Course Language: English
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
"MIXING FOR COMPOSERS"
With DENNIS SANDS (Avengers, Spider Man)
🗓️ Offer at May 🗓️
Limited to 150 spots
How to mix orchestral music   |   Plugins, Reverbs, EQ, Stems   |   Behind the scenes step-by-step mixing in different styles (action, love, comedy, etc) ​
Pre-recorded & LIVE CLASSES   |   More than 20 hours of short actionable videos!
 🗓️ Offer at May 🗓️
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
DEMO THE COURSE (Watch Inside The Course!)
WHAT'S INSIDE MIXING FOR COMPOSERS?
In this program, we cover everything from the very beginning of how to setup your mixing session, the rituals before starting to mix, Dennis mixing workflow, how to mix orchestral music in different styles, what plugins to use, automation, stems and so much more!

The curriculum currently consists of  more than 20 hours of video content, and we add new content every month -with live classes that you've cces to- to keep the learning relevant and up-to-date.
Comedy - Strings
Mockup Vs Final Mix Comparison
 • Mixing an Orchestral Mockup - What Are We Trying to Achieve
 • Plugins Dennis Uses, Thought Process, Choices for These Plugins
 • The Goal: Enhance the Music, Make It Richer, Bigger, Wider, Cinematic

Celli Pizz: Positioning, Creating the Room Space, Making It Sound Rich and Full
 • How to Create a Sense That the Strings Were Recorded Together, Live, in the Same Room, When You're Using Different Libraries.
 • How to Make an Uninteresting Instrument Sound Rich and Full 
 • A Digital Recording of a Sample Tends to Sound Gritty, Edgy, and Lacks Warmth. What To Do About It?
 • How to Create Space, Dimension, and a Sense of Room?
 • How to Make a Dry Sample Sound Like It Was Recorded in a Hollywood Scoring Stage?

Celli Long Notes: Adding Realism, Bringing Back the Ambient Sense of Space, Dealing with Wet Samples
 •  Using Panning to Add Dimension. When to Invert Panning?
 • How to Avoid the Mistake of Adding Too Much Reverb?
 • How to Bring Back the Ambient Sense of Space to Sounds That Lean All the Way to One Side?

Double Bass Pizz: Adding Warmth, Cleaning the Sound, Positioning
 • How To Add Warmth To Low Pizzicatos?
 • When Is It a Good Idea to Roll Off the Bottom End of the Double Basses?
 • How to Brighten Up a Sound Without Adding High Frequencies?
 • The Stereo Spectrum Gives You Less Latitude for Any Subtleties in Panning. How to Overcome It?
 • When to Pan Extreme L/R Vs Keeping the Stereo Signal Fairly Wide?

Double Bass Long Notes: Adding Character, Getting Rid of Muddiness, Positioning, Creating the Room Space 
 • What Tape Emulation to Use for Basses and Low-frequency Instruments?
 • How to Create Space in the Low End and Avoid Muddiness in the Low Area?
 • How to Brighten Up a Sound Without Adding High Frequencies?

High Strings Pizz: Enhancing the Attack, Compensating with Low Str Pizz
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Pizz Strings
 • How to Compensate When the Balance of the Stereo Mix is Heavier in One of the Channels
 • How to Keep the Textural Quality of Several Tracks When You Need to Sonically Go Together

High Strings Long and Ensembles: Shaping the Sound to Widen the Image, Add Sweetness in the High End and Clarity in the Low End 
 • How to Take Away the Mid-range Edge That You Sometimes Hear in Digital Samples? (ie. High Sustain Strings)
 • When NOT to Add Reverb?
 • How to Create Space in the Low End and Avoid Muddiness in the Low Area?
 • An Easy Trick to Widen the Image (ie. Making the Ensemble Strings Sound Wider)

Strings: Reverbs used in this cue
 • Reverbs used for the strings track in this cue

Comedy - Woods & Brass
Solo Flute: Adding Warmth, Cleaning the Sound, and Making It Sound Cohesive With the Resto Of the Orchestra
 • How to Add a More Pleasing Character to the Flute Sound? 
 • How to Clear Out the Muddy Region of Frequencies That Reduces Clarity in the Sound?
 • Creating the Same Depth and Perspective Than the Other Instruments in the Orchestra Even When the Sample Already Has Reverb on It
 • Should You Match the Send Pan With the Track Pan to Help Maintain the Placement?

