Becoming great at mixing music can be a very long process (it’s an ear thing). Just like everything else, it takes time and effort but grasping the basic will be well worth the investment. We always have to put something in so that we can reap something, right? Be patient.
Cleaning and Equalizing Mixes Using EQ
The main tool in mixing is your DAW’s integral equalizer (EQ). EQs come in different types and the most common are four-point equalizers. Four-point equalizers have four central elements which enable you to have access in the modification of different frequency ranges such as lows, low-mids, high-mids and highs. Adjusting these ranges will alter the quality of your sound in a remarkable way and this capability can be of very great use when used in the right manner.
Recording a mix of guitar and vocals will not be that hard since this mix is not complicated at all. Recording a lot of instruments and mixing them together can be a problem though since some of them might share frequencies and that will not sound good since they will lose each of their unique musical textures. If that happens, you have .to use your EQ already so as not to produce a poorly done music track. Bu using the equalizer, you can select which sounds should be emphasized and which should just stay on the background.
There are a lot of pointers that you should consider in using an EQ but there’s one thing that you should always remember: lower frequencies. Boosting frequencies just messes up your sound track and may just result to the need for more modifications. When you think that something needs a boost because it’s too soft, lower the frequencies of the loud ones instead. This will help you avoid complications when doing the finishing touches for your track.
Balance is Key: Stereo Channels
Recording a single channel is just as easy as one, two, three but using multiple channels isn’t as easy as that. Why should we record using two channels if one is already easy? This is because the easy way doesn’t always give you the best results.
The purpose of stereo is to create a more realistic way of rendering audio tracks rather than just emitting sounds. This is also why stereos come in pair so as to cater the auditory needs of our ears. Since having two stereos is good, it can also be tricky though. Balancing sometimes means centering but too much centering just makes two stereos useless since it will still sound monotonous at the end. You would want to center some sounds, though but definitely not everything.
In working with stereo, the top two goals should be creating balance while generating a realistic representation of your audio tracks as if you were listening to a live band.
Practice Makes Perfect
This is probably the oldest yet most effective advice we can give you; particularly in mixing. Listen to different mixes. Observe how they are done and put together. Then try to copy.
Good ears are important in mixing and even this can be learned. Practice a lot and find some friends who are willing to give you constructive criticism about your works. Try to listen from different mediums; through a variety of headphones and speakers. This will teach you how the sound of your music varies from each speaker and how you can correct it.
Study and apply what you have learned. The more information you gather, the more knowledgeable you become. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. There are massive and good resources available on the interwebs on the topic of mixing. We’ll keep posting and linking. Sign up to our newsletter to get the best tips and tricks.