Inside The Mix: twenty one pilots with Adam Hawkins


02h 03min


Adam Hawkins Deconstructs His Mix Of "Chlorine"

Learn how Grammy-winning mix engineer Adam Hawkins mixed the twenty one pilots single "Chlorine".

In this exclusive mixing tutorial, Adam opens up his final session and shows you how he mixed this incredible production from twenty one pilots.

This is an in-depth look at what it's like to mix a song from one of the world's largest bands, while dealing with tight deadlines and a distinct sonic signature, where the goal is to enhance and maintain the artist's vision.

In this 3 hour tutorial, Adam explains:

  • His workflow in detail, including session setup, gear, routing, revisions and delivering mixes to clients.
  • The story of the song's collaborative process between Tyler Joseph and producer Paul Meany.
  • How he received the files in Logic Pro X from the band and mixed them in Pro Tools.
  • His use of three different flavors of parallel compression on drums and how he automates them to change the tone throughout the track.
  • His treatment of 808s, that made them sit in the track without taking too much space.
  • How he enhanced the stereo bass tones on the record.
  • His technique for sculpting multiple layers of synthesizers to help showcase the band's unique soundscapes.
  • The use of Microshift and Little Alterboy on vocals and effects returns to add texture.
  • How he uses multiple stages of compression on lead vocals and uses different preamp and tape saturation processes to add tone and slap delay.
  • His use of dynamic EQ on the lead vocal to fight proximity effect.
  • How to use delays to fill gaps between musical phrases and enhance the energy of the track.

This is an exclusive chance to learn Adam's personal mixing techniques, methods and all of the tricks he used to mix a hit song from one of the world's largest bands, and then apply them to your own mixes!

Learn more about Adam here

Equipment & Software
  • Air Spring Reverb
  • Altiverb 7
  • bx_console SSL 4000 E
  • DMG Audio
  • EQuilibrium
  • Eventide Omnipressor
  • FabFilter Pro Q2
  • FabFilter Pro-R
  • Izotope RX 6 De-click
  • McDsp 6050 Ultimate CS
  • NUGEN Stereoizer 3
  • Oxford Inflator
  • Reel Tape Saturation
  • Soundtoys Decapitator
  • Soundtoys EchoBoy
  • Soundtoys Little AlterBoy
  • Soundtoys MicroShift
  • Soundtoys PrimalTap
  • TAL-Chorus-LX
  • TC Electronic Clarity M
  • UAD Ampex ATR-102
  • UAD API 2500
  • UAD Chandler Curve Bender
  • UAD Dangerous BAX EQ
  • UAD EMT 250
  • UAD EP-34 Tape Echo
  • UAD SSL G Bus Compressor
  • UAD Studio D Chorus
  • UAD UA 1176 Rev A
  • Valhalla Shimmer
  • Valhalla Vintage Verb
  • Waves Abbey Road Vinyl
  • Waves API 2500
  • Waves CLA-76
  • Waves dbx-160
  • Waves F6-RTA
  • Waves J37
  • Waves NLS Buss
  • Waves OneKnob Pumper
  • Waves RBass
  • Waves Renaissance DeEsser
  • Waves Scheps 73
  • Waves Smack Attack
  • Waves SSL Channel
  • Waves TG12345
  • Weiss DS1-MK3
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Adam Hawkins

Adam Hawkins is a Grammy Award Winning Engineer based in Los Angeles, California.

Originally from New Jersey, he began playing guitar in bands and creating records at the age of 14. Adam got his start in the NYC recording scene, working out of Unique Recording Studios with artists like Big Pun, Rakim, KRS One, Kurtis Blow and more.

After moving to Los Angeles in 2001, he met Mike Elizondo and has worked closely with him as a tracking and mixing engineer ever since.

Adam has worked with artists such as Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Switchfoot, The Regrettes, K Flay, Robert Delong, Walk the Moon, Avenged Sevenfold, Gary Clark Jr., Regina Spektor, Tegan & Sara, Kimbra, L.P., JoJo, Mastodon, Michelle Branch,Keith Urban, Rilo Kiley, Alanis Morissette, Moby, Eminem, Maroon 5, Fionna Apple, 50 Cent, Rod Stewart, P!nk, Nelly Furtado, DMX, Eve, Jason Mraz and up and coming artists such as Half Alive, Call Me Karizma, The Score, and Winnetka Bowling League.

Adam spends most of his time mixing these days from his studio Acacia Sound in Thousand Oaks, California.


twenty one pilots



The Regrettes

K Flay

Robert Delong

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2020 Apr 08
A ton of gems in this one!! Just like a ton of TGI12345's!!
2020 Feb 17
Interesting to see inserts on a master fader. And then bounce directly from that. Offline. Madness.
2020 Jan 07
Hoped he would breakdown “Protools Heat” settings, iv learned to love Dave Hills algorithms on that add on!! great video tho, im sure the 1176 attack & release knobs are read backwards tho then what you were breaking down.. faster settings are always clockwise.. Overall amazing tips!!
2019 Oct 13
This is kind of like walking into a classroom and seeing the board already full while the teacher attempts to explain. I like it better when the mixer starts from scratch.
2019 Aug 21
Great video so far! Re: MicroShift sounding different in Logic, I've found that a lot of plug ins, especially time-based effects, sound a bit different in each DAW. I started on Logic 15 years ago, moved to Pro Tools for about 10 years and have recently started using Cubase the past few years (along side PT of course) and have noticed a huge difference in summing, plugin sound, audio engine quality and imaging between them--even amongst the latest versions. Not always a better or worse thing, just different. DAWS themselves totally have a sound. - Ryan
2019 Aug 18
Good video. I like this gentlemen and think he means well. It's a lot of cutting corners and let's face it, this mix isn't breaking new ground. These days, the artist/band does most of the work. Whether it's in your bedroom or studio, it isn't like it use to be. Meaning we don't need a massive studio to make an epic record. I think Neal Aaron did a better job on their early stuff. BUT at the end of the day... I'm grateful that we to make records like this anywhere-anytime-anyplace with the same tools. Tools we never had at our fingertips until now. I learned something, important.
2019 Aug 15
Interesting to watch a modern engineer mixing a completely overproduced song. Like killing low end and highend allmost on every track, smashing the vocals with several instances of compression and using saturation. Dealing with 20 year olds producing themselves in 2019 is audio martial arts. So glad I‘m doing mixing just for a hobby anymore
2019 Jul 18
Good video but I feel like he skip over all a lot of the bass processing.
2019 Jul 04
Ow god :( legend Português(Brasil), please.
2019 Jun 19
I love this guy... I mean even if he wasn't as great of a mixer as he is. He's just easy to listen to. One of my favorites so far!!
2019 Jun 17
Not really a big fan of the band, but this was really enlightening for me. Also, it's really cool to see big engineers using a great, free plugin like TAL's Chorus. I use it all the time.
2019 Jun 14
I was always under the impression that master fader inserts were pre fader, so if you did a fade it wouldn't affect your inserts. How does the master fader volume control the volume of the tracks going IN to the 2buss plugins if that's the case?? EDIT: I had that backwards. Never mind. HA!
2019 Jun 14
I was always under the impression that master fader inserts were pre fader, so if you did a fade it wouldn't affect your inserts. How does the master fader volume control the volume of the tracks going IN to the 2buss plugins if that's the case??
2019 Jun 13
Fantastic video, seems like a really top bloke with great skills
2019 Jun 12
I wonder if Trenches color scheme was inspired by Adam Hawkin's studio..
2019 Jun 12
More bands like this, please!
2019 Jun 12
really nice series!
2019 Jun 12
No resources for practice?