Ryan West Mixing Asher Roth 'Tangerine Girl'

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01h 40min


Engineer and producer Ryan West dissects his mix of Asher Roth's 'Tangerine Girl', from the album "RetroHash".

Learn step by step about the workflow and sonic decisions that combined to create Ryan's signature sound and a badass hip-hop mix.

In this video you will learn how to:

  • Get deep and hard hitting drum sounds
  • Clean up and manage competing bass frequencies
  • Make vocals sound in-your-face and spacious at the same time
  • Spice up background vocals
  • Create a killer master bus chain to sweeten and glue the whole mix together

Don't forget to download the stems, import them in your favorite DAW and practice using the same tracks Ryan used in this video!

Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • Universal Audio: 1176LN, 1176AE, LA-2A, Cooper Time Cube, Lexicon 224, MXR Flanger/Chorus, SPL TwinTube Processor, Roland Dimension D, Dangerous BAX EQ, SSL G-Buss Compressor, Ampex ATR-102
  • Waves: C4, CLA-Guitars, H-Delay, C1 Gate, R-Verb, De-esser
  • SoundToys: Decapitator, Crystallizer, Devil-Loc
  • Avid: EQ3
Featured Music

Asher Roth - Tangerine Girl on iTunes or Spotify

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Ryan West

In addition to many Platinum, Gold and Diamond RIAA certifications, he's been twice nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy and has a further seven nominations to his credit as a mixing and recording engineer.

A skilled multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Ryan also produces music for major label artists, film and television.

As of 2017, over 70 million albums have been sold worldwide that contain a credit to Ryan West. After moving to NYC from Youngstown, Ohio in 1997 he took a job at Sam Ash Music Store in Times Square where he began to buy recording equipment to record his own projects. A self-taught recordist, Ryan was approached by a music store client who needed help recording in his home. The client turned out to be an influential producer and A&R with Island Records. Over the following 12 months or so, he worked tirelessly to improve his abilities while recording Gospel artists like Dee Dee Warwick, Benjamin Love and others. At this time, Protools Digital audio Workstations were quickly gaining traction as the future of studio recording technology. From that early stage, Ryan developed an impressive level of speed and accuracy while recording and editing. He soon found out that those skills were exactly what the NYC hiphop community wanted and needed.

Taking the helm as chief engineer at the now defunct Soho Music Studios exposed him to top hip-hop artists and their production teams. For the next 4 years, he developed his skills as a recordist and mixer while he built relationships with artists and producers who were on their way to the top. One of those producers was Just "Just Blaze" Smith. Signing on with his management N.Q.C. Management in 2003, Ryan began a whirlwind of work with Blaze and some of the world's most successful artists and producers. He hasn't stopped working since.

Ryan helped forge the sound of hip-hop and rap music as we know it today by working with artists such as Eminem, Kanye West, Usher, Rihanna, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, Kid Cudi...



