9 Best Stereo Imaging Plugins Available [FREE & PAID]

Stereo imaging is a pivotal part of any mix. It mostly has to do with with the spatial locations of each sound source, both side-to-side and front-to-back. A well-mixed stereo image means listeners can easily identify where sounds are coming…

10 Best Free Plugins For Your DAW in 2021

Bonus: 5 More Free Plugins! 11. Valhalla – Supermassive Similar to the extremeness found in FreqEcho, Supermassive combines reverb and delay for some seriously otherworldly sounds. Not your everyday effect, Supermassive is best for creating huge swells of lush reverb…

Best UAD Plugins for Vocals

Over 20 years ago, Universal Audio ushered in a new standard for plugins and interfaces. UAD’s plugin catalog is a huge collection of some of the best analog emulations out there. Most importantly, the software runs on dedicated DSP supplied by…

How to Sidechain in Ableton (Beginner’s Guide)

Sidechain compression in Ableton is a useful mixing technique that allows you to do things like separate the bass from the kick. For Ableton users working in EDM/hip-hop/pop, where there’s lots of competing low-end information, sidechain compression is indispensable! What…

How to Mix Background Vocals

We tend to mix background vocals differently than leads. Depending on the arrangement, they’re usually underneath the lead for support so they don’t steal the show. In some cases, background vocals will actually overtake the leads, such as in a…

Mid/Side Processing Explained

Mid/side processing is a means of further separating stereo information for detailed control while mixing or mastering. The mid channel contains information we perceive as the center, which is actually the sum of the left and right channels. The sides…

5 Quick Automation Mixing Tricks
Automation is the secret to a truly great mix! Simple volume automation of instruments can save the heartache of trying to replicate dynamics with complex compression techniques. Automating plug ins can give them multiple purposes adding both subtle ear candy…
Cytomic The Glue: Best SSL Bus Compressors?

Cytomic The Glue is an affordable SSL-style bus compressor plugin. The plugins gets its name from the SSL hardware’s famous ability to ‘glue’ mixes together. Even though there are tons of SSL bus compression plugins on the market, Cytomic makes…

Haas Effect: What It Is and How It’s Used

The Haas effect is a psychoacoustic phenomenon discovered by Dr. Helmut Haas in 1949. Also known as the “precedence effect,” the law states that when one sound is followed by another with a delay time of approximately 40 ms or…

How to Use Auto-Tune for Vocal Tuning

The really interesting thing about Antares Auto-Tune is that just about everyone has an idea of what it is. For engineers, it’s a very useful tool and effect; but the fact that it’s recognized by almost everybody, beyond studio pros,…

Secrets to Mixing Rap Vocals

It’s easy to underestimate the trickiness of mixing rap vocals. Some engineers will write the genre off thinking that it’s just a 2-track and a vocal, so it must be simple. But the intricacy lies in having leads, stacks of…

How To De-Ess Vocals | Settings for a Pro Mix

Sibilance is what we call the hissing noise made by ‘ess’ and ‘shh’ sounds in the voice. We don’t notice it in conversation, but it can get really harsh on a recorded vocal. A de-esser can take care of excess…

The 7 Best Delay VST Plugins 2021 [FREE & PAID]

Delay plugins are essential to every mixer’s toolbox! It’s one of the most common effects we use all the time to give instruments dimension and energy. The great thing about delay is that it can be subtle for a little…

Digital Audio Tools: Linear Phase EQ

Anytime you change the frequency content of a sound source with an equalizer, a tiny amount of phase ‘smear’ occurs. This is a normal result of latency being added to the signal whenever you alter the amplitude of specific frequency…

What You Should Know About Analogue Summing

As I’m sure you’re well aware, the analogue vs. digital debate still rages on despite digital’s advancements over the years. Whether you grew up working on analogue equipment or simply call yourself a “purist,” some folks still consider “old-school” recording…

Vocal Compression for Beginners

Learning to mix an up-front, in-your-face vocal takes practice. Understandably the most important aspect of a song across numerous genres, a great sounding, competitive vocal has the power to stand out from the pack. But how do we even get…

