Review: “Guide to Rock Mixing”, by The Mix Coach Kevin Ward

 

MixcoachIf you are not too sure about what “Guide to Rock Mixing” actually is, then this is the place to be! “Guide to Rock Mixing” is a training video that teaches you how to better mix rock music. This is a video with narration and over three hours of footage that uploads/downloads, and then plays where you want it to. I chose ITunes just so that I could watch it on my iPhone and my computer too, or when ever the mood strikes.

If you are not sure just who Kevin Ward is, he is “The Mix Coach“. He has spent a lifetime recording and mixing bands in Nashville, Tennessee. He has mixed a thousand records in his time, and he has a lot to show us. He also co-owns a record label, and has done just about everything you can do with music.

coach1

Mix Coach website

Guide to Rock Mixing is more than three hours in length! This is amazing since it sells for way under 50 bucks! If you have been here at Home Recording Weekly before, you know my stance on training videos. This one is no different, and a powerful way to learn. If you are considering working with live acts (recording live shows, editing/mixing live performances) or recording band demos, then “Guide to Rock Mixing” is a must have. This is an investment that will start paying you back immediately, and continue to repay you for life!

adidea

OK, hold on. Since you are reading through this review that tells me that you are looking to improve your mixing skills, so let me “sweeten the pot” a tad. Let me toss in one great big special bonus offer, just for you.

 As my way of saying thank you for using any of these links to make your purchase, I will give you some very special, very detailed gifts, aimed right at you, the person that is willing to learn more about recording, mixing, and mastering.

Let me tell you about the new Home Recording WeeklyUltimate Bonus Offer” that is all set to go and just waiting for you. Inside the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” you will find not one, but two amazingly helpful video training products that will transform how you approach recording, mixing, and mastering in your home studio. They are titled, “The Pro Mixers Playbook”, “DIY Mastering”.

Ultimate offer

Each one of these two video training products contains lots and lots of “How to” style videos that are made up of “screen capture” style videos, shot right inside my very own home studio, like you are sitting down with me. Each training product inside the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” has been recorded, edited, and mixed down with a few main things in mind…

First, I know that “Content is king”. Each video contains quality, unique content that I, personally, just could not find anywhere else.

Next, the quality of the audio and the quality of the picture is the best I have ever produced. I worked very hard to create video training that is helpful in nature, unique in content, and killer in features like audio and subject. These are the best mixing and mastering tips and techniques that I have learned, that have taken my music over the top, and rocketed my skill sets to the best they have ever been.

Let me break down, quickly, what is covered in each training series:

newbox

The Pro Mixers Playbook

Learning how to mix like the pros can be the most rewarding thing we ever do. It can also be the most frustrating thing we ever do. Why does learning how to mix have to be so difficult?

The truth is there is a lot of information out there, broken up into quick little video chunks, some over here, and some over there, and, well, in a lot of different places. Learning just one brand new mixing technique can take you to many different places that all seem to have somewhat competing information.

For this very reason, I have been hard at work, putting something rather special together that I call “The Pro Mixers Playbook”. I have made over 4.5 hours of training videos together, in one easy to download PDF file. I have listed, and then made corresponding videos for the most powerful, the most “mix-shaping” 15 Pro mixing plays that have had the most impact (hands down) with my own mixes. This is a mixing foundation just waiting to happen. There is something new and rewarding, for new mixers and pros alike, inside in “The Pro Mixers Playbook”.

box

DIY Mastering

Learning how to master can be confusing too. Figuring out how to get our stereo tracks to sound clean, wide, big, phat, and massive is a struggle. There are a lot of conflicting videos online that all help to confuse the viewer and help wreck your music. There is nothing else online quite like “DIY Mastering”, I guarantee it.

Included in “DIY Mastering” are training style videos that explain some of the most helpful, most impactful mastering techniques that have all come together to make my masters sound clear, clean, and huge. Video after video we go deeper and deeper into the strategies that really matter when it comes to getting great sounding masters.

