Schools Training

Knockout Tips For Best Music Mixing

18 SEP 2013
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

Mixing audio is a fun and challenging activity. Many people love to manipulate their audio tracks for hours and hours and try all sorts of different things to change the sound. Producers can never learn everything there is to know about mixing audio. They can learn new techniques by attending DJ school, taking audio classes or doing other things. However, there are so many things to learn about improving one’s mixing abilities that it a perfect activity to keep a person continually engaged and challenged.

When a person is mixing audio, he should be trying to strengthen the meaning of the track. It’s easy to hear many songs where the mixing has actually lessened the message because the producer wanted to show off with some sort of flashy effect that fights the songs message or just doesn’t fit the context. The producer needs to study the lyrics and maybe ask the artist or writer about things he doesn’t understand. Music is about emotion. The audio mix can amplify the emotion of the song. Imagine if a love song is mixed in a way that makes the listener feel scared and anxious. That would be terrible. This doesn’t mean that the producer needs to follow the lyrics with his mix in any sort of literal sense. Knowing the meaning and context of the music just provides a jumping off point that will help generate ideas the producer might not have come up with otherwise.

Part of the context is the artist’s image and the genre of music. A country artist probably doesn’t want a rap beat in his song. Maybe the artist likes to project raw authenticity. He probably won’t want some really overproduced poppy track. A few minutes of research can save the producer a big headache.
Experiment with Tone and Texture

A mix isn’t just about balancing sound levels for the vocals and instruments. It should feature different aspects the listener needs to hear. Choices should be bold. Being scared and trying not to draw attention to fader moves and effects will come off weak and boring. Producers should be confident with their decisions. Anything that doesn’t work can be toned down later, and as you learned in audio courses, it’s okay to be bold! However, everything that the producer does will change the texture and tone in the song. He needs to pay attention to this. All of the different elements should work together as one whole piece of art.
Use Sub-Mix Busses

Rather than sending the drums to stereo mix or L/R, the producer should send them to the aux return channel. Then, he can send that to stereo mix or L/R. The solo should be disabled on the auxes before he does this.  Lastly, staying open to new tips from DJ school and other sources ensure that the producer stays successful at mixing great audio tracks.

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