Inside the Mix: Zac Brown Band with Andrew Scheps

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01h 24min


Learn Andrew's "Black Box" Methods

When a session arrives from Zac Brown Band it already sounds 90% done - now learn how to add subtle and not-so-subtle touches to a mix that take it from good to great!

Andrew Scheps opens up his final mixing session for the song "Young and Wild" and walks you through track by track how he applied his tastes and techniques to amp up the song.

Each step along the way he shows you before and after examples of his creative processing that adds the perfect touches to complete the song's sonic vision.

In this tutorial you'll learn:

  • Andrew's mixing thought process and mixing techniques
  • Tricks to enhance already great sounding tracks
  • How to add processing without compromising the artist's sonic direction
  • Use creative routing and effects to add an extra sense of space to a mix
  • See how the band uses meticulous editing to create a dynamic production
  • Work with pre-written automation and also using automation to add more dynamics and excitement to the mix

Don't forget to download the exercise files and practice mixing the song for yourself! The band was gracious enough to allow pureMixers the chance to try their hand at mixing the first section (intro to the first chorus) of the song.

Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • Avid Lo-Fi
  • Sound toys Devil-Loc
  • Avid EQ3
  • reFuse Lowender
  • Avid Revibe
  • Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter
  • Waves Z-Noise
  • ValhallaDSP VintageVerb
  • Waves S1 Imager
  • UAD Pultec EQP-1A
  • Waves CLA-2A
  • Waves CLA-76
  • UAD 1176LN Anniversary Edition
  • UAD Fairchild 670
  • UAD Neve 33609/C
  • Brainworx digital_v2 EQ
  • Massey L2007 Limiter
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Andrew Scheps

Andrew Scheps is a music producer, mixing engineer and record label owner based in the United Kingdom. He has received Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album for his work on Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium, Album Of The Year for Adele's 21, and also Best Reggae Album for Ziggy Marley's Fly Rasta.

Andrew started as a musician, but found that what he enjoyed most was working behind the scenes. This led him to study recording at the University of Miami. After graduating, he spent some time working for Synclavier, and then on the road with Stevie Wonder (as a keyboard tech) and Michael Jackson (mixing live sound). But he found his home in the studio, and he honed his craft working for producers such as Rob Cavallo, Don Was and Rick Rubin.

Andrew collaborated with Waves in order to create his own line of plug-ins which include the Scheps 73 EQ and the Scheps Parallel Particles.

Andrew is one of the best known mixing engineers in the world, well-known for his Rear Bus mixing techniques that he developed working on his 64 input Neve 8068 console and his love for distortion of any kind. If you are watching pureMix videos you will see that he managed to carry his analog sound signature over to a fully portable digital rig. These days, Andrew mixes completely In The Box as it allows him much greater flexibility and the ability to work on several project simultaneously.



Lana Del Rey

Red Hot Chili Peppers


Michael Jackson

Green Day

Featured Artists and Musics

Zac Brown Band is an American country music band with six studio albums along with two live albums, one greatest-hits album, and two extended plays. They have charted sixteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, of which thirteen have reached number 1.

  • Young and Wild

What do you have to say?
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2021 Feb 07
The videos are good, but its a bummer when the exercise files are cut short. I understand the logic behind it, but we could have at least get the second verse as well. Its not much fun when its cut this short.
2019 May 07
This is Awesome
2017 Aug 03
Actually, scrap that last comment/question - was wrong. Sorry!
2017 Aug 02
AScheps - Thank you, of course, for sharing so much detail and offering so much insight into your approach - it is much appreciated. I did, however, have a question about your Vocal Pultec parallel bus: You mention in both this tutorial as well as the template tutorial that you have the LA2A plug in set in the equivalent to "de-esser" mode, but in both instances you appear to have it set the opposite way: to completely flat response (I have checked this both by ear and via the manual for the Waves version you are using). Am I missing something? Thanks in advance for your response.
2017 Jul 22
Oh...Oh god. I looked up "Hot Carl" google images. I immediately regret this decision.
Doug Noble
2017 Jun 06
Is there anyway to get the layout and order of Zac Brown Lead Vocal Effects?
2017 Jun 04
The addition of the Rhodes— using the Waves Imager was really effective... The entire tutorial is incredibly solid— Cheers Andrew! Tony Vincent
2017 Jan 13
Question about the overeheads at the 20 minute mark. The band's EQ had a significant boost (on the SSL EQ) right around the 4k mark. Andrew followed this with a significant (10dB) cut around 3.2k, using the stock EQ. Is this just in keeping with his 'black box' principle of leaving the original setting in? Seems to me that, ordinarily, us would-be engineers would be well advised simply to turn off/down the boost in the first place ...
2016 Dec 31
Thanks Andrew! Great tutorial, how impressive it is to hear the difference between the rough mix and the final one, with "un je ne sais quoi" which makes it so great. Pure talent! ho, btw Happy new year from France!
2016 Dec 27
an excellent insight into not just what can or should be done, but also how to keep a job' focus on the design concept of the producers. When I first listened to the rough, I'll admit I was not feeling it at all; and my thoughts were that it was a bloated production with more technique than substance than the song could endure. By the time the Brainworx plugin gave the vocal it's lift & consequently/by contrast gave the kick a defining role in the song, I could enjoy the creativity of production and appreciate the song more, with it's sounds providing interesting motion and sparkle.TY4sharing
2016 Dec 13
rvoznyuk asked about how to get the equivalent of a rear buss setup with Scheps Parallel Particles since it only really works as an insert. The answer is actually really easy. Just send whatever you would want to go to the process to a stereo aux, insert Parallel Particles as an insert on that aux and start turning the knobs! All the parallel routing is taken care of for you. You can even try it on the mix buss, a little goes a long way.
2016 Dec 13
Hi Andrews, great tutorial, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, especially how the Rear Bus made all elements interact. Speaking of that, how do you achieve that interaction using your Parallel Particles plugin? Since it's best used as an insert, is there some magic interaction between separate instances of the plugin?
2016 Dec 13
I watch bits of this every morning before I start mixing just to get my ears calibrated. I think I've watched this 20 times. Gosh I love it. Just to listen to Mr. Scheps talk is inspiring. My year subscription has already paid off.
2016 Dec 04
That last test between rough and final, I subconsciously smiled once it hit that chorus, it's not even about how it fits, it's about how all of the plugins and sends and processing happening and micro and macro levels you almost expect it to sound a bit overly compressed by default and instead it sounds 'smaller' but more powerful than the rough version which is 'louder' but less powerful, and that right there! Is the art of mixing! - vocal crush - rear bus - Mix bus processing. Going to use all of these and more in my next mix definitely! :) Thanks for that Andrew Scheps! :)
2016 Dec 04
Hot Carl - I looked it up. Note to self, listen to Andrew from now on.
2016 Nov 30
What a guy! Peace and luv from Sweden! When you hear the rough mix you get impressed by the musicians and the song, when you hear the "scheppzized" final version you wanna dance ;)... Thank you Andrew, thank you Puremix!
2016 Nov 28
Andrew Scheps is a friggin badass. Thank you PureMix! And thank you for sharing Andrew, I've learnt so much from all your videos!
2016 Nov 27
... and walah! He definitely brought a good mix to life.
2016 Nov 25
Great philosophy, do only what's needed to take it from a bunch of tracks thrown together to a mix you'd hear on the radio. Awesome video!
2016 Nov 25
Love PureMix!