Mixing is one of the most difficult parts of the production process. It takes time to develop your ears, learn the specifics of your mixing software, and gain experience mixing many tracks. While time and effort are required in this part of the production process, there are some tips and techniques that you can apply to your blends to speed up the learning process and reach a professional blending level faster. In this article, I will review the top five mixing tips that music producers should use.
1. Dynamic volume automation
Volume automation is often overlooked when mixing tracks. It can seem quite boring to automate a simple volume control when there are so many other effects and settings that can change the sound in a more unique way. Do not underestimate the performance of volume automation. It can be an incredibly effective tool to give more effect to your blend.
To apply dynamic volume automation to your track:
- Place any gain plugin on your master channel.
- Gradually automate the volume by two decibels three measures before each section change, and then bring it back to the unit when the next section is read. For example, just before the collapse, gradually automate the volume by two decibels, and then bring it back to zero when the collapse occurs.
- Do this for each section change.
Adding volume automation gives each section more effect, as the human ear perceives the section as louder. When the volume automation decreases by two decibels, the human ear does not notice a volume decrease, and when the volume is reduced to zero, the new section seems to have more effect without appearing to increase the volume.
2. have correct pivot positions
The correct pivot positions of your instruments are important for the overall balance of your mix. There are only five different swivel positions that the human ear can perceive at the same time.
- Left Center
- Hard Left
- Center Right
- Hard Of Law
When deciding where to place the elements in your mix, choose one of these swivel positions for a clean and balanced mix.
3. EQ in the key
When we consider having our track in the key, we usually only think about the notes played by the different instruments of our track. In the mixing process, we can also mix the keys to create a more balanced and harmonious blend. Each frequency has a corresponding note on its piano roll, because a note is only a snapshot of a certain frequency. You can view a graph here to view all the specific frequencies and your notes. If we know, we can equalize our sounds in the key of our track.
If you want to increase the high end of a particular sound, go to the chart frequencies of musical notes and find a frequency close to the frequency you want to increase that is in the key of your track. For example, if your track is in C Major and you want to increase the top end of your track to 6,600 kHz, increase to 7,040 kHz instead. The note, which corresponds to 6.600 kHz, is G strong, which is not a note in the key C major. The note corresponding to 7,040 kHz is A, which is in the key of your track. The next time you want to make an equalizer for one of your sounds, take a look at the frequencies of the note chart and select a frequency that is in the key of your track.
4. Low Volume monitor
Monitoring at an appropriate volume is essential to the success of mixing your song. Fletcher Munson’s curve indicates that some frequencies appear louder and quieter at different levels of listening. 60 decibels is the optimal monitoring level depending on the curve. When you monitor higher volumes, the mid frequencies fall into the background, while the high and low frequencies appear. When you monitor lower volume levels, the lows and highs switch to the background and the center area protrudes. All your mixing decisions are based on what you hear. If you hear frequencies that are misrepresented, mix your track in an inaccurate way. That’s why it’s so important to monitor at 60 decibels. Imagine that you are a painter wearing glasses with a cracked lens. Your damaged lens would distort your vision, preventing you from painting accurately. You paint what you see through your damaged lenses, not what’s really there.
5. Keep your high frequencies in chess
Modern mixtures are clear and clear. Often, producers add too many high frequencies to their mixes in the hope of reaching the level of brightness that is heard in a top plate. This often leads to an imbalance in the upper end of the track. Yes, some instruments must be present and bright in the top of the range, but do not overdo it. To make sure you don’t add too many high frequencies to your track, you can follow these steps:
Bundle all your high frequency elements into your DAW.
Launch a multiband compressor and set one of the bands from 5kHz to 20kHz and lower the threshold by a few decibels. The goal should be to achieve a small reduction in profits, no more than two decibels.
By applying this multiband compressor to your high frequency elements, you can control the high end and make sure you have a balanced mix.
Clarity, cohesion and strength characterize a professional blend. If you apply the five tips above to your productions, you will immediately see improvements in your mix. With practice and development, these tips will help you reach the level of blends you know you can create. Apply these tips to your blends and keep learning and improving!