The entire Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” is just my way of saying “THANK YOU”, for using any one of my links to purchase any one of the training videos that I have reviewed for you, right here, on Home Recording Weekly.

If you are interested in learning the best of the best of the best techniques, the best techniques that have taken me years and years to learn and master, the best techniques for creating the best mixes and masters, all in “over the shoulder” training video form, then get your own copy of Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” today. Make that purchase.

Here is how:

When you use any of the links that I have provided for you in this review post to purchase, I will allow you a download code for the Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer“.

As a matter of fact, before you purchase any studio training videos or memberships, come to Home Recording Weekly and use any of the links that I have provided in any of my reviews. That way I can view the sale and send you your free “Ultimate Bonus Offer“.

All you need to do is send me an email (kern@homerecordingweekly.com) with the words “Ultimate Bonus Offer” in the subject line. Tell me the product that you have purchased, using my link, and I will send you your free copy.

If you are thinking about purchasing any of the training video products that I have reviewed, than now is the time to make that purchase! Get you own Home Recording Weekly “Ultimate Bonus Offer” today!

OK, back to the review at hand……

The title “Guide to Rock Mixing” is slightly misleading. Guide to Rock Mixing includes a lot of editing content too. Imagine if the band just packed up and they are leaving the studio. This is where Guide to Rock Mixing picks up. Kevin is working in ProTools in this video, but the things he teaches can be done with any DAW out there. That is the important thing to keep in mind, he teaches with ProTools, but it works in any DAW.

Guide to Rock Mixing starts out just the way I wanted it to, with editing drums. Kevin calls it “Pocketing the drums”, and he is good at it. Kevin wastes no time explaining things in ProTools like elastic audio/elastic time, quantizing, and Beat Detective, and how he likes to use these to their fullest potential. Did I mention that Kevin works very fast?

snare eq

EQ’ing the snare

Here is the important stuff that you will want to know. Kevin’s’ years spent doing this stuff comes through well, as he goes on and on with time saving techniques that you just will not find any place else. He details each step of a process, and then shows you several different ways to do that process. His history in audio keeps coming back, too, as he is continuously giving tips and time saving ideas for us to keep in mind. He is always saying cool things like “always leave yourself a way out”, for just one example. Point is, Kevin is forever giving us a look inside the business with the clever things that he says.

I also love that Kevin not only shares so many great mixing ideas, but he explains in detail why he does it, and then he does it! For just one example, Kevin mixes in mono. He explains, in depth, why he chooses to mix in mono, why it is so important to mix in mono, and then he takes us through how to set up a mono mix environment. This is the good stuff!

Keystrokes and shortcuts save us time. These things add up and therefore we can mix more music in a day. More music mixed means more income. Kevin is constantly showing us his favorite shortcut key strokes to save time, in Guide to Rock Mixing, and getting more done. He also has some cool ways of doing things that shaves a lot of time off of the editing chores. Kevin is just good at explaining tasks so that we can all follow along. Kevin Wards workflow is a result of a lifetime in the business, and it saves us that much time just by watching Guide to Rock Mixing.

BTW, As a mixing nut, please allow me to make a couple of suggestions for you. If you are serious about learning how to become the best mixing engineer that you can be, than you owe it to yourself to also check out “The Art of Balancing a Mix” from fellow Mixing Coach member, Matt Butler. Matt teaches us how to build that solid foundation on which to build your mix upon. Then he mixes a song, from start to finish, with just a couple of stock plugins! He gets a killer mix, too, and that is the important part here. You don’t need the best and the most fancy plugins to get a banging mix! You owe it to yourself to check out “The Art of Balancing a Mix“.

Kevin Ward is easy to listen to, and yet a great person to learn from. His easy going demeanor is welcoming, and I never grow tired of listening to him teaching. This is a great thing, as he talks as he moves along.Now that the drums are tight, and on time, lets keep moving. Speaking of moving along, next we move onto the bass.

Kevin likes to fix time issues and then get into “mixing proper”. That’s is the same way I like to work, so I am in luck. Elastic audio gets used again, and you get to follow right along as he zips through the off time bass parts. Boom, done!

