Top Six Mixing Mistakes To Avoid PT 2

mixing Aug 04, 2023

Last week we took a look at the first 3 mixing mistakes. This week I have 3 more for you to consider!

Problem # 4 - Misaligned Tracks - This is a no-brainer. When you send stems (separated groups of track i.e.. guitar, bass, kick, snare vocal) make sure they all start at the same place. For example, if the lead vocal does not come in until 0.30 then that stem should have 0.30 seconds of silence at the top.

Problem # 5 - Too Much Treble - Last week we discussed too much low end right?. Well I see the same issue with the high end all the time. A lot of sessions I receive have the majority of the tracks with high end of the EQ boosted between 5khz & 8khz. So when you do this on all of the tracks it makes for a very harsh sounding mix. Once agin this is usually due to poor acoustic treatment in ones mixing environment. So be careful to not add too much high end and get your room acoustically treated. 

Problem #6 - Not Using Reference Tracks - This is one that a...

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Top Six Mixing Mistakes to Avoid Part 1

mixing Jul 28, 2023

Over these next two weeks we are going to discuss the eight top mixing mistakes that I hear on a regular basis from home studio / project studio and how you can avoid these pitfalls.

I get a lot of mixes sent to me from students and clients from all over the world. I hear all different styles of music and most of these mixes were done by people in the home studio environment. What I have found is there are several problem areas that are common between most mixes. So these next two blog posts will address these areas and I encourage you to take these seriously as it can make the difference between a good mix and a great mix.

Problem Area # 1 -  Too Much Bottom End  - Too much low end is the most common thing I hear coming out of the project studio and it’s usually caused by an inaccurate mixing environment. The average home studio usually lacks the proper acoustic treatment necessary to accurately reflect the bass in the room, therefore you end up adding a...

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Should I Put EQ Before or After Compression?

mixing Jul 07, 2023

This week article comes form a question I received last week from one of my students. Actually this question has been asked of me several times in the past so let’s answer it here shall we? The question is this.

“Should I put the EQ before compression or after compression.?”

Well, it depends. When I think about compression I think about controlling the dynamic range of a track and gluing it together. Simply put, we are going to lower the volume of the “peaks” in the audio and raise the volume of the “dips” in audio. Once we do that we are going to raise the overall volume of the track to make up for the compression we added. Now, interesting enough the way our ears hear things we perceive compression as making the audio louder and turning up the softer audio parts as opposed to softening the louder parts of the audio.

If I have to do a lot of EQ boosting to a track, say add 10db at 12Khz to an acoustic guitar to give it some air, then I...

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You Want to Get Better Mixes Right Now? READ ON!!!

mixing Jun 30, 2023

This week I want to tell you the secrete to achieving a great mix. There are two things you need to master or at least be extremely good at to ensure you can produce a great mix every time. Actually there are three things but you may only have control over two of them as the mixing engineer. What are they you ask?

A great recording! This is obvious right? Well, I think we all forget this concept more times than not. You hear the phrase all the time “get it right at the source”. Meaning that if you have great-recoded tracks you have a great foundation to work from and it makes the mixing process much easier. So if you are the one who is recording the artist then work on your recording chops. Learn about mic choice, mic placement, recording levels etc. Take great care to achieving a great recording and you will thank me later! If the raw tracks sound great then you are on your way to a great mix!

The next two things are the first two plugins you need to master and really...

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Why Are You Not Better at Mixing?

mixing Jun 23, 2023

Hello Friends & Students!

Some people wonder how I decide what to write in this weekly blog. Where do I get my ideas from? Well, to be completely honest I get the ideas mostly from reading all the e-mails I receive on a weekly basis. I receive anywhere from 3-5 emails per day from my supporters asking me various questions and when I see a pattern of the same type of question I tend to address the topic in a blog post like this one!!

This week I want to address something that I think a lot of newbie mixing engineers tend to forget. There are a lot of my students who feel that they are not becoming better at mixing and mastering fast enough. I mean, they purchase one of my training products and watch them, sometimes watching them several times. Then they work on their next project and they sometimes feel like they have not made as much improvements in their mixing chops as they would have liked. They are looking to go from an absolute beginner to a pro after watching one 3-hour...

