The latest in the “Dangerous Music Tips” video series finds producer Luca Pretolesi working with Stems and drums. Although the genre is EDM, the tips shared are universally applicable to your style of music as well.
In part 1 of this EDM mixing video, engineer Luca Pretolesi demonstrates how he uses stem mixing for an electronic dance track by the EDM artist Borgeous. By separating vocals, effects, bass, percussion, kick drum, high synths, and guitars into stems, Pretolesi can treat each “in a very transparent way but also add some color and texture.” Luca shows how he uses the built-in analog audio processor circuits from the Dangerous 2-BUS+ for a very simple stem mixing workflow instead of using outboard effects. It’s just like working in the box, but with all the sonic and routing benefits that analog summing has to offer. Watch and see how Pretolesi builds the song with each buss, explaining his techniques along the way.
“Dealing with preprocessed stems is absolutely normal. My routing is essentially the same as working in the box using a bussing system, but instead of sending all the tracks to the master buss I send 8 stereo buss outputs digitally to a pair of Dangerous Music CONVERT-8 D to As, which feed my summing device, the Dangerous 2-BUS+,” says Luca.
In part 2 of this EDM mixing video, engineer Luca Pretolesi focuses on drum mixing for an electronic dance track by EDM artist Borgeous. Pretolesi demonstrates how he uses two of the Dangerous 2-BUS+ analog audio processor circuits on his drum stems. He utilizes ‘Harmonics’ on the kick, and ‘Paralimit’ on percussion. As you listen, note how he accomplishes so much without any external cabling, patching or latency since the effects are built right into the 2-BUS+.
“I have kicks going through a buss on the 2-BUS+. I use the harmonic distortion to give the kick sound a certain tone, color — a richness and thickness. I do less mixing in the box and can more easily make decisions on the final sound, it’s a more gentle, more organic sound,” explains Luca.
About Luca Pretolesi
Engineer Luca Pretolesi, of Studio DMI in Las Vegas, uses his musicianship for mixing and mastering. Taking tracks to an entirely new level. His approach is artistic, bringing a fresh perspective to songs and releasing the emotion that can be buried beneath unpolished sounds. He is able to enhance the music and create a masterpiece beyond the original vision of the artist/producer. Hailing from Italy where the genre was born, dance music is second nature to him. At 16 years old he was in school learning to perfect his craft as electronic music was gaining mainstream popularity, Luca has now perfected the art of mixing and mastering electronic music with over 25 years experience.
He has created a collection of equipment including computer plugins, and custom made hardware, EQ’s and compressors, and high end mastering gear. This combination of analog and digital allows him to add his touch to any project of any style as he has the best of both technological worlds at his fingertips. Pretolesi devotes all of his energy to mixing and mastering the final product – not the creation of the rough draft. Comparable to viewing a local channel vs. high-definition, he creates sounds that you can see, and takes one-dimensional tracks and gives them depth and separation, and turns music into an ‘iMax movie’ experience.
After mixing a track for an artist on Dim Mak Records, Steve Aoki picked up the polished delivery of the track. Aoki then hired Pretolesi to mix/master his entire album ‘Wonderland’ – a project that lead to a Grammy nod for Pretolesi and opened the door to work for the biggest names in Dance Music. Recent clients include Diplo, along with side projects Major Lazer and Jack U; Borgeous, Lil Jon, Pegboard Nerds, Gareth Emery, and Snoop Lion’s “Reincarnated” album which also went on to receive a Grammy nomination. Pretolesi has also worked with TJR, Cedric Gervais, Borgore, Morgan Page, 2 Chainz, and KSHMR, just to name a few to complete their works.
Visit Studio DMI: https://studiodmi.com/luca-pretolesi/