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How to mix and master in FL Studio 20?

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

DAW - FL Studio 20

Genre - Hip Hop / Trap

How to mix and master in FL Studio 20?

First I route all my Instruments to the mixer . My Instruments Might Include Drums - Kick, Clap/Snare, Hihat, Percussions - Shakers, Triangles Etc. Bass - 808 Sub. Piano - Pads - Flutes - Choirs or any Instruments of choice, I always keep my Instruments minimal.

The first thing I do after routing all instruments to the mixer.

I would loop the loudest part of my track that contains all the instruments it would keep playing on repeat.

I switch to Mono Then I bring all the mix volume faders down.

On my Master Channel I would add a db meter because I always love to monitor my output on a bigger display.

I mix around my kicks.

I would start bringing up all the volume on the mixer up one by one starting from the kick, I always want my kick to peak at -6db it must never go above -6db because this is the output that my mix would be based on. Sometimes when I start I make my kick to peak around -10db just to keep it balanced.

After that the next important Instruments I bring in is the 808 Bass, the 808 might have so much power that it would start peaking close to 0db, in this case the volume on the mixer won't do much to fix this issues, so I would then go to the channel volume and I would turn down the volume of the 808 before it goes into the master. I always ensure that my 808 doesn't go above -12db.

The kicks and 808 are the most important element of my mix this is why I pay special attention to both of them, once I am satisfied I start to bring up the rest of the Instruments, the snares or clap, then hihats, the Piano, Pad, Choirs or any other Instruments, there's always one that I always want to stand out.

So after bringing all of them up I listen closely and I am pleased with the overall output and I will check my db meter to make sure that it doesn't peak above -6db this way I ensure that enough headroom is created for mastering later on. Then I would switch back to Stereo mode.

This brings me to the next stage Panning , I don't pan blindly I listen first before I pan, but be extremely careful with panning, always make sure you don't over pan your Instruments, 50% panning is ok for a start.

So once I am pleased with what I can hear, it's time to do my processing.

Kick & 808 - EQ I cut unwanted frequencies esp those frequencies around 1khz - 20khz it all depends.

Then I add a peak control on my kick, then on the 808 I sidechain it to the kick, this allow the kick to cut through the 808.

So in my other Instruments I make sure I EQ all of them to clean them up, I hate unwanted frequencies with a passion. Once I have used EQ to clean I then listen to which signal is too loud or too low then I grab my compressor and apply it as needed but not so much because too much compression can ruin your sound keep it minimal.

This is how I apply effects,

Piano I would route it to a free mixer channel the signals would be playing from two source, now on the second source I would add Reverb I would take out the dry and increase the wet signal, then I blend the volume faders to balance it up.

It's best to use a send fx i.e routing because it keeps your sounds as it is if you apply effects directly it might not sound well. So I also do the same thing for delays. On my drums I only apply reverb to the clap/snare and hihats and other percussions Finally I would route all my drums to a bus. I would apply a Multiband Saturation like fabfilter saturn. I would saturate both the mids and highs, after that I apply compression to glue the sounds together to make it sound cohesive, I use fabfilter pro C2. I sometimes add limiter to bring up the Volume, while doing all these I always ensure my mix never peak above -6db. I also route the rest synths to a bus and apply saturation and compression and Stereo Separation minimally. I would listen back and forth and if I am pleased with the sound, I export to Wav for Mastering.

Just keep learning.

Next Post Would be How I Master.

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