Mastering The Mix

A Tip For Huge AND Clean Sounding Mixes

I mix and master a lot of tracks, so I get to see first hand what the most common mixing mistakes are. I want to share with you a solution to an issue that many producers struggle with… If you’ve asked yourself questions like:

What bass sound will work best with this kick?
How can I get my guitar to sound great with my vocal?
Why does my mix sound messy?

Then read on for some answers. 

 

Good Production Decisions = Good Final Mix

It seems that one of the biggest challenges that music creators face is that their channels are competing for the same ‘space’ in a mix, and they’re uncertain of how to fix this. Mixing is essentially just getting all the different elements of your song to work as well as possible with each other. In a great sounding mix, the channels will complement each other, not compete.

So how do you create a song with sounds that compliment each other?

The different elements within your mix will have different characteristics. For example, your kick has very different sonic characteristics to your vocal, so they complement each other very well. However, a kick and a bass can have very similar characteristics so they might compete and negatively affect the sound of your mix. 

If we break down the characteristics of an audio channel we arrive at 6 fundamental attributes; frequency, rhythm, timbre, energy, stereo width, and volume. If you have multiple channels in your mix that are very similar in all 6 categories your music will sound cluttered. Some overlap is fine if it’s musical, but you’ll want to add elements that fill in the gaps in your production to give your track a great balance.


Attributes of audio

Keep this in mind for your next production. When you’re building your track, be purposeful with the new channels that you’re adding to your arrangement. Ask yourself:

“Is this new channel complementing or competing with what I’ve already got in my session?”

If it’s competing, then think back to the table above and tweak one or more of the attributes of the sound to get it working better in your mix.

 

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