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.