Mixing is an art form. Many times the person who cuts your tracks won’t be the person who mixes them. My forte is mixing and my personal studio is set up exclusively for that and vocal tracking. Granted many of my projects are full productions. But the bulk of my work comes from the fact that there are few real mix engineers as compared to the amount of studios and tracking engineers. I have mixed award-winning major label and independent records over a wide span of musical styles. What your mix will sound like actually starts from the moment you arrange your song in your head. Here is my philosophy on mixing and how you can provide me with the best opportunity to give you an awesome mix.
- The tonal range of the instruments in your production are as important as the parts they play. Use instruments that don’t overlap sound wise. You can hear issues immediately in your rough mixes if things sound murky, muffled and unclear.
- Use recordings of music in the genre you are doing to help guide you in how the arrangement of top songs are structured
- Be careful not to overdo your production when you get in the studio. Laying 5 part harmonies on a hook with power chords and hearing all the vocal notes is going to take away from the guitars forcefulness. There is only so much that can fit sonically in a recording while still having the song come across powerfully.
- When doing Pop, Rap and R&B be aware of the value of your lead vocal track. Many times people lay so many ad libs, counter lines and double tracks that the message and beauty of the lead vocal gets lost. Again LISTEN to hit productions in these genres. Most of them are pretty bare in comparison to tracks that people bring in to be mixed.
- Bring the mix engineer CD’s, not mp3’s, of music as close as possible to the style, tempo and arrangement of your song… CD’s that you like the overall sound of. You needn’t know why and explain it in technical terms but bring in ones where you “feel” the sound is bumping. The mixer will use this as a guide for your song and a good mixer will A/B those songs against your mix to show you how close he got. Sometimes you might like the sound of one rhythm track but like the vocal treatment on another track. Bring both in. Your engineer can take elements of these separate parts and try to incorporate them in your mix.
- If the tracking engineer isn’t the mix engineer make sure to have both speak or at least tell the tracking engineer to clean up any noise between tracks, delete or mute any unused parts and name all the tracks intelligently.
Best of wishes and looking forward to working with you!