To get better at mixing it makes sense to practice.
Building in time for intentional practice will see our mixing skills come on in leaps and bounds.
Even just 15 mins of “intentional” practice can help take us from average to great quicker than just aimlessly noodling around for a couple of hours.
So what do I mean when I say “intentional practice”?
Well, by recognising and committing to practising in our weakest areas, we are focused on exactly where we need to improve and can target those areas by repeatedly going over and over our chosen weak spot until we get the result we are after.
Practising at the peak of our ability and then adding a new task that is just outside our skill level and repeating it is the best way to structure your intentional practice sessions. By doing this, that 15 or 30 min practise session really accelerates our skillset as a mixer or musician.
So YAY! for practice, now, you just need some multitrack files to practice with.
If you don’t record full bands in your home studio then you might be struggling to find new and inspiring music to mix.
Well, luckily for us there are some excellent websites out there where you can get hold of both free and paid multitrack files to mix.
In this video, I’m going to go over my favourite sites for mixing multitracks that can be downloaded free to use for your mixing practise and I also cover the best paid sources for multitracks where you can use their files to build up your resume if you are trying to start your own online studio business.
Looking for places to download free multitrack files? Are you bored with the ones you have, or do you fancy trying your hand with some different styles of music? Whatever you need them for I'm going to offer my top picks for the best multi-track download websites. Hi, I'm Sara Carter from simply mixing .com, where each week I bring you simple, practical advice to help you get better at mixing. And in this video I'm going to list my favourite multitrack resources where you can download hundreds of multitrack files to build up your mixing skills or to showcase your talents to prospective clients and get your home studio business started.
Now, be sure to stick around until the end, because after I've shared with you the best free resources, I'm going to share with you my recommendations for the best paid resources that not only offer you multitrack files, but also great tuition and the best support.
If you're new to the channel, then please consider subscribing. I post a new video every week to help you get better at mixing and by subscribing, you inspire me to keep making more. Now, first things first, what are multitracks? I just want to ensure that we know exactly what we're referring to when we say "multitracks". To put it simply, multitracks are the individual recorded elements of a song that can be stereo or mono files of a recording session.
So, in a rock session, this would be all the individual drum shells and the cymbals, the bass DI and mic, each guitar and each vocal track. It's important to note that multitracks differ from stems. I hear the term stems being used all the time to refer to multitracks and that's just wrong. Stems are stereo bounces of pre-mixed instrument groups. So for example, a drum stem would be the stereo track of the entire kit. The guitar stem would be a mix down of all the guitars.
Stems are great for consolidating instrument groups like drums or the bass or all the guitars in large sessions to make it easier to manage. But they're not so great to use to practice our mixing skills. This is because a mix engineer has already committed to the stem all their signal processing, like their EQ choices, dynamics and the effects. And that leaves us with not much left to do other than balance the levels. So now we're both on the same page.
Let's get to it.
The first site to go to for free multitracks is called Cambridge Music Technology, and it was started by a guy called Mike Senior. Now, he wrote a book. He's written two books, actually, but he wrote this one called Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio. You get it.
This site is like an additional resource to the book. Mike's been part of the well-known Sound on Sound magazine team for many years and has written a couple of books, and this sister site has got hundreds of multitrack files from lots of different genres of music. So you can take your pick. You get a wide variety of recording qualities here as well. You get tracks that have been recorded in your typical small home studio, so smaller spaces and cheaper mics.
And then you get tracks that have been recorded in larger facilities. So it's a real mixed bag and great material to use for training. My next recommendation is the Telefunken Live From The Lab website.
Telefunken are a well-established microphone manufacturer and it runs recording sessions only using Telefunken mics. Each session is tracked live and the multitracks are made available for free. And there's a wide range of genres again to download from, much like Mike Senior's site but the difference here is that most of these sessions are recorded with the band or musicians all playing live together. So you get to deal with problems that come along with any live recording. So, typically that would be mic bleed, which is no bad thing, it's a great skill to learn how to deal with. The recordings are all fantastically recorded, no surprise there and they are a joy to mix.
So they are my recommendations for getting hold of the best free multitracks and the links to the websites i've just mentioned can be found in the description below where you'll be able to access literally hundreds of multitracks to sink your teeth into and really dive deep and immerse yourself in all kinds of mixing styles that will challenge you and keep you busy for ages.
Now, it's worth pointing out that the free resources here are strictly for personal or educational use and not for your resume unless you can somehow get express permission to use them.
Now, you've got a good idea of how to get hold of some great free multitracks. Here are my top paid sites to visit to check out their multi-track offerings.
These are sites that I've personally used and I highly recommend you try them out. If you're looking for multitracks to use on your resume, then these are where you'll find them.
So the first is the marvelous Warren Huart and his website and YouTube channel Produce Like a Pro.
Now, Warren is the real deal. He's a multi platinum producer who has heaps of free recording and mixing tutorials on his YouTube channel, which has a massive following and if you visit his site, you can download free multitracks, some free samples and a couple of exclusive mixing tutorials. However, by joining the Produce Like a Pro Academy, you get a full set of mutitracks every month to mix,
Warren's mix breakdown video and access to an absolutely amazing community who are incredibly supportive and helpful. The best thing about being a member are the Friday feedback sessions where Warren listens to your mix live and then gives you direct feedback, which I think is absolutely invaluable.
The next paid website [now sadly closed since making the video] I recommend is Dueling Mixes by Graham Cochrane and Joe Gilder. Both Joe and Graham are well known on YouTube for their mixing tutorials, and this membership site pits them against each other to mix the same song with very different results.
And you, as a member, also get to mix the same song and then watch how Joe and Graham approached their particular version of the mix.
Members vote on their favorite mix. They win prizes and have a very supportive online community. You get access to the group's back catalogue of notes tracks, which is absolutely massive. My third pick is puremix.net. Puremix is a paid membership site that has mixing and recording tutorials from loads of Big-Name producers and mixers people like Andrew Scheps, Greg Wells, Chris Lord-Alge, as well as the site's founder member and Grammy Award winning producer Fab Dupont.
Now, I love this site and I love Fab's unique and witty teaching style, and I personally love to watch and learn from the mixing greats.
Now, this site does offer multi tracks, but they're usually quite short, quite small section of the song, particularly because the songs tend to be from major artists, but they're still great use of practice. They occasionally have mix competitions where you can win some awesome prizes. Personally, I just love watching the mix videos. It's like you're sitting in on a session with some of the biggest names in the business and the insights, I find them to be really inspiring.
So I hope you like this video.
And if there are any multi-track sites out there that I've missed and you like to share them with the YouTube community, then pop them in the comments below this video. Finally, don't forget to click the button on screen now to subscribe to the channel and then click the bell to get notified every time I release a new video.
That's it for today. See you next time.
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