Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account
learning
1 comment

Increasing your productivity

A guide to mixing music - Part 143
Share this article

I must admit that today's topic makes me grind my teeth, but we really need to call things by their name. And, as with any other creative discipline, when it comes to mixing, productivity is important, if only to try to land all those ideas constantly roaming the mind of the "creator." Although, in my opinion this a lost battle anyway, because when you actually crystallize an idea, it invariably leaves an empty space that must be filled with yet another one. But that's the whole idea, isn't it? And since it's impossible, let's get hands-on with it!

View other articles in this series...

Time flies

The goal of today’s article is to help you finish as many mixes as possible without it taking you any more time than they currently do. Because the problem is obvious: regardless of whether you are a pro or a beginner, your days only have 24 hours and, consequently, the amount of time you can dedicate to mixing is limited. Fortunately, optimizing time is not that hard as long as you are aware of one thing: nature abhors a vacuum.

clock

You do know what I mean, right? Whenever your schedule seems to be impossibly busy, you probably almost always manage to get enough energy out of somewhere to fulfill all your duties. However, when you only need to accomplish one single task during the day, most times it takes up to the last minute to get it done, as easy as the task may be. Some people actually take this to extremes, even if it means being put under enormous pressure to get the job done, which by the way was never urgent to begin with. It’s like when you were back in college and had to stay awake all night long to meet the deadline of a project you had neglected for weeks. We somehow have an annoying tendency to allocate as little time as possible to any task we need to perform.

This state of affairs can be experienced as a fatality when it is subconscious. However, once you know the secret, you can turn things your way and take advantage of the situation! An easy way to improve you productivity is to set a reasonable duration to all the tasks you have to accomplish.

Getting back on topic, when it comes to mixing, usually the best way to get to the end of a project is to set the amount of time you will be allocating to every task right from the get-go. With this in mind, I suggest you to limit the time you will be dedicating to each stage before you start working on the mix: the vision of the mix, the initial balance, EQing, compression, the stereo field, etc. Whatever your mixing methodology, you can always split it into simple actions and define the time you should spend on them, according to the song you are working on. Afterwards you only need to see how to fit it all into your calendar and the time you have available. In time, you’ll see that it’s not that hard to stick to the commitments you’ve made and meet the deadlines you’ve set, while your productivity increases significantly!

See you next time for some new adventures in mixing!

← Previous article in this series:
Learning to mix – Part 3
Next article in this series:
Real-life mixing →
  • John Graham 5 posts
    John Graham
    New AFfiliate
    Posted on 09/16/2017 at 13:56:03
    For me, I can usually forecast the mixing work pretty well if I've got a good set of stems. Unfortunately, it's editing that can blow the schedule all to kingdom come. If it's a couple of pops or clicks, no problem. But if it needs comping, tuning, vocal cleanup (breaths & noise), tightening up drums and bass (dynamic or manual splitting and quantizing), I have to make a decision to either do it myself or send it back. It seems most mix engineers have a price point for editing ($25 to $250 an hour depending on complexity), I'd just rather not do it anymore unless it's my own mix. I used to enjoy it, but now it's just tedious and can add hours or days to a project...

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages and show you personalised ads (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.