Considerations for Mixing with Headphones vs. Monitors

One of the most common questions starter engineers have is whether they should mix with headphones or studio monitors. The answer tends to be that good results are achievable on either, or both. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much to clarify.…

How to Do Reverse Reverb in 3 Easy Steps

Reverse reverb, sometimes called reverse echo or reverse regeneration, simply takes the reverb tail of any instrument and reverses it. Creating it is a matter of printing the wet signal of a reversed audio track. Reverse reverb is typically accompanied…

Mono vs Stereo: Which Is Best for Mixing?

The difference between mono vs stereo sound is simply the number of channels used for recording and playback. If you’re new to mixing, you may or may not be familiar with the concept of checking your mix in mono. It…

How to Use Audio Pass Filters in Your Mixes

The most frequently used audio pass filters you’ll come across are high- and low-pass filters. High-pass filters (also called “low-cut”) attenuate low-end below the chosen frequency. Literally at the other end of the spectrum are low-pass filters (also called “high-cut”),…

8 Tips for Amazing Low End!
Mixing low end can be tricky, and it is something we get a lot of questions about! Today I will be sharing some tips and tricks that you can use to get great low end in your mixes! We also…
Top 5 Mixing Mistakes No One Talks About
Today we are going to be going over some mixing mistakes that are not talked about very often! These are things that don't get talked about a lot when it come to mixing, but I feel are very important! There…
Get an Analog Sound with this Digital Trick!
Today, we are going to focus on parallel compression! Parallel compression is quite wonderful and is definitely something you will want to use in your mixes! Recently, we did a video talking about loudness in mixes, and realized there is…
Simple Ways to Increase Loudness in Your Mix

By definition, loudness is a subjective perception of volume. It varies from person to person based on a variety of physiology and psychological factors. It’s also frequently confused with physical measures of volume, such as sound pressure level represented by…

Mixing with Headphones: What You Need to Know

There tend to be varying degrees of thought on mixing with headphones. Some of us are in bedrooms, our parent’s house, married with kids (not wanting to wake them up at 3am!), etc. It’s understandable that in certain cases mixing…

Creative Reverb and Delay Tricks for Vocals

Vocals are the centerpiece to any song and generally require a bit more attention than basic rhythm tracks. Since the human voice is the most expressive instrument, you can have a lot of fun mixing them. There’s lots of pretty…

FabFilter vs. iZotope Plugins for Music Production

When it comes to mixing and mastering, we have access to hundreds of amazing plugins from many companies. We collect our favorites from a variety of developers since there’s no be-all-end-all plugin maker. However, an interesting debate we’ve occasionally seen…

Mix Bus Compression Tips for Better Mixes Today

Every professional mix/master you’ve heard has benefitted from a splash of bus compression. It adds what we call “glue” to a mix by smoothing out the overall dynamic range of the material. Done well, mix bus compression can take your…

6 Reverb Tips for Clean and Creative Mixes

Learning how to use reverb is an essential mixing skill. Time-based effects have the ability to add dimension to your mix, and give instruments their own sonic space. Reverb is often used to push mix elements further back, but it…

3 EQ Mistakes We All Make
Today we are sharing 3 common EQ mistakes, and how to avoid them! These might seem quite simple, but they are the fundamentals that I apply to every single mix. Click here to download the cheat sheet so you can…
6 Delay Mistakes We All Make
This is going to be a fun one because we have talked about this in different forms, and I started thinking about it, and with delays, there really are no hard and fast rules. As such, creativity is king, but…
Top 5 Metal Amp Sims
Today, Scott Elliott, of Chernobyl Studios, is here with us, and he is going to share his Top 5 Metal Amp Sims! I am excited to hear which ones he uses and why they're his favorite! 1. Neural DSP Fortin…
Bass Compression: The Foundation of Any Mix

