The mixing stage of a track can be the most tedious and painstaking process. It involves a lot of technical aspects and not that much creativity. It is also the most important part of the process of finishing a track. There are plenty of great mixing engineers and services that you can use to mix your track but for many producers it is not feasible to spend a couple hundred dollars on a mixdown for every track. It is also important to learn mixing techniques so you can grow as a producer. In the next three blog posts I will talk about the 3 most important things to know when mixing down a track.
Metering is the process of getting all your sounds in the track to the correct level. Some sounds are meant to be quieter than others. If your levels of each sound are metered properly then you should automatically hear a big difference from the pre-mixdown stage. Th loudest elements in your track should be your kick and your bass. The kick should be set at -6 db and the bass should be set slightly lower than that at about -6.5 or -7. Other elements in the mix like leads can sit at about -7 also. Sounds like effects and small percussive sounds should be lower than that and can sit anywehre from -30db to - 12db. All of these volumes can be adjusted according to genre and taste. The best advice is to reference a professional track and pick out what sounds are the loudest in their mix and you can try to emulate the reference track.
In the next post we will talk about EQing and how to fit every sound in your mix.