The Art of Remixing – Success tips for a Perfect Audio Mix

You often thought of remixing as a sign of engineer weakness. So for example say you are mixing a project, happy to mix it down and send it to your friends for listening. Your friends will then tell you that the mix sucks and does not sound good.

So you would feel you are failure at audio mixing? – NOT. It is just your friends may have different expectations as to how the mix should sound like. I was surprised that remixing is a normal even in the commercial and professional environment of music production and audio recording. Let’s have some story…

When I read the story of Nirvana last album “In Utero“; the album most important singles was remixed. The first version of the mix was done by Steve Albini and the other mix was done by Scott Litt. So how does this happen?

Recording labels expect the singles of the mix to be radio friendly and with sound formats similar to the rock sound released in those years. Steve Albini mix sounds great but sounds very raw (fewer effects more live sound) and less processed. This is what the producer and Kurt Cobain initially expected the album to sound like but record label has some different expectations when it comes to the mix. So they decided to hire Scott Litt to remix the key songs “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies”.

The rest of the songs are still mixed by Steve Albini and one of my most favourite songs in the album is not the singles. For example Serve the Servants, Dumb, Tourettes and Scentless Apprentice.

First Lesson in Remixing: Do it for Perfection

It is never bad to remix over and over again. Time is the only enemy here but if you aim for perfection you should never be afraid. There are lots of factors that can affect how your mix should sound like, so you would be altering the following settings below to get the results you need:

a. EQ of instruments
b.) Compression
c.) Reverb and other effects

I have written and produced 35 songs in my music catalog under my own publishing with around 21 of them recorded and 10 of them which are multi-track studio projects. The rest are live acoustic recordings. The mix that you can listen on “My Works” and in my other websites is the first version of the mix. I am using a very crude system on my first mix but at least I manage to complete the mix and get results.

When I listen to some of my mix today, I still noticed a BIG room for improvements in all aspect. Since my long term goal is to partner with a record label to distribute some of my best songs; I am planning to remix (or even re-record some vital parts) most of the song projects before I pitched songs to them.