Live Irish Whistle: Cleaning the Sound, Adding Presence, and Differenciationg It Within the Context of the Rest of the Mix
 • How to Get Rid of Environmental and Hum Noise in Live Recordings?
 • A Useful (and Pretty Radical!) Plugin When You Want to Add a Fair Amount of Compression to Lift and Give the Solo Part Some Energy and Presence
 • How to Differentiate One Particular Track Within the Context of the Rest of the Mix?
 • The Typical Adjustments to Make to Reverb Plugins (Color and Length)

Solo and Section Horns: Making Them More Believable With Reverb, Cleaning the Dark Area and Positioning
 •  Functional Reverb: How the Right Reverb Can Make the Cut-off of a Phrase Sound More Natural and Pleasing, and Help Smooth Over the Change Between Notes?
 • How to Get Rid of the Dark Mid-low Area of the Horns Harmonies?
 • The Horns Section is Not a Directional Sound and It Feels Very Much Out in the Full Room. How to Deal With Their Panning?

Comedy - Keyboard, Guitars, Bass, & Synths
Piano: Dealing With Stereo Balance, Adding Presence and Intensity, Right Reverb Length to Avoid Muddiness
 • Piano Panning. When Is It a Good Idea to Reverse the Stereo Direction?
 • How to Add Presence and Intensity When the Piano is Carrying the Melody, Without Having to Lift It on Top of the Track?
 • What's the Right Reverb Length for the Piano?

Cymbal Swell, Gong, High Pulsing Synth: Adding Crispness, Differentiating Each Distinct Timber, Enhancing Energy and Spatial Character
 • Using Analog Emulation to Add Crispness, Presence, and Attack to High Percussion.
 • Plate Reverb for High Percussion: Why is It a Good Choice?
 • Where is the Muddy Area in High Pitched Percussion Instruments and How to Get Rid of It?
 • Dealing With Percussion Tracks With Lots of Movement and Distinct L&r Content (Ie. Sequenced High Pulsing Synths Bouncing Back and Forth). How to Enhance the Energy and the Spatial Character?

Stick on Drum Rim, Tambourine, Windchimes: Adding Presence and Spacial Component
 •  How to Add Presence to Percussion Without Overpowering the Melodic Instruments (Even When You're Listening Back to the Mix at a Low Volume Level)
 • Adding Spacial Quality to Dry Percussive Samples

Tablas and Timpani: Adding Presence While Not Overwhelming the Rest of the Instruments
 • Adding Presence, Character, and Attack to Tablas
 • How to Find the Right Level for Elements That Have a Lot of Motion and Energy So They Don't Overwhelm the Track

Melodic Guitars: adding interest and color, positioning them, and creating spacial content 
 • What to Do to Enhance a Not-So-Great Sounding Guitar Sample: a Combination of Tape  Emulation, Multi-band Compression, and EQ
 • A Type of Reverb That Works Great With Guitars (and Keyboards!) and Helps Them Fit Into the Mix
 • How to Enhance the Attack to Add Interest to a Sound That Sounds Dark and Muddy

Energy and Color Guitars: Making Them More Distinguishable, Adding Attack and Interest to Help Push the Track Along
 • An Easy Trick to Make the Mix More Interesting and the Instruments More Distinguishable When You've Got Two Tracks That Are Complementing Each Other
 • How to Reach for the Attack on Non-Melodic Sounds That Provide Color and Energy to Help Push the Track Along
 • How to Clean and Add Richness to a Cloudy Strum Guitar 

Synths and Textural Elements: How to Position, Level, and Making Them Sound Wider
 • How to Pan Textural Elements (and How Different the Approach is Compared to Predominant and Melodic Elements)
 • How to Level Textural Elements to Add the Right Color but Don't Disrupt the Spirit of an Uplifting Track.
 • The Concept of "Feel It and Sense It, Maybe Hear It Slightly (Rather Than Anything That is in Any Way Predominant)" for Textural Elements That Should Sound Very Low in the Mix
 • An Easy Trick to Widen the Image of Synth Elements (ie. Opening the Image Even Outside-of-the-speaker Concept)

Synth Bass: Broadening and Enriching the Sound 
 • How to Broaden the Bass Sound to Enhance Its Low Support Structure 
 • How to Add Harmonics and Subtle Distortion to Make the Bass More Interesting and Richer Sounding

Electric Bass: cleaning the sound and adding presence
 • How to Add Impact to the Electric Bass
 • How to Enhance the Low Frequencies
 • How to Accentuate the Rich Overtones of a Good Sounding Electric Bass
 • What Type of Reverb Should You Use to Open the Bass, Add Dimension and Realism

Solo Instruments That Lightly Add Texture Inside of Another Track
 • Solo Instruments: How to Lift the Internal Content of a Track to Make It More Interesting
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Support Instruments to Lightly Add Texture Inside of Another Track

Comedy - Automation & Plugins Summary
Automation
 • What is Automation, Why Should You Automate, and What Elements Should You Automate?
 • How to Enhance and Make the Performance of Sustain Sampled Notes to Feel More Real With Automation?

