Making your mixes sound good is sometimes hard work. Here is a way to make it slightly less hard. Its an oldy buy a goody.
– Get a reference track and try to match it sonically. Copying things is one of the fastest and simplest ways of learning and reproducing the same results.
Sometimes your tracks might not want to be forced to sound like the reference track, but you can go crazy (and learn a lot) trying to make them. It will help u set levels and set eq rather than shooting in the dark. By using this method often you will get to know how to get certain sounds off by heart. There’s a chance you will make your mix sound worse if you manipulate it too much, but i’d say you’d have more winners than losers.
– Start by importing your reference song onto its own new track.
– When listening to your reference either bypass any master track plugins or make a pre master aux track that everything else except your reference track goes to. You then move all your master track plugins to the pre master aux. This leaves the reference track unaffected by plugins. If this didn’t make any sense to you don’t worry, just move on.
– Lower the volume to match the volume of your own mix as well as u can.
– Start matching.
– Listen to the big picture and the separate instruments. Sometimes try playing your song and the reference song at the same time. Its a bit messy but can be helpful. For instance you might focus just on both snare drums whilst playing both songs at the same time. Yours might be dull and its level might be too un even so you may want to do some volume automation and/or compression. Then you might want to start adding some high end eq until it gets closer to your reference snare. When you start to get confused and find it hard to differentiate between your snare and the ref snare then your probably doing alright.
This method of mixing might not be for everybody, but it might work for some of you so give it a go. It can also teach you how to record better tracks in the first place because you will have a better understanding of what to capture sonically before it even gets time to mix. In mixing you may realise your snares are always dull – solution: Capture a brighter snare. Good luck 😉 Tim.
7 Pro Tips For Getting Your Music Heard
This is a nice little article with some pretty useful tips to help you get your music out there. I don’t do it enough with my band, but i will tomorrow i promise. 😉 Oh and also learn some SEO (search engine optimisation) tricks to help your stuff come up in searches. Check out my tags. I wonder if it will work.
Every time you hit record your habits determine the quality of the recording.
If you get good habits you will get good recordings. The small steps you take add up and make a big difference. You probably know most, if not all of what you have to do already, its just a matter of actually doing them.
– Things like tuning (no brainier)
– mic choice (try at least 2 on each source)
– acoustic space (could it use a blanket to kill some reflections?)
– mic/instrument position (listen on headphones and move things around until its good/suitable)
– is it clean (any hiss, buzz or hum, or unwanted background noise? Do all u can to minimize these.)
– Does the polar pattern suit? (Learn this)
– Don’t clip
Something that is probably the most important thing is the actual playing or musicianship but this post is just focused on the engineering side of things.
Pretend post processing is not an option, get it right on the way in. If you’re using outboard eq or compression on the way in its better to be conservative in most cases (unless it calls for it) you can’t undo it later.
Have a reference track whilst recording. Does yours sound as good as the reference? If not, why?
This might sound like a lot of work but it only takes a few minutes. You might have to push yourself in the beginning but once it becomes habit it is no longer an effort. So get some good habits and start recording better.
by Lynn Fuston. Posted at Prosoundnetwork.com
Right when i’m on a bit of a gear splurge too. Nice reality check. Thanks.
Not everyone is a perfectly trained musician and therein lies the point of this post. Use that to your advantage. I don’t always wanna hear the same guitar lick or drum fill over and over with robotic precision. I want you to press humanize. Do the wrong thing and do it well. Your quirks could be the mutation that leads to new sounds.