Can't Finish Your Mix? 4 Mistakes That You Need To Stop.
Hello and happy new year,
While turning a new page and preparing for a prosperous year ahead, I thought I'd address some of the bigger mistakes people made in 2016 when mixing their records.
1. Poor Organisation and foundations;
For the same reasons the leaning tower of Pisa would never finish with an upright construction, your mix won't be completely straight if inheriting flaws from the outset. Rock solid foundations are paramount to the successful completion of a mix. Label your channels, gain stage each and every audio source, label your routing correctly, ensure all edits are faded, and there are no remaining artefacts within the material before you commence mixing.
Less is more; Too often I see you engineers fixated on an additive mindset, possibly because of the techniques, tricks and tips their exposed to in the material they read. So instead of always asking, "I'll add this plug-in, boost these frequencies or saturate this". Try asking, "Does this kick really need X processor?".
3. Chasing Your Tail
I brought the Kick up and it's overpowering the bass, I brought the bass up and it's overpowering the lead, I brought the lead up and it's overpowering the pads, I brought the pads up and it's overpowering the kick...
Stop sweating the small stuff, the best mixes you hear will have 2-3 key focal points. The human brain can only process and hone in on 2-3 piece of information at one time. You're better off picking a few elements and making them SHINE up front rather than chasing your tail making everything clearer, upfront and in the limelight.
When you're in mixing mode, your audio binoculars are in overdrive, trying to pick out every small detail and refine the elements of your music. We shouldn't overlook this mindset, but it isn't without its flaws. When you're finalising the mix, while you still should have your audio binoculars on, it can pay handsomely to kick back on the couch, read a book, check your emails and just listen to the mix leisurely as the audience would. Don't overthink it; this is a time to either click or disconnect with aspects of your mix as a LISTENER and in my opinion the best way to finalise your work.