Action - Strings
Violins
 • Balance: How to Keep It Even, Rich, and Full
 • How to Simulate a Real Orchestra With Samples
 • Rituals: the Three Things You Wanna Do in Each Track of Your Cue to Avoid Mixing Mistakes
 • How Much Reverb is Enough or Too Much When There's a Lot of Musical Activity and Energy in the Performance
 • How to Create Depth and Position Some Elements in the Back Without Losing Clarity and Energy
 • "You Can't Polish Crap. You Can't Make Bad Stuff Sound Great. You May Make It Sound Better but You Can't Make It Sound Great."
 • How to Create the Room Component When Dealing With Very Dry Samples

Violas
 • ISome Times Violas Get Lost in the Mix. How to Make It Interesting and Create a Distinguishable Sonic Experience?
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Vila Pizz?
 • How to Avoid Masking Over the Energy of the Pizz Strings When Adding Reverb?

Celli 
 • When Would It Be a Good Idea to Position Cellos in a Narrow Spot in Terms of the Pan (as Opposed to a Rather Wide Sound)?
 • How to Add Extra Energy and Aggression to Staccato Cellos?
 • How to Add Clarity to Cellos Without Adding High Frequencies?
 • How to Add a Spacial Component to Fast and Active Staccato Cello Lines, Without Diffusing the Power and Energy?

Basses
 • Dealing With Low Strings in an Action Cue (or Active Music That Requires Lots of Energy) to Give It a Good Amount of Clarity and Transparency and Avoid Masking the Energy
 • Adding Energy to the Upper Range of the Low Frequencies of the Double Bass Section
 • How to Create Space in the Extreme Low End of the Double Bass Section for Lower Instruments in the Mix (Ie. Percussive Sub Booms)?
 • How to Add Realism to the Staccato Decay?
 • How to Enhance the Attack to Double Bass Staccato?

Action - Brass
 Horns
 • Understanding the Structure of the Brass Section in a Traditional Orchestra 
 • Horns in an Action Cue Sound Different Than in a Love Cue. What Are the Sonic Differences and How to Enhance Those Qualities That Are More Appropriate for an Action Track?
 • Action Tracks Are Usually Very Busy, Thick, Dense. Horns Usually Take a Lot of Sonic Space in the Mix. Where Should You Position the Horns and How Do You Create Space for Other Instruments (ie. Staccato Strings) When a Big Horns Line Comes in?
 • How to Integrate the Horns Sound With the Rest of the Section (So It Sound to Be in the Same Space) When the Sample Already Has a Room Component?

Trumpets, Trombones, Tuba, Cimbasso, etc
...
Action - Percussion
 High Percussion
 • How to Add More Attack, Energy, and Power the Snare Hits?
 • Using Analog Emulation to Add Crispness, Presence, and Attack to High Percussion.
 • Plate Reverb for High Percussion: Why is It a Good Choice?
 • Finding the Right Balance for the High Percussion to Complement the Low Percussion (Rather Than Compete With It)
 • How to Find the Right Level for Elements That Have a Lot of Motion and Energy So They Don't Pull Too Much Attention?
 • How to Use Reverb to Diffuse the Presence of High Pitched Active Percussion Parts to Make Them Feel Less In-Your-Face While Not Masking the Sound and Still Leaving Plenty of Space?

Low Percussion
• Timpani and Gran Cassa: How to add richness, size, and power to low orchestral percussion instruments such?
• How to accentuate the mallet hit on the timpani with EQ?
• How to enhance the energy, attack, aggression of timpani tracks in an action cue?
• How to create a distinctive spacial character slightly to separate the low percussion elements from the rest of the instruments?
• How to balance the timpani with the Gran Cassa?
• How to enhance the bottom end of the Gran Cassa when it's too present and it's missing the big low frequency out in the room component?
• How to enhance the extreme bottom end effectively for impact (instead of annoyance!)?
• How to add supportive low frequencies under the track to give it a little bit of weight and interest to the mix?

...
AND SO MUCH MORE... (coming soon)
Action - Woodwinds
Action - Harps
Action - Bass & Guitars
Action - Trailer Effects
...

Romantic - Strings, Woods...
Rock - Guitars, Drums...
WHY DID WE CREATE THIS PROGRAM?
Whether you're a professional or a hobbyist you wanna learn to be as be as good as you can.

If you're a hobby composer, the MIX is the end product that provides the JOY of what you're writing. It gives you the ability to hear the music the way you intended. It would be as good as it can possibly be. The better it sounds, the better the joy. 

