Transform Your Rough Recordings Into Released Records, Even If You Only Have a Home Studio

Don’t Forget This for Mix-Ready Recordings

Once your tracks are “mix-ready” mixing becomes easy.

Simple as that.

In the last two sessions of the Mix-Ready Roadmap we’ve talked about:

Today, we’re tackling the final piece of the puzzle you need before your productions are “Mix-Ready.”

Mix Ready Recordings 3d

Mix-Ready Tightness in Your Tracks

I don’t know how often I have struggled with a mix, trying to figure out why it isn’t working and then realizing it has nothing to do with my mixing.

And everything to do with the poorly edited tracks I’m working with.

If the tracks aren’t tight, and your takes aren’t tuned, no amount of mixing will make your mixes sound good.

You can spend hours creating excitement, punch, and power, but it’ll never be enough if the tracks aren’t edited properly.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, just like  I say in Step By Step Mixing:

“You have to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes before you cook.”

Just like you have to edit your tracks before you mix.

Removing Silences and De-Noising Where Necessary

Removing silences is a crucial step in creating clean, easy-to-mix multi-tracks if you record acoustic instruments and vocals.

The thing is, these “silences” are often not that silent at all.

You’ll hear useless background noise like headphones bleed, lip smacks from a musician shuffling around, and hum from an amp. Even if it’s somewhat masked by other tracks playing over those “silences,” it’s not a bad idea to just get rid of it all anyway. What’s worse, when you add compression to those tracks during mixing, you might find that background noise creeping into your tracks and cluttering up your mix.

So cover your bases and:

  • Remove silences between vocal phrases.
  • Remove silences and add fades before and after your waveforms.
  • Remove silences whenever those tracks aren’t being played (if the were recorded with a mic. Software instruments won’t have this issue unless they have some analog hum/noise “feature”).

Trust me when I tell you that you’ll have an easier mixing experience when the only things you hear in your mix are instruments playing—not useless background noise.

Moving and Time-stretching Regions

Even the greatest drum takes might have a beat or two off the grid. It happens, and it gives the song a human feel.

Cut those regions and move them to the right place. Alternatively, use your DAW’s time-stretching tool to squeeze the sound to the right beat.

Find the anchor instrument in the song that grooves the most to the beat and edit all your tracks around it.

And remember, editing isn’t only restricted to tightening up your drumbeat. Minor timing adjustments can enhance overall groove and coherence across your entire session.

So pay close attention to every instrument and see if you can’t tweak the timing to tighten up the performance. I guarantee it’ll make the entire mixing process easier. Everything sounds better when everything is grooving.

Create Master Performances

Note the best takes during the production phase for reference and then merge (comp) the best parts of each take to create a polished master recording.

You can also note standout moments in different takes for potential emphasis during mixing.

If you know where the “magic moments” in your music are, then you can automate or use clip-gain to make those moments stand out. Automation doesn’t have to happen at the very end of the mix. You might as well immediately bring out those magical moments so they don’t get drowned in the mix.

If there’s a cool fill, a fun slide, or a happy accident in the performance that makes it stand out, you want to make sure those spots shine in the mix.

Tune the Vocals

You want to get a good performance without tuning, but light tuning can take a vocal performance to the next level.

Minor editing, like reducing the vibrato of a sustained note, or or tweaking the drift between notes is a great way to make a great performance even better. But if you get too perfect, it’ll sound robotic, and you’ll get that auto-tune effect. You don’t want that unless you’re going for that vibe because it fits your genre.

Get Your Tracks Mix-Ready

After all this, you should have:

  • A great song
  • With a well-produced arrangement
  • That’s tightly edited, cleaned up, tweaked, and tuned

If you have all those ingredients, your music is “Mix-Ready,” and you should be excited to start the mixing process.

Keep Going Inside the Step-By-Step Mixing Challenge

I wrote this Mix-Ready Roadmap to prepare you to mix your songs so you’re ready for what I have for you next.

Next week, I’ll open the doors to a BRAND-NEW program based on my popular, best-selling book, Step By Step Mixing.

It’s called the Step By Step Mixing Challenge, a five-day challenge in which I help you mix your song from beginning to end.

SBSM Challenge 3d laptop

If you’ve wanted to finish your mixes and release your records but have gotten sidetracked by tedious online courses, long-winded YouTube videos, or plug-in fatigue, this is the challenge you’ve been waiting for.

I’m excited to share this Step-by-Step Mixing Challenge with you because I know what a difference releasing your music can make.

It’s cathartic to finally release your music and see it out on every online distributor so that you can share it with your friends, family, and fans.

It’s also a HUGE confidence boost to have radio-ready music you’re proud of out in the world. I know from personal experience that it does wonders for your self-esteem.

So this challenge will help you finally transform your recordings into finished mixes you’re proud to release.

Stay tuned for the doors to the challenge opening real soon!

Have a great rest of your weekend!


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About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

We help musicians transform their recordings into radio-ready and release-worthy records they’re proud to release.

We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use immediately to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

Björgvin’s step-by-step mixing process has helped thousands of musicians confidently mix their music from their home studios. If you’d like to join them, check out the best-selling book Step By Step Mixing: How To Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins right here.