the-art-of-mixing

Part 6: The Final Mix

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Tips

Here are some tips to preparing your final mix:

  1. When mixing, try to mix in short periods at a time. After mixing each component, take reasonable breaks to give your ears a chance to recover.
  2. Once the record has been mixed a handy tip is to listen to the record from outside the room. Often things will stand out of the mix that require attention.
  3. Wait a day or two then listen to the record again with fresh ears. This can be invaluable to spotting components that require tweaking.
  4. Listen to the mix on a range of mono and stereo playback systems. There is some truth to the saying “If it sounds good on an old car stereo it will sound good on anything!”
  5. Get a second opinion from both musicians and non-musicians who can be honest with you. It is amazing (and annoying) how many times a spouse or friend can point out something you and other professionals missed!

You are now ready to mixdown your final mix to the 2-track master!


Summary

  1. Plan the mix Visualise and write down where each component will be placed in the mix.
  2. Bottom Up Begin with all the faders down.
  3. Lead First Mix the components in the following order: lead, bass, percussion, rhythm and finally incidentals.

For each component:

  1. Fader upBring up the fader of the component to a roughly accurate level.
  2. Registral Placement Mix the component within the frequency spectrum.
  3. Depth Mix the component between the front and back of the mix.
  4. Width Mix the component within the stereo field.
  5. Check the Mix Check the component with the other components mixed so far and make adjustments where necessary.
  6. The Final Mix Check the mix making any minor adjustments.
  7. Mixdown Mix the multitrack recording to a 2-track master.

Now you know the theory of mixing it is time to have a go at mixing a track!

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