Start to Finish: The Arrows - Mixing

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01h 23min


Deconstructing the Mix of 'Words to Say'

'Words To Say' is a great example of modern pop production with a blend of acoustic and electronic drums, layered synths, guitars tracks, and tons of cool subtle production tricks.

You may have seen producer Fab Dupont and the South African band The Arrows take the song ‘Words to Say’ from demo track to a mix-ready session in Start to Finish: The Arrows - Production . In this 80 minute tutorial, Fab Dupont breaks down his final mix of that same Pro Tools session.

Since this is an enormous session, instead of starting the mix from scratch, Fab deconstructs the mix from the final record. Track by track, he analyses every setting and explains the thought process behind all of his mix decisions. Fab shares all the tips and tricks he used to make this song sound huge. This mix was performed with 95% plugins except for analog summing and some key analog mix bus processing.

This is your opportunity to see how the pros manage a big session and what goes into mixing a major label release.

Be sure to check out how Fab collaborated with The Arrows to produce "Words to Say"

Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • Universal Audio UAD: DBX160, SPL Transient Designer, LA2A, EMT140, EMT250, Lexicon 224, MXR Flanger, Moog Filter, Pultec Legacy, Little Labs IBP, Neve 1073
  • Soundtoys: Decapitator, Panman, Devil-Loc, Echoboy
  • Sonnox: Oxford Dynamics, Oxford EQ, Suppresser, Oxford Limiter
  • Plug&Mix: Digital Reverb, Transcontrol
  • Massey: Tapehead
  • Avid: Eleven, Boom, Xpand2
  • Waves: H-Delay
Featured Music

“Words to Say” by The Arrows - iTunes or 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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What do you have to say?
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2020 Dec 28
unfortunately can't load the other Series videos, i get allways this site.
2019 Aug 02
Unfortunately I cannot continue watching this video. I want to, but it keep loading. Other video's work fine ;-(
2019 Jun 06
en el audio nunca se deja de aprender, todo sirve y la lección de hoy fue muy instructiva gracias
AMP Tracks
2018 Sep 26
I voted against the Paris Drums. Fab made a mean cheat, I'll tell my mom.
2016 Dec 14
She reminds me a bit of early SIA
2016 Nov 27
This was an excellent video Fab.... I learned alot from this session.. Thank you for doing what you do bro... Keep up the good work
2016 Oct 05
Can't watch the whole video after purchase .. Video length in the streaming player is only about 6:28. Waiting for a fix.
2016 Apr 26
The reverse vocal effect after the bridge is one of the coolest tricks I've learned in a long time. Now, how do I tastefully use that? :) Great video Fab!
2016 Mar 26
I have to ask: on the lead vocals, why the 3dB cut at 250Hz with the Oxford EQ, only to boost at 200Hz with the Pultec - 10th dimensional chess, making use of the unique slope and character of the Pultec vs the Oxford, or did you dip the lower-mids during one pass, and then boost later, feeling it was thin?
David Einer
2016 Jan 19
That was such a good job, I've listened that music in Spotify and was fantastic..
2015 Dec 29
Hi, As far as I hear, there's some clicks on the drums. Maybe it's just the broadcasting.
2015 Oct 10
Amazing video. This changes completely my concept of bus processing. It's embarrassing to find out how much you know about mixing after many years studying mixing really hard, but one day you discover it never really made any sense until someone explained it and used it in front of your eyes. Thanks Fab.
Alberto Rizzo Schettino
2015 Apr 01
@iorio Pleasant surprise: Spanish subtitles were just added for this video.
2015 Mar 29
please sub in spanish
2015 Feb 24
Best video ever. This is deconstructs the mix instead of building it from scratch. So much more ground is covered. Love the song! love the production tips as well.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Feb 24
@peterzachos: No hardware reverbs on this mix that I recall. All plug ins. UAD EMT140/250 and Lexicon 224 emulations
2015 Feb 23
Excellent, informative video and a great song. Question: what are you hardware reverbs that create such a great, smooth cloud?
2015 Feb 20
Not my favorite from Fab. I think the site has other videos that really dive in to the mix. This was kind of a lazy fly by. Not worth the price. I love this site and think it's definitely one of the best on the web. Howling mix was great! Check that one out.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Feb 20
@sound11advice: It's probably because I was looking for power from that sample and that I get more power in the center. And also that I could create a wider image by not having all sources coming from the same spot.
2015 Feb 19
@Fab...Question: What was your thought process on choosing to leave the SAMPLE TOMS panned direct CENTER when the REAL TOMS were panned LEFT and RIGHT? It looks like you had the TOMVERB panned favoring the RIGHT. Great video.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Feb 16
@lwaidosch: To get the ProTools faders golden you need to have a certified platinum record..... NO!!!!! It's a PT HD only function called trim mode.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Feb 16
@White Cat Studio: I always leave the first insert blank incase something needs preprocessing, like tuning, or tape emulation, before my first Eq. Saves time by not having to move a whole chain of plugs down if I filled the first slot fromt he beginning of the mix.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Feb 16
@drumvarna: I keep the input at zero to make it simple to check for errors. Attack is as open as posislb eunless I need transient taming, release is as short as possible unless I hear distortion
2015 Feb 13
Great video again!!! My question is, how you set up the Attack and Release time on the Limiter on your final stems? And did you keep the INPUT Level of the Limiter at"0" or put it down on diferent instruments? RESPECT!!!
2015 Feb 11
A great and excellent video! A lot to learn. Hugs from Argentina!
2015 Feb 07
Great Video, Italian subtitles would be very useful...
2015 Jan 18
tom´s tracks missing in the exercise files??? great video
2015 Jan 10
Here my participation for the contest "From creation to final mix". I used PT10 with avid and P&M plugins, also Stale Digital virtual console collection (for demo test ;)). Hope you like it. Advices are really welcome, please!
2014 Dec 28
Once again...uber informative. Also, a hats off to your video team maintaining the great audio and useful graphics.
2014 Dec 19
Yo Fab, Have I told you lately that I love you and the site? The 1st 2 minutes of this video cracks me up. I like pensados place but I love this site. I signed up for the mix coach but cancelled it. This site I'll continue to subscribe to until the end of time. Happy holidays to you and everyone at puremix!! J
2014 Dec 16
Awesome video! Its great to get to hear and see how the the whole production in broken down. I really like this type of teaching. Helps us producer/mixing guys very much. Hope to see more like this in the future! Keep rockin! Love from SF!
White Cat Studio
2014 Dec 16
Great video again Fab... I saw that, for some of the tracks, the first insert is empty. Is there a reason or simply you tried something that didn't works and than remove the plugin? And yes, what are those golden fader? Cheers!!
2014 Dec 16
FAB.......another fantastic video! thanks a bunch for the detail and insight.......I also just got a chance to watch the recording of the song videos from Avid with their "creating to final mix" series of videos.......those were spectacular as well! Really cool stuff.
2014 Dec 16
Of course a Great Video again! Thank you as always! How do you get those ProTools Faders golden? :)