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Top Six Mixing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them PT 2

mixing Jun 16, 2023

This week we are going to finish up from last week’s blog. Here are three more mixing mistakes you should try to avoid.

4. Lack of Panning – It’s really important to give your mix some demission by balancing your instrumentation within a nice wide stereo field. A lot of times I hear mixes that are very narrow sounding and everything is crowed in the middle of the stereo field.

 Yes, you want to keep the vocal, kick, snare and bass guitars in the middle but in order to clear out the middle of the stereo filed consider moving instrumentation like guitars, percussion, keys, strings off to the L/R side. This will give you mix a much wider sound and also provide a lot more clarity to your mix. Experiment with panning hard L/R as well as the space between the center and hard L/R.

5. Misaligned Tracks – You would think this is a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many times I receive tracks and when I import them into the DAW...

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Top 6 Mixing Mistakes & How To Avoid Them PT 1

mixing Jun 09, 2023

This week we are going to look at the first three of six mixing mistakes many of us make and a tip on how to avoid them. Let jump right in shall we?

1. Too Much Bottom End – a lot of home studios usually do not have the proper acoustic treatment to produce an accurate low end of a mix and that usually mean the mixer over compensates and ultimately they end up with too much low end.

TIP – Take great care to properly acoustically teat your mixing room and that will really help you dial in the proper amount of low end

2. Terrible Treble – On the other end of things a lot of mixers want a bit of sheen and polish on their mixes and they boost up the 7K – 10K range and that range of frequency’s will tend to add a lot of sibilance to a vocal and a bit of harshness to high hats.

TIP – Make sure you use a D-esser on both the vocal and high hats or cymbals if they are a bit harsh. This will help you add air to a mix with out becoming to...

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3 Tips For Achieving a Great Bass Guitar Sound in Your Mix

mixing May 26, 2023

Struggling to get that perfect, consistent bass sound in your mixes? Don't worry, it's a common issue that we've all faced at one point or another. But the good news is that there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help achieve that solid, cutting bass sound that will sit perfectly in your tracks.

Here are three tips that I've picked up along the way:

  1. Add a Touch of Distortion or Chorus - If you're recording bass straight into an interface, or using a clean amp tone, try adding a small amount of distortion or chorus to help the bass pop. Just keep it subtle - a little goes a long way. Too much distortion or chorus can make the bass sound overly boomy or wobbly.

  2. Play with the Attack Settings on the Compressor - Compressing bass heavily can help achieve a consistent performance, but it can also bring out unwanted frequencies and muddy up the mix. Playing with the attack settings can help combat this issue. If the bass lacks punch, try a slower attack to allow the transient...

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Setting Up Your Mix For Success

mixing May 05, 2023

Greetings to all audio engineers out there! I hope you're enjoying our ongoing discussion on how to set up a professional home recording studio. Today, we're taking a quick break from that topic to answer a question we received about mixing, which is perfect for beginners.

The question was, "How do I start my mix? What should I do first? Do you have a standard process before processing individual tracks?" Well, fear not, as I have a five-step process that I use to start every mix, which I'll share with you now.

First, I create a new project in my DAW and open my empty mix template. This template has 24 mono and six stereo audio tracks, each with a channel-strip plugin inserted, a master fader track with a mix bus compressor and tape saturation inserted, two effect send tracks (one for reverb and one for delay), and four group bus tracks (one for drums, guitars, vocals, etc.). I've color-coded the tracks by group to make them easier to find, and I suggest creating a blank mix...

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Mixing in Mono....What's the Point?

mixing Apr 28, 2023

As a seasoned audio engineer, I've noticed a common issue with many of my students' mixes - they often sound muddled in the low/low mid-range. It got me thinking, have they checked their mixes in mono before making the final print?

Now, I know most of us love to mix in stereo, and it's easy to get carried away with panning instruments hard left and right, leaving the bass guitars and kick drum in the center. But when you fold everything to mono, you'll notice a low-end buildup that can make the entire mix sound muddy and boomy.

Why does this happen, you ask? Well, those guitars and other instruments panned to the sides contain some low-end frequencies that even a high-pass filter can miss, and when all the sound sources meet in the center, those low-end frequencies become too much, and "here comes the mud."

So, here's a tip - try EQ-ing your bass and guitars to sound good together in mono before switching back to stereo. You'll be amazed at how much better and less muddy your mix...

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