Mixing for advanced

Mixing refers to the process in which recorded soundtracks are mixed together. This process can become a diffizile matter, because the sound should finally sound optimal. What important steps, effects and peculiarities you need to attack as sound mixers is presented here.

From the art of sound mix – avoid mistakes while mixing

The basics

Equalization, compression and Hall effects are used and lead to the aim of making the most of the individual recording tracks. Volume are adjusted, positions of a track within the stereo image set and optionally also applied audio effects such as Chorus, Hall and Delay. All tracks should be in optimal relationship to each other. The mixdown is the output of a multi-lane track and is the last step before the mastering. Recommended Mixing Softwares are the Digital Audio Workstations (DAWS) are Cakewalk Sonar, Adobe Audition, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, Bitwig, Ableton Live, FL Studio 11, Reaper and Studio One 3.

The mixer and the band

A clean soundcheck is important. With a band, it comes to the overall picture it sounds. Individual instruments should not be highlighted so that the sound sounds balanced. Only with Soli the channels may be raised slightly. As a band, you should also first define his sound, so that the live performance can be made up the best out of the sound together with the sound engineer. Who knows his sound engineer is clearly in the advantage, but if there are foreign sound technicians in an event, basic parameters should be clarified before. Ideally, it will be rehearsed together. The mix should be ideally prepared for the mastering. For this it is necessary to have the sound in mind.

How should the song sound? A reference song can sometimes help, but you should not be quenched from its high quality. While listening to notes is also useful, because if you start with the correction in the middle of the interruption process, one interrupts the flow unnecessarily and does not get the desired result, so you have to start again. The processing order is like correcting a text: reading, note, correcting and rewriting. A band-rider or Stage Rider provides an overview of the required equipment and may show weaknesses that it applies to.

Before the recordings

The songar rang is of course also important. Which passages are to be played in a certain dark or bright mood, determine the entire sound. If these special emphasis are missing due to a poor mix, the sound will be falsified. To prevent this, a consultation with the sound engineer is also important. In addition, the band should clean up their total sound. To prevent a single porridge and to be able to hear all the instruments clearly, each instrument should be set as quiet as possible. Fine adjustment follows. For example, a turn on the middle control can enhance the rhythm guitar.

If you want to reinforce a second guitar in the deep and high frequency ranges, creates a round picture because the sound is distributed on both guitars. In addition, the genre of the band is important. With an electric production, a bass sound of 30 Hz can make sense, with a rock band, however, it would lead to unnecessary hum. Two well-placed micros in the sample room can be helpful to test the dynamics to better evaluate the recordings and their own sound later.

The selection of the microphones is also crucial for the sound. Depending on the amplifier, instrument and desired sound, different micros can be helpful. If one decreases a drum, for example, capacitor microphones for the crash basins and the ride basin.

The preparation

First, one should set up a template and name the individual traces. These include drums, bass, organ, guitar, four empty sound tracks for recording, a click track, a pre-lamented headphone mix, the Hall Return, Delay Return and Chorus Return. Further can be added depending on the song recording. Of course, they should be made understandable, so that everything is clear and recovered after prolonged breaking break. Also a color scheme can provide overview in which the individual tracks are colored differently. A simple EQ and a plug-in for controlling the stereo width, a reduction of the heights and basses and a constriction of the stereo width is the order order.

The basics of sound interference

Fader, EQ, compressor are the basics of sound interference. But there are many more tools that can be helpful. The goal is to produce a balanced total. Sideechain compression, multiband dynamics, dynamic equalizer, ducker, basic broader and m / s edits are other tools that can be applied. The directions of the signals left, center and right and also front and back should also be considered. For example, for the singing effect from the front a good attitude of the depths is suitable. Rechargeable processors offer numerous ways to produce these desired effects. But beware: Sometimes less is more. In case of studio recordings one should in a doubt one keeps the view of the screen and the footsteps and only to listen.

Panning and EQ

Panning helps control the width of the mix. It is the scope of the stereo field from left to right. So the sound can be seated in the middle, right or left. Heavy and deep sounds like the kick of the base-drum and the bass should be in the center. EQ is the boost of the different frequencies from which the sound is coming together. They are measured in Hertz (Hz) and divided into heights, depths and in the middle. These areas call themselves summarized spectrum. Below is the bass, snares and hi-hats with their tinny sound center or above. Nevertheless, each single sound has high or low frequencies.

Corrective EQ tools are high pass and low-pass filters. They limit the signal and edit what should not be heard. In the forming EQ you have to note that individual tracks may sound good only in combination with other traces. It is like writing a novel: only in interaction with other figures, individual figures can work. In addition, there are numerous EQ plugins. Several EQs can also be applied, which offers, for example, for the mixture of singing excellently. Technical EQ and an Analyzer, Dynamic EQ, Multiband Compressor – All these tools can be used efficiently by trying and tutorials.

