I often receive a lot of questions regarding mixing, so I decided to share my top 8 crucial tips on how to get better mixes faster.

 

ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THE OVERALL BALANCE

Very often the necessary EQ move isn’t obvious.

Instead of boosting an instrument to make it stand out more, you should create space for it by cutting conflicting frequencies from other instruments in your mix.

For example, ⁣⁣ The vocals & the piano sound muddy… You are boosting the highs on both, but you quickly notice they just sound brighter, and the mix is still lacking definition in the lower mids.⁣⁣

Then you remember this tip and realize you need to cut some top-end from the synths, because it’s masking the vocals and then cut some mids in the bass, thus making space for the attack of the piano.⁣⁣

 

SATURATION IS YOUR FRIEND

Possibly one of the best-kept secrets of top mixing engineers is saturation. With a judicious touch of saturation applied to key sounds, the entire mixing process becomes easier.⁣⁣

This happens because saturation (not to be confused with distortion) makes every sound “pop out” more, without relying on EQ and compression.⁣⁣

 

THE SOLO BUTTON IS YOUR ENEMY

When mixing, you may notice you often listen to instruments in SOLO.

While this is unavoidable when dealing with some problematic frequencies, you need to start using the SOLO button as little as possible.

Why?

Because every eq, compression and saturation setting you tweak in solo to a single track, can have a profound effect on how ALL the other instruments sound.

To put it in simpler terms: NO ONE is going to listen to your tracks in SOLO, so why should you??

 

AVOID EAR FATIGUE

Sometimes it’s important to spend as much time NOT listening to the mix as listening to it.⁣⁣

Be sure to take frequent brakes, as ears get quickly tired from overuse, and impair your ability to identify issues in your mix.

I suggest a small 10-minute break every 50 minutes or so.⁣⁣

 

MASTER YOUR TOOLSET

The hard truth is you won’t get better mixes by buying new plugins or speakers.

You’ll get better mixes only if you learn and practice using what you’ve got for free: your ears and your basic mixing tools (Volume, EQs, Compressors).⁣⁣

 

USE REFERENCE TRACKS

Just as you don’t need an expensive piece of gear to EQ well, you don’t need a super well-treated room to achieve a clean mix.

Instead start using the hell out of reference tracks, and you’ll soon begin to understand how a great & professional mix sounds in your room.⁣⁣
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MIX IN MONO

When mixing in mono, you are forced to make the most out of the only space you have: the center!

When you can’t separate instruments by panning them, you’ll go harder on EQ, and you’ll get a better mix as a result.

Plus, when your mixes will be played in clubs as they’ll already be ready and mono-compatible!⁣⁣

 

HAVE PATIENCE

Let’s be honest, even the greatest mixing engineers sucked before they got the hang of it. So don’t worry if your mixes sound like shit now. Just keep at it and you’ll get better with time.

 

Did I miss something? What’s your favorite mixing tip?⁣⁣⁣⁣