So you’ve done all the necessary work in creating a great song. Unfortunately, no one’s really listening to it and you can’t figure out why. Maybe mixing is the problem. Simply put, in this day and age, people want their music to sound professional. So let’s get right into it. Here are 10 sound mixing tips from the experts to help ensure your music is heard.
Respect Your Ears
Your own hearing is one of the most important pieces of sound mixing equipment that you have. If you can’t hear what you’re doing, then no amount of compression or equalizers will save you. Wear hearing protection in loud environments and generally take care of your ears.
Sometimes Less Is More
As with anything in life, it’s easy to overdo it when sound editing. You can get into the mindset that the more you do to a track, the better it’ll sound. But sometimes you really can overdo it. Don’t let yourself go too wild with effects and editing. Sometimes the simplest sound is the best.
Try Different Speakers
Different speakers have different sounds. Recognize that whatever you mix will ultimately be played on multiple systems. Try headphones, speakers, and maybe even a car audio system before finalizing a mix.
Watch the Highlights
Sometimes you really love a single sound. Maybe it’s a particular note or a string of beats. You might be determined to put them into that song, but the reality is that some things just don’t work in context. It’s okay to let go of something you really want in a piece. You can always use it later.
Start With Quality Material
If the sample or recording you’re using sounds bad, it’s going to be a hard-fought battle to make it sound genuinely good. Try to always start mixing with quality sounds.
This goes back to the “less is more” idea. A lot of producers fall into the trap of thinking that adding more to a song will make it better. Sometimes though, cutting out frequencies that aren’t needed will really let the good stuff pop.
Listen to Lots of Audio
Much like writers are encouraged to read a lot, listening to tons of songs will improve your sound mixing ability. You’ll know what a song should sound like and what you’re aiming for.
Reference Material is Okay
Piggybacking off number seven, it’s okay to use a reference when mixing sound. Figure out some tracks you like that are similar in feel and then reference them while working. This will give you a baseline to work off of. Just be sure to avoid copying any exact sounds.
You don’t have to be actively working on your track to think about it. Keep a pen and paper with you or use a phone app to jot down notes about your piece while you’re away from the studio.
Sometimes the brain really needs a break to think and process. If you’re stuck on a track, taking a step back may help you figure out what you really need.
So there you have it, 10 sound mixing tips from the experts. Now you’re ready to create a quality track that people will love to listen to.