Audio Samples for Audio Mixing Practice – Complete Song

I am using Adobe Audition 1.5 to mix the song (although now I am using mostly REAPER for all of my projects). I emphasize on EQ effect to bring out the clarity of the percussion instruments. I apply just a little reverb only on the snare and cymbals. The following are the EQ settings applied on Adobe Audition parametric EQ:

Kick drum:
Boost +9dB at 80Hz Q=1.0 (To bring out the clarity on kick drum fundamental sound)
Cut -8dB at 150Hz Q=1.0 (Cut a hole in the upper bass frequency spectrum for bass guitars)

Snare:
Boost +4dB at 100Hz Q=1.0 (To fatten the snare drum sound).
Cut -8dB at 2000Hz Q=1.0 (Bring up the clarity on vocal sound, prevent snare sound conflicting with vocals)
Boost +4dB 8000Hz Q=1.0 (Brighten the snare strings sound)

Ride cymbal:
Cut -4dB at 600Hz (low shelf filter) (Reduce annoying metallic ride cymbal sound)
Cut -4dB at 3000Hz Q=1.0 (Prevent ride cymbal sound to conflict with vocals)
Boost +6dB at 12500Hz Q=1.0 (Brighten the cymbal high end sound)

In mixing the guitar, I manually doubled it in the mix (since there is only one guitar track in the recording) following the guitar double tracking method. One guitar is pan left (around -70%) and the other to the right (+70%). A mild reverb and audio compression is applied. I use the following EQ setting:

Cut -6dB at 200Hz (low shelf) (Increase clarity of bass and kick drum)
Cut -6dB at 800Hz Q=1.0 (Remove the annoying acoustic guitar mid-range frequencies)
Cut -9dB at 3000Hz Q=1.0 (Prevent guitar sound conflicting with the vocals.)
Boost +3dB at 6000Hz Q=1.4 (Brighten acoustic strings sound)

For the bass guitar, I intend to mix it to sound above the kick drum sound frequencies to give it a more raw country sound. There are no other effects applied except EQ and slight compression:

Cut -5dB 40Hz low shelf –remove very low bass frequency rumble. I find this inappropriate for this song. This is a rare bass guitar EQ setting. I don’t use this setting often for many songs.

Cut -10dB at 80Hz Q=0.8 (Increase kick drum clarity)
Boost 10dB at 150Hz Q=1.0 (Increase bass guitar notes clarity)

Cut -6dB at 500Hz (high shelf) = (Remove bass guitar high-end notes. I seldom use this EQ setting for mixing bass, but I find out the bass guitar sound sits clearly in the mix after this setting.)

Finally the vocals, I apply a plate reverb but the reverb processing is very minimal. Listening to the mix, you won’t notice the reverb settings at all. But I use this to make the vocals sit clearly in the mix (more details here). These are the EQ settings:

Cut -3.5 dB at 200Hz low shelf (Reduce some bass in the vocals, this depends on the song and the singer.)
Boost +3.5 at 3000Hz Q=1.4 (Improve lyrics clarity on vocals)
Boost +3.5 at 15000Hz Q=1.4 (Improve vocal high-end)

Most settings I used for mixing vocals are illustrated in this tutorial.

Tips on mixing this project in your DAW

Below are some tips on loading the tracks to your own DAW (for example REAPER).

1.) To insert recording tracks, go to Insert — > Media File. Select each WAV and load it to REAPER.

This is how it looks like after loading:

complete mix

complete mix

As you have observed all tracks starts from 0; you simply need to position all tracks from the zero timeline and everything will be synchronized. Some DAW might resample to another sample rate (such as 48 KHz) for compatibility with your hardware. This is OK as long as no real time dithering during the mix. You should be mixing at 24-bits (or 32-bit float or higher) resolution.

2.) Since all recordings does not have any effects applied directly on the waveform, you will have the complete freedom to choose what FX you like that can provide the best sound. The objective is to have the best mix as possible by implementing the following simple rules:

a.) The lyrics of the vocal can be clearly understood.

b.) Each of the instruments should have its own position in the mix. This means you can clearly spot the kick drum, snare, guitars and bass guitar to the mix. They should not be drowned or dominated entirely by other musical instruments.

c.) Put some adequate headroom in the mix down result. This will be useful for mastering. I put around -3dBFS maximum after mix down. For more details read this guide.

You can share the resulting mix with us by uploading it to SoundCloud and then let us know. Let’s see how your own version would sound like.

Note: The recording project files include a license. Make sure you are aware of its terms of use and limitation.

  • Smurf

    GarageBand don’t support 32bit files? Wow…..

  • Emerson Maningo

    I see..I suggest you download this free tool: http://www.voxengo.com/product/r8brain/
    Then dither each tracks from 32-bit float down to 24-bit version. I do this sometimes when my clients provide me a 32-bit float version instead of the 24-bit WAV files. It works. There should no effect on sound quality.

    For details, please read this tutorial on dithering and sample rate conversion: https://www.audiorecording.me/how-to-use-dithering-sample-rate-conversion-src-during-mastering.html

    Bear in mind that you only perform dithering (changing the output bit depth) using that tool and not sample rate conversion. So leave the “Resample to” field still equal to the original sample rate that is 44100Hz.

    Please let me know if you are still having issues converting the file. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Mark Hargrave

    Tried to load your.wav files in GarageBand and it said it couldn’t because it was a 32 bit version.

  • Emerson Maningo

    You’re welcome and good luck to your projects Smurf.Cheers.

  • Smurf

    I am glad you like the track! I gave it a “morning after” listen-thru and see that it lacks any real type of stereo spread except for the BGV. I did go back in & work up another version, but decided to let this one stand in the hopes that others will jump in and have some fun with it.

    With all the great information on this site I am sure most anyone can top my puny mix! LOL

    Thank You again for sharing the tracks to play with, and for ALL the hard work that you do for us home studio owners, it IS appreciated!

  • Emerson Maningo

    Wow, that was awesome! You improve a lot of aspects, especially on the drums, backup vocals and the keyboard solo sounds great. It is OK to share it on Soundcloud; I grab some embed code to make easier for people to listen.

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your version. I know that this project would be truly useful in experimenting new sounds in the mix.:)

  • Smurf

    This post was perfect timing for me. Just yesterday I got the first part of my Studio Upgrade in the form of Melodyne 2 (waiting on PT MP9) and was out looking for some tracks to play with when I ran across your generous share…..so I spent a few hours this afternoon having some fun with them.

    You can give my version a listen to & get the whole story here…..

    I hope that posting this on my Soundcloud Page is OK, if it is NOT please let me know and I will remove it ASAP!

    Thanks once again for the tracks and the great site!