How do you make your mix sound more professional? This is one of the common questions that How to Mix Music gets from readers. Obviously, there is no definite or short answer to this specific query. But, there are 10 basic rules that you can use to significantly enhance your sound.
Separate the arrangement to different sections, and make a bus for every station. It will make it easier for you do the mixing while helping you keep things under control.
Make sure that you leave sufficient headroom every time you record. Never max out your channels when you mix.
Get Rid of Unwanted Frequencies
There are instances when your mix gets some frequencies that you cannot hear at all but will still occupy plenty of headroom. For instance, you don’t necessarily need a tambourine’s low end so EQ out all those unwanted low frequencies. It will keep all the rumble and low-end noise from making the track polluted, and leave even more space for low-end instrument tracks like kick drums and bass.
Do Compress in Between Stages
In general, compressors don’t love working too hard so unless you really want to aim for a very compressed sound, you must always stick to compressing in stages. For instance, instead of using a single compressor to heavily compress a track, you can have a single compressor on that channel, another one on your mix bus, and another on your group bus. It is possibly an essential role if you like to make your mix sound more professional.
Give Character with Gear or Plugins
There are now plenty of software and hardware plugins available, and these must not only be used for correcting sounds but also for giving more character to the mix. It is this very character which will make your mixes sound even more one of a kind.
Try Parallel Compression
If you are preparing important tracks, come up with a copy of that channel then compress that copy online. After that, you can blend the compressed version with an original channel and bring more focus to the track without decreasing the dynamic range that much.
Sort Out Low End
Determine the instruments that will dominate the frequency spectrum’s low end. If required, use EQ or even side chain compression to ensure that low-end sounds will not fight for a single space.
Don’t Forget Spatializing and Panning
All sounds must have their own space so keep your important tracks at the middle and pan all other tracks out of way through different amounts.
Achieve Space with Delays and Reverbs
Delays and reverbs can also be used for adding some sense of depth to sound if used properly but you need to be subtle. If you don’t hear those reverbs, you know that you are using them the right way.
Avoid Making a Messy Arrangement
Always plan ahead of time, and never use more channels than required. It will help keep your mixing sessions productive and focused and keep your arrangements under control.