6 Important Factors to Remember When Mixing Music

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Music comes in all forms. When you’re an aspiring creator who wants to belt out head-bopping songs that can make an impact and top the charts, then it’s important to know that the melody, lyrics, and your penchant for harmonious dynamics are only half the battle.

To truly produce clean and crisp music, you need to combine different sound elements into one seamless mix.

That’s where mixing comes into play, a form of practical, musical treatment that melds a medley of sounds to form the finished version that has the perfect frequency range, resonance, bass, and reverberation.

Sound mixing is a science, a craft, and an art that requires a trained ear, technical know-how, and, most importantly, creative reason.

So what are the factors you need to focus on when mixing a song?

Level

Level, or the intensity of the sound, is the first element of mixing you must consider. For example, if you have an instrumental track that’s full of elements in high, medium and low frequencies, but the way you’ve arranged them doesn’t sound right, then adjusting the levels will help you get a richer, more dynamic sound. What’s important is that every instrument should have a level that complements the others.

Volume

The volume is another important element of mixing. Volume refers to the unit of measurement that determines the strength of the signal. In the recording studio, the amount of signal power, or the volume level, determines how loud or soft the music sounds. Usually, it’s recommended that you start with the volume levels of your material at the default level.

Panning

Panning refers to the placement of sound. In the context of mixing, this refers to the left-right positioning of a sound and the stereo field, or positioning based on the difference between the right and left channels in the audio signal. In mixing, panning can create depth, balance, and ambiance in a song.

EQ

EQ refers to the processing of the frequency spectrum of the sounds. Equalization can be used to boost or cut certain frequencies to create more space in the mix. For example, if you have a missing lows track, you can use a low cut or low pass filter to remove the low frequencies, creating a better balance.

On the other hand, if you have a fizzy track at the top, you can use a high boost or a high pass filter to remove the higher frequencies.

Compression

Compression is a process used in recording and mixing that reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal. Compression can be used on the vocals, drums, and bass to balance out any unwanted dynamics.

Reverb

Reverb is a sound effect that adds depth to a song by simulating the reflections of sound caused by the size and shape of the music’s space. Basically, reverb makes a sound feel larger than it is.

For example, if you record a short snare hit with a lot of reverb, it will sound like you’re playing it in a ballroom. Reverb adds an extra dimension to your music, and you can use it liberally, but be careful not to overdo it.

The Bottom Line: The Pivotal Role of Mixing in Making Beautiful Music

Aside from the melody, the lyrics, and the chords, the role of mixing is inextricably linked to the success of your music. With proper mixing, you can create that perfect ambiance, the ability to bring all the elements of your music together and make them cohesive so that it sounds rich in form and substance.

Are You Looking for Mix and Mastering Services?

If you are struggling to mix melodious and memorable music, the best bet is to enlist the help of a professional. ADG Master offers some of the best audio mastering services, so get in touch with us today and see how we can polish your music in more ways than one.

Mike is the creative director for ADG. He enjoys golfing, alt-rock and tinkering in the studio.

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