The Number One Rule of Mixing is that it won’t work with terrible sounds! Use a Progressive House Sample Pack from the beginning so you know you’re working with professional quality materials.
Now, if you want to learn how to mix Emotional Progressive House, read on. It’s based on this tutorial, which uses the Lost Vol. 2 sample pack. It contains 450 + samples, 170 presets, 40 midi files, 2 full FLP and more, which as said, helps because everything is of high quality, which means less mixing.
Mixing Emotional Progressive House
First up, we’ll go through the mixing of the drop leads. Then, we’ll move on to the chords, the bass, the break, and finally the break pads.
Mixing The Drop Leads
Starting with the drop leads, for the mixing, route all drop leads to a BUS to mix them together, which makes them sound like they’re all one piece.
First add an EQ. Be sure to remove low frequencies from stuff like leads, chords, etc, which will make your mix 10 x cleaner. Also remove some highs.
A bit of Soundgoodizer can also make your sound fuller. Just don’t add too much.
Also add some Sausage Fattener to give the sound more colour, but not too much.
Next up, use OTT, which is an amazing multiband compressor. It can really glue the sound together and make it sound one piece. It’s also free!
Also use a filter for buildups. Add reverb to your leads as well. It will prevent the leads from sounding dull and dry. Finally, add some Sidechain last to make the reverb sidechained. The mix is at -75% so it’s not sidechained all the way. You should also do some stereo imaging.
Use the knobs! The left is stereo, and the right is mono. Always make the leads more mono and the chords more stereo to make the mix balanced. At this point in a track, there is a very big difference with the mixing on and mixing off.
How To Mix The Chords
Now it’s time for the chords. First the drop chords. Route everything to a BUS to mix them together. Remove the low end because we don’t want it in the chords. Also remove some treble to make the sound less sharp. Too much treble is bad, very bad for your mix!
Next, use dimension expander, which will add a lot of depth and width to your sound. It always works well on things like chords. Add a bit of OTT again. Use it on most drop elements, like leads and chords. Doing so will give you better dynamics and a more balanced mix.
Add a stereo enhancer. This will make the chords stereo, and push them to the sides of the mix. The leads will be in the centre of the mix. By doing this, the leads and chords work together instead of clashing, this makes the mix more clean. Next, add an exciter, which can add clarity and crispiness to your mix. Don’t forget to add some reverb to make it less dry.
Lastly, add some sidechain. Be sure to add it after the reverb if it’s for the drop. That way, the reverb gets sidechained too.
Keep in mind that the leads and chords are usually the hardest part of mixing.
Mixing The Bass in Progressive House
Now, it will be easier. Next up, we have the bass.
There are two types of basses:
- The Mid Bass
- A Sub Bass
The mixing here is very simple. For the mid basses, cut off the lowest frequencies (100 HZ). This way, you leave room for the sub so the mix is cleaner. Then route all the basses together to a single BUS.
Then, boost a bit of the lows, and remove some highs. One other tip: make sure your sub is always in mono. This will make the low end of your track 10 x cleaner. And of course, sidechain. Put the mix at 100% so the kick & bass won’t clash.
You can also use a drop arp. The mixing here is also very simple. You can remove the low frequencies because they are not needed here. Add dimension expander here to add more depth to the track. Add a lot of reverb because it makes the sound very ambient and spacious. Finally, add some sidechain. Then, you need some drums and FX. Basically, what you want to do next is remove the low frequencies from everywhere it’s not needed. So, remove it from the claps, rides, crashes, downlifters etc. Only the kick and bass should occupy the low end. That way, your mix will be clean.
How to Mix The Break In Progressive House
Now, it’s time for the break mixing. We have the vocals come in and, warning, quite a lot of mixing happens here!
First add Manipulator. Put the pitch at -2 to make it in key with the track. The formant is -1 to make the vocal sound deeper. Changing the formant does not affect the pitch. Next up, add an EQ. Place a low cut at 130HZ to remove the unneeded lows. Boost the mid range to make it more in your face. Remove a bit of the highs to make the sound less sharp.
Add Decapitator to add Saturation and Extra Harmonics. This will make the vocals sound much more full. Next up, add OTT to compress and glue the vocals. Only use a bit of OTT, so don’t overdo it. Also add Pro-C2 to add some more compression. Pro-C2 compresses differently than OTT, so that’s why you can use both.
Add some delay, which is a great tool to fill up the gaps in the vocal. Be careful not to use too much because it can clutter up the mix. Lastly, add reverb to make the vocal less dry.
For the other break elements, there’s not much mixing.
For the break piano: the mixing is actually very easy. Remove the low end because it is not necessary for pianos. But, if you remove too much, the sound will lose body. Lower high freqs to make it sound softer/warmer. Use VintageVerb to give the pianos an acoustic reverb.
The Mixing of the Break Pads
Don’t forget some break pads! Place a low cut since the pads have a lot of rumble. Cut a bit of the high freqs. Also boost the low-mids to make the sound more full. Next, add dimension expander. It can add a lot of depth to the sound of the pads. It will make them sound really wide and spacious. Lastly, add reverb.
In the 2nd part of the break, add some uplifting plucks. The mixing is very simple. Remove the low frequencies as they’re not necessary. Then add some reverb.
For the rest of the track in the tutorial, they didn’t need to do any mixing. That’s because the sounds from lost Vol. 2 are ready to use. Just always remember to remove the low freqs from wherever they are not necessary. And that’s about it!
The Final Note On How To Mix Progressive House
Mixing gets easier when you’ve had a lot of practice, so don’t get disheartened if you find it really difficult in the beginning. Just start out with the right materials in the first place. As you can see, because the tutorial used high quality samples, there weren’t too many problems during the mixing process, and you may find there are parts that don’t need mixing at all depending on their source. To mix emotional progressive house, be patient and get to know your stuff.