Advertisement

Creative Session: All About Mixing

23 Posts

Mixing is arguably the most important stage of the music production process. When done properly, one can do everything from add energy and warmth to a sound to completely alter the feel and flow of an entire piece of music. Here are a bunch of tuts that show you how.

Posts in this series
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Beginning with the End in Mind: A Basix Guide to MixingPreview
    So where do you go now? You had a song. You recorded all the parts. You even added in some additional overdubs and vocal harmonies. Now all your tracks sit there in your software program waiting for your next move. You managed to record all your tracks pretty decently and they really sound good, each in their own right. But when everything is playing back all at once, it just really seems overwhelming. All your tracks competing for the same space. Some instruments are louder than others and they all seem to standing in the same place shouting for your attention. It's time to start mixing.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Improve Your Mixes With This Critical Listening ExerciseMixingdesk
    When I teach recording classes my favorite lesson is this critical listening exercise. It’s fun and light, and practicing it helps us all improve our mixes. First, let’s look at what makes a great mix, then we’ll jump into the exercise.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    15 Ways to Diversify Your Mix06 diversifymix
    Sometimes when you're recording an artist or a band, it's easy to fall into relaxed habits and forget how important it is to give each track its own unique flavor and excitement. It could be that you've stopped pushing yourself, or it could just be that the artist has written an album of really repetitive songs. Either way, here are 15 tips for adding some excitement and diversity to otherwise tired recordings. Photo: York Tillyer.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tips: 3 Mixing TipsThumb
    Here are some of the best things I’ve learnt since I started mixing.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: The Importance of Alternative MixesPreview
    When mixing down a track, it's important to keep all elements in balance with each other, and for many beginning and even seasoned audio engineers, it can be quite a challenge to envision the finished product from a rough mix. One of the best ways to make sure you end up with the proper finished mix is to create more than one mix. By tweaking the levels, compression and other parts of the mix, it's easy to create alternative mixes that can be great for comparison. In this quick tip, we'll examine what an alternative mix is and how to create your own.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: Smart Mixing in Ableton LivePreview
    During a traditional DJ mixing session we need to be able to keep an even volume level during a transition and also keep a good spectral balance by utilizing EQ. I am going to show you a quick method of setting up a set in Ableton Live to achieve just that using sidechain compression.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: The World's Worst Mixing AdvicePreview
    How do you weed through all the tips and tutorials and decide which one you should follow for your mix? Some advice given isn't necessarily what you need, since a specific tutorial or trick doesn't give you the context in which it works. If you don't know that a lush 2.3 s hall reverb should be used for slow vocals and decide to try it out for your bass guitar part you are instantly rewarded with a horrible sounding and muddy mix. Not at all what you wanted nor intended when you decided to follow said advice. That said, here are some of the worst mixing advice you can get. Be sure to not do any of these things and you'll instantly have a better mix on your hands.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: Mixing With Your Eyes ClosedPreview
    Hey readers. I’ve been doing a lot of mixing for my company, Sunscape Productions, and I’ve stumbled onto an approach that works really well for me, and that is: mixing with my eyes closed. Yea, I know, that sounds kind of crazy, but it works! I’ve found that when I’ve got a song going in whatever DAW I’m using, and I have many tracks, level changes, panning, and effects, my eyes are distracted by all of the stuff going on. The important thing I realized is that this alters how you perceive things. Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Mixing: Monitors or Headphones?Preview
    This tutorial will discuss why some people people prefer monitors over headphones - and vice versa. I’ll start by explaining a little about true stereo and binaural recordings to help you understand. I’ll then talk about monitors and headphones, give my opinion, and recommend some studio monitors.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    10 Ways to Improve Your Mix-down10improve
    With so many things to remember when performing your final mix-down, it can sometimes feel like you're spinning plates. Luckily, there are a few principles you can abide by to get the most out of your mix-down process. Follow these ten tips from Mo to help keep things in check....Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    How to Use Transient Designers in Your MixesThumb
    Not long ago, transient designers were only available as hardware processors. Now, a number of DAWs and plug-ins are dragging the technology into the digital domain. With all these new emulations and interpretations of a classic processor becoming available, it's well worth familiarizing yourself with what could become an essential part of your production process.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    How to Use Propellerhead Record’s Channel StripThumb