Dynamics and compressor

Dynamics is the distance between the loudest and quietest elements of sound, which is also called dynamic circumference. In a snare blow, a large extent is available through the quick decay, with a constant organ tone a smaller. A compressor regulates the dynamic range and determines the limit of a frequency. Quiet elements are baptized, loud frequencies damped. This balances the sound and generates a balanced sound. In conjunction with the volume, the gain, the best result can be achieved. Several compressors can be used in a lane as well. A singing track should prevail over a majority of instrumental traces. Stap ways can provide moderately set compressors to a clean result. In parallel compression, a controllable proportion of the compressed track is audible.

A multiband compressor is also available for the singing track. Should difficulties occur, a division into several audio tracks offers. Homogeneous results can be achieved with the help of the frequency-selective multiband compressor. Hall plug-ins are equally useful for the singing. In doing detail, a natural depth graduation of the volume, the hall length and the frequency progression as well as zischlauts should be considered. Hall can also be inserted in some cases. If the vocals lack, for example, liveliness, an authentic sound can be generated by a separate control of the Hall flag, early reflections and manual adjustment of the WET / DRY controller.

The bus

Several sounds drive on a track when inserting a bus, so they can all be edited at once. For a drum bus, all drum sounds are processed as a unit. The same Hall effect on all these sounds creates the impression that they are in a room. A delay or compression bus achieves the same effect. In the MIX bus, the total balance of the track should be regulated before the compression is added in the Mix bus. Individual fades may need to be readjusted as a result of bus processing, but this effort is lower than if one is always disturbed when balancing the compressor level. A background bus can generate depth graduation. However, if you mix a drum set, you should be careful not to mix against the bus. Phase problems should be avoided that can arise through temporal delays. In the bus is an EQ. Therefore, the heights in the EQs of the individual channels should not be additionally raised. This is how a background bus helps in project studios because the recording of the signals takes place there successively and thereby creates an artificial depth.


Hall and Delay are two effects that can provide a spatial impression. A small ambience or room-reverb supports the effect additionally. He is used for the sounds in the foreground. A Hi-cut filter in the Hall effect can be wide open for a short room, because it is used for sounds to be mixed in the foreground. Another Hall effect is programmed in the SEND to simulate a larger hall. The stereo width is easily reduced and the Hi-Cut filter is set lower, so that a depth effect is created. A kind of ping-pong delay reinforces the impression that a signal is to be heard in the mix. In low frequency ranges, a delay is careful to use as it can act too thick. Above the 100 Hz border, most effect returns and an additional LF-shelving, the cow tail filter, a few octaves can be lowered. Delay effects such as the dramatic BPM delay can be distributed in the stereopanorama.

The Hall effect

Depth in the mix arises when a Hall effect is used. Naturally sounding reverb effects connect sounds together and give them spatiality. So a too much and a little is avoided. Unnatural Hall effects such as plate hall, springhall and scratched algorithmic digital devices also give interesting dynamics. In low volumes, bright effects can emphasize emphasizes. Unobtrusively, when the high frequencies in the return, the effect return pathway, are controlled. Length and levels influence each other. Each return should also be switched off a few seconds before listening, so that an overall assessment of all effects can be better. Stronger compression or adding synthepads can reduce the reverberation in a mix. The tempo synchronized delay effects can also replace a Hall. Unwanted hardness is avoided if the amplifying is avoided in the two to five kHz area.

The singing

The volume of the vocal should of course be adapted to the playback ideally. It is recommended to experiment with three different volume regulator settings that are nine, twelve and two o’clock. Professionals recommend when listening in the room to help out the relationship better. The lead vocal should be positioned centrally. If there are several lead vocal, they can be easily positioned in the stereopanorama and SoloPassagen passed through automation centrally. So the singers get more air in the mix. Backing vocals can be positioned depending on the intention of the effect. Elegant, subtle or placant are possible variants. For a highlighted effect occurring in the refrain, the traces are distributed very wide in the panorama. Automation, scissors, clip gain or a plug-in in real time or destructive can minimize noise as well on the vocal track. The waveform also indicates which posts are to be reworked.

Various tips and tricks

If you want to keep different guitar and keyboard sounds separated in the mix, you should not operate the same pitch range already in the song arrangement. Chord in the MIDI tracks can be used experimentally and pitch-shifting shifts audio around some octave layers. Unobtrusive overdubs or samples can also bring tension into the arrangement. A high-pass filter ensures that grid, traffic noise and disturbing noise on the microphone does not collide with bisparts. The single signals and also the individual tracks should also be removed in isolation.

Bandmaking emulations can rules discoloration and overtones and generate an authentic vintage sound or Lo-Fi character. In the output no multi-band dynamic processor or special Loudness Maximizer should be used during the mixdown. While this can be helpful as part of a stand-alone mastering phase, but the correct processing of level balance, channel processing and effect settings could be disturbed. A checklist to the end of the mix helps to clarity. Are still disturbing Zischlaut to be heard? What about Plopp noise? Percussive consonants and smashes should also be minimized.

Further interesting information about sound mix can be found on the pages