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The Prerequisites for a Relaxed Mixing Session

A guide to mixing music - Part 3

The simple act of clearing certain technical and practical tasks in the earliest stages of the production of a song can have miraculous effects, not only in terms of efficiency, but also from a creative point of view. In fact, it will limit "procedural distractions" that could eventually pull the rug out from under you at the height of your inspiration. That's why we'll take the time today to address several aspects that you should cope with before sitting down at the mixing console.

View other articles in this series...

General considerations

The first thing to consider before approaching any mix is your workplace. Since you will be working with audio the listening conditions are crucial. To be sure that they are optimal, I recommend you to read two articles previously published on Audiofanzine: The first one concerns the placement of the speakers, while the second one deals with the best ways to match the speakers and the room you'll be working in.

Further, I would strongly recommend you to get a comfortable, but silent, chair because it might become your best pal during those long mix sessions.

One song at a time

mixer audio en home studio

Now let's focus on the song you'll be working on. First of all, start by simply making a backup of your project before any mixing has taken place, at stage zero, so to speak. You never know how useful it might prove to be and you'd better be prepared. Once that's done, verify that all tracks are in sync with each other. Then, do renderings of the tracks that include virtual instruments, in order to save the maximum computer resources. If you use them, doing the same with virtual guitar and bass amps won't do any harm. You are not in the composing/pre-production stage anymore, so normally you shouldn't be fiddling with the dialings any longer. If you ever have the urgent need to go back, the magic of digital will allow you to jump back to the starting point, thanks to the backup you had the precaution to make, as we discussed earlier.

OK, the time has now come to get busy with several neccessary tasks related to the organization of your session: Editing, cleaning and comping your tracks, not to mention correcting eventual phase problems...In short, everything that your favorite website has already dealt with in different articles, which I invite you to reread:

I would also add to the list this article, which could save your day if you tend to be somewhat disorganized.

That will surely make a good read and give you a bunch of things to put into practice. Once you're done with all this, it's often wise to let a couple of days go by before you sit at the mixing console, so you can start with fresh ears and a rested mind. And now that we are at it, you can start practicing all this right away, because you'll have to wait until the next episode for more in this series...!

← Previous article in this series:
Mixing with Myself…or Not!
Next article in this series:
Go Safely and Back Up →
  • TMav 7 posts
    TMav
    New AFfiliate
    Posted on 07/11/2015 at 07:32:49
    Seems like a cool series of articles. But, trying to navigate through the series on a mobil device is a pain because there is no link to the next article in the series. You have to go search for the next article. Needs a link to the previous and next article in the series at the bottom of each article.
  • Mike Levine 1064 posts
    Mike Levine
    AFicionado
    Posted on 07/13/2015 at 18:08:58
    Quote:
    eems like a cool series of articles. But, trying to navigate through the series on a mobil device is a pain because there is no link to the next article in the series.

    Glad you like the series. If you scroll down to "More in this Category" and then "Reviews and Articles," you'll get links to the rest of the series from your mobile device.

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