AudioMelody - make better music

How to mix music

Mixing desk

Whether you are looking to mix your own music or someone else’s song, there are a few key steps that you should implement and things that you want to keep in mind.

Be organized

Taking time to organize the elements of the track from the beginning can help to expedite the process and make things easy to find later on. There are a few organization tricks that can help:

  • Color-code and label different instruments
  • Arrange the order of the tracks
  • Create and label special grouping that you may need
  • Set your input levels

Complete the process

Once you are in the creative mindset and you have organized your parts, the only thing left to it is to do it! There are a few key steps to take in completing the process.

Create balance

Try to mostly utilize your faders in creating a balance of the sounds in the song. You want to listen to see if the parts are working together and trust your gut. Also, balance is a necessary element for the majority of the song, so patience is key.

Filter where needed

Utilize the filter to clean up vocals or loose ends on some instrumentals. Though some may encourage the use of filtering on all parts, for a more natural sound, you should take the time to pinpoint the parts that truly need to be adjusted and keep the rest as is.

Remove excess

After you have cleaned up the audio you will be able to easily identify the parts that do not fit. Take them out; however, do not discard them just yet. They could be useful later on.

Apply compression

There are a few different ways that compressions can be used and a number of different compressor options. As such, you can take your pick; however, your main goal with the compressors should be to bring a cohesiveness of the different elements of the tracks.

Add excitement

Once you have the basis of the song, you want to add excitement to entice the ear and keep the listener engaged. You can bring in brand new sound effects or utilize some of the previously discarded elements.

Squeeze out loudness

The final step is to squeeze out any loudness, or in other words smooth out any parts that stand out negatively in the tracks, after you have added the extra elements.

The mixing process is a bit complex, but with practice you can become a pro in time. Be sure to incorporate the aforementioned aspects and steps, and you will be on your way to creating quality mixes.

Photograph by Pete

Tagged as: