Mixing is a trickier art than it seems at first! First, mixing is a very subjective process: what sounds okay to one person's ears won't sound okay to another's. Second, even if you have an idea of the sound you're aiming for, sometimes it takes many hours of adjusting levels to get there.

One of things we say to our clients is to allow enough time for mixing. Particularly with a band, where there are several tracks, the mixing takes the same time as the recording. In other words, if your band books a day in the studio to record a demo, you'll probably find that the morning is spent recording, and the afternoon is spent mixing. Of course, if you record an entire album using similar instruments for each track, the mixing process sounds get faster for subsequent tracks, as we all have some idea of the levels and sound you're aiming for.

If you're mixing tracks at home, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Remember that listening to a mix for an extended period of time can exhaust the precision of your ears.  Take regular short breaks to keep your ears fresh and enable you to re-evaluate the sounds. 
  • Experiment with your mix on different speakers. However, if you listen to your mix on your car stereo, remember that the noise of the engine cancels out lots of the bass.
  • Each instrument or vocal line has its own time to shine, but they cannot all be up front and centre all the time. Mix your song to feature the elements you're after and use your other sections to supplement your lead tracks.
  • Simplicity is the key. If a track or instrument serves no purpose in the mix, get rid of it.
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