Pick a number...one number


Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2001
Alright, MixFest is coming together here, and there's 48 participants (or so), and it's been dominating this forum. So I've got a good one for you all. Let me preface this by saying, there's really no way to answer this question, but it WILL make you think.

On what number mix did you really start to get mixing, or get good at mixing (either one, and probably the same). If you are new at mixing, say so, and take a guess at what number mix you'll get good at mixing.

As always, there are rules. You may not look at any other answers before you come up with an answer yourself.

Don't pass this one up. Think, and come up with the best answer you can. This could be very interesting.

Oh, the last rule. If you are reading this, you must post an answer. Just a number is fine.

(no cheating)


Rather new to mixing, but recently got a set of decent monitors, so hopefully by my 50th mix i'll be getting nearer that promised land



Mar 2, 2001
Still new, on about my 20th real song (for others'
work, praise and tango so far), and I've done a few
"experiments" on my own. Given my equipment, it's
taking forever to even appease my sensibilities,
but then, I'm trying to learn.

How many before I get it? What?! I'm perfect
already. Ha! I have no clue how far away I am, yet.
But as a WAG, let me just say...

80 songs: at least 4 in each of 5 different styles
and all 4 being from different sessions or projects.
With each project averaging about 4
songs, that will be about 4 * 4 * 5 = 80, I think.


Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2001
Hey Mixerman, I get a kick out of your polls, and find the responses so variable, interesting, and with just a few that are the same.

Here’s my answer to this one. I started out with a Sony TC-500A that allowed you to be able to sync 2 tracks, so if you are adding and bouncing, you got to get it right. Next came four track, if you are layering, and bouncing many tracks, you got to get it right, cause there may be 16 or more tracks to do, and to maintain any kind of control and balance you got to get it right. Then came 8, 16, and more etc. Then came other stuff to do, like spatial enhancement, then came better dynamic control, then more precision, experimenting, introducing new technology’s, fussing with acoustics, monitors, noise on and on and on... So until I got to the point, where I didn’t look at meters, other than to verify a signal was there, and started mixing by instinct, I would say, at least a COUPLE THOUSAND MIXES. And with that I can say, I am qualified to mix.


Hi Mixerman...
I have mixed basically a couple of demos for my band on my digi 001... But none very seriously... I could say my first real mix will be the MixFest UFO mix.... I am killing to do that... I just want to learn... (I'm still pretty young...)

I think that maybe by my 500th song or more, if I get better monitors I can start thinking that my job is "O.K" But I think that a great mix only comes with years of experience, the right song, and great taste, and some people get great taste without mixing much, some (like me) are going to have to work it a lot more! :)

Interesting questions...


Apr 21, 2001
Elm Tree Ont. Canada
The number is 1. I come from a live background, not big stuff just clubs and the odd festival. Thing is that there is no second chance you get it right quickly or the band and audience is pissed. I have worked with a number of the best of the blues and roots guys and we never had a sound check, what is the point when the club is empty and the band tired from driving half the night to get to the gig. So the watch word was don't play the hit on the first song. The mics and DIs were up and the band launched in and you had the first 8 intro bars to balance the instruments and about 4 words into the verse to make sure the vocal was acceptable. Then fine tune the EQs to get everything to gell. You had the room tuned by playing with a master 31 band while the crowd was filling up the place and you might revisit that a little during the first tune. And in a lot of clubs you are handling the moniter mix from FOH as well. You get real good at discerning the pained look on the face of the vocalist, when the sax is ripping his ear drums out.
How does that translate to mixing, well there are no big budgets on the stuff I do just a band who have saved enough to afford a day in the studio and they want to record and mix 10 tunes in a day. I know this is unrealistic, but I'm dealing with young guys who are often in a studio for the first time, and they don't know it's unrealistic even tho' I've tried to tell them when we first talked. We track pretty much live off the floor, it's the only way to get through the day, then replace the vocals and lead instruments, so the mix these guys hear from the cans is pretty close to the mix they will get, it has the verbs delays and comps mostly in place, (through the monitor mix not to the DAW or Tape Machine ). I don't have the luxury of automation, at this point, just my hand written track sheets. So after tracking the tunes I immeadiately start assembling the mix from notes then stop for a beer or coffee and then we assemble the 1 mix, if the band doesn't like it (which is the definition of good I use), if it doesn't make them sound like whoever their hero is at that moment,if it doesn't have a certain amount of tricks that make them go wow, I probably won't get paid, so for this humble demo studio the answer is 1. Which is not to say that I think I'm there and can't improve, it's just a corruption of the "one's too many and a thousand's not enough" thing. Sorry for the novel but I bet this is the case for a lot of us small guys. I'll be overjoyed when the number gets to 2. take care Logan


