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 start a mix is to open it up and get the balances and panning right. – So let’s get going.
We have a song by Me And The City called “The Owl Song” this is actually a song we have used in the academy. So those of you who are academy members will know this song very well.
This song has several basic elements and this is typically what I get most times. Other times I get stuff that is non-committal and has a ton of compression, EQ, and amp sims on it.
If I get that then I treat it as an instrument with all of those plugins on it. I don’t think of it from adjusting the plugins, I think to myself “that is the guitar sound that amp sim with that compressor and EQ”.
This happens a lot these days because a lot of people are printing with DI’s. In this situation, we don’t have that and we’re just treating them as final committed sounds.
Everything is set to zero there is no EQ, no compression, not even any panning.
Let’s pop on some headphones and listen from the top.
So what does that teach us, it teaches us the power of panning and volume. What I’ve done there is began the journey, the best way for me to hear the song is to take the elements that I have, pan them around and balance them. – This way I can get the best possible mix just using those two things.
Obviously mute is another thing, there might be a part that is just really bothering you. Get it muted now, even arrangement changes, this is a great time to make those changes.
Immediately just those basic moves that I did allow me to hear the song and where I could go.
I hear things that I want to improve but because I have a mix that is fairly usable now I can make better-informed decisions. I’m not going to go in there and decide that the kick and the snare sound absolutely dreadful and need a new sample and stuff like that.
When really it’s just a case of balancing the volume better. This is the way I start with every single mix, go in there, volume balance, pan and it will give you an amazing road map on how to get going.