And if you're a professional, you already know how meaningfull and significant a good mix is to get and keep a job. Sending a demo is like an advertisement. If it doesn't sound good, you're not gonna get the job. And if you do get the job, you're not gonna keep it for long if your music doesn't sound good. 

This is NOT a beginner's course. This course does NOT teach how to set up a compressor! ;)
This course instructs the thought process behind the mixing process.
You’ll compose differently after this course because you’ll compose with the mix in mind.
You’ll be able to hear the mix in your mind before you start to write and you’ll know how to get to the sound that you hear in your head.
Dennis will show you how to think about the sound and how to shape it to get the result you want.

From Marc Jovani
Los Angeles, 6/24/2020


Dennis teaches you how to mix orchestral mockups in different styles (action, romantic, comedy, etc).

He deconstructs his mixes and shows you the step by step

One of the tracks that Dennis mixes in this course is my own. I wrote the Bombastic Action Cue for this course.

...

I'm familiarized with Dennis' work. I've heard his mixes. They all sound outstanding! I'm a big fan. 
(In fact, we've been trying Dennis to say "YES" to develop this course with us for four years! So this is a dream come true...)
At the same time though, I'm confident with my mixing skills and I'm proud of how my mockups sound. And while I know that my music never sounds as good as a Hollywood blockbuster soundtrack, I always thought -"Well, they sound better because it's a live orchestra!" (and that's partially true...)

...
-"I just finished mixing your track." - a text message from Dennis . "I'm ready to start recording the step by step videos for the course, but check out the mix before I proceed, please".
I've gotta say: 

It was a reeeeeeeeallly hectic day for me.
 -"I'm sure he's done a good job..." - I thought 
"At the end of the day, he's Dennis Sands!!" 
I almost did not listen to it and just responded with a quick "Sounds awesome. Thanks!"
But honestly, I'm beyond curious to just not listen to it.

So I rushed to my studio, downloaded the track, I listened to it...

Here's THE WEIRD THING...

I've been teaching Orchestral Mockup Production and Mixing for over a decade. I've done dozens of movies. My first project in Los Angeles was a TV movie in 2010 and since then, when I deliver the music, I always have the "EGO" feeling that goes:
 "No one could make this music sound better than myself". 

Have you ever been there?  ;)

"Yes, it could sound better if I had more resources to record live musicians but with what I got, this is as good as it gets".

In other words...
I'm pretty confident that I can deliver a good mix. A good sounding mockup.
(or so I say! LOL)
Also, I've seen Dennis mixing orchestral mockups (all samples, no live instruments) and I've seen the improvement. BIG IMPROVEMENT

But it has never been MY music.

...

Something Weird Happens When Someone Else Mixes Your Music.

First, you know your music SO damn well! At the end of the day, you've put a lot of effort composing that track and you've listened to it an insane amount of times.

Also, before sending your mockup you've listened to it everywhere: studio speakers, headphones, laptop, in the car etc etc. and you know the weaknesses of your mix.

Here's what happens when someone else's mixes your music: it's going to sound SO DIFFERENT to what you did! Your spouse won't tell the difference LOL! But to you it's going to sound a world apart! 

You'll either LOVE it or HATE it
(I'm a control freak if you can't tell! LOL, so I usually hate it...)
...

Back to the story... I listened to it...

It was SO SO SO different (in a good way)! I did NOT believe my music could sound SO MUCH BETTER.
(in a way, I didn't want to believe that it could sound much better...)

What do you mean better?" --> I mean "It freaking sounds like the real deal". It's like, "here's my mix" right? "I'm proud of this"... and then there's the 100 million dollars budget HOLLYWOOD production soundtrack (or any professional perfect mix that you hear on the records).

I WAS happy with my mockup!

But what Dennis sent me goes BEYOND what I could EVER imagine.

It made me BELIEVE "Wow! My music can still get sooooo much closer to the real sh**! To what we hear in the movies!"
I always thought that 
"this is as good as it gets when I'm using samples". 
But there's still so much that can be done. And this is what he teaches in the course.

And I'm not talking about making your music sound realistic. It's beyond the "realistic sound" conversation. I mean sounding closer to what you hear IN THE MOVIES. From the HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER to the smaller realistic acoustic sound. It doesn't matter. 

Another thing was...

Do you know that feeling of your music sounding good in your studio, but then in crappy speakers, it's kinda... meh' :S

His mix sounds equally good no matter if you're using studio speakers or crappy headphones!

So much clarity, width, big... so much low end but without overpowering!
You have to apply the concepts he teaches AND hear the difference to believe what I say.

But PLEASE try this course. Listen to what he's got to say. There's no risk... you can ask a refund if it wasn't what you expected. But I KNOW for a fact that you're gonna freak out with the amount of value he's got to share with you. You haven't seen anything like that, I know this for a fact! I know it because it's happened to me and I'm a big believer in what he teaches. 

