The “Technical” Art of Mixing


I have called this the “Technical” art of mixing because I am going to give you a simple step by step process to follow to mix your song to sound professional and get it ready for Mastering.

Mixing Setup Steps (Technical)

  • SET TEMPO – Adjust the BPM in your session to match the song. The tempo is on the file after the song title. Example: (Song Title – 100bpm).
  • SETBUFFERSIZE-Setthebuffersizeinyoursessiontoitshighestpossible number to prevent CPU overload.
  • IMPORTTRACKS-ImportthetracksintoyourDAW.Ifthesampleratedoesn’t match, change the session sample rate to match the files.
  • REORDERTRACKS-Reorderthetracksinawaythatmakessensetoyou.If you’re not sure where to start, try this order: drums, bass, guitars, other musical elements, vocals. There’s no wrong way, so feel free to experiment with different orders to see what feels right for you.
  • RENAMETRACKS-Renamethetracksinawaythatmakessensetoyou.
  • COLORCODETRACKS-Colorizethetracksinawaythatmakessensetoyou.If you’re not sure where to start, try this: drums (orange), bass (blue), guitars (green), other musical elements (purple), vocals (pink).
  • GAIN STAGE – Select all the regions in the session and normalize them so that each individual region peaks no higher than -10db.
  • SAVE-Saveyoursessionusingthefollowingformat:SongTitle-MIX

Mixing Steps (Technical)

  • Step 1: Volume & Panning Only Mix
  • Step 2: Master Track Processing
  • Step 3: EQ
  • Step 4: Compression
  • Step 5: Effects
  • Step 6: Automation

Post Mixing – Pre Mastering (Technical)

Optimize your listening space. Mastering in an untreated room will make your song fall apart in any other space.

Finish your mix. You can’t master until the mix is done!

Check the levels. Make sure none of your faders are clipping. Also, the loudest part of the song should be peaking between -4 dB and -6 dB on the mixbus.

Bounce down your stereo track. Make sure it’s exported at the same bit and sample rate as the session. It needs to be a .wav or .aiff file.

Take a break. Give your ears a break. Wait at least a day.


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