Here are some general tips for mixing that I have learnt over the years.
When mixing it is important to check your mix on a variety of speakers and not just your studio monitors. While studio monitors can sound great that can sometimes leave a false impression of how good your mix really sounds. Often studio monitors provide a great clarity and detail to the music that you are listening to. Those little subtle effects in the background of your mix may not be heard as clear as you think in a regular stereo or on a pair of cheap iPod headphones.
Check your mix on everything you have from your deluxe home theatre sound system to a cheap and nasty boom box or car stereo. I often check my mixes on my mp3 player with cheap headphones. The mp3 player has a bass boost which in the past has told me that my mixes are too bassy turning them to mush. Now I am more aware of what the bass levels should be when mixing on my studio monitors.
Another thing to do while checking your mix on your monitors and your other sound systems around the house or in the car is to listen to the mixes at different volume levels. What sounds great at a moderate level may be too harsh or boomy when cranked up or that vocal track may be buried when listening to the track at a low volume.
Your ears can get tired while mixing so it is a good idea to have a break after a few hours to refresh your ears. Go and have a coffee, or go for a walk around the block and you will discover that you can hear things a lot more clearly rather than turning what may be an OK mix into a terrible one as your ears lose perspective.
One other little mixing trick is to listen to the mix outside the room. I often listen to mixes in the hallway outside my studio to give me a better perspective of how all the instruments and parts sit in a mix. Sometimes it can be hard to judge levels and sounds with monitors right in front of your head after a few hours.
Anthony Pell is a guitarist who has studied music composition and sound engineering at La Trobe University while playing guitar in the fusion/rock/funk band Cornucopia.
Apell was created in 1999 to allow Anthony to concentrate on being an electronic music composer and producer. The idea behind Apell is to create innovative and entertaining music that is not just a carbon copy of other electronic music.
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