The other thing is, we've never done anything like this. It's the first time we are offering a course with someone who's worked on such big titles. In fact, the only way to pick Dennis's brain is through this course. Yes, he teaches a mixing seminar (ie. USC etc) but the 
Now, there's a catch! 
Because it is the first time that we're working with a high profile teacher, things are different than what we've done in the past.

First - Yes, this is THE ONLY ONLINE COURSE that Dennis teaches. There are no Youtube videos, interviews where he shares mixing tips or anything like that online.
But that's not all.

It is also the only opportunity to get it at this price. Limited time  🗓️ Offer at May  🗓️ 


Marc Jovani

4-Days BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL PRICE!
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
REGULAR MUSIC CONTESTS
As a bonus, six times a year, we hold themed composing contests for a chance to win awesome prizes. Our most recent winner received the Spitfire BBC Symphonic Orchestra ($999 value). These contests encourage members to create music and learn from one another's composition entries.
Video and PDF lessons
100+ videos, 15+ hours
Weekly live video-chat
with your instructor and the rest of the class
Assignments
personally reviewed by your teacher
Private Facebook Group
to give you support
Lifetime access
to the course materials, private group & weekly chats
Lifetime updates
with new content added on a steady basis
 MONTHLY GROUP LIVE SESSIONS WITH DENNIS
In addition to the immediate acces to the content, once a month, Dennis hosts live class with the Mixing For Composers students to answer questions and address specific topics.
Video and PDF lessons
100+ videos, 15+ hours
Weekly live video-chat
with your instructor and the rest of the class
Assignments
personally reviewed by your teacher
Private Facebook Group
to give you support
Lifetime access
to the course materials, private group & weekly chats
Lifetime updates
with new content added on a steady basis
OUR WORLD WIDE COMMUNITY
One of the biggest perks of a traditional music school is networking with other talented composers. That's why we've created a private Facebook page designated for members to collaborate, share work, give/receive feedback, ask questions, share articles, and learn and grow together.
4,121
MEMBERS
+50
COUNTRIES
5.0
STAR RATINGS
PLUGINS & SAMPLE LIBRARIES 
STUDENT DISCOUNTS
Did I mention that all our members are eligible for student discounts for plugins, libraries, and gear? This perk alone saves you hundreds of dollars composing software & libraries! Members also save 30% discount in all Spitfire products, 50% FabFilter and Cinesamples, 20% in Cinematic Studio Series & Heavyocity, 25% Orchestral Tools, 30% Soundiron and more!

BONUS: When you join the course, you get 
FREE ACCESS TO WORLD-CLASS MENTORS
 PERIODICAL MASTERCLASSES WITH ZOOM

HOLLYWOOD COMPOSERS, MIXING ENGINEERS, PRODUCERS, ETC

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN EACH VERSION?
Dennis has created four mixing courses. During this  🗓️ Offer at May 🗓️  Special Offer offer you can bundle them together at a very affordable price.
Normally, each one of these courses is sold separately and priced at $249 (except the "Action" one, which sells at $320) .

During this  🗓️ Offer at May 🗓️ , there are two options.

The “Action Package” includes one course:
1) Mixing for Composers: Action (more than 7 hours of video content)

The “Super Package” includes four courses:
1) Mixing for Composers: Action (+7 hours content)
2) Mixing for Composers: Romantic (+5 hours content)
3) Mixing for Composers: Comedy (+5 hours content)
4) Mixing for Composers: Rock (+5 hours content)
🗓️ Offer at May  🗓️  SPECIAL DISCOUNT!
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
WHAT DO I GET WHEN I JOIN THE PROGRAM?
Complexity is the enemy of Execution.
When you join the program you get all the content from all the courses included in the bundle.

But big bundles like this can be overwhelming. So we've compiled & organized all the content under ONE SINGLE COURSE: the ultimate program that gives you everything that you need, from "how to set up your mixing session" to "how to automate your mix" and everything in between. 
Comedy - Strings
Mockup Vs Final Mix Comparison
 • Mixing an Orchestral Mockup - What Are We Trying to Achieve
 • Plugins Dennis Uses, Thought Process, Choices for These Plugins
 • The Goal: Enhance the Music, Make It Richer, Bigger, Wider, Cinematic

Celli Pizz: Positioning, Creating the Room Space, Making It Sound Rich and Full
 • How to Create a Sense That the Strings Were Recorded Together, Live, in the Same Room, When You're Using Different Libraries.
 • How to Make an Uninteresting Instrument Sound Rich and Full 
 • A Digital Recording of a Sample Tends to Sound Gritty, Edgy, and Lacks Warmth. What To Do About It?
 • How to Create Space, Dimension, and a Sense of Room?
 • How to Make a Dry Sample Sound Like It Was Recorded in a Hollywood Scoring Stage?

