Mixing is the combination of several tracks into one song. Many novice musicians are sure that mixing tracks consists in the elementary adjustment of the knobs. In fact, the best sound mixing will not only turn a set of tracks into a complete mix, but will help you to place accents correctly, highlight the strengths of the composition and create an individual, unique sound.
Briefly about mixing
Mixing is one of the key stages of work on a track, after which you can understand what will come of all this. However, in order for the audio material to turn into a truly high-quality and professional recording, after mixing, mastering must be carried out. Then your mix will delight you with a clean and smooth sound.
Many music studios have a versatile employee who records and mixes a track, and then also deals with arrangement, mastering and part-time receiving clients. However, for a decent result of each stage, certain knowledge, skills and experience are required. Therefore, in a good team, a separate specialist is responsible for each specific process. In this case, it is a sound engineer, mixing music.
However, at the initial stage of a creative career, it is sometimes easier to act on your own – for example, trying to make a song mix online.
Different ways of mixing
There are several types of mixing that can be used.
- Pre-mixing is the simplest and least time-consuming option. It includes: rough musical balance, horizontal distribution of musical instruments (panning), technical equalization, setting the required volume and exporting the mix to the required format. Such mixing of the song should be chosen as a temporary solution with the subsequent completion of the track. You can listen to it yourself to figure out what happened at all, but you won’t become a pop star with such a mix.
- Basic mixing is suitable if there is a ready-made minus and it is necessary to register only a voice or one instrument. The voice must undergo serious processing (frequency, dynamic and spatial) in order to harmoniously blend into the already finished recording. Sometimes it is also necessary to work on the minus itself in order to adapt it to the voice.
- Level 1 mixing is mixing a multitrack with a complex arrangement (very tight arrangement, many instruments, voices, backing vocals) or live concerts. Such mixing includes the following stages: frequency, dynamic, spatial processing, automation and saving in the desired format. Typically, this work should only be done in a properly prepared acoustic room.
- Level 2 mixing is a multitrack mix with a simple arrangement. It includes: frequency, dynamic and spatial processing, automation and saving the finished track in the required format. Usually, this mixing is done only in a properly made acoustic room.
- Online-mixing allows you to make the desired mixing of the track remotely.
A successful song is not only about quality lyrics, music, correct performance and arrangement. It is also a competent mixing that adds richness, liveliness and brightness to the song. Of course, a deletant is unlikely to be able to immediately create a masterpiece, even when doing music mixing online. But knowledge and skills come with experience.
- When mixing acapella with a minus, it is necessary to very scrupulously check the volume, which is neglected by many novice sound engineers and, as a result, they get a bad sound balance. It is necessary to achieve the simultaneous preservation of the sonority and brightness of the voice and phonogram, complementing each other. It is worth listening to the sound not only from monitors, but also through headphones, since different devices reproduce sound in slightly different ways.
- At the next stage, you can start placing the backing vocals. Backing vocals are recorded separately, and the track is compiled together with the vocalist and must correspond to his vision of the composition.
- Particularly noteworthy are the last choruses. Sound engineering is largely responsible for the quality of this part. So look for effects that come in handy at the end of the song.
In conclusion, we can say that it will take time for you to learn how to mix tracks with ease. Do not despair if you fail to mix a hundred times in a row. Sooner or later you will succeed.