Here are the 3 most common mistakes I hear from engineers who are still starting out! Once I really started paying more attention to them they took my mixes to the next level, so I hope the same will happen for you.
Feel free to read or check out the video that’s on this page, as they both contain almost the same information!
1. Bad Balances
In this context, I’m not talking about balance between different elements, like bass and drums, of a mix. Rather, I’m talking about balance between different parts of a song.
Does your intro sound louder than the part after it when the song is supposed to kick? When you’re building up to a breakdown or a drop in a song, does the song sounds like it gets bigger once the part hits? Does your chorus sound like the biggest part of the song? These are all really important questions to think about when you’re making sure your mix sounds like a song.
2. Too Much Reverb
Reverb is an awesome effect. It can add space, lushness, and an overall big sound to your mix, but as such can be really easy to get carried away with it.
If you’re struggling with clarity and impact in your mixes, check out how your reverb(s) is/are behaving. If your mix gets clearer when you mute a reverb, or if you feel like muting a reverb makes another instrument in your mix sound significantly louder, then there’s a good chance your reverb is either too loud or too heavy in a particular frequency range.
3. Improperly Set Master Bus Compression
When you’re listening to a mix it’s very easy to tell when a master bus is working too hard. Usually, it’ll sound like the song as some very non-musical movement to it that results in dramatic and sporadic volume changes.
If you feel like you’re having this issue, try making the attack and release times on your master bus compressor slower. If your mix still sounds like it has some weird movement, try raising your threshold and lowering your ratio. If that still doesn’t work it’s likely that your problem lies elsewhere.
When in doubt, remember that the average listener shouldn’t be able to tell that your mix has master bus compression on it.
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