The Only 16 Mixing Tips Youll Ever Need

spent hours learning about mixing but feel like you're not getting anywhere if you feel overwhelmed right now and you're not really sure where you're going wrong keep watching because in this video you're going to learn that only 16 mixing tips that you'll ever need after teaching almost a million musicians about mixing I can tell you from experience that with just these 16 mixing tips you can produce music at home that sounds professional and radio ready but first be sure to grab the free mixing cheat sheet that will help you to remember and implement these sixteen tips because the key is in the execution so if you truly want your music to sound professional be sure to grab that free cheat sheet there's a link in the description below or on screen now okay let's dive right in tip number one get it right at the source now you've probably heard this before don't fix it in the mix make sure you get a good sound in the recording phase but I really can't stress the importance of this enough technically this isn't a mixing trick but I won't need to think about this for a second a good track is 80% recording and 20% mixing it's like a good meal start with bad ingredients that are rotting and disgusting and horrible and no matter how good of a chef you are the end result isn't gonna taste good so if you're recording and mixing the same track make sure you've got good ingredients spend loads of time when the recording phase put all of your effort there and then mixing will be easy mixing tip number two is to get the balance right first in the same way that 80% of the quality in a final track comes from the recording phase about 80% of the mix come from the volume balance you need to get this right you need to set a solid foundation and spend 10 20 30 minutes on the volume balance alone and then it's something you're constantly redressing throughout the mixing process and using automation because you can never get a perfect balance for the whole song you need to use automation because in some sections maybe that guitars a little too loud you need to bring it down a bit so make sure you get a solid balance before you even think about EQ or compression or anything else mixing tip number three time is of the essence mixing is a race against the clock every second your mixing you're losing objectivity you're losing perspective of what the mix really is and you're also succumbing to if a Teague especially if you're mixing at volumes that are too high and we'll come back to that in a second so make the most of every second spend plenty of time preparing the mix I spend probably two hours just preparing the mix before I even start mixing and that allows you to mix fast and efficiently mixing tip number four focus on the key elements don't spend an hour EQ in compressing a percussive part like a tambourine in the background that's low in the mix spend most of your time and energy on the overall mix as a whole on things like mixbus process and greek processing and then spend loads of time and energy on the vocals the lead guitar the snare the stuff that matters the stuff that drives the song forward and the stuff that their listeners focus on mixing tip number five is to loop the loudest section of the song this is how I start every mix so when you're doing that initial volume balance go to the chorus or the climax maybe it's not the chorus maybe it's a bridge just go to the climax of the song loop that section and mix that first because if you start with a verse or an intro you can never build from that if you make the intro sound huge it can't get any bigger or is if you mix the climax of the song you loop that you get your volume balanced you do most of your EQ your compression everything while you're looping out loud this section then it's easy to go back to the other sections add volume automation check that everything's working but it builds up to that climax where you've mixed it and then you can even use automation to make those earlier sections sound a bit less impressive a bit quieter or a bit narrower so it really explodes into that climax mixing tip number six is to start with the bigger picture most people start the mix by EQ or compressing a kick drum or a basica time they spend loads of time and energy there and then they start bringing things in one by one and then you get towards the end and you've got everything in and suddenly that kick just doesn't work you didn't have the context you eq'd it you compressed it and now that you've got the context of the mix maybe it's really fighting the bass guitar or maybe it's interfering with something else in the mix and you don't know that unless you have the context so instead I highly recommend you start mixing with the bigger picture in mind first so you start with things like mix buss processing big broad sweeps like group processing the volume balance really important there start with the bigger picture and focus on those finer details towards the end of the mix instead mixing tip number seven avoid the solo button this button can destroy your mixes this goes back to that same idea that if you're making decisions without the context of the mix you're probably making bad decisions because you need that context the listeners never going to hear anything in solo so don't use that button and if you struggle to make changes EQ compression without soloing a channel just turn that channel up by five 10 dB make your changes but you still have that context of the mix and then drop it back down to where it was before now a common complaint