It’s time-tested advice.
There’s always a point where the more you add the worse it becomes.
It’s true with music production but it’s also true for other things.
Too many ingredients in a meal won’t make it taste better. Sometimes you just need some salt, pepper and garlic.
The same things goes for your music. Whether it’s recording or mixing, overproduction isn’t always the best option.
- Stick to mono miking to simplify your guitar recordings.
- Use bussing and grouping to simplify a mixing session.
- Be careful with the compression.
- A few small EQ cuts can sound better than enormous boosts.
- If the instruments don’t exactly fit, mute them.
This last point is important. I was working on a song once that had rhythm acoustic guitars as well as overdriven electric guitars. I always thought something was missing from the mix but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, I randomly decided to mute the electric guitars during the verses.
Instant relief. The mix came together almost immediately after that. No electric guitars during the verses gave the song more dynamics. The verse could breathe more and the vocals stood out in a better way.
You see, taking something away can be even more effective than adding something extra. In this case we ended up with a more dynamic mix that had a much better feel to it. So next time you’re producing and something’s not quite working, maybe you’ve added too much?
Take the less is more approach and you’ll end up with something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
If you need help, you can find all my tips right here: