Mixing, mixing, mixing, we all want to get better mixes - it seems no one is entirely satisfied with their mixes. As it’s often said, most mixes are not finished, simply abandoned. However there are ways to get to your desired result faster.
Here are our top 5 tips to faster mixes…
- Decide What Kind Of Mix You Want
Too many people start pushing up faders and adding plug-ins hoping to discover a great mix. Why not try listening through to the song and deciding what kind of shape and dynamics you want the song to have. Once you have a plan, then the mix will be far easier to achieve - those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
- Delete Some Tracks
I was with hanging out with uber engineer/producer Vance Powell last week and we both agreed that one of the first things we do is start going through the tracks and muting the tracks that add nothing. Does it really need 18 guitars, or 8 tracks of percussion loops? Be brutal, it can get you fired if you are working for a client, but who wants to put their name to a mess?
- Move Your Unused Plug-ins
If you are one of those people who has only the plug-ins they need, then you’re unique. Most of us have far too many plug-ins cluttering up our DAW. Take half an hour to move the ones you don’t use often, or have never used and put them in your unused plug-ins folder - my guess is that it’s between 50-80% of them. They slow up load times, sessions and distract you when you are mixing.
- Delete Plug-ins
I got sent a mix last week, it was 28 tracks and every track had around 3 plug-ins on it. The first thing I do when I get tracks to mix is disable every plug-in. On this occasion the track sounded a hell of a lot better without them, in fact it sounded great. I added an instance of UAD ATR102 and iZotope Ozone to the master bus and bounced it. Sometimes less is more.
- Take A Lot Of Breaks
That seems like a contradiction, take breaks to work faster? Yes, take a least 10 minutes off an hour, get a coffee, some fresh air and come back to the mix with a new set of ears. You’ll be amazed how much difference regular breaks will make to your productivity.
So, there’s 5 from us, what are yours?