    Propellerhead’s new killer app Record has finally landed. Its an affordable all-in-one recording and production solution and after spending some time with both the beta and final release, I can safely say its about the most CPU efficient DAW I have ever used. I thought it might be useful for some of you who are using Record, or thinking about purchasing it, to see a run through of some of its key sections. This tutorial will simply walk through the different modules of the monster channel strip in Record’s main mixer.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    How to Automate Audio Tracks in Logic Pro 8Automation
    Automation is a very convenient feature of most modern digital audio workstations. When the record industry ran on miles of tape, there was no such thing as automation; it was all about manual knob-turning. We have it pretty easy in contrast. Automation allows you to draw in a set of events that will automatically occur when you play back the track. For instance, you can draw a set of volume changes along your guitar track to hear it creep in and out of the mix. You can also achieve that dynamic stereo panning effect, causing instruments to swoosh from speaker to speaker.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Using Quick Automation Access in Logic Pro 8Thumb
    The key to any polished sounding mix is the use of automation. Whether you’re on an SSL console or in Reason at some point your going to want to record fader movements or synth parameters to enhance your mix. Mixing with a mouse isn’t very inspiring and if you don’t have a fully fledged control surface it can sometimes be the only option. Luckily Logic has a handy function to get you automating in style!Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Using Automation in Pro Tools 8Thumb
    Automation is an important tool for creating polished mixes. You can use it to fix problems, introduce and enhance effects, and to vary the mix levels throughout different sections of a song. If you haven’t learned to use automation in Pro Tools 8, you’re missing out on a lot of functionality.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Live Sound 101: Mixing the ShowMixer
    Last time, I covered everything you need to know to get you through the sound check of a live gig. This time I'm going to explain how to mix the show itself. I can't tell you how to mix (you should have a pretty good idea already, or no one will employ you to mix for them) but I can point out some pitfalls and pass on some tips.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    3 Differences Between Live and Studio MixingThumb
    Live sound mixing varies greatly from studio mixing. The fast paced adrenaline rush of the concert venue versus the calmer and quieter work area of the recording studio. Studio mixers can take their time while the live sound tech has to think quickly and react in real time so the difference can be significant, even though some might say they are doing the exact same thing. Besides this, there is also a difference in their workstations. Mixing desks in a live situation can be very different than the one used in a big recording studio. Let's go through some of the main differences between both the mixing desks and their respective users.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: Realistic PanningPreview2
    If you are a film composer most of your early work will be with MIDI and sample libraries. This is great for saving money and is essential for low budget films. For this to work, you need your music to sound as realistic as possible. Many sample libraries employ some of these techniques we are going to discuss, but it is still important to place your instruments properly in the stereo field. Panning will get you one step closer to that realistic sound.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: The Importance Of Gain Structure In The MixPreview
    In one of my previous mixing tutorials I briefly touched on the subject of proper gain structure within Logic (and all DAWs for that matter) but did not go in depth as to some of the concept's finer points. In this quick tip, we will take a look at a few reasons why it is necessary to maintain a proper gain structure even within the 32-bit floating point architecture which most DAWs employ.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    How to Set Up Send/Return Effects in Logic Pro 9Thumb
    For many audio writers, the basics of production sometimes seem so trivial that they’re overlooked as topics for sites like Audiotuts+. A piece on setting up send/return effects has been a request of readers for a while now, and today I’ll teach you how to create — and use — this handy method of routing audio through effects processors.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Getting to Know Propellerhead Reason 4′s Mixer DeviceThumb
    Reason’s Mixer is one of the most important devices in the software, but most home musicians don’t pay much attention to it. It’s simple enough to get your head around the basics of leveling devices with a bit of experimentation, but in this tutorial we’re going to go further into the breadth of features this essential and under-appreciated device offers.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    6 Simple Ways to Achieve Separation in Your Mix DownsPreview
    Creating a full, rounded and involving mix can be pretty challenging and one of the hardest bits is placing each instrument in it's own defined space. Once you move past more than three or four elements there is always a danger of things becoming muddy. This is why we need to create separation.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Mixing & Mastering
    Quick Tip: MultimixingPreview
    It's true that long mixing sessions can create a degree of ear fatigue. That can lead to a number of undesirable things like making bad mixing decisions. It's always a good idea to take small breaks to clear up and relax your ears. On top of that, there are various monitoring plugins or spectrum analyzers you can utilise. Read More…