Mixing an Indie Pop Song in Cubase

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01h 33min


After hundreds of requests, Fab Dupont finally takes on a full mix, in the box, all in Cubase.

Featuring the song Periscopes by NYC band Plastic Days, Fab mixes the song from scratch and describes every move he makes in detail.

Subjects discussed in this tutorial:

  • Working with acoustic and electronic drums together
  • Parallel processing
  • Synth processing
  • Reverb and delay sends and settings
  • Phase alignment
  • Tons of EQ and Compression decisions all along the way

Fab uses stock Cubase plugins as well as plugins from Sonnox, Universal Audio, Soundtoys, Waves and more.

As always, this tutorial also comes with the WAV file stems of the session so you can create your own mix of this song. This way you can practice your skills and mix this song using your own tastes, tools, plugins and put the tricks you learn from Fab to use right away.

Exercise files
Featured Music

Plastic Days - Periscopes on iTunes and Spotify

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


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2020 Jun 14
Excellent Tutorial und excellent recorded tracks. One big questionmark remains for me. There are two independet recorden Guitar tracks. If I pan then hard left/right the correlation meeter is anyway next to +1. How did you manage that? How is that possible? When I record two guitars independently playing the same thing and pan them hard left/right the correlation meter is always next to 0 and I have phase cancellation (?) Can anyone help me?
Oscar Gasch
2019 Sep 08
Hello Fab. Could it be thet Im missing one guittar track? When 22-Gtr Scratch Dave comes in I thing theres a chorussed guittar that sounds in your mix that I cant find in my list clip. Sorry if im wrong. Thank you for your work!! Cheers Oscar
2018 Jan 07
it's a good video, but comparing to other fab's video, it seems this was not of the best days of him mixing in my opinion. good video nevertheless.
2016 Oct 26
I'm surprised that the overheads being out of phase with the snare wasn't talked about on this one. It's one of those rare tracks where it actually fit better in the mix with it out of phase...
2016 Jun 29
Great video. Super explanations. Following along using different plugins, I was able to improve the mix by the same amount as the conclusion of the video. A part II would be great to go over the finishing touches like automation. I'm glad I didn't have the same plugins as it forced me to better learn what my plugs were good at and how to compare to the sound you were going for. For instance, comparing 1176 clones and different EQs. ie PSP NobleQ has a much softer 5 and 10k for vocals than the PSP McQ equalizer. The latter being richer and would likely work better on a EDM track or rock.
2016 Jun 27
I also hear a lot of artefacts like Markedgeller describes it. Maybe re-encode the whole thing?
2016 Jun 08
Some interesting artefacts in the audio of this tutorial. Mostly noticeable during the acoustic drums mixing. There some odd stereo-ness happening when the mono kick and snare mics are solo'd, like I'll hear a hit more in the left or right side (and it seems random). Some of the punch is missing in the centre, but occasionally comes back for the odd kick or snare hit. Makes it tricky to hear what you're actually achieving with compression. I'm unsure whether this is something to do with the quality of the stream or some plugin issue with my browser. Has anybody else noticed this happening?
2016 Jun 01
I just love bypassed EQ "working" for Fab at about 25 minutes into video (on Snare bottom track hi-pass) :D (You can then see that EQ icon in mixer is yellow - bypased, not green - working - just as in Snare top track ;))
Chuck Mott
2015 Nov 23
I just want to clarify something. You are not setting up a buss send , you are sending your drums to the bus sub via the outputs rather then making a separate send. Correct. SO along the top , where y0u have the outputs, they are being send directly via the outputs to an aux channel. Likewise the outs from the aux channels are going to the separate bus stems. The outputs of those are stereo outputs. I think I have been doing it wrong for a very long time if this is indeed the case, I've been sending to the separate axes via sends on the send channels. Correct?
2015 May 25
Never mind, I somehow missed the first video. This is great!
2015 May 25
Hey, i have been using groups in cubase for a long time, but the "stem" mixing in cubase is new to me and I cannot seem to figure out how to open a bunch of stem channels that I can have bus channels routed too. Is there a tutorial on that? P.S Awesome website! I went to Burklee Music College for Mixing/Mastering and I find this website is WAY more helpful!
2015 Jan 04
Fab, thanks for the this video. I am really impressed with the less is more approach that you take to this mix. Nothing is over equalized and the plugins make sense with nothing drastic. you use the effects to blend things together and put them in their place within the mix. Very tasty. I would be very interested in seeing what you did with your final processing on the entire mix. EQ, limiting, etc. I love the fact you used Cubase for this as well. I am moving to that from Pro Tools because I am tired of being short on basic features just because I can't afford a HD system. Cubase 8 rocks.