Celli Long Notes: Adding Realism, Bringing Back the Ambient Sense of Space, Dealing with Wet Samples
 •  Using Panning to Add Dimension. When to Invert Panning?
 • How to Avoid the Mistake of Adding Too Much Reverb?
 • How to Bring Back the Ambient Sense of Space to Sounds That Lean All the Way to One Side?

Double Bass Pizz: Adding Warmth, Cleaning the Sound, Positioning
 • How To Add Warmth To Low Pizzicatos?
 • When Is It a Good Idea to Roll Off the Bottom End of the Double Basses?
 • How to Brighten Up a Sound Without Adding High Frequencies?
 • The Stereo Spectrum Gives You Less Latitude for Any Subtleties in Panning. How to Overcome It?
 • When to Pan Extreme L/R Vs Keeping the Stereo Signal Fairly Wide?

Double Bass Long Notes: Adding Character, Getting Rid of Muddiness, Positioning, Creating the Room Space 
 • What Tape Emulation to Use for Basses and Low-frequency Instruments?
 • How to Create Space in the Low End and Avoid Muddiness in the Low Area?
 • How to Brighten Up a Sound Without Adding High Frequencies?

High Strings Pizz: Enhancing the Attack, Compensating with Low Str Pizz
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Pizz Strings
 • How to Compensate When the Balance of the Stereo Mix is Heavier in One of the Channels
 • How to Keep the Textural Quality of Several Tracks When You Need to Sonically Go Together

High Strings Long and Ensembles: Shaping the Sound to Widen the Image, Add Sweetness in the High End and Clarity in the Low End 
 • How to Take Away the Mid-range Edge That You Sometimes Hear in Digital Samples? (ie. High Sustain Strings)
 • When NOT to Add Reverb?
 • How to Create Space in the Low End and Avoid Muddiness in the Low Area?
 • An Easy Trick to Widen the Image (ie. Making the Ensemble Strings Sound Wider)

Strings: Reverbs used in this cue
 • Reverbs used for the strings track in this cue

Comedy - Woods & Brass
Solo Flute: Adding Warmth, Cleaning the Sound, and Making It Sound Cohesive With the Resto Of the Orchestra
 • How to Add a More Pleasing Character to the Flute Sound? 
 • How to Clear Out the Muddy Region of Frequencies That Reduces Clarity in the Sound?
 • Creating the Same Depth and Perspective Than the Other Instruments in the Orchestra Even When the Sample Already Has Reverb on It
 • Should You Match the Send Pan With the Track Pan to Help Maintain the Placement?

Live Irish Whistle: Cleaning the Sound, Adding Presence, and Differenciationg It Within the Context of the Rest of the Mix
 • How to Get Rid of Environmental and Hum Noise in Live Recordings?
 • A Useful (and Pretty Radical!) Plugin When You Want to Add a Fair Amount of Compression to Lift and Give the Solo Part Some Energy and Presence
 • How to Differentiate One Particular Track Within the Context of the Rest of the Mix?
 • The Typical Adjustments to Make to Reverb Plugins (Color and Length)

Solo and Section Horns: Making Them More Believable With Reverb, Cleaning the Dark Area and Positioning
 •  Functional Reverb: How the Right Reverb Can Make the Cut-off of a Phrase Sound More Natural and Pleasing, and Help Smooth Over the Change Between Notes?
 • How to Get Rid of the Dark Mid-low Area of the Horns Harmonies?
 • The Horns Section is Not a Directional Sound and It Feels Very Much Out in the Full Room. How to Deal With Their Panning?

Comedy - Keyboard, Guitars, Bass, & Synths
Piano: Dealing With Stereo Balance, Adding Presence and Intensity, Right Reverb Length to Avoid Muddiness
 • Piano Panning. When Is It a Good Idea to Reverse the Stereo Direction?
 • How to Add Presence and Intensity When the Piano is Carrying the Melody, Without Having to Lift It on Top of the Track?
 • What's the Right Reverb Length for the Piano?

Cymbal Swell, Gong, High Pulsing Synth: Adding Crispness, Differentiating Each Distinct Timber, Enhancing Energy and Spatial Character
 • Using Analog Emulation to Add Crispness, Presence, and Attack to High Percussion.
 • Plate Reverb for High Percussion: Why is It a Good Choice?
 • Where is the Muddy Area in High Pitched Percussion Instruments and How to Get Rid of It?
 • Dealing With Percussion Tracks With Lots of Movement and Distinct L&r Content (Ie. Sequenced High Pulsing Synths Bouncing Back and Forth). How to Enhance the Energy and the Spatial Character?

