The holy grail of any great track is the final mix.
10 people can mix a track and give you 10 good mixes, much of it is taste.
That said, here are some of the things that help you get better mixes.
- Stereo is a great invention, but don’t think that means everything should be out to the edges of a mix. Keep the centre for the most important parts of a mix; vocals, beats and bass. Then use the rest of the image to create space and interest.
- Think of a mix just as you would a live band. Think about how the instruments should be working with each other, giving one another space. Think about how instruments and vocals can come in and out of an arrangement to create space rather than having them play all the time.
- It’s very easy to overuse stuff; try to use things like Eq, Compression and Reverb sparingly. Plug-ins are like make-up, a beautiful woman needs little and if you use too much she looks like crap. Great songs are the same.
- Find tracks you would like to mix to and then bring them into the mix and use them for reference during the mix process for comparison.
- Listen to the mix on as many devices as possible. I have often listened to mixes on the car stereo driving back from studios. Try them on your PC, laptop and listen at different volumes.
There’s a few of my top tips, what are yours?