Fabulous Fab
2014 Sep 01
soundshigh: If I did not address it it's because it felt fine to me that day. I may feel different about it today. That's part of the ever evolving quality of the process. Hi pass filters with gentle slopes tend to be less harmful than eqs with sharp slopes. I'll hipass if I need nothing from the bottom of the track and resort to scoops if some of the material at the bottom is needed or if I feel the filter will emasculate too much.
Fabulous Fab
2014 Sep 01
@Kal: Great question. A chorus is a whole dedicated section that is standalone. A refrain is a tag at the end of another section. Most modern radio song are verse/chorus structure. MOst Beatles song were verse /refrain.s We are working on a video discussing the whole song structure problem
Fabulous Fab
2014 Sep 01
@alextkirk: I beleive that in Cubase pre fader is post plugins.
Fabulous Fab
2014 Sep 01
@cristianr.mendezm: yes that's the routing. There are many more videos like this one on the site. We will do more Cubase content in the future.
Fabulous Fab
2014 Sep 01
@Fat Roonie: Eqs get picked based on mood, needed features, dsp load, amount of laziness involved with clicking around and then sound too. The mixing order does impact the sound of the mix. It varies by track but I always start with the vocal to make sure it's always on when I mix the rest. But all sounds keep evolving throughout the mix. It's a war with multiple fronts. Finishing by the vocal is the kiss of death for me. There would be no space left for it. I use solos more in videos to make sure you can really hear what is going on.
2013 Dec 12
Another question :) I noticed you did not high pass everything that was supposed to be a midrange instrument - the piano and one of the pads I think - but you chose to carve out the low mids only. Is this because generally high passing could be considered a more degrading than band EQ? Thanks!
2013 Dec 12
Hi there - first, thank you for the fine and elegant tutorial. The hint about all fx auxes going to their own stem is a great work around for the lack of VCAs I suppose. I noticed that Decapitator distorts the sibilants, which was most audible on the occasional "f" sounds...I do have a tendency to overprocess and try to perfect everything too much (which often results in crappy mix), so I am trying to learn where is the good enough line. Are those distorted "f" sounds just something to not bother about, or the tackling of this problem was not included for other considerations?
Christian Matthew Cullen
2013 Sep 14
This is fantastic! So nice to look over the shoulder of someone that really understands the big picture of mixing - thanks for helping develop my taste and ears, Fab! A+
2013 Jul 29
Hello Fab, can you explain the difference you make between "verse / chorus" and "verse / refrain", it's the same for me. Best regards.
2013 Jun 27
Hey Fab, Rookie question maybe: When you make your sends "pre-fader" does it not mean that you are also sending then without the process of the plug-ins?
2013 Jun 27
Hey Fab, Rookie question maybe: When you make your sends "pre-fader" does it not mean that you are also sending then without the process of the plug-ins?
2013 Jun 13
Tradition vs Evolution!!!
Joseph Piccione
2013 Mar 24
Fab, Very nice session, clearly taught and all at a smooth pace. I look forward to making a mix of Periscope. Good Stuff!
2013 Feb 18
By far the best mixing tutorial video that I've ever seen. There's one thing that I would like to ask you about the routing. Did you send the tracks to a group channel and then the group channel to another group channel "Stemp" and finally to the mains? I would really like to get more videos like this one. You rock Fab
2013 Feb 05
Fab is Fabulously Fabulous! :D
2012 Dec 15
Aloha Fab, I use your Periscope video as a standard to guide me through the mixing process. I am new to mixing and appreciate your video tutorials it sheds a new light on my perspective. Using Puremix Videos and experiencing the process unfold and explained by, in my humble opinion, the best in the business, affords visual-tactile learners, such as myself, the opportunity to grasp the concepts and fill in the missing pieces. Thanks for creating this site.
2012 Dec 05
hi like the room tone after the mouse click , ;)
Mario Oseguera
2012 Nov 24
thank you for showing us tips like this i learned so much hear. i went to collage and got a degree as an audio engineer but to be hones i feel like this website has been much more helpful because you show us the real deal. keep it up fab.
2012 Nov 23
All is very clear and seems so easy ! Your explanations are very good ! It's really a great video to learn all the possibilities to make a good mix ! Thank you Fab !
2012 Nov 21
It´s my first video and I felt really comfortable! Great job.
Fat Roonie
2012 Nov 21
I am interested as to why you use Sonnox Eq on one track, Puig on another and then sometimes Cubase built in eq's. The other question I am interested in is How important is the order you mix in and how does it impact the mix. What happens to the first instrument in comparison to the last. I have read people tend to make the last thing they mixed stand out more in the mix, therefore it is best to finish on the vocals. Also You solo'ed everything to work on them, not in context with the other tracks. Was it just for the video or is this how you work? Anyway brilliant, lots learned here.
