Music Mixing Points – Things to Consider When You Are Starting Out With Music Production
By Steven Grout
There are many guides and lots of helpful information on music production tips on the internet, I myself, have found most of this information is contradictory to each individual source, meaning; if you were to read each tip or guide whilst trying to learn, you would be seriously confused. You must pick one source of information and stick to it as there are many ways to produce music. All these people are not wrong but they are mixing within different genres. There are however some golden rules within mixing and I am going to share a few with you now:
Mix alone or with an experienced music producer – I would advise anyone who does not know where to start in music production to, sit in, on someone mixing session so they can picking up a lot of music mixing techniques and then have a framework on which to start and upon, not actually effects as such, just the pre production set up. If you do not have any friends or you do not know anyone nice enough to let you sit in and watch, then I say do it alone. There is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t know what is happening, buzzing in your ear about non related things or giving poor advice based on one of a million reasons which you do not have time to be thinking about.
Mix within a ‘dead’ environment – You need to mix within a room than has no ‘reflections’. These are surrounds which alter sound. Most commonly reverb but certain materials can make the audio sound different, which means, when you mix within this environment the mix might be sounding amazing, in this space/room, but take it to another room or somewhere else and it will sound odd or hideously bad. To test your room for reverb you can either, make a clicking sound with your tongue and the roof of your mouth or simply slap your hands. This will let you see if you have a problem. If there is a problem, do not put carpet or egg boxes over all the walls. This method is a total myth and does not work. The best and cost effective way is to hang a duvet or two around the room to stop the reflections bouncing around and causing reverb.
Listen to music at a comfortable level and do not expose yourself to high levels on the day of mixing – When you are about to mix a song, you need your ears to be rested and not vexed from loud music. There are many tiny hairs within the ear and these hairs vibrate with sound, they fall out or get forever damage/flattened when listening to music over a set level. If you want to keep mixing music for a long time any exposure to loud music is an occupational hazard but if you feel you need to listen to it at a loud volume for whatever reason. Make sure you do not do it whilst you are involved with mixing a track. If you do listen to loud music or you are mixing at a loud volume; the track will be no good at all as you cannot listen to it properly as it is too loud and when listen to at a normal volume it will show you mixing techniques in a very poor light.
There are many other music mixing tips to consider if you are interested in helping yourself understand how to produce music. I believe that if anyone ever wants to improve their music mixing techniques they should take a look at THIS website. It could be the case that you are stuck and do not know what to do next or it could be you are wanting to learn more skills and ‘tricks of the trade’, either way you should take a look.