Stick on Drum Rim, Tambourine, Windchimes: Adding Presence and Spacial Component
 •  How to Add Presence to Percussion Without Overpowering the Melodic Instruments (Even When You're Listening Back to the Mix at a Low Volume Level)
 • Adding Spacial Quality to Dry Percussive Samples

Tablas and Timpani: Adding Presence While Not Overwhelming the Rest of the Instruments
 • Adding Presence, Character, and Attack to Tablas
 • How to Find the Right Level for Elements That Have a Lot of Motion and Energy So They Don't Overwhelm the Track

Melodic Guitars: adding interest and color, positioning them, and creating spacial content 
 • What to Do to Enhance a Not-So-Great Sounding Guitar Sample: a Combination of Tape  Emulation, Multi-band Compression, and EQ
 • A Type of Reverb That Works Great With Guitars (and Keyboards!) and Helps Them Fit Into the Mix
 • How to Enhance the Attack to Add Interest to a Sound That Sounds Dark and Muddy

Energy and Color Guitars: Making Them More Distinguishable, Adding Attack and Interest to Help Push the Track Along
 • An Easy Trick to Make the Mix More Interesting and the Instruments More Distinguishable When You've Got Two Tracks That Are Complementing Each Other
 • How to Reach for the Attack on Non-Melodic Sounds That Provide Color and Energy to Help Push the Track Along
 • How to Clean and Add Richness to a Cloudy Strum Guitar 

Synths and Textural Elements: How to Position, Level, and Making Them Sound Wider
 • How to Pan Textural Elements (and How Different the Approach is Compared to Predominant and Melodic Elements)
 • How to Level Textural Elements to Add the Right Color but Don't Disrupt the Spirit of an Uplifting Track.
 • The Concept of "Feel It and Sense It, Maybe Hear It Slightly (Rather Than Anything That is in Any Way Predominant)" for Textural Elements That Should Sound Very Low in the Mix
 • An Easy Trick to Widen the Image of Synth Elements (ie. Opening the Image Even Outside-of-the-speaker Concept)

Synth Bass: Broadening and Enriching the Sound 
 • How to Broaden the Bass Sound to Enhance Its Low Support Structure 
 • How to Add Harmonics and Subtle Distortion to Make the Bass More Interesting and Richer Sounding

Electric Bass: cleaning the sound and adding presence
 • How to Add Impact to the Electric Bass
 • How to Enhance the Low Frequencies
 • How to Accentuate the Rich Overtones of a Good Sounding Electric Bass
 • What Type of Reverb Should You Use to Open the Bass, Add Dimension and Realism

Solo Instruments That Lightly Add Texture Inside of Another Track
 • Solo Instruments: How to Lift the Internal Content of a Track to Make It More Interesting
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Support Instruments to Lightly Add Texture Inside of Another Track

Comedy - Automation & Plugins Summary
Automation
 • What is Automation, Why Should You Automate, and What Elements Should You Automate?
 • How to Enhance and Make the Performance of Sustain Sampled Notes to Feel More Real With Automation?

Action - Strings
Violins
 • Balance: How to Keep It Even, Rich, and Full
 • How to Simulate a Real Orchestra With Samples
 • Rituals: the Three Things You Wanna Do in Each Track of Your Cue to Avoid Mixing Mistakes
 • How Much Reverb is Enough or Too Much When There's a Lot of Musical Activity and Energy in the Performance
 • How to Create Depth and Position Some Elements in the Back Without Losing Clarity and Energy
 • "You Can't Polish Crap. You Can't Make Bad Stuff Sound Great. You May Make It Sound Better but You Can't Make It Sound Great."
 • How to Create the Room Component When Dealing With Very Dry Samples

Violas
 • ISome Times Violas Get Lost in the Mix. How to Make It Interesting and Create a Distinguishable Sonic Experience?
 • How to Enhance the Attack of Vila Pizz?
 • How to Avoid Masking Over the Energy of the Pizz Strings When Adding Reverb?

Celli 
 • When Would It Be a Good Idea to Position Cellos in a Narrow Spot in Terms of the Pan (as Opposed to a Rather Wide Sound)?
 • How to Add Extra Energy and Aggression to Staccato Cellos?
 • How to Add Clarity to Cellos Without Adding High Frequencies?
 • How to Add a Spacial Component to Fast and Active Staccato Cello Lines, Without Diffusing the Power and Energy?

