The Mixer, Where a Beat Becomes Professional,
The mixer is a very complex tool, and can really be as complex as you want it to be.
To create professional mixes, it takes years of learning and experience of all the techniques, and understanding how things work. Once you understand the basics, this is all that’s needed to make an above average album. But to make a professional album, starting to learn the advanced techniques, and how the tools work, such as compression, is a must!
Things to help you get started, would be doing research on Sub Groups, EQ, Compression, Mixing, Mastering, Parallel Compression, Sidechain Compression, Panning, Stereo Separation, Limiting, Clipping, Distortion, Delay, Reverb.. to get you started!
The Mixer, the First Place to Wreck a Mix!
The mixer is probably the biggest place where you can destory your song. Learning about the mixer and all the little tricks about it will save you time and has nothing but advantages! You may wreck song after song, but after awhile, your beats start turning out decent, which will eventually make you more confident, and after time you will only get better!
After learning how to create your beats, start practicing mixing. Learn how an EQ works, learn what compression does, what a limiter is etc. The whole point of mixing is to get a “balanced” mix that will eventually be turned into a master.
What’s the difference between mixing and mastering? Find out here.
What’s the Goal in Mixing?
The goal in mixing is to create separation for everything to breathe, yet still sound great! Easy right? Haha, no!
Now, if you master your own music, you don’t have to worry about sending it to a mastering engineer for them to master it. But if you are planning on sending it off for professional mastering, here are a few things to get you started.
First, the goal is, no peaks should be over -3dB. Personally, I shoot for -6dB just to be safe, as while being new, adjusting your levels is not easy! Next, adjust all your volumes, pan some instruments to create separation for your vocals and other instruments. Use EQ to create separation in your sounds. Finally, have no effects on your master channel, and export it as a 24-Bit .WAV file. From here, the mastering engineer will do their job with what you give them.
Why no effects on the master channel? I want to have a bit of compression on there!
Well, most mastering engineers say no to effects on a master, because if someone is new, they can easily over-do their effect, such as compression, and therefore, your mix is over compressed.
So an alternative to this would be to send the mastering engineer a mix with your effects on, then a mix without your effects on the master, so they can work off it and see where you were wanting to go with the mix!
While starting up, the hardest part is probably learning about each tool. Once this is achieved, now it’s time to practice, which will only result in bad mix after bad mix! But odn’t give up, keep researching, watching youtube videos, and practicing!
Okay, so then what’s Mastering? Is there a Difference form Mixing?
Yes, find out more within this video:
How to Mix and Master Your Beats (Get them Ready for Soundclick)