Click the link to purchase “Guide to Rock Mixing” right now! That link is there just in case you have heard enough, and you want to just go purchase this amazing video!

vox autom

Writing automation

Next, Kevin roughs in the guitars. In this particular song there are acoustic and electric guitars to rough in. Kevin pans and EQ’s guitars, explaining exactly what he is doing, and why he is doing it, all along the way. He is constantly showing more that one way to do these things, and then detailing why he does it the way he does in the end. This is awesome stuff!

Kevin, true to form, constantly shows EQ’ing tricks; like how he applies high pass filters, how he gets “like guitar tracks” to sound wide, compression tactics, and a lot of other great time saving ideas. This is worth the price of admission alone, plus you get all of this amazing mixing advice too! I like this “Guide to Rock Mixing“!

Kevin moves on here, by opening three buss tracks just to have a “reverb option”. These will become send tracks, or effect send and returns, and Kevin explains this all as he works along. You see and hear what he is doing as he fixes time issues, “pockets” all the tracks up, and then starts mixing proper. He is about to start eq’ing and compressing, and adding audio sweetener here and there, and I happen to love this part of mixing!

You can buy “Guide to Rock Mixing” right now by clicking on, and following, this link right here.

Drums lead the way. Kick and snare drum to be more specific, then the rest of the kit. Listen and watch as Kevin sculpts the rock tones out, and brings the drums to life! First, he brings the kick to life with ease. Awesome!

I love how Kevin uses stock plug ins when possible. That way, we can all do the exact same things that he is showing us!  Kevin keeps the great ideas coming in “Guide to Rock Mixing“. He says things like “I like to fix first, then accent” all the time. Great mantra, and a great tip!

vox filter

Snare EQ

Kevin also blows me away with a killer snare drum tip. I had not heard of  EQ’ing out fundamental frequencies in a snare, but he had! Thanks goodness for that, as I now I know about it too. Just yet another reason to say “Guide to Rock Mixing” is priced way too low.

Click the link to purchase “Guide to Rock Mixing” right now! That link is there just in case you have heard enough, and you want to just go purchase this amazing video!

Next, Kevin shows a great alternative to gating tom drums. First, he brings life to the toms, and then “The Mix Coach” makes sure that the rest of the drums bleeding into the tom mics (other kit pieces) will not be an issue! If you have ever mixed “live demos” then you know how hard this can be to do. Removing “bleed” is about impossible. This trick is where the value adds up for me. This is a working engineers training video, hands down!

Kevin continues with the little nuggets of wisdom about mixing, as he drops yet another one! He says “When mixing a song, it is not anything huge that you do, but it is a bunch of little things that all add up”. I love these truths that make us better if we only listen. Please be sure to listen close.

At this point in “Guide to Rock Mixing“, Kevin tosses in a bombshell. Kevin checks the phase of the kick drum, and also the snare drum. You will not believe what he finds out. He decided to go with the better sounding of the two phases, of course, but I would not have even listened to the two versions. The proof that I needed to mix with my ears, is right here in this video!

Kevin makes his living in music. He lives off of this stuff. Watching “Guide to Rock Mixing” you get a sense of why he is so successful at it. He constantly gives advice, and all throughout the video. Kevin talks at length about such important ideas like “always leaving yourself a way out”, how to give yourself added insurance while mixing”, and tons of great tips that will help your odds of getting a great mix. He shares these things freely, which very few studio owners would ever do. He explains these ideas (like having sample folders for drum triggering/drum replacement) as he works, so always be listening!

Next, Kevin finishes with the drums by adding a parallel compression track. Again, he details each step, and each idea, in length as he mixes along.

tom comp

parallel compression

Kevin then moves on to the vocals. True to form, Kevin has some great tips and techniques for getting vocals to cut through a dense rock mix. He shares his favorite, time tested, compressor settings. He demonstrates the idea of multiple compressors, and why it works so well. Eq is added, “out loud” as usual, and thank goodness for that! I like to know what he is aiming for as he twists knobs! Kevin also gives a great delay versus reverb tip here. This is a super tip, as it might save your vocals some day. I knew this tip, but it has changed my mixing style. He also shows how to better use and even how to better tune a delay!

