Your 6-Step, Reactionary Quick Mixing Process [Video]
Mixing is a reactionary process.
Although I have somewhat of a system it’s all still dependent on reacting to the tracks in the song.
The song inside Quick Mixing is no different but in the sneak preview of the intro below I tell you a little bit about the methods that I try to stick to throughout the mix.
Here’s the general process I’ll take throughout the video:
Levels and Panning
I try to stick to the 1 dB rule when it comes to levels.
After I’m done with levels I usually either start EQ’ing or bus and route my instruments to make the process simpler.
EQ is invaluable when you need to create separation between your instruments and give them their space in the frequency spectrum.
So there’s no wonder I spend quite a lot of time on this because if you get your mix sounding good with EQ everything becomes easier.
As you heard in the video I follow one simple rule with compression:
Tweak the compressor until it sounds good.
It’s as simple as that.
Of course, I tend to use different ratios, attack/release times and general gain reduction depending on the instrument but the rule still stands.
Tweak it ’til it sounds good!
After every instrument I’ll explain what I’m trying to accomplish when I’m tweaking each compressor setting and trying out each compressor style.
I like using my short, medium and long reverb technique to create a blend of spaces in a mix.
It’s an easy method to place your instruments wherever you want them in the front-to-back field.
Effects and Parallel Processing
Because of the limited number of tracks in the session I can get very creative with parallel processing and effects.
The last parts of the video is where I use busses, amp simulation and parallel compression to create:
- Bigger and wider guitar sounds
- Thicker and punchier vocals
- Extra depth in the guitar solo
Minor Adjustments for Translation
Because I have three sets of monitors (and a pair of headphones), I can get very close to a mix that translates well on other systems.
In Quick Mixing I tell you my process for getting my mixes to translate better to other speakers so that you don’t have to worry about letting your listeners down with mixes that don’t translate to their crappy computer speakers.
Of course, it’s one thing to tell you the methods I use but it’s much more useful for you to see them in action.
If you have a little time to spare I can show you exactly how I take this rough recording to a finished mix in only two hours.
Here’s where you go next: