What is good my fellow Artists, Rappers, Producers, Singers, Songwriters, Home Studios, and DIY-ers!!!
I was reviewing a mix I was working on last week, listened to the before audio and could not help but think, "this mix is great already, by itself, no mixing needed..." As I organized the tracks into a workflow that works for me and started doing subtle changes to the Levels, routing similar instruments into their own Busses, and Panning hard Left & Right to widen the stereo field, I began to notice the difference, the key to why every song needs to be Mixed...
Hear the Difference:
Maybe you're not quite sold yet... That's ok. Or maybe you aren't sure what I'm talking about; that's ok too.
I like to let the mix do the talking, that is why my home page is my Mixing Portfolio, where you can hear some examples of the before and after mixes of songs from various artists and genres.
But now it's time to tell you Why...
We've all heard:
If you're an artist, you've probably heard people advise, "Just get your stuff on SoundCloud. Get it out there so people can hear it. It doesn't have to be perfect... Get more plays and fans when you buy this package." And so on.
If you've got an amazing song and unique talent, I agree, you are already ahead of the game.
But if you've been in the recording and music world for very long, you've probably heard "EQ that" and "use a Compressor" or "I can't quite hear what the lyrics are..."
Have you ever put your song on SoundCloud, played it in your car, and noticed it doesn't quite sound like the songs you hear on the radio? Or it sounded good when you were working on it and you followed every trick in the book just right...
Then your song needs the Magic of Mixing.
Mixing your songs is not an easy process. Believe me, I know. When I first started recording and mixing in high school (in 2008), I had no idea where to start. I thought my music sounded amazing and all I wanted to do was make music; I didn't know that my mixes could make or break me as an artist.
Since then, I've spent years studying sound. I have learned from some of the best, most dedicated and disciplined mixers in the world; Graham at the Recording Revolution, Dave with Pensado's Place, Irko with Irko StudioBeat, Jason from Behind the Speakers, David Glenn Recording, Budi from Heroic Academy, Scott from the Production Academy, and the list goes on and on. And I still learn new things everyday, as do they.
Slow Down & Listen:
There are many facets to Mixing. But the most important lesson I've learned is to slow down and listen.
In any given song, you will hear frequencies ranging between 20 hertz (low frequencies) and 20k-hertz (high frequencies). I've included a visual spectrum analyzer for you to be able to see what you hear.
You want your mix to cover all frequencies without instrumental tracks interfering with each other's frequencies. It is sort of like fitting sounds into a puzzle that creates a bigger picture, that which you hear.
The more you listen to your song without taking brain breaks, the more your ears will accommodate for the frequencies interfering with each other. You can't always tell what in your own song needs to be mixed, because you've spent countless hours producing it, and your ears are used to it...
For example; Your lower frequency instruments will sit nicely in a mix if isolated by their stronger frequencies like bass, 808, & kicks, lying anywhere between about 20 - 250 hertz. Middle range instruments like sax, piano, snare, toms, etc. will tend to lie anywhere between 200 - 1,000 hertz. Finally, higher pitched instrumentals, which could include vocals, flutes, cymbals, soprano type woodwinds, etc. will lie anywhere between 1,000 - 20k hertz. (Every instrumental and vocal may vary - sax could be baritone, tenner, alto, & soprano, possibly ranging different frequencies).
If all your instruments and vocals are left to compete for space in the mix, having equal range between 20 and 20k hertz, there may be interference and this is one leading factor that either makes or breaks a song.
It is always a good idea to have someone else who does not have emotional ties to the song, as well as someone who can give you honest feedback or help, listen to and work on the perfecting process of your song.
If you've known me for a while or have read about me, you will know that I have a passion for empowering, sharing resources and encouraging others to learn their craft. Not only do I mentor and coach young artists getting started with a career in the music industry, I also offer Mixing Services to anyone who wants to improve the sound of their mixes, so they can stand out on the charts as well as impress their fans and listeners.
If you're interested in seeing how getting your songs mixed can benefit you, get in touch with me; I will be more than happy to help. I look forward to helping you take your songs to the next level:
I hope you enjoyed and learned something new from this article. I look forward to working with you. If I missed something, feel free to let me know or comment below. If you think someone could benefit from this information, go ahead and share this article. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. What would you like to know next? Let me know in the comments below. Do me a favor, smash that like button, share it, let me know what you guys want to learn next, be nice to someone, and have a great day!