Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Mixing Flow Reply To: Mixing Flow

Nick D.

    I don't believe there is a right or wrong way as long as the results are what you were after. I am a big fan of getting it right before you hit record. Not everything needs eq and compression, so unless there's a reason for it I don't use it. The hardest part with a lot of the home/smaller studios is that we might not know how the band sounds. So at the tracking stage we are just guessing what the band is going for, most musicians don't know how to describe what they want properly and you have to be prepared for any circumstance. Do you know how many times I've heard they want a big ambient drum sound, to find out they really just wanted in your face drums with very little ambiance? Im just saying that a lot of times there is no producer, pre production, demos, or anything to go by.

    These days almost every video online talks about mixing, which is good to know, but the reality is that tracking in most cases is where a majority of the deficiencies are. Mixing has become popular because home studios have been readily available for years, and everyone just sticks up a mic and hits record, and then try to mix without actually paying attention to what is coming in. So every one wants to know how to mix, instead of properly tracking. When I started I was the same way, even while I understood phase, I didn't realize how it applied to multi mic setups and room environments, etc. Learning how to track properly (...well better) has made my mixes better, not learning how to fix something. The other side of the coin is that not every band is good. some bands sound like a record right away while others barely can arrange a song and play their instrument, or don't know how to play with each other.

    If i'm handed all the tracks to mix, I start by bringing everything up and do some general panning and get a mix going just by faders and give it a listen. Then I decide what are the most important things in the song. If it has vocals I start there since that is the most important part, and then move to drums or percussion and then bass. so I want the most important melody and the groove working together and then fill everything else around it.

    If I am tracking and mixing, I mix as I go. starting with drums and usually vocal last, but this way is the least efficient in my opinion, because now you are making room for the most important part instead of building everything around it. Anyone that has ever done a rap vocal over a pre finished track that you get online sees the reality of a limited and smashed stereo track with no room for a vocals to sit, and struggle with trying to make it sound like part of the song vs. sitting on top of it.