How to Add Impact to a Mix with Clip Gain and Automation

Transcript:

Hey, folks. Matthew Weiss here — www.mixingedm.com is now out, but I’m going to be talking about just a simple principle that I think can apply to pretty much any style of music, if used in the right way, and this is accenting the downbeat.

Now, there’s certain quintessential ways in which downbeats are often accented. The classic one is with a crash cymbal. However, a lot of times, you’ll be working with records that don’t have crash cymbals. Don’t really have accents to begin with.
So, let’s give this a little play, and let’s hear that downbeat real quick.

[music]

A lot of times, the downbeat is what people might call “the drop”, or call “the one,” or whatever you want to call it. It’s the first note after the turnaround. There’s about a million ways to describe it.
Anyway, what’s happening here is a couple of things. First of all, the kick drum and the 808, if you look at my regions here, I’ve got this very first kick drum clip gained up by about 3dB, and this very first 808 clip gained up by about 4dB. This way, they are both hitting harder than the rest of the kick drums and 808s in the record, and also, the actual entirety of the record here is going to jump by about 2 dB.

[song plays]

This dynamic change is really good for bringing in a lot of energy. Particularly on the very first big downbeat of the record, because people will adjust their volume set for whatever the intro is playing at, so if you give yourself some room to move up, that could be really useful.

Other times where this is super useful is right after the verse, going back into the chorus. That’s always a good spot. Going from the bridge to a chorus, always a good spot, and anytime there is a notable turnaround. So a lot of times, halfway through a chorus, or part of the way through a verse, there will be a new element or a new section that’s sort of introduced, and those are great places to just sort of ride up key elements to hit a little bit harder than other places they hit in the record.

It gives a little bit of excitement and extra bigness.

Alright guys, until next time.

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is a Grammy nominated and Spellemann Award winning audio engineer from Philadelphia. Matthew has mixed songs for Snoop, Sonny Digital, Gorilla Zoe, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development, 9th Wonder, !llmind & more. Get in touch: Weiss-Sound.com.
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