Mistakes in Mixing That Destroy Your Tracks
It is quite tough to learn to mix. There are tons of plugins you have to master, loads of articles you have to consume, and all of which have to be done and completed in the limited hours of a day.
Even though there is no shortcut to becoming an expert in mixing, there are a few pitfalls in this process that you might want to avoid at all costs. Make sure that you steer clear of these common mistakes, and you can be sure that you will be doing your mixes like a total pro.
Monitoring the Mix the Loud Way
At high SPLs or sound pressure levels, the human ears can become fatigued all too quickly. Your speakers are starting to fold, saturating and compressing your mix. It is all too tempting to just kick back as you listen for sheer pleasure purposes. After all, things sound way much better the volumes have been turned up. But, these are also the very reasons why it is too difficult to come up with a great mix when you monitor at loud levels. W
What you should do instead is do most of the mixing and low and moderate volumes. This way, you can do the mixing for a long time without experiencing any fatigue. Aside from that, you will also work much harder to create more punch and clarity in your mix, and not become a fool into believing that there is more pleasure when the speakers are all turned up. Yes, low levels might not be fun but if others can do it, so can you.
Misuse of the Solo Button
If there is one dangerous button in the DAW, it would be none other than the solo button. Take note that as a mixer, your goal is to take a track group and make everything work together. However, the solo button can make it almost impossible to do it.
Each time you solo a certain track, your focus can shift from making it sound wonderful in isolation to making it blend with the rest of the mix. But, no one listens to songs through soloing the individual tracks, which means that you shouldn’t do it as well.
The truth is that the best mixing decisions usually leave tracks sounding terrible in solo. Just imagine how you can filter down the tracks for making them smaller, add too many amounts of the top end just for them to make a cut, and EQ out the chunks to give space for the rest. These decisions are things you can never make in solo.
That solo button will only remove the content you need for making the right choices. Using it less means better mixing decisions for you.
The mixing process adheres to the law of diminishing returns. At the beginning, it is quick to make a considerable progress. After some time, however, the progress rate slows down. And all of a sudden, you hit the wall, with your mix no longer getting better. While you can still continue to work beyond that point, as many do, it will be a futile move. You might just make the mix worse. Make sure you know when you reach this moment. Once you hit it, you know you have to click Bounce to Disk.