I always record, mix and master in Adobe Audition 1.5. This is my DAW since year 2005. I can always say that I made a huge progress with my audio mixing skills as compared before. One huge factor is that I only stick to one DAW and one set of plug-ins.
Below are the factors why mixing engineers often have problems even after so many years of mixing:
Problems why you are still having problems with your MIX
1.) Switching DAW – unlike operating system or even your favorite anti-virus software that you really need to upgrade; it is a different case with DAW. Your DAW is like a car to a race track driver or a sword to a samurai warrior. You really need to know how the software operates to its deepest level to produce excellent results.
If you switch DAW without attaining mastery of your previous DAW, you can never be considered proficient in your digital audio mixing skills. It is because you do not know the important tips and techniques necessary to create a great mix with that software.
However, you can switch DAW only when it is “required” by your projects. There are times when you really need to switch to another DAW. When?
Below are typical cases:
a.) For example, Adobe Audition 1.5 does not support ASIO technology. ASIO is required for very low latency multi-channel recording. I cannot get this low latency with Adobe Audition 1.5 since it only supports WDM drivers. What I did is to switch to Reaper DAW. This new DAW now supports ASIO and I can now record at a very low latency required for quality multi-track/multi-channel recording.
b.) Your DAW is lacking a VERY important feature for audio mixing and mastering. For example, you realized that the software does not have wave editing features and you desperately need to edit audio 90% of the time. So it makes sense to switch to another DAW that supports waveform editing.
2.) Switching plug-in – like your DAW, the plug-ins are equally important. Switching plug-in from time to time without knowing them intimately can slow down your path to audio mixing success.
If you are a beginner or novice (with less than one year experience in audio recording and mixing) reading this posts; below are my friendly recommendations with regards to plug-ins:
a.) Use the best quality and industry standard plug-ins in the early part of your music production career. This will give you more time to master them and get professional results. Most industry standard audio mixing plug-ins are recognized and used by veterans and leaders in audio mixing industry. For example since 2005, I have been using the industry standard Waves plug-in.