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The importance of mixing at low levels to really hear what you're doing to your mix

Yesterday I talked a little bit about translation and using different speakers to hear how your mix sounds across the board.

I linked to the video but some of you couldn’t watch it because you weren’t members of the Facebook group. Make sure you request to join the group and then watch the video once approved.

There was one thing I didn’t mention in the Facebook Live video though.

It was the importance of mixing at low levels.

When I mix on the little mix cube I tend to mix at a really low volume.

This makes you really focus on hearing what’s going on in the mix and what effect (if any) some of your mix moves are making.

It’s especially great when you’re mixing the drum bus. It forces you to really listen to how much just a few dB changes here and there on the EQ can make a very big difference.

Next time you’re mixing, try to mix at lower levels than usual. It reminds me of running with weights on your feet when you’re training. The weights make the exercise harder so once they come off you’re much faster than before.

Mixing at low levels is similar. If you strain to hear the changes you make at low levels it becomes easier to mix because you’re training your ears to be more sensitive. It’s a great exercise in focus and attention to detail.

Masterclass and Guidebook to Mixing With 5 Plug-ins

If you’ve been a subscriber for a while you already know my entire schtick when it comes to how important these five plug-ins are.

You know what they are:

  • EQ
  • Compression
  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Saturation

These are the 20% of the tools you need to get 80% of the mixing results. And the funny part is, you won’t get that final 20% from any other fancy tools.

Nope, the only way to get there is through practice. Practicing those five plug-ins and knowing all the tricks you can use them for to make your mixes better is what will make you improve.

That’s why I wrote my Step By Step Mixing book. It’s also why I created my Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course.

Mixing With 5 Plug-ins used to be a five-day course but I changed it to an accelerated course so now you can take it in only five days. That means that in five days you’ll learn exactly how to use these five plug-ins to transform your demos to professional sounding productions.

 Step By Step Mixing Now Included for All Members

The #1 Best-Selling Amazon book Step By Step Mixing is now included in PDF form inside the members area for all MW5P students.

Think of Step By Step Mixing as your reference and guide book throughout the course. You can refer to it to get even more tips and tricks on using EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and saturation to improve your mixes.

Coming Soon: Mixing Hard Rock With Only 5 Plug-ins

The Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course uses a folk rock track to teach you how to learn EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and saturation. In those videos, you learn what all the buttons on those processors do and how to work them.

But if you mostly mix rock you might want something that’s a bit more up your alley.

That’s why I’m adding a hard rock masterclass to show you how you use these same plug-ins to make kick-ass rock mixes.

This masterclass comes out next week inside the Mixing With 5 Plug-ins members area. If you’re already an MW5P member you’ll find it inside your account early next week.

Here’s what I’ll be covering in the masterclass:

  • How to EQ your drum buss to get rid of weird resonances from your overhead tracks
  • How analog saturation adds just that tiny extra spice to your tracks
  • How to tame a snare drum that has too much “smack” to it
  • How to tame the harshness from your cymbals
  • Why you should add saturation before your other plug-ins to make your kick drum sound better
  • Using multi-band compression on the kick drum to get thick lows without muddiness
  • Why a solo’d drum track is never a good gauge of whether your kick drum will cut through the mix
  • Side-chain compression techniques for guitars, vocals, and delays!
  • How to separate the bass and guitars by finding where they mask each other in the frequency spectrum
  • My go-to compressor for guitars and how much harder I slam them for rock than for folk
  • How to know when saturation is killing your tracks
  • How heavy pumping and saturation on synth lines can really bring your keys to life
  • How an EQ, a multi-band compressor, a parallel saturator and thick delay can create a cool vocal sound
  • When to use a plate pre-set for a snare-stretch reverb
  • How to use automation on your vocal delay to make the chorus bigger
  • My go-to drum reverbs to make any drum sound bigger without cluttering up the mix

This is a very exciting masterclass because it’s an exclusive multi-track from an unreleased song from my old Icelandic rock group.

Here’s the trailer and the before and after transformation you will learn inside the Masterclass.

This masterclass will only be available for a very limited time. If you join Mixing With 5 Plug-ins before Thursday, May 25th you’ll find it inside the members area.

Join Mixing With 5 Plug-ins this week. Use the time before next week to take the regular course, and then join me next week to learn how to mix hard rock using only five plug-ins.

Here’s where you go to master the five plug-ins you need to create killer mixes.

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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