here as well I just really struggle I can't do it unless I solo the channel but if you don't practice this if you don't try it then you'll never develop that skill and this is a great way to develop your hearing so avoid the solo button if you're struggling just turn the channel up instead because then you can still hear what you're doing make the decision but with the context of the mix mixing tip number eight is to have an attention behind every single move never do something just for the sake of it this is an easy trap to fall into I see people doing this a lot don't just apply compression because you fill your and don't just EQ something in a certain way because you saw someone else do it have an intention first the need should come before the action you should fix you should be a problem solver you should notice an issue with the mix let's say this kick drum it's not sticking out enough then you go into the EQ and you find the click and you find the beta and you emphasize that so that it's really punching through the mix you don't go about it the other way if the kick is already cutting through the mix it doesn't need a key you don't need to emphasize that beater in the upper mid-range you can just leave it so here are three words to help you have this what why how go through that process every time you make a decision as we're practicing this form of intentional mixing what are you trying to achieve are you trying to boost the upper mid-range on a vocal think about the specifics of that first and then think about why you're trying to do that well to help it cut free the mix a bit more to help it sound a bit more motional maybe the vocal sounds a bit dull and you want to make it a bit more exciting so you're gonna boost the uh permit and then you think how it's like okay well first I need to find an area in the upper miss that sounds sweet boost that move it around a bit find a sweet spot for that and then adjust the the boost there you go what why how and sometimes you don't need what and why you just need to have one or the other so remember that mixing tip number nine is to check your moves so every time you apply a plugin every time you do something Vaughn you match it so just the volume so that it's the same volume coming out as going in and hit that bypass button a few times so bypass check for volume bring it back in by price check with volume once you've got the same volume just click that bypass button a few times and refocus shut your eyes and just listen okay does this sound better and sometimes what I like to do is trick myself I click it shut my eyes click it loads of times until I can't remember if it's bypass are engaged and then I decide on what sounds better because then you're really using your ears and you need to check every single move you make mixing tip number ten is to use good reference tracks I really can't emphasize the importance of referencing enough if you use reference tracks and this is just the act of pulling in a professional mix into your door or just checking on Spotify or Google Play comparing your mix to a professional release so you can see where you're going wrong what you need to do and when you're doing this make sure you use three or four different tracks you don't want to just use one because then it feels like you're trying to copy it use a few in a similar genre and just listen to specific areas of your mix focus on the low end does my mix have too much low end or not okay adjust top end does it have too much talking how loud should the snare be let's listen to the references how should I put space around the vocals should it be more reverb more delay check your references it's the shortcut it's almost like cheating if you're not doing this already start doing it right away mixing tip number 11 is to mix in mono for the majority of your mix and what this helps you to do is really create separation with volume balancing and EQ and automation rather than relying on panic so you have to create space for the vocal in the mix you have to create space for the kick and the bass you have to get that relationship really working you have to make sure there's the snare sticking through about fighting the guitars all of this stuff you have to do with volume and EQ and then at the end towards the end of the mix once you've pretty much finished and you're getting to the point where it's like okay now I need to start applying effects checking the other sections apply an automation that's when you start panning and then it just opens up the whole mix because it's already sounding really clear and separate and then when you add panning and use LCR padding or 5050 panning where you're doing hard left center a hard right and maybe in-between then it really opens up the mix now to do this there's normally a plugin and every door that has a mono switch on it that you can put on your master fader on your stereo output your mix buss in logic it's the game plug-in it's got a mono switch on it most doors have a kind of plug-in like that you can just put on your master fader and engage it to go to Mono and then bypass it to go back to stereo mixing tip number 12 is to listen back on multiple speakers and headphones switching speakers or headphones during the mixing process is an easy way to kind of reset your ears as well as checking your mix on different speaker systems so different speakers will sound different you can check it on your Apple headphones you're mixing headphones then your monitors and then your computer speakers and then you're getting a wide range of playback systems and you