10 Important Mixing Tips & Tricks
Mixing down is a really important matter for your music productions. There are endless different ways to Mix a song, no way is right & no way is wrong. To Mix a song is like to give your tracks a own character, you edit your song according to your ideas & experiences.
In this article you will find 10 important mixing tips & tricks that will improve your music productions near to a radio ready sound!
1. Instruments must only sound good in your mix
It is logically that each instrument should sound perfect for your ears but sometimes it is really helpful to look how the instrument sound in the full project. You will see that there are many frequencies that you can’t hear when all sounds play together so it is a good trick to find out where you can cut some frequencies off. With this method you will get a clean mix & you make room for new Instruments.
2. Use reverb & delay to get depth & three-dimensionality
Your mix will not sound alive or natural if all instruments are dry and naked. Use a reverb or a delay plugin to improve your productions to a professional mix & enhance your track depth & three-dimensionality. Most of this plugins has awesome presets so if you not familiar with the settings choose one of these. In many songs you can’t perceive the delay effect to 100% so use this effect very carefully.
3. Use panning to get a wider sound
Normal people did not really recognize the panorama of a song cause they just listen and they not analyze. If you hear some of your favorite songs especially pay attention if an Instrument plays more left or more in the right side. Most producers are scared with these settings cause you can ruin your mix if you choose bad values. You can pan all instruments like you want ( out kick, snare & bass, they are almost in the middle) but in the end the mix must have a balanced relationship. This action gives you the opportunity to put more sounds in your mix without sounding overloaded.
4. Kick, bass and snare in mono
Kick, Bass and Snares are always in Mono! These sounds do not need any stereo proportion so do not waste room if you can make it better. Most DAW’s has a mono button in the mixer integrated if not there are tons of plug ins with a mono function
5. Better lower frequencies than boost it
The EQ is one of your best friends when you mixing down a track. You can create very special & interested effects if you know how to use an equalizer. Apart from cool effects the equalizer is a important tool to make your track sound like you want it. This tip based on years of experience and it will make it easier to work with. In most cases it is the better way to lower frequencies than boost it, cause most recorded tracks or vst’s has frequencies that sounds to loud and made a bad feeling for your ears.
6. Treat yourself to a break
If you Mix down a Song & working on it since hours you should treat yourself a break for 10 – 20 minutes. Your ears get used to the sound and you can’t mix with a clear ear if you spent too long time straight at mixing. Once your break you will notice mistakes in your mix what you have not heard before the break. Better do this so often as possible to get a objectively view about your mix. A good tip is also to wait a few days without hear your track after these few days you will recognize missteps immediately when you hear the track.
7. Listen to your mix by different speakers
Do not trust only in your PC monitors but use all scope that you have to get a new view for your mix. You will see your mix will sound different on Car speaker or headphones. Through this “Test” you can find out the point were your mix sound good at all speakers. Do this again and again and comparison your track with famous mixes.
8. Use a reference track
To get near to a radio ready mix you should use a reference track to control your mix every time. The best way is to choose a track from your genre who you think the mix is still perfect. Load this track into you project and switch between yours and the reference track. Often you will see that the reference track has more heights or is louder than yours. You have to bring the reference track to the same loudness like your mix to have a objectively view.
9. Headroom for mastering
To have a useful base for the mastering session you should give your mix a headroom from ca. -6 db. This will help you in your mastering session or your mastering engineer.
10. Helpfull video tutorials on Youtube
On Youtube you will find thousands of helpful videos in each language and with each DAW. The most of them are really useful and will help you find your own way to mix!