Are you a beginner at mixing music? Ready to become an audio producer? Mixing can be as easy as you make it. Start by building a solid foundation attending a music career college and then try your hand at mixing music with these simple hacks.
Listening to the same tracks over and over for hours can be absolutely mind-numbing, if you allow it to. Are you looking for some ways to simplify the process? Check out the following 5 mixing hacks every audio producer should know.
Hack #1: Use Low Volumes
Did you know that your ears are prone to perceiving more bass and treble when the volume is higher? It’s true. And this exaggerated response can impede your ability to create a crisp mix, regardless if you are listening on monitors or headphones. Our ears also have the tendency to compress the collective tracks into one sound, therefore, you are unable to discern the volume level of each individual track. For that reason, you should always mix at lower volumes, so you can hear every intricate sound.
Hack #2: Less Tracks
As the old saying goes, less is more. While many newer audio producers are under the impression that adding more tracks makes the mix sound more professional, the truth is actually the opposite. Adding extra tracks, especially a reverb effect at low frequencies, makes for increased mud frequency pollution. This is true, no matter how well you mix. Professionals can always tell when tracks are overdone. Always use as few tracks as possible for the cleanest mix.
Hack #3: Build Your Mix Around One Instrument
All the greatest songs have one memorable section that usually showcases one instrument. For instance, a guitar riff or an awesome bass solo can really take a track to the next level. Build your song around the most memorable instrument at your disposal, and this will help make the song stand out. If you can’t select an instrument on your own, you may want to ask other audio producers for a more informed opinion. A mentor can help you with instrument selection to make the most memorable mixes.
Hack #4: Beat the Clock
While you might think that having more time to complete a track is ideal, this could actually work to your detriment. As audio producers, we tend to utilize all the time we have available to us. Therefore, if you have a week to mix a track, it will take the entire week. However, the finished product is not necessarily any better than a mix that only took a couple of hours. Therefore, set aside a reasonable amount of time to finish your mix and do your best to finish it within that window.
Hack #5: Breaks and References
Mixing can be a tedious process. By taking regular breaks, you will keep your ears and talents sharp, and create the best mixes. Furthermore, after listening to the same music over and over, things can get a bit confusing. If needed, listen to your favorite tracks or mixes to inspire you. You may start every mixing session by listening to songs that inspired you to become an audio producer in the first place. This will likely inspire you to consistently create the best mixes.
Overall, mixing can be a long and tedious process, if you let it. By taking regular breaks, using references, mixing at low volumes, creating a set amount of time for the mix, and using less tracks, you are well on your way to creating a clean, crisp mix. Maybe your music will sound better one day, then the tracks you enjoy listening to.
Did learning about these audio producer’s mixing hacks interest you? Ready to learn more about audio engineering? The audio production and engineering program at the Institute of Production and Recording is an occupational degree program designed to train producer engineers who are entrepreneurs, musically and technically creative, and proficient in modern recording technology and technique. Students learn the fundamentals: acoustics, audio signal flow, recording, music theory, digital audio workstations, MIDI sequencing, and music and entertainment business essentials. Throughout the program, students are involved in hands-on exercises and real-world studio projects that enable them to apply their knowledge and refine their skills.
At the end of the audio production and engineering program, each student presents a portfolio — a selection of his or her best work to date. This serves as a demo reel for potential employers and clients — an audio resume with professional content that highlights the graduate’s talent and skill.
Contact us today to learn more about the audio production and engineering program and starting a rewarding career in the music industry.