5 Things You Should Do Before Mixing
by Matt Ho
So, you have recorded a song with your band? Wanna jump right into mixing and getting the song out? Great - you should probably do these couple of things before moving any faders!
You might think you have a slapping performance from the studio in your fifth take, or you really nailed the energy from the first take. However, you might find a couple of bars feeling better in the fourth, or the guitar solo was best from the second. Do you have to choose between them? Of course not - in the modern world it is very likely that you can combine the best takes together for a killer record. Comp, comp, comp your way to the best performance - don’t settle for anything less.
You might have a tight band, and that is amazing. But humans are humans, and sometimes you wish that kick hitting tighter to the bass. This is where time correction comes in - just a little nudge of the note, you can make the kick and bass lineup like carbon atoms in a diamond. Lock those hits in for an extra punch.
Got a wailing guitar solo with great energy - but that one bend is not quite in tune, or a vocalist with so much emotion that vibratos are slightly overcooked? Pitch correction is your friend - keep your favorite take with the best performance and vibe, with the precision of a modern studio sound.
Editing Silences and Tails
Are there parts of your tracks that the instrument or vocal is not playing at, but it is still recorded? Listen closely to those parts, they are places for headphone bleed, coughs, static, hum, or other sounds to build up. Trim your clips and fade them to the musical phrases, and hear the crispiness it brings to your mixes.
Got an overly dynamic vocal, or instrumental part? Clip gaining certain syllables, phrases, chord, or riff would make it much easier for you to balance tracks as they won’t be jumping in and out of balance with themselves and with one another. Your compressor would work more efficiently too!
After taking these 5 steps, you should have minimal work in mixing in an attempt to hide unwanted parts - you can spend more of your mixing session highlighting stand out lines and parts for your mix!