Next, in “Guide to Rock Mixing” Kevin shows us a killer vocal mixing tip. This is actually a technique that helps to get a better vocal mix. This is one I had not heard of, and it will save me a lot of time in the future. Saving time while getting a great mix is the name of the game, right? Kevin adds some automation adjusting tips, just for good measure, as he adjusts the vocal automations that he writes on the fly. These are great tips as well, and I can’t wait to use them in my next mixing job. I am actually excited by the things that I am learning!

Kevin comes across a great issue while automating a filtered vocal. His ears tricked him, and good thing! We get to learn all about exactly what happened to him, his ears, and how to avoid the exact same thing from happening to you!

Next, Kevin dives into the guitars. Ever heard of the attack principal? Neither had I. Here is where a simple mistake goes right into a learning trip. I just love his simple mistakes. Really though, I am learning a ton! Kevin continues with the guitars, writing automation, and building tension where he needs it. After all, mixing can sometimes be adding tension, or building tension, right? I love learning new things, and “Guide to Rock Mixing” is packed with new stuff to learn.

Click the link to purchase “Guide to Rock Mixing” right now! That link is there just in case you have heard enough, you are now convinced, and you want to just go purchase this amazing video!

Kevin Ward, again, gets a chance to use elastic time in ProTools. He uses it here in order to pocket electric guitars. This is good news for us, as it is another chance for us to learn. I forgot to mention the in depth discussions Kevin gives on quantizing throughout “Guide to Rock Mixing“. He brings it back up here, as he fine tunes the guitars. Call me a geek, but I love listening to this sort of stuff. If you do too, then this video is for you!

Lastly, Kevin moves on to the master fader. This part of the video is titled “Pre mastering and final mixing”, and deals mostly with a final EQ, and limiter on the master fader. Keep in mind that we are at over three hours in at this point in the video. That is a lot of killer content, and now this is the icing on the cake.

After some quick EQ’ing and some solid limiting, the mixing ends. Of course he explains each step of these two processes, and he details them well I might add. That is good for me because limiting can be confusing. I mean, how loud is too loud, right? As I stated, at this point in “Guide to Rock Mixing“, the mixing ends. This is not the end of the video though. Nope, time for bonus content!

What sorts of bonus content, you ask? How about snare drum replacement? Yep, Kevin Ward shows us, and shares with us his favorite ideas for replacing drum hits (and complete drum lines) in songs that he mixes. It is a longer approach for drum replacement, but it is better. Kevin knows what he is doing. He also cleans up a guitar edit, across several miss-timed guitar tracks, and bounces down the song.

Well, this really is a video worth watching over and over. Please, take notes, too, as you will use these tricks as you mix songs down in the future, I guarantee it!

I can’t tell you how much I recommend “Guide to Rock Mixing“, as the words do not exist! I love the content, the song that he mixes, and even his voice. The ideas expressed are easy to follow, and easy to understand. Kevin is a master at mixing, and a master at teaching too. My mixes have just gotten better, and just from watching “Guide to mixing rock” for the first time!

Thanks for working your way through this lengthy review. I wanted you to know exactly what this video consisted of, and how much I loved it. Look, I am not going to go on and on here. If you want to get better at mixing, then you owe it to your self to purchase “Guide to Rock Mixing” from Kevin Ward, The Mix Coach! The training video is a steal at just $47.00. You get over three hours of mixing goodness, plus a ton of great ideas and tips that will save you time and money. Consider this an investment in yourself, as you will get this money back from saved time and better mixes!

adidea
 

2 Responses to “Review: “Guide to Rock Mixing”, by The Mix Coach Kevin Ward”

  1. Christos says:

    Was wondering, if you get a pro membership over at mixcoach, is there any sort of discount for this video?

    • Kern says:

      I am a member, at a pro level, but I am not saying I am a pro mixer. I did not get a discount for making the video. I love the service they provide, and they are a super group of people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *