Music Mixing Confessions from a Caffeine Addict

music mixing coffee

I can’t live without coffee. I can say, without a doubt, that without coffee I probably wouldn’t have written any of the articles on this site. It keeps my creative juices running and the ideas flowing.

Hang on. I’ll be right back.

Now that caffeine is pulsing through my veins we can continue.

As you might expect from a coffee addict, I have a bunch of different coffee makers. They all serve their purpose and they all taste a little different. Just like the different mixes and genres we create. They all have their characteristics and they all sound a little different.

Let’s break it down.

Two Cup Coffee Maker

My two cup coffee maker is quick and easy. A simple process and a fast caffeine fix.

The two cup coffee maker is like mixing an awesome four piece rock band. The arrangement is simple and you can quickly get a groove going. The punch is in the recording itself and the feel is in their performance. The payoff is fast because the song just rocks without any serious mixing. The song simply mixes itself.

The French Press

I use my French press when I need to make a lot of coffee. It’s great when you have people over and you need to make a big batch.

The French Press is like a big production. Where you need to group your instruments and do some serious planning. It’s when you have a lot to deal with and many contrasting instruments playing at the same time.

The Italian Percolator

I use my Italian percolator a lot. It’s perfect when I want my coffee to be strong and full, or a fancy latte with some foamed milk. It takes a while to make but there’s nothing like a nice latte in the afternoon.

The Italian percolator is like mixing a singer/songwriter. The mix is sparse and you need to make the most of everything you have. It takes some time to get right since everything needs to be larger than life to fill up the spectrum. But once it’s ready, it’s thick, powerful and worth the wait!


And then there’s the sludge your dad drinks. The very few times I worked with my dad doing construction we used to drink this thick black sludge that seemed to taste more like ink than coffee. But we drank it and got on with our work.

Sludge is the work you do to pay the bills. Whether it’s boring audio editing, vocal tuning or drum replacement, this is what you do between memorable and enjoyable sessions.

Not every musician is amazing. Not every session goes perfectly. Sometimes you just gotta drink the sludge that’s handed to you.

Check out to plan a better mix.

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