Mixing Afro music.
Am Musa Okunzuwa Idehen, a studio owner
and a mix engineer based in Benin City, Edo State of Nigeria.,
I studied music at Sir Victor Uwaifo Academy in the late
’80s before moving to Italy in 2001,
where I learned more about mixing as a studio assistant.
Today am going to share most of the experience I have had in these past years.
Mixing Afro music is a little bit like other genres of music
First of all, we have to look at the low frequency which will normally consist of the kick and bass guitar.
In mixing Mixing Afro music lows we need to decide which element takes the deeper low
In afro-pop dance music, for example, the kick goes deeper and carries the power of the song.
Basically, the kick should be centered around 60/80hz while the bass guitar would be centered around 80/100hz
Generally I do high pass on my kick around 30 or 40hz depending on the material,
I will compress the kick to reduce the peaks with a slow attack and fast release and a ratio of 4:1 while Mixing Afro music
I will explain the compressor in more detail in another tutorial
After that move to the next element which is the bass guitar, I will never mix these two foundation elements alone in solo mode
Always ways listen to them as one element while processing any of them
On my bass guitar, I will do a high pass around 50/70hz again it depends on the source material.
I may decide whether to buss together in a new group channel or apply a side chain to duck the bass when the kick and the bass hit together,
After finding a proper level balance for the kick and bass in Mixing Afro music.
Mixing Afro music.
The snare drum is an important element that I normally high pass at 100hz and a broad boost around 180/200hz and a little dip cut around 2k and a little broad boost around 8k for crank on snare drums.
Then, it’s time to mix in the high hats which I will roll off the low for 400hz down with a high pass filter including the cymbals
With the toms, I high pass them from 60hz down to create space for the kick and bass. After careful blending of these elements to the kick and bass.
We will now have to mix in the principal instrumental
Let take for example, the piano,
I will roll off all the low frequencies starting from 150 with a high pass filter. Thereby creating nice space for the kick and bass
The high pass on the piano is not a magical number, you have to sweep around to find the right spot in Mixing Afro music
I normally compress all my elements slightly to tame their peaks then I add a little eq boost at 4k with a wide Q factor.
and I will find a perfect level balance for the paino
Then I will s move up to the other elements with the same method If the piano..
Mixing is not a magic thing, it a skill that you have to learn. And do keep making a good mix with this knowledge.
Nevertheless, I will be showing you how to balance your Afrobeat low end in a very special way.
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