Audio Samples for Audio Mixing Practice – Complete Song

I am using Adobe Audition 1.5 to mix the song (although now I am using mostly REAPER for all of my projects). I emphasize on EQ effect to bring out the clarity of the percussion instruments. I apply just a little reverb only on the snare and cymbals. The following are the EQ settings applied on Adobe Audition parametric EQ:

Kick drum:
Boost +9dB at 80Hz Q=1.0 (To bring out the clarity on kick drum fundamental sound)
Cut -8dB at 150Hz Q=1.0 (Cut a hole in the upper bass frequency spectrum for bass guitars)

Boost +4dB at 100Hz Q=1.0 (To fatten the snare drum sound).
Cut -8dB at 2000Hz Q=1.0 (Bring up the clarity on vocal sound, prevent snare sound conflicting with vocals)
Boost +4dB 8000Hz Q=1.0 (Brighten the snare strings sound)

Ride cymbal:
Cut -4dB at 600Hz (low shelf filter) (Reduce annoying metallic ride cymbal sound)
Cut -4dB at 3000Hz Q=1.0 (Prevent ride cymbal sound to conflict with vocals)
Boost +6dB at 12500Hz Q=1.0 (Brighten the cymbal high end sound)

In mixing the guitar, I manually doubled it in the mix (since there is only one guitar track in the recording) following the guitar double tracking method. One guitar is pan left (around -70%) and the other to the right (+70%). A mild reverb and audio compression is applied. I use the following EQ setting:

Cut -6dB at 200Hz (low shelf) (Increase clarity of bass and kick drum)
Cut -6dB at 800Hz Q=1.0 (Remove the annoying acoustic guitar mid-range frequencies)
Cut -9dB at 3000Hz Q=1.0 (Prevent guitar sound conflicting with the vocals.)
Boost +3dB at 6000Hz Q=1.4 (Brighten acoustic strings sound)

For the bass guitar, I intend to mix it to sound above the kick drum sound frequencies to give it a more raw country sound. There are no other effects applied except EQ and slight compression:

Cut -5dB 40Hz low shelf –remove very low bass frequency rumble. I find this inappropriate for this song. This is a rare bass guitar EQ setting. I don’t use this setting often for many songs.

Cut -10dB at 80Hz Q=0.8 (Increase kick drum clarity)
Boost 10dB at 150Hz Q=1.0 (Increase bass guitar notes clarity)

Cut -6dB at 500Hz (high shelf) = (Remove bass guitar high-end notes. I seldom use this EQ setting for mixing bass, but I find out the bass guitar sound sits clearly in the mix after this setting.)

Finally the vocals, I apply a plate reverb but the reverb processing is very minimal. Listening to the mix, you won’t notice the reverb settings at all. But I use this to make the vocals sit clearly in the mix (more details here). These are the EQ settings:

Cut -3.5 dB at 200Hz low shelf (Reduce some bass in the vocals, this depends on the song and the singer.)
Boost +3.5 at 3000Hz Q=1.4 (Improve lyrics clarity on vocals)
Boost +3.5 at 15000Hz Q=1.4 (Improve vocal high-end)

Most settings I used for mixing vocals are illustrated in this tutorial.

Tips on mixing this project in your DAW

Below are some tips on loading the tracks to your own DAW (for example REAPER).

1.) To insert recording tracks, go to Insert — > Media File. Select each WAV and load it to REAPER.

This is how it looks like after loading:

complete mix

complete mix

As you have observed all tracks starts from 0; you simply need to position all tracks from the zero timeline and everything will be synchronized. Some DAW might resample to another sample rate (such as 48 KHz) for compatibility with your hardware. This is OK as long as no real time dithering during the mix. You should be mixing at 24-bits (or 32-bit float or higher) resolution.

2.) Since all recordings does not have any effects applied directly on the waveform, you will have the complete freedom to choose what FX you like that can provide the best sound. The objective is to have the best mix as possible by implementing the following simple rules:

a.) The lyrics of the vocal can be clearly understood.

b.) Each of the instruments should have its own position in the mix. This means you can clearly spot the kick drum, snare, guitars and bass guitar to the mix. They should not be drowned or dominated entirely by other musical instruments.

c.) Put some adequate headroom in the mix down result. This will be useful for mastering. I put around -3dBFS maximum after mix down. For more details read this guide.

You can share the resulting mix with us by uploading it to SoundCloud and then let us know. Let’s see how your own version would sound like.

Note: The recording project files include a license. Make sure you are aware of its terms of use and limitation.