Kanye West


Ritchie Havens



What do you have to say?
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Isaac Jean
2022 Mar 21
That was amazing! Thank you Ryan.
2019 Jun 26
Great video Mr. Ryan West! I appreciate you taking the time! Would love some more videos from you but I'm appreciative for what we DO have . Would also love to hear a quick run down of what you do from here. How many days/hours did you work on the mix, send off for mastering etc...
2018 Jun 22
Great video brother i learned a lot............I wish you had more videos on here though because you specialize in my favorite genre, hip hop............but there are many great videos on this site........God bless you brother
2017 Jan 31
Thanks Ryan, really enjoyed this and learnt a bunch as with your other videos. Was a little confusing with the master bus final level match (between processed and unprocessed) - when you pulled the processed master fader down it sounds like the SSL compressor and tape machine became less prominent. Would love to see more tutorials from you.
2016 Dec 31
dope ryan great vibes great knowldge.
2016 Apr 25
Crazy how much of a difference Ryan's 2 Bus processing made on this mix. I actually enjoyed he went through the whole process of making the background vocal loop fit into the mix. It takes up a minute of the video...but I can relate to the pain of making awkward vocals fit.
2015 Nov 09
Hey I love the tips but the video lags from time to time :/ but that's honestly the only issue. Ryan would mind rating my equipment? I'm using a focusrite forte and running it through a akgc214, my monitors are jbl lsr305's and I'm using logic. Is there anything you would recommend me getting? I record hip hop, singing, and acoustic songs. Also how would you setup a compressor to actually hear what its doing or to achieve the sound you want on vocals? And do you use additive eq on vocals?
2015 Nov 01
@ryanwestmusic thank you for the response, i understand for eminem :). If you have time could you give me your advice ? because I am self-taught and I learn about puremix and I find my aggressive recordings I do not find or it comes from equipment : audio technica at 3060 - uad 1176-câble vovox- rme fireface uc-se electronics pro filter it's belgian rap :)
2015 Oct 09
@vomit23 Glad you liked it! When it comes to videos I do for Puremix, it will most likely all be rap/hip hop. Fab and others cover other genres quite well, and of course I've mixed a ton of hip hop. It's pretty tough to get permission from a major label artist to use their mixes for educational purposes. Eminem would be impossible, I'd say. Using Asher's track was a unique one. He's a great guy and we got fairly friendly during the process so I felt comfortable asking. Cheers!
2015 Oct 09
@byron12 There are a ton of great video on this site. Pretty much anything Fab put out is worthy of repeated viewing. He's a great teacher. I'd definitely check these two out:
2015 Oct 06
Great vidéo i learn a lot :) a session eminem could be possible ? Or more rap for the next vidéo :) thank you Ryan
2015 Oct 01
Thank you Ryan, I watched the video in it's entirety without pause. Tomorrow, I'll begin to practice some of your techniques. SO MUCH TO LEARN! Ryan, which other video's do you recommend. I'm using UAD TwinAudio/ Logic Pro. Thanks
2015 Sep 19
@jasonxoc I love that track, too. Dujeous is an awesome group and they have a slew of great tunes. It's always perplexed me that they didn't blow up much bigger than they have. Cheers!
Dominik Aster
2015 Sep 18
@ryanwestmusic Thank you man for taking the time to answer my question. Helps a lot! Greetings from the Alps...
2015 Sep 18
That shirts got some effects on it :) Everytime I see Ryan West, I pull up youtube and listen to that song Break Bread. I love that track and the full mix vid on that song. If you havn't seen that video, check it out... it's killer. I dont understand how that song didn't go big, it's so damn catchy. Can't wait to check this video out. :) You rock for doing these Ryan!
2015 Sep 17
@Domenolipstik Thanks for checking out the video! @Albertos said it pretty well. I'll add that I do not always use a limiter on bass. Sometimes I don't even compress it! For me, the decision boils down to how contained I want it to be. In this case, I needed the bass to sit in exactly the same place for the duration of the parts it was in the song. Sometimes I'll limit it heavily and use automation to make the bass more aggressive in parts. Sometimes I'll just lightly compress with something like an LA-2a, but let it sing where the player has added his or her own dynamics. Hope that helps!
2015 Sep 17
Yes, Yes, Y'all!!! :D \o/
Dominik Aster
2015 Sep 17
@albertors Thank you very much for the in-depth explanation. Definitely gonna try this technique! :) Great community here...
Alberto Rizzo Schettino
2015 Sep 17
@Domenolipstik For some music genres the use of limiters on bass is pretty common: bass itself can take quite a beating and it's sitting as the foundation of your harmony, so in rock tunes and generally modern stuff you can't afford it to go weak. I wouldn't do that much in jazz or acoustic tunes, but for rock-oriented, it's a thing. Yes, by itself, your bass might sound a bit less natural, but in the context of the mix it will be a workhorse for guitars and vocals. Try it, a trick if you want/need to mask the limiter is to use a compressor AFTER it. Hope this helped!
Dominik Aster
2015 Sep 17
I love to see Ryan mixing. Such a genius in terms of why processing a track. But can you explain me why he used a limiter on the bass instead of a compressor?