Spent hours practicing but not getting anywhere with your mixes? If you said “yes” then allow me to give you some tips for mixing music that will enable you to improve your mix really quickly.
1# Listen On Multiple Speakers
The first tip for mixing music is to listen on multiple speakers. Switching speakers during the mixing process is an easy way to kinda reset your ears.
as well as testing your mix on different speaker systems where you can adjust to get a good balance between them.
you can check your mix on several playback systems: your apple headphones, mixing headphones, monitors, computer speakers
you should even consider checking ur mix in the car
Here is why …
This video shows one of the biggest rappers in the USA Travis Scott, with the producer/audio engineer Mike Dean testing the mix and mastering of the album “Astroworld” which made huge numbers when released.
At the end of the video, you can see how they went back to the studio and maybe started fixing some things in the mix after listening to the songs in the car.
Think about that for a minute…
If one of the greatest rappers and one of the best producers and audio engineers do this why shouldn’t you…
Especially, since the majority of people listen to music while driving in their cars so it makes sense to check how your mix would sound in the car.
2# Have An Intention Behind Every Move
Never do something just for the sake of doing it, this is an easy trap to fall into, I see many people doing this.
For instance, don’t just apply compression because you feel like you should, or don’t just EQ something in a certain way because you saw someone else do it.
Figure out the issues in the mix, then make the right changes.
Have an intention first the need should come before the action.
Just Do you!!
Let me give you an example
If the kick is already cutting through the mix, you don’t need to apply EQ. Just leave it as is.
- WHAT are you trying to achieve? you want to boost the midrange of a vocal…
- WHY are you trying to do that? To help it cut through the mix.
- HOW are you going to do that? You’re going to EQ sweep to find the right frequency and boost to your taste.
Try to ask yourself those types of questions before going into the action. It will make the job way easier trust me!
3# Use Reference Tracks
A reference track is a pre-recorded song that you can use as a point of comparison when mixing your own song.
This will help you to identify any areas where your mix might be lacking and can give you a better idea of how to adjust your levels and EQ.
Always try to Compare your mix to several professional mixes and ask yourself what is missing in your mix.
When doing this try to choose reference tracks that you really enjoy and that are in the same genre as the mix you’re working on.
Try to use more than 1 track to avoid copying.
Focus on what you are doing differently, and ask yourself these types of questions (How loud should the snare be? Is the Kick level too loud?…) then adjust.
I really can’t stress enough the importance of referencing, if you are not doing this already. Start doing it !!
4# Get It Right At The Source
This is not really a mixing trick.
You probably heard this before “don’t fix it in the mix”.
You should get your stuff sounding as good as possible before recording
The drums must be tuned, the amp must be chosen to match the needs of the song, vocalist should at least be in the studio…
All that is true but…
After you get everything perfect in the pre-production phase (pre-recording).
It can all go to waste if one thing goes wrong, and that is the performance itself.
If you or your musicians don’t perform at your best, all the effort you put in doesn’t matter.
Use quality samples and do your best white recording to make it easier while mixing music.
5# Take Regular Breaks
This is a bit of a no-brainer but it’s not always easy to do, especially when you’re on a deadline.
This is what I advise you to do, Set a timer that goes off every half-hour or so and take a quick 5-10 minute break..
This will give your ears a break allowing you to come back with fresh ears. as well as reducing physical fatigue, and maintaining that objectivity, which is a mental thing.
6# No Need For Expensive Plugins
You don’t have to buy ANY plug-ins. Use stock plug-ins and get great at them before buying premium plug-ins.
Especially nowadays every music DAW has good stock plugins.
My advice to you…
Use stock plugins, and if you are not satisfied with your mixes and blame everything on the plugins, you are not ready to progress.
When you get to the point where your mixes sound good with stock plugins and you’re looking to get that last 15% of quality, then you can start thinking about premium plugins.
7# Try Something Completely Unusual
Start experimenting and testing new stuff with your mix, try to make something interesting to hear. Not everything needs to be common. usual stuff can be good, but creating something the ears are not used to kicks you out of that box.
Be creative and have fun with it! and see what works best with your music.
For example, pack all reverb channels of your mix together and automate them to create a surreal room movement, or experiment with different EQ settings- this can make a huge difference to how your tracks sound when mixed together
I hope you found these mixing tips useful. If you follow those tips when you’re mixing your music, you will be on your way to a high-quality mix.
Here’s a final tip.
Take your time: mixing is an art, not a science, so don’t expect to get it right the first time.
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