Mixing Part 2

After going through part one on mixing flow, you have a good start to mixing

your song. The drums sound great, the bass blends well with them, and the

guitar and vocal tracks are right in place. Next, let's look at how to make

it sound even better.

First, let's start with some panning. Panning simply moves an audio track

left or right across the stereo spread. You have hard left, left center,

center, right center, and hard right. While panning is subjective, there

are some common panning techniques to keep in mind. Try to keep the rhythm

tracks either panned center or very close to it. So, the kick drum and

bass guitar are usually panned center. You can pan the snare a little to

either side if you want. Left would be for the drummer's perspective and

right for the live sound perspective. Toms can then be pan out to create

a more realistic drum sound. Pan the overhead mics close to but not all

the way to hard left and hard right. Then you can pan a guitar to the left.

Keep in mind that the mix needs to be balanced, so there should be an

instrument on the right to go with one on the left. The instruments now

have a little more room to be heard in the mix.

After going through this, you now have a mix that has nice levels for

each instrument. Also, the instruments are spread out across the stereo

spectrum. Check back for the mixing post part three. There, we'll look at

compressing or expanding tracks and getting everything together to have

a final song all mixed and ready to be mastered.

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