can adjust to get a good balance between all of those and that's going to really help with translation but also every time you switch you're kind of resetting your ears you're giving yourself a bit of a fresh perspective on the mix in the same way that it's really important to take regular breaks I also think it's important to constantly be switching your listening system maybe every half hour or so just check it on a few different speakers flick to a whole different speaker for half hour what have you got to do just remember to switch it up mixing tip number 13 is to mix at a low volume this is such a common problem you need to be mixing around conversational level around speaking volume if you can speak in your studio and some on the other side of the room could hear you then your monitors are a good level or if you can speak and clearly hear yourself what you're saying again it's probably at a good level but any louder than that is too loud now you can use the volume knob as a tool sometimes you want to go loud so you can really hear the low end sometimes you want to turn it down so you can focus more on the vocals or see what six out at lower volumes but normally you want to be mixing at a very low conversational level and then mixing tip number 14 is to take regular breaks we've already touched on this slightly but make sure you set a timer that goes off every half hour or so just to take a quick five ten-minute break that time spent away from the mix is going to allow you to come back with fresh ears you're going to reduce ear fatigue which is a physical thing but it's also going to help you to maintain objectivity which is more of a mental thing it's going to help you to come back to the mix with a fresh perspective again and again and again mixing tip number fifteen is assume that volume automation is needed and we touched on this earlier when we were talking about the importance of balance but I really want to drill this into because you can never get a perfect balance without volume automation I have never been able to do it if you can do it then good for you but I don't think your balance is perfect it could be better because there's always going to be sections in a song where the guitar suddenly becomes too quiet too loud the vocal drops too quiet and you can't hear the lyrics or there's a bass part that you want to make a bit louder in the chorus that increase the impact in the chorus there's so much you can do with volume automation alone and this is without going into the world of effects automation and panning automation so assume that you will need some kind of volume automation to get a good balance throughout the song that doesn't mean you have to go through and automate every channel just means you need to pay attention to that when you're going through the different sections to check the volume balance just listen out for things that are sticking out or to quiet and then just reduce them for that whole section it should only take five or ten minutes and finally mix tip number 16 is that you don't need expensive plugins you don't even need to buy any plugins to get a great mix every door has good stock plugins and they're just getting better and better and better so use stock plugins if you're not happy with your mixes and you're blaming your plugins then you're not ready to progress yet but when you get to a point where your mixer sound awesome with stock plugins and you're looking to get that final 10% of quality then you can start something about premium plugins but even then be very careful because it's an easy trap to fall into you spend so much time so much money on plugins and time is the big one here at the time researching what plug-in to get actually downloading and installing plugins is quite a laborious process sometimes then you've got to learn that plug-in and then if you've got ten different plugins in the mixing process you don't know which to use so try and keep it to a minimum be simplistic about it have a go-to plug in for for every type so go to EQ go to compressor and that's normally your unique you might have your other stuff that's more creative or you know you use your go-to one 80% of the time but you need to have a workhorse plug-in and you don't need to spend a fortune either affordable plugins from wavez from slate digital sound incredible now they sound just like expensive outboard analog equipment they used to cost thousands and thousands just years ago so there you go the only 16 mixing tips you'll ever need now this is a lot to remember you're not going to be able to remember all of this just from watching this video so I put together a free cheat sheet a free PDF that you can download and you can print it stick it on the wall in your studio or just read through it before your next V mixing session it's to really internalize this stuff because if you want your mixer to sound professional you want your mixers to sound like the music you hear on the radio you've really need to be practicing this stuff and implementing it in every single mix so download that cheat sheet is completely free there's a link in the description or on the screen now and now I want to hear from you what's your biggest mixing tip which a trick that you learned that's your favorite trick to use while mixing that improved your mixes share it in the comments below because I'm interested to see if I missed anything and we can probably help each other out of it by sharing our best our favorite mixing tips so that's all for me I'll see you next week and remember create regardless [Music] you [Music]