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How can I learn how to Mix Music?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mannyr, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. mannyr

    mannyr Active Member

    May 3, 2009
    New York City, NY
    I need like an INDEPTH explanation, lol. Is there a site that I could read that has like a lengthy instruction on it - I need to know everything there is to know :/

    Thanks guys.
  2. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    Before the Interwebs we had these magic devices, the height of recording technology for centuries, in which we entrusted our deepest secrets, our greatest aspirations, and the technical expertise of countless experts as it developed down through the ages. We called them "books". There's a link under your name in the left hand column of your post labeled "books to read". It's a great resource. Maybe you can even find some of them online and load them into your e-reader? They smell funny though, I have to warn you. :)
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Grab a mic, record some junk. Hell, record noise floor and amplify it by 50dB. Anything that is a signal.

    Then screw around with a parametric EQ and lots of gain/cut until you learn roughly what areas sound like what.

    Mash 4 of these noise tracks together and try doubling, chorusing, reverb, whatever it takes to get 4 individual streams of noise sounding decent together.
    It may help to EQ each one to the extreme before mixing.

    Hey, we should all do this and see how well we can mix static.
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    http://www.recordingreview.com OH NOES YES I DID!

    They have professionally recorded tracks for download that you can mix to your hearts content. Post them to the community and get feedback. There's nothing like first hand experience.
  5. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003

    If you're having trouble with books.


  6. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Manny, as I was saying before, you just need to work on your gain structure. It may be that you monitors are lying to you as well. Good monitors and a well treated room go a long way to help you mix.
  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005

    Know what recorded signals (instruments, vocals, etc.) occupy the same frequency ranges. Learn how to keep two or more of the same frequencies form stepping on each other through various procedures such as EQ, panning, timing, etc. For starters, search for stuff like "mixing bass guitar and kick drum" to get an idea. Then, you'll have to keep in mind that there is normally an awful lot of things in a lot of music that occupies mid-ranges, and how to deal with that.

    Learn all about "effects" (reverb, chorus, compression/limiting, delay etc.), when to use them, when NOT use them, and how to not OVERuse them. But, go ahead and overuse them to experiment so you'll know how lousy they can make things, and be familiar with their characteristics. Go ahead and mangle stuff. That's why there's usually an "Undo" function available.

    Learn about deciding what a song "needs" to have stand out at certain points, and what can be "less precious" in the mix. Not all tracks necessarily need to be "out front", and trying to get each one to do it may lead you around in an endless circle. "Well, I brought THAT up, and now I lost THIS..so I fixed THAT, and now this OTHER thing is washed out!" Sooner or later, a decision has to be made in a lot of things, depending on the number of sound sources. The more tracks, the more decisions. An instrumental surf tune with a bass, a drum set and a guitar or two will be much easier than a ballad with all that, plus strings, horns, vocals, and keys, etc., also wanting to be heard.

    Conventional wisdom dictates that getting things in properly in the first place will yield much better results than messing with much later to try to to fix EQ's, etc. much.

    And then, there's the equipment. Too much to be covered here, but you need decent recording and monitoring equipment, and a good recording/monitoring space also helps a lot.

    Just some basic starting point tips to keep in mind, along with the previous suggestions. Do some seraches for this stuff, and you'll uncover thousands and thousands of sites with good info. Heck, pick a subject, and search within here, for starters.


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