My first mix was pretty amazing, and its been downhill from there.

Of course the first mix was done on a home-built (by my brother) synthesizer and a home-built (by myself) tape-echo from an old Tanberg reel-to-reel thingy.

I still have it on casette, and although its raw, improvised synth in left and the echo in right plus me on pointless mic in center screaming things distortedly.... its neat as hell :D

Prolly 20 years ago. I was like 13.



Oct 25, 2000
I don't think I'm there yet.

Each mix makes me think harder on the next and makes me want to 'improve' upon my process or just change it to experiment.

I'm NOT currently paid for my work. My philosophy is 'My first paying client will be the one who asks for me because he/she's hear something I've done'.

The bands that have recorded seem happy though.

I've had about 4-5 bands do complete projects with me in the last 12 mo's. Each were referred by the last. (so far, so good)

I'll be VERY interested to see others' posts!!!


I think I got the hang of it after about 100 tracks -- maybe 5 false starts per track -- your number is 500.


Hard question, because I think there's light years of improvement to go, but .......... I think by about the 100th mix I should have something together (hopefully).


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
Ive been involved in this stuff for about 10 years now and every day I still learn something new. As for the number.....I couldnt say, I do know this....the first Label project I worked on my chops went up 10fold.

Had to be atleast 500+ mark until I became comfortable and competent at what I was doing. Thats around the time I would say "Thats the $*^t" :)

Anel Paz

Hard Question .
I was working the last 10 years ,day & nigth, in several studios , working on records , jingles , movies ,recording ,producing , mixing ....But i feel that just recently, in the last two years , I've started to understand something of what the hell is happening ,
Let's say +1000 to warming up :)


Originally posted by Mixerman:
On what number mix did you really start to get mixing, or get good at mixing (either one, and probably the same). If you are new at mixing, say so, and take a guess at what number mix you'll get good at mixing.

Do you keep track??? :eek:

I'd say I'm still learning to be good at it.

I figure I'm at mix 500 or 600 or so.
Last edited by a moderator:


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2000
Given that mixing is highly subjective, I could no easier put a number on the meal upon which I will attain the recognition of "eating right".

My answer is either 0 (zero) or 8 (rolled on its side).


Jul 17, 2001
I've done about 200 mixes thus far and only STARTING to get a hang of it so I would say it will take another 200.
And since all these mixes are mostly in the same genre.... Oh well....



i wish i had a number

every time is some thing totally new
i just keep trying to get different mixes, different sounds, etc.......

i think for me personally there will never be a number, it will always be doing completely different things and trying to reinvent the way i work everytime

Rich Davidian

Feb 15, 2001
Hmmmm....let's see.....by today I've mixed about 100 tunes - many of them re-mixes. If *MY* number is "n + 1" then today's answer is 101. Yeah, that's it.

Check back tomorrow for an update!


Jon Best

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2001
Probably 50, discounting roughs. That's kind of when I felt like I was getting a sort of handle on it- of course, I'm not *there* yet, if there is a there.

Without rec.audio.pro, it probably would have been 150.


Mar 20, 2000
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Well I've been mixing for about 20 years and every day I learn something new. Somedays or songs I thought I had it all figured out. I do believe it hasn't changed much from the time I started but I do remember my mixes becoming good when I realized how important tuning was. Once your in tune everything sweetens up.

If I can use an average of live work and my little studio I'm sitting in around 4500 nights or sessions.

My answer is 4499. My last one was pretty good.