- Publisher: Audio Legends
- Product: Chris Lord-Alge Mixing Course
- Duration: 01:35:39
- Video Format: MP4
Steven Slate recently launched a new audio educational program called Audio Legends, featuring the music industry’s most notable mixing engineers showing how they mix a song (with Slate plugins).
Course 1 features Grammy award-winning mixing engineer Chris Lord Alge mixing a song called “Our Time” by Screaming at Demons, which was recorded at NRG Studio B with Chad Smith on drum duty.
The course has two components:
1. Seven videos, clocking in at an hour of view time, with Chris Lord Alge discussing his mix preparation and mix bus techniques, mixing drums, bass, electric guitars, vocals, effects and his automation approach.
2. The finished session and audio files that Chris Lord Alge mixed, including all of his mix automation and Slate plugins settings. The session is available on multiple platforms like ProTools, Digital Performer (Mac Only), Ableton Live, Logic Pro X and Cubase.
The best part about this type of educational material is that you can open up the mix session in your own studio and hear it through an environment that your ears are tuned to, which can give you a better understanding of what the mixer is hearing.
Audio Legends Course 1 Videos
I like how the video series gets right to the point with Chris Lord Alge discussing how and why he made certain mix decisions for each instrument.
Chris Lord Alge is known for big, wide-sounding rock mixes, and after hearing him speak on these videos, you can tell that his BIG personality is well-represented in his mixing.
Some of the most surprising things that stood out to me were:
1. He makes LARGE, broad EQ moves on the top and low end.
2. He didn’t compress as much as I thought he would, and his use of the VCC console plugin and VTM tape plugin to soak up transients first was really interesting.
3. Overall the amount of plugins used was on the short list.
4. No drum bus!
Some things that Chris Lord Alge did that I really liked:
1. His effects processing, especially for vocals.
2. How he EQ’s drum overheads.
3. His tip on checking drum phase by boosting low end temporarily.
4. His use of the tape plugin for different instruments.
After watching all of the videos, it’s easy to understand why his mixes sound so wide without the use of stereo widening plugins. It’s a nice lesson in not being afraid to go extreme for extreme results.
Who Will Benefit from the Audio Legends Courses?
For beginners, I think the most important thing about this course is just seeing how someone else organizes and prepares a mix for optimal workflow, including bussing tracks to effects and parallel processing.
That alone will put a beginner a couple years ahead. I wish there was something like this when I first started out!
As a word of caution, though, I feel like an aggressive approach like this on tracks recorded in a bedroom or for a genre other than pop and rock will be dangerous, but overall, it’s a great way to see and hear how a professional mixing engineer like Chris Lord Alge approaches a mix.
More advanced mix engineers will discover at least one thing that they like and can add to their mixing “tool box” for future reference. Plus, it’s fun and gets the creative juices flowing!
How much is Audio Legends Course 1 with Chris Lord Alge?
There’s a special introductory rate going on right now with three different ways to purchase. To make the most use of this course, you’ll need Slate’s Everything Bundle, which includes all of the Slate Digital plugins used.
I recommend the “Chris Lord Alge Mix Course + One month plugins”, which at the time of this writing costs $97. If you’d like to cancel the monthly subscription of the Everything Bundle plugins after your free month is up, you can do that anytime.
For the cost of a quality plugin, you’re going to get mixing information (and inspiration) that will last you a lifetime and have more impact on your mixes than just buying a plugin.
Even if you use just one of Chris Lord Alge’s techniques to better your mixing, it’ll pay for itself.
There are a lot of great resources online showing how to mix a song.
If you’re looking for a mixing “course” that’s free, I highly recommend Warren Huart’s YouTube Channel Produce Like a Pro, where he dissects songs that he’s produced and mixed, right down to the plugins and settings he’s using (with explanations behind each decision).
But even though the Audio Legends course isn’t free, it’s still a fantastic deal to see how a professional mixer like Chris Lord Alge approaches a mix with the option of opening up the mix session in your own studio.
The Audio Legends Course 1 with Chris Lord Alge has been updated since it’s release with two new videos:
- A 50-minute walkthrough of the CLA course with Steven Slate highlighting CLA’s most notable mixing techniques. I found this companion video to be really helpful, especially understanding the connection of how an analog mixer uses Slate’s plugins to get more of a “console feel”. I also got a better grasp of how some of Slate’s plugins were working behind the scenes.
- Behind-the-Scenes video of recording Chad Smith’s Drums at NRG Studios.
Audio Legends Chris Lord Alge Mixing Course Contents
- Watch This First
- CLA Live Mixing
- Chapter 1 – Mix Preparation
- Chapter 2 – Console and Mix Bus
- Chapter 3 – Drums
- Chapter 4 – Vocals
- Chapter 5 – Guitars
- Chapter 6 – Bass
- Chapter 7 – Automation