Montag, 3. August 2015

10 Tips for the perfect mix

  1. Even the mix is almost done in the process of producing a song, it makes sense to start the mixdown from the very beginning. Switch off all tracks, bypass all effects and inserts like, compressor and equalizer. Start with the bassdrum, adjust the level to appx -10 dBFS.
  1. continue with the snaredrum, the hi-hat, the bass follows ... (These are the instruments that generates the highest level.) Next are harmony instruments, keyboards and guitars. After that you can open the main voice to check if there are any sounds which covers the vocals.
  1. divide the mix in subgroups, one group for drums, one for keyboards, one for the voices, and so on ....You can edit the over all sound of the groups and you get better control of the total level.
  1. In the work of each single track, insert at first the equalizer following the compressor. For insert effects, like phaser, flanger, delays you can switch a second compressor after that.
  1. When filtering individual tracks, it may be possible, that the sound of an instrument it self does not sounds great, but in mixdown it works perfectly. So when setting a equalizer also listen to the connection of all instruments, not only solo.
  1. Acoustic instruments, voices, guitars, uses absolutely a compression. It limits the dynamic range. A ratio of 4:1 with a compression of 8-12 dB is useful for the voice. Watch the low frequencies compressing the bass (It easily gets lost); acoustic guitars tend slightly to pump by compression.
  1. Every instrument, every sound gets its assigned position. Imagine a three-dimensional coordinate system. There are left and right (panorama), up and down (treble and bass) and front and rear, determined by reverb and delay. The fourth dimension is the time. Each instrument gets his place. The automation allows changing the level of instruments in the flow of the song.
  1. Whenever multiple instruments sounds in the same or similar frequency range simultaneously, they mask each other. One classic example: the snaredrum and the voice (depending on the pitch), the louder the snare, the quieter sounds the voice.
  1. Effects are important. They are the salt in the soup, but each sound has its moment of performance. Delays can be programmed, on and off switched. Its easy to vary the send level of a reverb effect. Too much of a good thing brings too salty to enjoy.
  2. Never do the mix into an inserted limiter in the sum. He falsified the instrument balance. Maximizing or mastering is a separate session. It´s no problem to raise up a low leveled mixdown, but if its to high, you get in trouble (distortion). Never do mixdown and masring at once. It is useful to take a break of 24 hours until you do the mastering, or consult a specialist like...

Stefan Noltemeyer:

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