I made this massive idiot mistake the other day.
I still cringe just thinking about it, especially since it happened during class. Not only did I say something stupid, but I did so in front of a class full of people.
I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you but it’s a 100 times worse if you make a mistake in public.
Take something as trivial as tripping over something. If nobody’s watching it doesn’t matter to you at all. But if you trip all over yourself in a public, the embarrassment becomes so much worse.
I’ve made some stupid mistakes with my mixes as well. Luckily, you can get away with a few stupid mistakes because you can fix them rather quickly, without exposing your stupidness to 20 odd people.
Here are a few of them:
Compressor on LOUD – This is one stupid mistake I’ve made a few times. If you make things louder they automatically sound better to your ears, so a compressor with the gain up will make you think it sounds better.
Even if the compressor isn’t even working because the threshold is too low. Watch the gain reduction meter to see if it’s actually working. Because sometimes it can just be that extra volume that’s fooling you.
Send Processing - One time I sent all of my guitars to an aux track so I could process them all together. Then I was confused why my EQ didn’t really take all the mud and bass away.
It was because the original signals were still happily playing away on their original tracks. My EQ didn’t do anything to the original because I hadn’t routed them, I only created copies. Man I felt like an idiot when I figured that out.
No Phase-Check - This one mix a while ago had really hard-hitting drums. I spent a lot of time on the drum mix, trying to get everything as powerful as possible but the snare didn’t have enough punch. It was double-miked and I didn’t realize that the under-snare was out of phase.
As soon as I saw that I flipped the phase and boom! All the thickness came slamming back onto the snare sound. That’s one mistake that’s easy to overlook but makes all the difference to your sound.
These are just some of the mistakes that I’ve made. I’m sure there are many more I didn’t even realize I was making.
If you’re struggling with making your mixes sound “mistake-free” then I’ve got a cool new thing for you.
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You also get their eBook, the Path to Great Mixes as a bonus for signing up, which is stock full of mixing secrets such as:
- The real reason correct gain staging is so important.
- How to use busses(I could’ve used this one years ago…)
- The secret weapon of the mixing engineer(it’s not the one you’re thinking of)
- The “no-brainer” way to use EQ
- Clear and straightforward ways to use effects to sweeten and energize your mix.
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Here’s what’s inside:
- The real reason studios are so quiet, and why yours should be too.
- Why most engineers miss out on a good sounding studio(or why they’re spending money on the wrong things)
- The #1 spot you should never mix, because your mixes will NEVER get better.
- How simple geometry can transform your stereo image.
- How to use your girlfriend to help you get better mixes?
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Image by: stigwaage