How to make the most out of your mix: tips from Irresponsible Recordings
Blog by Irresponsible Recordings under Recording & Production
- No matter what you have at your disposal for mixing, the one ever-present constant is by far the most delicate.....your ears. Take a break regularly, 5 minutes with fresh lugs is worth an hour with tired ones. If you’ve been honing in on the release time of a compressor strapped across a drum buss or slaving over a reverb tail so its juuuuust right, it’s really hard to adjust to listening to the bigger picture. So, have a cuppa and give your ears a short rest. Even if you’re hiring a mix facility it really is 5 minutes well spent to keep the most critical part of the mix chain in good nick.
- Now, democracy is a wonderful thing but mixing by committee can be a real hindrance to a good mix. Of course a mix should be a balance of all the carefully crafted parts of a recording but sometimes certain elements need to come to the fore for the benefit of the whole and someone has to take the creative reigns. It’s a bit like baking a cake - you don’t use all of the ingredients in the exact equal amount to avoid offence. That’s why, when we’re mixing for you, we ask for references. It’s important to know whether you’re after a Victoria Sponge or a Lemon Drizzle......
- Cool, so with both tips above we’ve introduced tea and cake, how nice! This tip is a little more nuts and bolts. If you’re struggling with sitting a vocal in a busy mix - it either feels like it’s sitting on top or totally immersed - try a little side chain compression. For instance, perhaps you have a busy guitar part that requires a prominent place in the mix to give it power but you’re struggling to fit it with the vocal without compromising the job either does. Try this; insert a compressor across the guitar buss, (no point in telling you to use an 1176 if you haven’t got one so anything with a side chain option should do.) Take a pre send auxiliary feed from your vocal track and patch it to your side chain feed on the compressor. Start with sending enough vocal aux to the compressor to facilitate a drop of 2db to the guitar when the vocal is present (the guitar will return to its original level when the vocal isn’t present.) With a little careful setting of the compressor’s attack and release times to avoid an obvious pumping effect, a careful ducking of the guitar around the vocal should help gel the two.
irresponsible recordings, online mixing service, music mixing, recording services, music recording, demo mixing