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When is a mix done?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by planet red, Nov 13, 2001.

  1. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I'm mixing stuff in pro tools and I can never seem to come to a stopping point. Normally after the first mix I'll burn a cd and take it home and come back and fix whatever mistakes I pick up on a bunch of different systems. The only problem is that I keep coming back and doing stuff and overproccess everything and in the end the first rough sounds the best. Im young and naive and I guess eventually i'll get over it but was just wandering how you guys know when your mix is done, especially while doing a DAW mix.
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Ask the producer.
  3. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Guest

    If you are producing yourself, I think you might know the answer to your question. Trust your ability in yourself and your instincts. It comes with time and experience and confidence. Set limits on your project in terms of your time as if it were money ... because it is. The point of greatly diminishing returns on your time comes pretty quickly. It's important to work quickly and then move on. Learn to let go. And yes, I realize this advice is easier said than done. Best of luck!

  4. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I try to take a five minute break every hour or two and get away from the mix. When I come back I'll listen to it away from the mix position and see if anything jumps out at me. I'll go back and make some changes. I'll repeat that process a few times until nothing jumps out as being horrible. That's when I print the mix and either pull the patchbay or move onto the next song.
  5. Tolkki

    Tolkki Guest

    Trust yourself!
    Compare your mix to cds that you like.
    Don´t mix too loud.
    Use headphones too, sometimes they tell you better where you have to go.
    There are no hard rules in mixing/recording.
    I always route the pro tools tracks to analog mixer for mixing, at least for pop/rock it really brings more life to the mix instead of doing it internally.
    Read books about mixing (there´s plenty around), ask questions whenever you can.
    It takes years to become a good mixer, take your time!
  6. Sunyata

    Sunyata Guest

    When all the red parts have become black and crispy and the mandolins sound bigger than a Bosendorfer on steroids. Or when it sounds great to you.

    PS - If your tracks don't have mandolins then the mix is not done. Admit it, aren't you always thinking, 'if this track just had a mandolin or two, it would be finished'
  7. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    Tony Clarke once told me that he thought the principal impact a producer could make was deciding when it's done. It's very easy to go past the peak of performnce at almost every step of the way.
  8. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Guest

    Bob wrote: "It's very easy to go past the peak of performance at almost every step of the way."

    Well said, Bob, and so very true.

  9. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Yeah especially when its all in a DAW and automation is so easy and you just keep coming back making changes. Lately i've been finding how much better my stuff sounds when I compress and eq going in and not using many plug ins in the mix. Now im just trying to leave the faders at 0 and record everything that i way i want it to begin with.
  10. cjogo

    cjogo Guest

    "When is the MIx done?"
    When the client runs out of funds--and the project is no longer fun ,,,,,,,
  11. Mixing is like painting. You are never finished, you just stop.

    That said, knowing when to stop is the difficult part.

    If you find yourself mixing again to change single notes on a project that already sounds good, you are into minutiae, not music.

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