Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5 Tips To Get A Better Mix

Whats up everyone? It's been awhile since I did a tip. This post will be 5 tips on how to get a better, more professional final mix. These are things I've noticed over the last 7 years help when you want to get the best results. If this is helpful, click the ads on the right side by Google, thanks!

1 - Don't record and mix in the same session

You have all your tracks recorded into Pro Tools or whatever you use to mix. You look at the clock, it's only 1:30 AM. You know you can mix this baby down before the sun raises. Don't do it. Your ears are already tired from listening to the recording process for the last who knows how many hours. If you need to, do a rough mix. But don't even think about making a final mix, it wont sound good later and you'll have to remix it anyways. It's a waste of time and energy.

2 - Use other sources to reference while you mix

I know I spent over 900 bucks on my monitors because I wanted something that would sound accurate and help me get the best mix possible. It's easy to forget that a lot of people don't spend 900 bucks to listen to music. Some of the frequencies might not come through on other peoples systems. The best way to combat this is to reference your final mix on different sources such as headphones, house stereo, iPod docking station, laptop speakers and most importantly car stereo. The more things you listen to the better idea you will get of how to tweak the final mix to make it sound clean everywhere it might be listened to.

3 - Take breaks at least every 2 hours

Your ears get tired after listening to the same song over and over and over and over and over..... You get the idea. When you do this you become less sensitive to the high and low frequencies in the mix, so you will overcompensate in both areas resulting in distorted bass and ear piercing highs. Every 2 hours or less just get up and walk away for a minute, ideally to a place that is quiet and secluded. Then come back 10 to 15 min later and get back to work, you will notice a difference in what you are hearing.

4 - Reference to songs you like

A good way to get a track to sound more professional is to compair it to another song that sounds the way you want yours to sound like. Listen to the drums, bass, vocals and every other aspect of the track. What is the reverb put on? Is there compression on the vocals? Are there some frequencies that need to be tweaked in your mix that sound better in the other track? This helps guide the final mix a little bit more towards the sound you want.

5 - Always wait a day before you are finished

I know you think the mix is finally done, but just give it another day or so. Listen to it a few more times in a lot of places until you are satisfied it will sound good. You want to be completely happy with the final product and there is no worse feeling than sending a song in to get pressed and then wish you had changed something. Just slow down little guy, and sit on the mix for a little longer before you know you are finished.

Take care and drop me a line!


1 comment:

50Hz said...

Inspiring! I always produce like 6 hours in a row, then recognizing my ears are totally tired! Thanks mate.