Mixing Part 3
Alright, you've now gone through the first two parts on mixing, and you're
tracks are set to a nice level with certain ones panned away from center.
After this is done, certain tracks are going to need some eq. Remember
that boosts are less natural sounding than cuts; and that smaller bandwidth,
also known as the Q control, settings sound unnatural.
So, you have a lot of tracks in front of you, and you're probably wondering
where to start. I like to go through this the same way that I set levels.
Start with the drums and basic rhythm tracks then work your way up to the
vocals. Keep in mind that boosting two of the same frequencies on different
tracks will be summed together to give your mix a boost of both track's
frequencies. So, if you boost two tracks by 2dB at 350hz, your mix will be
boosted by 4dB at the 350hz frequency.
Now, you have a cleaner mix going, and you can go through and compress
some of the tracks that need smoothing out. You can also expand the tracks
that have some excess noise bleeding into them. This will give the mix an
overall evening out. If you put the compression after the eq, the better
frequencies will be affected by the compressor. This works in a different way
than putting the compressor first. If you put the compression first, then the
audio will be compressed and then tonally altered by the eq. Neither way is wrong.
Try it out and see if you prefer one over the other. You'll more than likely
find that you use both ways depending on the mix.
Your mix is really coming together now, and you'd like to make it just a
little better. Here would be a good place to start putting some reverb, delay,
or other effects on some of the tracks. Be aware that in the studio, a
little goes a long way when it comes to effects. Most times it's better to add
reverb through a bus channel. Check out the post on reverb, delay, and some
other ones on effects to get a better grasp of this part.