I listen to a lot of my student's mixes after the have taken once of my MADE EASY courses and have found that several of the mixes have a bit of “mud” in the low / low mid range. When I hear this I wonder if they checked their mix in mono before the final print.
Most of us mix in stereo almost all the time and we do a lot of panning of instruments to the hard left and hard right (guitars for example). So that usually leaves the bass guitars and kick drum up the middle. It’s pretty easy to get things sound well balanced from a frequency point of view when you use the entire stereo field. However, when you fold everything to mono all of a sudden there is a low-end build-up that make the entire mix sounds a little muddy or boomy.
The reason for this is those guitars and other instrumentation panned to the left and right have some low end frequency’s in them even though you use a high pass filter you may not grab and roll off enough low end. So when that all comes together in the middle the low end frequency’s become too much and then “here comes the mud’.
So Try this…when EQ-ing your bass and guitars to get them to work well together, do it in mono. Get them sounding as good as possible and then go back to stereo. You will find that the mix sounds way better and a lot less muddy. Try it! This will save you a lot of tweaking at the end of the mix.
Also, keep in mind that not EVERYWHERE your mix may be played with being in perfect stereo. A lot of times your mix will be in heard in a mono source and you want to ensure your mix sounds as good a possible in that situation.
Try mixing in mono, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!
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