Mixerman's 10 Steps to better mixing

Mixerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Harvey seems to be running out of steam here. Of course he lasted 4 tips more than I would have. A tip a day, that's a little rough. A tip a week is more like it. Anyway, I thought I'd give Harv a little hand here. Let's start with Mixerman's 10 Steps To Better Mixing.

This was originally posted on RAP. David James pissed me off with a post about a site that was written about better mixing. In my opinion it was extremely lame, so I came up with these. I typed the list fast and furious, and to be honest, I don't know where it came from (if I weren't an agnostic, I know what I might think).

Oh well, enough about its origins, its stood the test of some time in my opinion, so here's the list.

1. Mixing is an attitude
2. If the song sucks, the mix is irrelevant.
3. Working the room, keeping people entertained, happy, and relaxed is half of mixing successfully.
4. Putting everything proportional in a mix is going to make a shitty mix.
5. Gear are tools in a mix that make life either easier or more difficult,
they are not what makes a mix good or bad.
6. A mix can be GREAT and not have great sound.
7. If nothing about the mix annoys someone in the room, the mix is often times not done.
8. Mixing can not be taught, it can only be learned.
9. The overall vibe of the track is much more important than any individual element.
10. Just because it was recorded, doesn't mean it needs to be in the mix.
11. Be aggressive.

Oops that's 11!

Mixerman
 

RNorman

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2001
Originally posted by Mixerman:
10. Just because it was recorded, doesn't mean it needs to be in the mix.
Mixerman


I'd take it farther and say that it doesn't have to be in the mix all the time to still be noticed. I've found that when you're mixing and some little frill gets stuck in time after time it detracts from the song as you wait for that next time. So assuming that the little frill is working it's easy to let it set up a couple of times and then remove it until the end because people are now expecting it and will actually hear it though it isn't there anymore. It's a strange little trick, but it works when you want an idea to stay in the mix but need the room for something else.
 
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hargerst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2001
I just got my glass cutter and cut out that section of my computer monitor screen to put on the control room wall.
 

Mixerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Originally posted by hargerst:
So do I!! I just can't afford him! :(

I don't charge friends what I charge labels. Sometimes I don't charge anything at all if the situation calls for it.

Mixerman
 
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Kevin F. Rose

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2001
Originally posted by Mixerman:

3. Working the room, keeping people entertained, happy, and relaxed is half of mixing successfully.
4. Putting everything proportional in a mix is going to make a shitty mix.
7. If nothing about the mix annoys someone in the room, the mix is often times not done.
11. Be aggressive.


Mixerman


These four things can be so interwoven It seems a flow chart should be involved? 3-11-7-4-7-11 etc.
Sometimes kicking people out (aggressive) or (even better) having them show up later in the process can help.
Of course I still love that "Help me Rhonda" session tape with B.W. counting his dad's words rather than answering him...


I like shitty sounds. I like shitty sounds with more shitty sounds.
 
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Dave McNair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
MM,
As always, you rock. I haven't seen mix concepts that ring so true ever distilled in quite that cool a way. Message to newbie readers: Memorize this list and chant it daily.
 

Jon Best

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Originally posted by Kevin F. Rose:

Sometimes kicking people out (aggressive) or (even better) having them show up later in the process can help.

Amen- one of the lattitudes I ask for in return for not being expensive is in mixing- I try to get 2-3 hours alone before anyone comes in and speaks to me. I also soften a band up lightly over the tracking process to be more open to more changing and muting in the mixing process than they might have thought would happen.

I've come to see that one of the many reasons why cheap, local stuff sounds cheap and local is mixing by committee.
 
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