Basses
 • Dealing With Low Strings in an Action Cue (or Active Music That Requires Lots of Energy) to Give It a Good Amount of Clarity and Transparency and Avoid Masking the Energy
 • Adding Energy to the Upper Range of the Low Frequencies of the Double Bass Section
 • How to Create Space in the Extreme Low End of the Double Bass Section for Lower Instruments in the Mix (Ie. Percussive Sub Booms)?
 • How to Add Realism to the Staccato Decay?
 • How to Enhance the Attack to Double Bass Staccato?

Action - Brass
 Horns
 • Understanding the Structure of the Brass Section in a Traditional Orchestra 
 • Horns in an Action Cue Sound Different Than in a Love Cue. What Are the Sonic Differences and How to Enhance Those Qualities That Are More Appropriate for an Action Track?
 • Action Tracks Are Usually Very Busy, Thick, Dense. Horns Usually Take a Lot of Sonic Space in the Mix. Where Should You Position the Horns and How Do You Create Space for Other Instruments (ie. Staccato Strings) When a Big Horns Line Comes in?
 • How to Integrate the Horns Sound With the Rest of the Section (So It Sound to Be in the Same Space) When the Sample Already Has a Room Component?

Trumpets, Trombones, Tuba, Cimbasso, etc
...
Action - Percussion
 High Percussion
 • How to Add More Attack, Energy, and Power the Snare Hits?
 • Using Analog Emulation to Add Crispness, Presence, and Attack to High Percussion.
 • Plate Reverb for High Percussion: Why is It a Good Choice?
 • Finding the Right Balance for the High Percussion to Complement the Low Percussion (Rather Than Compete With It)
 • How to Find the Right Level for Elements That Have a Lot of Motion and Energy So They Don't Pull Too Much Attention?
 • How to Use Reverb to Diffuse the Presence of High Pitched Active Percussion Parts to Make Them Feel Less In-Your-Face While Not Masking the Sound and Still Leaving Plenty of Space?

Low Percussion
• Timpani and Gran Cassa: How to add richness, size, and power to low orchestral percussion instruments such?
• How to accentuate the mallet hit on the timpani with EQ?
• How to enhance the energy, attack, aggression of timpani tracks in an action cue?
• How to create a distinctive spacial character slightly to separate the low percussion elements from the rest of the instruments?
• How to balance the timpani with the Gran Cassa?
• How to enhance the bottom end of the Gran Cassa when it's too present and it's missing the big low frequency out in the room component?
• How to enhance the extreme bottom end effectively for impact (instead of annoyance!)?
• How to add supportive low frequencies under the track to give it a little bit of weight and interest to the mix?

...
Action - Woodwinds
- Woodwinds: Staccatos, Atonal Rips, and Melodic Enhancers. Positioning instruments like in a real Orchestra
-High Woodwinds, Piccolo...
Action - Keyboards and Harps
-Action Keyboard.

-Action Harp
Action - Bass, Guitars & Effects
-Action Bass & Guitar

-Effects
Romantic - Strings
-First Violins: Carrying the Melody. Panning, Spreading and Reverb.

-Solo Violin: The definition of the Solo. Combining it with the rest of Violins

-Second Violins Gaining definition by panning them thinner and more to the middle

-Violas (Long + Pizz): Treating the long notes underneath in the mix. Short notes closer and a bit more centered and defined

-Celli (Long + Pizz): Softening unwanted frequencies and giving presence to the short notes

-Basses: Mixing the bass without too much reverb so as not to mess up the clarity of the mix

-Subbass: Low frequencies that are felt more than heard
Romantic - Woodwinds
-Bassoons: Understanding the position of woodwinds in the orchestra

-Clarinets: Finding the balance to blend with the rest of the orchestra

-English Horn: How to blend and balance all woodwinds together

Romantic - Brass
-Horn in F
Romantic - Percussion & Harp
-Percussion

-Harp
Romantic - Guitars, Ethnic Instruments
-Nylon acoustic Guitar

-Kyoto

-Dizi
Romantic - Guitars, Ethnic Instruments
-Nylon acoustic Guitar

-Kyoto

-Dizi
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PERSONAL MENTOR
Dennis Sands
  • Hollywood: More than 50 years of experience as mixing engineer working in Los Angeles
  • ​Movies: More than 350 scores mixed (Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, Maleficient, Alice in Wonderland, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Bolt, American Beauty, The Notebook, The Bourne Supremacy, Coraline, The Last of the Mohicans, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Corpse Bride, Independence Day, The Mask, Serendipity, Good Will Hunting, Pacific Rim, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Godzilla... need more? ;-p
  • Composers: Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, John Debney, John Paesano, Ramin Djawadi, Aaron Zigman, Mark Isham, Cliff Martinez, and many more.
  • Teacher: More than 12 years teaching a mixing seminar for the Film Scoring Master students at the University of Southern of California (USA)
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