Here are some tips to preparing your final mix:
- 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.
- 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.
- Wait a day or two then listen to the record again with fresh ears. This can be invaluable to spotting components that require tweaking.
- 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!”
- 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!
- Plan the mix Visualise and write down where each component will be placed in the mix.
- Bottom Up Begin with all the faders down.
- Lead First Mix the components in the following order: lead, bass, percussion, rhythm and finally incidentals.
For each component:
- Fader upBring up the fader of the component to a roughly accurate level.
- Registral Placement Mix the component within the frequency spectrum.
- Depth Mix the component between the front and back of the mix.
- Width Mix the component within the stereo field.
- Check the Mix Check the component with the other components mixed so far and make adjustments where necessary.
- The Final Mix Check the mix making any minor adjustments.
- 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!