2012 Nov 13
Great stuff!! thanks for showing how you dealt with phase issues...this is something i need to be more aware of on everything I mix. Can't wait to see you do more full mix tutorials. Its helpful to see work-flow from start to finish.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Oct 02
@mrtele: moving the files is fine. It's a little gettho fengshui wise, but it's totally fine sonically, no difference. @DenisD: Most reverb plugins have plate settings. Start there. They usually are at least serviceable. As for the vocal treatment: there are many ways to skin a cat, especially a singing cat. I'm also trying to show a variety of techniques accross the videos
2012 Sep 27
Good stuff! I especially liked when you pointed out the phase issues in bass. How do you feel about doing the same trick without using the Little Labs, just by moving the audio file a few ticks ahead so that that the phase curves coincide? I think it`s all right not to have that CPR there. I learned more by doing the whole setup by myself. My mixes sound better now. I also inserted Uad Studer 800 on all of the stems. Merci Pocu, Jake
2012 Sep 11
Great tutorial!Thank you so much! But I have a couple of questions. Why you didn't fix the vocal tracks like in "How to Eq Vocal" video? And what are alternative plugins to UAD EMT 250 and EMT 140? Thanks for answer!
2012 Jul 17
"This (piano) in a past life was a real piano" ahaha! awesome!
2012 Jul 17
Hey fab, thanks for giving me a better sense of my plugins! Fabulous!
2012 Jul 13
hi fab, excellent tutorial video, thanks! For the audio files provided, did you flip the phase on the Kick Out channel before exporting, or is it exactly as it was sent to you? Thanks again!
2012 Jul 07
great vid!!!!! the drum mixing was AWESOME!!!!!
Adrian Tello
2012 Jul 03
Fantastic video. +1 to make the CPR available, Why?, cos’ it helps a lot to learn new workflows.
2012 Jun 06
Fab, another great video. I'm most impressed by how you flew through that mix in 90 mins... technically much less b/c you wouldn't be doing the talking in a normal mix situation. I want to touch your hair. I feel that it could give me good luck in my mixing, like rubbing a genie bottle.
Fabulous Fab
2012 May 28
@sylvain177: this mix is an all in the box mix, no mastering occurred, no analog summing. Fab
2012 May 28
The stereo referent mix of the piece Periscope is it to masteriser, with a processing of somation analogical or just the resultat of your mixing? sorry for my very bad engish ... le mix stereo referent du morceau Periscope est il masteriser, avec un traitement de somation analogique ou juste le resultat de votre mixage? thanks for all your artistics way
2012 May 26
Best tutorial yet! Awesome to see a session worked on from beginning to end. Puremix does it right!
Fabulous Fab
2012 May 24
@Lupez: Logic mix vidéo coming soon. It's in the can, making its way through post production. Plastic Days rocks. I had fun working on that record.
2012 May 24
PS - I like this song a lot! These guys rock, even if they're pop (or indie pop? doh!)
2012 May 24
Just finished watching the video and very much enjoyed it, although Cubase has the ugliest interface I've ever seen - very confusing and fatiguing for me. I'd rather stick with Logic 9 Pro - please make a video with it!
2012 May 23
Fab, Great Mix lesson. Your discussion of the principles, analyization and explanations of the individual task while instructing are far superior to any service like this out there! The work ethic and passion for your viewers is greatly appreciated and makes a true difference in someone learning not only something they can gain insight in but also something they can really use and still apply themselves!
2012 May 23
I was also curious to see the cpr because your session is so nice and tidy, but I spent a bit of time pausing the video and reconstructing it myself so now I have a pretty good handle on it, this will certainly change the way I set up sessions from now, so thanks again!
Fabulous Fab
2012 May 23
@Kadir: Because we did not think of it? I'm happy to go back and make one for you but what would the difference between that and having the raw stems that you'll drag in the timeline yourself? This is an in the box mix with no routing tricks and Cubase organizes the session for you mostly. What am I missing? Fab
2012 May 23
Dear fab , do you can post also the CPR file for cubase project ? its very usefull . Its only +- 500 kb file. Please can I get the CPR file of the project ??? We payed money for it and some tutorials of does also includes the CPR file , so why does puremix not include it ? in the files package ? ? ? ?? ? ??????????????????????????????????????????? WHYYYY ???? :( :(
2012 May 23
Wow you work really fast in Cubase ;-) And phase flip on the channel is cool thing, maybe I should try Cubase out. Tnx again for a great video.
2012 May 22
Wicked! another amazing video !! :)
2012 May 21
Wow! Really great. Any chance you could make the CPR available? Even with the plugins removed just so cubase users can take a closer look at the routing? Thanks!