Probably, one of the main concerns of other people who are into music mixing is to know how to make their mix sound more professional. Well, there are no short answers to this, yet you may always start with the basic rules.
When it comes to music mixing, there are several golden rules you should follow. When followed properly, such instructions will improve your sound significantly. Some of the tips you can follow include:
Do Your Bus Routing
Divide your arrangement into sections and make a bus for every section. It makes mixing much easier and will help you keep everything under control.
Do Gain Staging
Always consider leaving enough headroom when recording and never max out the channels whenever you are mixing.
Compress in the Stages
Oftentimes, compressors never like to work very hard, unless you’re aiming for a compressed sound, you must always compress in the stages. For instance, rather than compressing track heavily with a compressor, you can have a compressor on the channel, on a group bus, and one in mix bus. It’s probably the most crucial rule if you like to make the mix sound more professional.
Use Plugins and Gear to Give Character
There are numerous software and hardware plugins available and they must be used not only to correct the sounds but to give character also to your mix. It is this character that would make your mixes more unique.
Filter Out Any Unwanted Frequencies
More often than not, there are frequencies in the mix that you cannot hear, yet still, occupy lots of headroom. For instance, you do not require low end on tambourine, so EQ out all unnecessary low frequencies. It would keep all low-end noise as well as rumble from polluting the track and will leave more space for low-end instrument tracks.
Sort Out Low End
Decide which instruments must dominate frequency spectrum’s low end. If required, you may use EQ and side chain compression to ensure any low-end sounds aren’t fighting for the same space.
Never Produce Messy Arrangement in the First Place
Consider planning in advance and never use more channels when needed. It helps keep mixing the sessions productive and focused and keeps the arrangements under control.
Use Delays and Reverbs for Space
Delays and reverbs can be used for adding a sense of depth to the sound when used wisely, yet be subtle. If you can hear the reverbs, you’re using them properly.
Do Spatializing and Panning
Each sound must have its own space, so consider keeping important tracks in the center and pan all some tracks out of the way through different amounts.
Do Parallel Compression
For essential tracks, create a copy of channel and compress it. Then, you can blend the compressed version with the original channel, which brings more focus to the track without reducing its dynamic range very much.
Using the best tools or equipment can also make a difference. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you should spend on expensive mixing equipment.