Bass compression is easily one of the most important parts of a mix. Bass gives music that energy which is often felt more than heard. Low-end energy is critical because it has the power to produce a defined groove and an intelligible…

Master Bus Compression: Hardware vs. Plugins
Today, we are going to talk about Master Bus Compression. Many of you know about the magic SSL Bus Compressor, because it is probably one of the most copied bus compressors on the planet. From around the 1970's until about…
How to Use Parallel Compression

Parallel compression, also called New York compression, is a form of upward dynamic control. An instrument’s dynamic range is reduced not by squashing the peaks, but by bringing up the quietest parts in the material, adding greater detail and excitement…

5 Best Mixing Plugins in 2021

Mixing is one of the most satisfying parts of music production. It’s so much fun polishing raw recordings, adding creative effects, and putting the finishing touches on a song for listeners. There are literally thousands of plugins out there that…

Sub Bass: EQ and Mixing Tips

Sub bass is the stuff that’s felt more than heard. It’s an important part of a mix because it contributes to so much of the power listeners feel. In some genres sub bass a leading part of a mix, and…

Mixing Basics: Drums
Today, we will be going over the basics of mixing drums. We’re back with another episode of Mixing Basics. In this episode, we’re going to get into the basics of mixing Drums. If you recall in the previous episodes, we…
Compression Techniques: The Multiband Compressor

Learning to use a compressor is one of the most important mixing skills you can develop. Compression is all over mixes, even becoming the sound we associate with loud, modern pop mixing. If there’s anything you want to really understand, it’s…

Mixing Basics: Bass
We’re back with another episode of Mixing Basics. In this episode we’re going to mix Bass guitar! This session is available for download so you can follow along with me! These multitracks are from Produce Like A Pro Academy, every…
How to Mix Vocals to a 2-Track Instrumental

Mixing vocals to a 2-track instrumental is something every engineer will encounter at some point. It’s especially common in hip hop/pop, where artists routinely download pre-mixed instrumentals online and bring them to a studio to record. The challenge with learning…

Mixing Basics: Guitar
We’re going to do another part in our mixing basics series! In this series, we are mixing a song completely and utterly in the box using only stock plugins. So far we’ve worked on the vocal, bass, and drums. I’m…
6 Key Ingredients to a Better Vocal Production

If you’re struggling to fine-tune your vocal production chops, don’t be alarmed. Every time a new vocalist steps up to the mic, there are a bunch of variables at play which can skew our results from session to session. Keeping…

Creating Space in Your Mixes

One of the hallmarks of a great mix is separation between every instrument. Most mix elements have wide frequency spectrums—even a kick drum can extend well into the high mids and above. When so much information exists in every instrument,…

15 Mixing Tips I Wish I Would’ve Learned Sooner

It’s perfectly normal to feel like you’ve hit a wall when it comes to progressing as a mixer. A lot of the time we rely on our tried and true methods which get the job done, but ultimately leave something…

Guidelines on How to EQ 14 Common Instruments

Understanding how to EQ–probably the most used tool available to engineers–is essential. Sometimes it’s as simple as high-passing an instrument, while other cases require more precision. Either way, EQ is fundamental in making mix elements sound more or less defined,…

5 Vocal Reverb Tips That Will Level Up Your Mixes!

Let’s get down to it..a dry vocal sounds pretty weird! Even what we’d consider “dry” overall mixes have at least a little bit of dimension, probably from the room where things are recorded, with a little extra help from hardware…

Mixing Basics: EQ Before or After Compression?
In today's video we are going to be talking about whether we should EQ before or after compression! There is not a lot of consensus on this topic, because the truth is, it may vary from case to case. The…
8 Tips For Getting Better Low End
This is a bit of a contentious subject, and one that is talked about a lot, but it is an important one! Low end is a crucial part of every mix, and if it is not done properly, it can…
The Basics of Starting a Mix – Setting Levels
In this episode, we’re going to concentrate on the basics of starting a mix. This is a good thing for beginners but it’s also an amazing discussion point for anybody who’s intermediate or advanced. For me, the best way to…