December 21, 2020
If you are new to recording, you may wonder what the process looks like after you finish recording instruments, vocals, etc. – or maybe you are not wondering, because you actually did not know that mixing and mastering are incredibly important steps to making the final recording sound balanced and complete!
Let’s go over a few basics when it comes to mixing a track after you have recorded it.
You will want to listen to your track a few times through, unmixed, taking notes as you listen.
Things you can ask yourself or take notes on as you listen to the unmixed track:
What stands out?
What is distracting?
What do you not hear enough of?
How is the EQ?
Is there something on the left side but not the right side?
Is anything clipping?
How does the song make you feel?
If you want to get people dancing, it might be a good idea to focus on bringing the rhythm section up over vocals.
If you’re creating a soundscape, or want to move your listener, focusing around the elements that create.
There is no right way to mix a track. Sure, there are things you should do to make the track sound good, like EQ and balancing the master sound, but mixing is part of the creativity that can bring a song to life in different ways.
Do you have a few friends you could share your mixed track with? Do that!
Peer feedback is incredibly important, and if you choose friends who don’t have an ear for sound in addition to those who do, you will get varying, valuable feedback.
As artists and creators, we can often overthink things and get stuck in the trap of comparison. You don’t have to do exactly what someone else did, or even listen to someone’s advice for that matter.
Learning your style of mixing is part of the fun and part of the creativity. Having a different mixing style than others can also make you stand apart and get asked to work on projects more often, because of your unique style.
By Soundstructure Studios
Most successful bands (and not-so-successful) bands have one thing in common: they use a dedicated practice space or studio to rehearse in. Sometimes these spaces are your parents’ garages, an empty building you have access to after-hours, and of course, actual rehearsal studios.
Why rent a practice space? Well, we are glad you asked…
One of the greatest things about having a practice space is that you can store your music gear, safely! No more dragging heavy amps back and forth between your home, or leaving something at your drummer’s house.
If you have tried to practice at home, you have probably been distracted and quit practicing at some point. When you have a special space to rehearse, however, and perhaps have to drive or take transit to get there, you’re more likely to get more done during that block of time you have set aside.
Nobody in your apartment wants to hear your band practicing at 1am. Also, most cities have noise ordinances, and if you don’t have something sound-proof like a basement room, it’s likely you will be heard.
Being able to get loud in a practice space helps you not only open up fully during rehearsal, but you can also get a better idea of how your music will sound at shows.
How many times have you not planned when to rehearse, tried to organize at the last minute, and then nobody can make it, or someone isn’t home to let everyone into the garage you’re playing in?
By having your own space, you can agree on a set time as a band and repeat that time weekly so that everyone knows when practice is, and can make sure to work that into their schedule!
Since most practice spaces are sound-proof and setup with PA systems and soundboard, you can easily record something like a demo since there are not that many sound-distractions. Although, sometimes the background noise makes for fun layers!
By investing in a practice space, you are investing in your music career. You are leveling-up your professionalism, and intentionally making the time and space to get serious about your music.