and the bass, an acoustic drums software instead of a real drum set, as well as software synthesizers. The only thing that produced some noise during the recordings was my voice. But that's a rather quiet song, vocally speaking.

Of course, before mixing it, the song doesn't sound like much, as you can hear below.
We are going to go from here...

No effects whatsoever are used in this version. The takes are raw, superimposed one onto another, the sound is monophonic (everything's centered) and the guitars are thinner than a fashion model... As for the drums, they sound really flat. To sum up, it lacks everything that could make it sound good. It's even hard to imagine that it will sound good.

Life sans effets
Here is the waveform of the song before mixing.

As we'll see in this tutorial, we are going to have to use some tools to make Life come to life (!). there:

This is the finished song. As you can hear and see in the graphics, the difference is huge.

Life complète
This is the waveform of the finished song
This song is called Life, I wrote it and recorded it in my home studio in October 2011, and made some modifications in the course of the year 2012.
Mixing in practice : Preparing the session | Bass | Drums | Rhythm guitars | Solo guitars | Keyboards | Vocals | Mastering
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Mouss Kerr
01/31/2018, 19h08

Félicitations pour ton site. J'essaie de télécharger les simulateurs d'amplis gratuits sans succès. Je m'y prends certainement mal car je débute. Mon matériel : PC I5 64 bits. DAW Reason 9.5. J'ai créé un dossier VST ajouté dans préférences ... Avancé. J'y ai transféré le fichier DLL mais impossible de l'ouvrir sous Reason. Merci par avance

01/13/2018, 19h29

Solid work across the board. Found myself here because of your amp heads and then never left!

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Glad you find the place nice and cosy. You're welcome here!

11/11/2017, 00h35

Merci pour ce tuto !
Le seul bémol que j'apporterais, c'est la dynamique finale : ne pas céder au chantage mais rester à -14 / -12dB RMS si on exporte sur CD. En revanche, -12 / -11 dB pour un mp3 192kbps paraît acceptable.

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Oui, dans la mesure du possible, je confirme que c'est bien de rester à des niveaux inférieurs à -12dB. Il faut tendre vers ça le plus possible. Mais en arrivant à -10dB dans mon exemple, je fais malgré tout déjà mieux que la plupart des albums actuels.
Quant à l'export CD, il est quand même de plus en plus rare. La plupart des gens écoutent désormais leur musique depuis leur téléphone portable, et bien souvent en mp3. Et honnêtement, la différence entre un fichier wav et un fichier mp3 à 320 kbps est indiscernable pour 99 % des gens. Même à 192 kbps, rares sont ceux qui sont capables d'entendre la différence, surtout quand c'est écouté au travers d'écouteurs ou d'enceintes bas de gamme ou moyenne gamme.

10/20/2017, 09h00

Bonjour et merci pour votre site sur la MAO que je ne connaissais pas il y a encore quelques mois.
Je suis sur PC Windows 10 système 64 bits, séquenceur Reaper. J'aurais voulu savoir comment récupérer les réglages des presets (.fxp). J'ai téléchargé le preset exemple pour les amplis LePou, je l'ai enregistré dans mon répertoire VST, et là je ne sais pas comment récupérer le réglage. Autre petite question, dans le preset, y a-t'il la définition et le réglage des impulsions ? Merci d'avance et encore merci pour toute l'aide que fournit votre site.

08/08/2017, 08h22

Hi, I am from Guatemala, thanks for all the information about music, I am learning here. Cheers !!!!!

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