Home Studio Tips: How To Get Balanced Mixes
- Set all your track faders to Zero dB. This allows for much more control of your track level – if you look at your faders, the level increments are much smaller as you go down the fader.
- Using a Gain Plugin, decrease/increase the level of your tracks so that they all hover around -18dB. This makes all your instruments the same level, giving you a better overall balance before you even begin mixing. Make sure your track faders are all at Zero dB when doing this.
- Using an EQ Plugin, remove all unwanted low frequency sounds. For example, you can cut all frequencies below 30Hz for Bass, around 100Hz for the Vocal – the trick here is to Solo the frequencies you are cutting and stop cutting when you start hearing the instrument/vocal and then pull it back a bit so that you don’t cut out any frequencies. This will massively clean up your mix and give it space.
- Pan your instruments. The only tracks that MUST stay Centred are Vocals, Bass, Kick and Snare
- Spend as much time as you can balancing your tracks before even touching a plugin.
- Take a break and then play your entire song all the way through, making notes. Listen out for what sounds are inconsistent in the mix (sometimes the correct level, sometimes too loud or too soft). If you do find any instruments doing this, it’s a clear indication that you need to use a compressor to control the dynamics of that track so it is more consistent throughout the song.
If you follow the above steps when beginning your mix, your song will instantly sound clean, clear and balanced.
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