Music Mixing for Dummies: The Basics You Should Know

You can always have lots of fun when making music, yet getting a good arrangement and recording of your song needs knowledge and work.

If you want to get started with music mixing, you must have all the needed equipment. You should also prepare your ears and spend extra time to make it perfect.

Use EQ When Cleaning and Polishing Your Mix

Whenever you are putting a mix together, the built-in EQ or equalizer of your DAW or equalizer plugin will serve as your primary tool. The equalizers come in some varieties, yet you will come across 4-point EQs often. This only means that you have 4 central points where you may alter various frequency ranges including highs, high-mids, low-mids, and lows. If you adjust such ranges, you may change the sound’s character dramatically.

If you are only recording vocals and guitar, you will not have to do more work with EQ for the reason that your mix is not complicated. If you have tons of instruments, the recordings share frequencies often that mix with one another and could make your mix sound a bit muddy. In this case, you may use your EQ to downplay particular frequencies. For instance, in the pop songs, you will often find piano stripped of the bass a bit to let some bass-heavy instruments claim prominence in the mix’s part. You will also find numerous instruments like voice to muddy up mid-range because the majority of the instruments make the most sound in such frequencies. You may also use an equalizer to decide which sounds basically dominate the frequencies so they can have a particular voice while working together in harmony.

Look for Balance in the Stereo Channels

If you started recording audios first, you will record a single channel. This means everything sounded like this came from a particular central point that did not sound perfect due to the fact that you don’t hear that way. The purpose of the stereo is to make a more realistic recording. If you abuse the stereo’s privilege, you might end up with several unsettling mixes. With this in mind, you should aim for balance. But, more often than not, balance can be tricky as if you just focus on each of your recordings and you end up with the mono track.

You have to take note that stereo sounds better as you can place various instruments virtually in a room. If you pan a guitar to the left and another on the right channel, you might get different sounds in every ear yet still achieve balance. You would want to centre sounds. Traditionally, the vocals will get stuck at the centre for the reason that they’re the mix’s central focus. Some instruments do not have single stereo placement because they are big and have to span each channel. The pianos often take up channels with bass notes all in leading up to treble notes all the way to other. The drum kits could get messy if you combine them to the centre, so you should move several drums to various parts of your mix.

Generally, you need 2 big goals whenever you are working with stereo and it’s creating a fairly realistic representation of where the sound could exist in the room if you’re listening to this live and to keep the channels balanced.