Audio Mixing Tips and Secrets a Professional Audio Mixer won’t tell

Tip#3: Well-treated room acoustics and using flat freq response near field monitors

Accuracy in mixing decisions depends on how well treated your room acoustics as well as the quality of your studio monitors. A combination of both provides the most “honest” result. This means, what sounds “good” in your studio will also sounds “good” everywhere regardless of any audio players/monitors. In any mixing, a decent set of studio monitors not only includes the near field (left and right) but a subwoofer as well for monitoring deep bass frequencies.

Tip#4: Pro-mixer doesn’t monitor very loudly

To someone new in mixing, monitoring very loudly is very nice. It’s because you can really feel the mix, the loudness and the punch. Actually the pro-mixer does the opposite. In a professional mixing session, the volumes are played at a “normal” level. This means not too soft or not too loud. If max volume is set to 100%, then it’s set in the middle (50%). The primary reason is the “Fletcher-Munson equal loudness contour”. It reveals that human ears are actually not linear when it comes to perceiving bass. This means that if you are monitoring too loudly, you will be tricked into believing that the audio material under mix has a lot of bass energy. This again results to some wrong EQ adjustments; as a result you will apply EQ to cut the bass because you perceive it to be strong. Actually the fact is that the bass are not strong at all, it just because of the Fletcher-Munson and as result of monitoring very loud. Your mix result in lack of bass because of unnecessary cutting. Because of this fact, the pro-mixer will monitor at medium levels, the same levels that a normal listener will do.

Tip#5: Mixing is not mastering

Again, some new in mixing are tempted to make their mix as loud as possible to impress the band or their clients. Actually making your mix very loud is not what the pro-mixer will do. It’s because making the material loud is not a mixing engineer job. Pro-mixer will instead focus on balancing the levels between instruments/tracks; carefully apply EQ and compression to make the mix as best sounding material as possible but NOT loud.You can read this important tutorial on how to prepare your mix for mastering.

Tip#6: Knows how to use the compressor intimately

Compression adjustments are actually very helpful in shaping the sound. For example, you might find the vocals levels to be too inconsistent (ranging from very soft to very loud at times). For better sounding vocals, you need to apply compression. As a result the vocals are much more uniform in levels.

Tip#7: Uses only a “small” amounts of reverb

Modern recordings often use very small amount of reverb. Beginners are often tempted to apply more reverb because they think it can make their recordings sound very professional. It’s actually the opposite. More reverb- more mud- less punch. Try listening a modern rock, country or pop commercially released CD and you will be amazed that all of them only uses a small amount of reverb or even negligible at times.

Content last updated on June 14, 2012