Cooking up your music can sometimes be quite frustrating as your recordings do not turn out the way you want them to. However, worry not; there is always something you can do when it comes to the quality of the sound and the quality of your mixing. Making your own music can be especially frustrating for people who do this at home. This is the reason why learning to mix is especially important. When you know the art of mixing, you know that there is no need for you to own an expensive studio and that with the right equipment, you will be able to make top recordings even in your bedroom. Inspired by this topic, we have prepared a simple guide on how to perfect your mixing skills or even learn mixing in the first place.
Before you even start mixing, you will need to prepare your session. Just as with any other step in your life, the more organized you are, the better your records will be, and you will mix them much faster. In addition, it will also keep you from being overwhelmed by the mess that may occur because of the audio files you already have. You must remember that good preparation will even improve the quality of your audio. When you are preparing for mixing, there are 12 steps in total to be followed, and these are the arrangement of the tracks by the instruments, relabeling the tracks, color coding the tracks, deleting all of the audio you cannot use, hiding unused tracks, sending the individual instruments to the busses, inserting fades and crossfades, gaining stage for the files, tempo data and time signature, song section labels, setting the buffer size to a high value, and importing the reference tracks. This level of organization will help you have all of your recordings perfected and will prevent any kind of a mess, which can make Professional Mixing and Mastering Services a living hell.
Namely, the most powerful tool in your entire mixing kit is not the compression or EQ; it is the volume. The volume can balance out the mix and is one of the most important steps for making radio-ready audio. There are some steps when it comes to volume balancing, and some of them suggest that you reduce the gain with the gain plugins, loop the loudest session of the song, turn the faders all the way down, listen to a couple of reference tracks, decide on the most important channel, bring in the second most important channel, bring in the channels ordered in importance, adjust the balance, and try the audio out.
Compression is responsible for leveling out the dynamics of the instrument and shaping the tone. To put it simply, it compresses the volume and tone of the instrument, and in cases where the instrument gets too loud, the compressor turns it down. Compression is usually used in all the mixes to make the tracks even more consistent, exciting, cohesive, or even calming, as in the Lo-Fi effect, where the sound is much smoother. Before you dive into compressing, you need to know that there is an anatomy of a compressor you should think about, including a threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, knee, and makeup chain. These are just the basic terms when it comes to compressing, while the very act of compressing has some other principles to consider.
An equalizer, or shorter EQ, is the mixing tool that will help you out with shaping the tone of the instrument. It is essential to make mixes that go well together and fit together as well. The entire concept may seem a bit vague at the beginning, but you need to stick with it. Before you dive into the depths of EQ, you will need to get familiar with the term frequency spectrum. Music is the art created by the combination of different sounds, which can possess their own qualities and wavelengths. So, the lower the pitch of the sound, the lower the hertz of the sound is. For instance, one bass can resonate at about 50 Hz.
By now, you have created a pretty decent mix that makes some sense. However, there are always the details that round it all up. When you are making the mix with just the previously mentioned values, you will notice that the instruments are basically competing for space among each other. All the instruments,vocals, bass, and other elements are squished together at the same spot on the stage. The reason for the sound is to be jumbled up to make one whole.
Right now, the sequence you have composed and looping sounds super cool, and you must be very proud of it. But, wait, it is not finished yet. If you have listened to the song carefully, you have probably noticed that all of the other sections sound pretty weird. The reason for this is that you have adjusted your volume to fit the loudest section of the song. You should know that not every single part of the song is balanced out. So, you would like to listen to the song from the very beginning to the end. Hence, you will use automation to make the volume very consistent throughout the entire song. The actual procedure of volume automation is pretty simple. All you need to do is open the automation channel and make the points within the sections you would like to make louder.
When you are completely unfamiliar with the notion, mixing your music might be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. Yet, there is no need for concern, as you are in possession of the instructions that will assist you in carrying out this activity in the appropriate manner. Your trip through song mixing will go more smoothly if you make use of some of the numerous hints and recommendations that can be found all over the internet, especially pertaining to certain types of music.
Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.