Mixing is an important stage when developing a song. But, because of many moving parts that interact with one another, mixing tends to be one of the most complicated stages. That is why people can make mistakes along the way. This post explains the most common mixing mistakes that can mess up your mix:
Listening to Tracks in Isolation
You may want to solo tracks while mixing to hear them more quickly; however, this can cloud your judgment. What happens is that you try to make the track sound good in solo instead of in the context of the mix.
When mixing at a Songmill Studios mixing studio, you must make decisions in context. While the whole mix is playing, adjust EQ settings and dial in compressors. Keep in mind that the listener only cares about the way the whole mix sounds.
Failing to Edit and Comp Your Tracks
Getting sounds right at the source is one part of the mixing process, editing these tracks correctly is another. This means editing the tracks both for groove and unnecessary noise. Noisy tracks can lead to issues when you add compression and bad timing indicates a lack of feel and listening enjoyment. Moreover, ensure you take the time to comp together the best possible if you have recorded multiple takes.
Not Applying Subtle Amounts of Compression
Compression is important to control dynamic range. Dynamic range is important to create a mix that breathes, sounds natural, and is nice to the ear. Applying compression minimizes dynamic range, shapes tone, controls transients, brings sound together, and makes the sound louder. But, it is not good to over-compress a mix because this can decrease clarity, dynamic expression, and punch. In fact, this also fatigues the ears and limits resources that can be used for the mastering process. To get the best mixing results, apply subtle amounts of compression at various stages. This spreads the workload over several compressors.
Mixing at High Output Levels
Because of the urge to nail a mix, you may want to crank the volume and sing along. However, if you mix at high output levels consistently, it can result in hearing damage. A good rule of thumb is to mix a level that you could hold a conversation with somebody without speaking up.
Still, you need to check your mixes at varying levels for brief periods. Crank the dial for a chorus or two to see how things sound before you print your final mix.