Hello Lovely people!
Below are my top 4 tips for getting better sounding mixes. These tips are practical things that you can put into practice right away to take your mixes to the next level.
1. Rough mixes
If you’re mixing a song that you didn’t record then you will likely receive a rough mix that was done by the producer or the recording engineer. This mix was done with the artist and producer’s vision of the song in mind. You need to reference this mix and beat it. They want the song to sound like what they envisioned, but be better. Listening to this mix will give you all the clues you need to understand what the artist and producer wants the final product to be like, so be sure to reference their rough mix.
2. Reference Mixes
Put together a list of reference mixes that are done by top mixers and use those to help you hear what your low end should sound like, or where you should place you drums in the mix. Choose songs that sound similar to the track you are working on. You can also choose to reference tracks because they have a vibe that you like too. For example, maybe you like how one track has very bright high end, but another song has great sounding kick drum. Reference mixes can really help you determine what is right, and what is wrong about your mix. In the video I talk about 4 different songs that you can use for reference mixes and why you should use them. I have also put together a Spotify playlist so that you can listen to all of these songs.
3. Beat your own mix
Once you have your first mix and it is approved by the artist or label you know exactly what you need to achieve for the rest of the mixes on the album. You can go to the second mix and reference the first mix that you did. Your goal is to beat the first mix or improve upon what you did. When you do this, the second mix should be what the artist is looking for. Do this with every song on the record, and then come back to the first song you mixed and see how it stacks up against the last mix and make any adjustments necessary.
4. Level Match Your Mixes
If you’re going to listen to other reference tracks you have to level match. You will trick yourself if you mix is louder than what you are listening to. There are many great plugins that you can use to make sure that what you are referencing is level matched to what you are mixing. One great plugin for this is Perception by my friend Ian Sheperd. This plugin offers level matched A/B testing so that you can make sure you’re hearing improvements in your mix and not just increased loudness.