Music Production And Mixing Tips & Tricks

Why is a pro recording pro? What’s the “sound” the experts get and how do you make your recordings sound more professional?

The easy answer is - there is no easy answer. But with careful listening and a bit of experience you’ll be able to create exceptional results with modest equipment.

Great mixing begins ear

Anyone? It’s your ears! Sorry to tell you this, but listening to ten hours of Rave at 110dB can do nothing for them and you may as well give your mixture to a turtle as try to mix with ears that are straightened.

Listen to commercial records of mixes you like, analyse them listen for the effects and get to understand what constitutes the sort of sound you are after.

Mixing secrets

There is no hidden secret to getting a good sound, but if we needed to sum up the key of mixing two words it would be that - EQ and compression. Okay that is just three words.

These are probably the two main tools used by specialist manufacturers. However, like any tools, if you don’t know how to use them you will be carving Habitat tables instead of Chippendale chairs.

That’s where your ears and expertise come in. Here Sound Recordist London have assembled some production ideas, suggestions, tips and suggestions but they can only be guidelines and need to be accommodated to suit your material. There are no presets you can switch into make a lousy recording sound good. And if your initial material has been poorly recorded not even Abbey Road could salvage your mix. But follow these tips and find out how much your mixtures improve.

Get the level right

You can’t push the levels when recording digitally as possible when tape tape but you still want to get as much signal into the system as you can. This usually means watching the levels very carefully for cutting, and recording at an even and continuous level.

Some recording software lets you track and set the input level from within. Some expect you to use the soundcard’s mixer while some don’t have any centre for adjusting the input and expect one to set this at source.

Monitors

Your ears are just as great as the tracks they pay to. DO NOT hope to generate a good, pro mix on tiny computer speakers. It can sound fine on a computer system, but try it on a hi fi, in a disco and through a car stereo.

Oddly enough, you do not necessarily need the most expensive Mic. You are able to spend a wad on a large diaphragm capacitor Mic (yes, they are great for vocals) if you have the lolly but check out dynamic Mics that are a lot more affordable and may be turned to many tasks.

Mixing MIDI and audio

Among the great things about computer-based recording is the components can so readily be altered, edited and processed. It’s also really simple to combine MIDI and audio tracks and lots of musicians use a combo of sample loops, MIDI parts and sound recording.

Audio recordings are usually guitar and acoustic devices such as the sax and vocals. Incidentally, the very best way to record guitars is by sticking a Mic facing its speakers. You’re able to DI them and process them later and this may be cleaner but for a pure guitar sound a Miced amp is difficult to beat.

It’s not essential to record drums reside and, in reality, it’s hard to do and retain a modern sound. You can purchase off-the-shelf MIDI drum riffs and sound drum loops, or program your own. The quality of the equipment which makes drum sounds nowadays is that anyone with a fantastic riff can sound like a pro.