Three Mixing Tips to Make Your Song Master Off the Hook!

Here are a few mixing tips to help make your sound off the hook:

  1. When mixing your vocals, make sure that you don’t mix too much midrange. One of the biggest problems we hear in the studio comes from people who for some reason over-mix their mids. This results in at some times, some very painful frequencies that I have to remove during mastering, to the detriment of all the other sounds in the mix. If it hurts your ears at all, there’s probably too much mids. Try to keep your mids flat and make sure there is just enough high end to sound equivalent to say the hi hats (assuming the hi hats are nice and clear sounding on the high end). You need to realize that your vocal’s clarity is competing with, or should fit right in with, the clarity of the other clear instruments like the high hat. So if the high hat is sounding really clear, and your vocal is sounding muddy compared to it, chances are you may have too much mid and not enough high end. Mid range frequencies from 400hz to 3000hz. High end 3900hz to 10000hz.
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  3. For parts that need bass, you may want to accentuate the frequencies in the 55-70hz range just enough to feel the music fill out. This is where the meat of the thump is. Most pre-mixed beats already have that factored in. In mastering, we also look at that. But if you make a good mix the first time with clear vocals and thumpin’ bass, then it’s less remedial work for the mastering engineer.
  4. Be aware of the speakers you’re using to mix with. If you’re mixing with some crap speakers that only produce a mid-rangey tone, then your mix is likely to be way off because of the misrepresentation of sound to your ears — which causes you to make EQ decisions which aren’t reflecting the true reality of the sonic spectrum in your tune. You need really good monitors in order to hear the full spectrum of sound that you are mixing. If you don’t have good monitors, I suggest you get some right away, otherwise you’ll really never reach your full potential as a producer. If you can’t do that now, then you’ll need to adjust your “mental ears” to factor in the fact that you have crap speakers. Your best bet in that case is mix more for clarity than anything else, and don’t push the mids. For the most part keep everything flat and let the mastering engineer pull out the highs and lows.
That’s our $.02 for the day! Happy New Year!
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