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Start To Finish: Mixing Rock With Vance Powell

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02h 19min

(19)

Analog Mixing On A SSL Console

Grammy winner Vance Powell walks you through his entire mixing process, taking his production from a great sounding rough to a finished mix using his SSL console.

Learn Vance’s mixing philosophy and tricks that help him achieve a killer mix quickly and his workflow secrets that give him a flexible sonic palette to work from on every mix.

Whether you work in or out of the box, this tutorial is your chance to see how a Nashville legend approaches the mix from not only the technical point of view but also adds creativity and energy to the song Aftershock by Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how Vance:

  • Sets up and aligns his console’s gain stage so his starting point give him the maximum flexibility later on
  • Uses effects sends and busses to route audio to parallel processing as well as reverb and delays
  • EQ and compression settings that add attack and life to drums and guitars
  • Sends certain tracks off to the “magic bus” for enhanced stereo processing and tone
  • Combines clean and overdriven vocals to give Tyler’s vocal the perfect amount of bite and presence to pop through the mix
  • Pro Tools tricks to help his tracks hit the console in just the right way
  • Tweaking the phase alignment of the bass amp and DI tracks
  • Automation passes using the SSL console's VCA automation computer
  • Monitoring level advice for various stages of the mix to give him the energy and details he needs to hear without ear fatigue
  • Mix bus processing and taking the time to compare the API 2500 to the SSL Bus compressors
  • Tweaking the mix with the band and preparing alternate mixes for mastering

Be sure to watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Vance’s Start to Finish series to see the entire record making process including tracking, production, overdubs, and editing.

Then download the raw multitrack files so you can translate Vance’s mixing techniques to your setup and practice mixing professionally tracked and produced material.

Exercise files
Chapters
CLICK_HERE
Transcript
CLICK_HERE
Equipment & Software
  • Avid EQ III
  • Fabfilter Pro-DS
  • UA 1176 Rev A
  • UA Fatso Jr.
  • UA Little Labs IBP
  • UA Maag EQ
  • Valhalla DSP Valhalla Freq Echo
  • Waves L2 UltraMaximizer
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    Mentors
    Vance Powell

    Vance Powell is a four time winning Grammy Award winning American record producer, engineer and mixer. Vance made his start in live sound, touring as a front-of-house engineer then in early 2002 an opportunity came up to help build what’s currently one of the largest studio complexes in the world, Vance was there, becoming chief engineer for Nashville’s Blackbird Studios. Vance began working extensively with Jack White's groups including The Raconteurs, The White Stripes, and The Dead Weather, as well as many of White's production jobs.

    Powell is the co-owner of Sputnik Sound, a recording and mixing facility he set up in 2006 together with producer/engineer Mitch Dane. He is also an active member of The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in their Producers and Engineers Wing.

    Credits

    Jack White

    Chris Stapleton

    The Deadweather

    The Raconteurs

    Arctic Monkeys

    Wolfmother

    Featured Artists and Musics
    Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

    Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown is a rock and roll band born of Nashville, TN. Their sound is a soulful patchwork of roots-infused melodies and muscular riffs, all woven tightly with the thread of their alternative psychedelic mystique. It’s as rambunctious, raw and real as rock & roll gets these days.

    • Aftershock

      CLICK_HERE
    What do you have to say?
    Leave a comment
    RUBBER MAN
    2017 Nov 20
    If you do rock (which is all I do) this tutorial is extremely helpful. I thought I was nuts using pedals as outboard effects while mixing- not anymore. This tutorial is really going to help my OTB technique and of course just great solid technique shown here from a master.
    composermikeglaser
    2017 Nov 03
    Vance's parallels add so much life to the track! Great tutorial.
    StudioSaturn
    2017 Nov 01
    OK I have listen the song on Spotify and I realised that on this tutorial The Drum is glorious than the original track which is released on Spotify. How is that happen?
    StudioSaturn
    2017 Nov 01
    It is a pleasure to watch this Video. Pure awesomeness! I felt my ear got goosebumps cause of happiness. This tutorial is a true example of taking care of what we need on tracking stage than on mixing. Loving it! keep it coming. Glorious tutorial. Thank you so much!
    EBMusic
    2017 Oct 29
    Great mix video, too bad we don't have enough explanations on the settings of reverb and delay who make a big deal in the mix in my opinion. By the way, the mix here is better than the album version
    brady_d79
    2017 Oct 28
    Great mix vid, even if you don't have an SSL and all the hardware. Kinda wish he mentioned what ipad app he uses for controlling Pro Tools and what his SPL meter app was...
    pmlogin