Original Photo by Vladimir Agafonkin
Do you want to really see your mixes improve almost overnight?
There are really only three things you need to do. They are simple, foolproof, and won't cost you a dime.
In fact, I'll let one of my readers, Ness (from the UK) share them with you since he's recently experienced the power of these three things himself!
There's a reason why Ness has seen massive improvement from implementing these three things: they work! Period!
I didn't come up with this stuff people. I'm not that smart. But I've seen what works and I try and share it with you week in and week out.
Mixing in mono (especially while you EQ) is one of the smartest things you could possibly do. Why? It eliminates any fake separation (i.e. panning) and forces you to make every track stand out.
It practically guarantees you'll land on the right EQ curve every time.
Mixing at low volumes is a simple hack to help you get the right volume levels and compression settings. Everything sounds good loud, so stop fooling yourself.
Make it sound punchy and amazing at super quiet levels, and then it'll rock everywhere!
And finally, pulling in a professional mix to reference DURING the mixing phase is quite possible the most powerful thing you could do. Mixing without a reference is like driving a car blindfolded.
Listen to another one of my readers, Chad, as he explains what happened when he took mix referencing seriously:
Did you catch that?
He already considered himself a good engineer, was mostly satisfied with his results, but when he finally tried referencing a pro mix - BAM - things changed for the better.
Did his plugins change? Did his speakers change? Did his mixing environment change?
No. He simply used one of the most powerful mixing hacks alive.
So to recap. Here are the three most simple, but powerful things you need to start doing in your mixing immediately (if you wanna see massive improvement for little effort that is):
1. Mix in mono until the very end
2. Mix at low volumes
3. Use a reference mix at all times
It's that simple folks.
If you've heard of these ideas and have yet to actually put them into practice, it's time to start. I think you'll be so happy with the results you'll never go back.
Graham Cochrane is a freelance mix engineer based in Tampa, FL and the founder of The Recording Revolution, one of the world's most loved audio recording and mixing blogs with over 200,000 readers each month. Download his free mixing tools here: www.therecordingrevolution.com/free-tools