Kenny’s Tip of the Day - Always Mix As Fast As Possible!!!!!
One of the most important things I preach in my mixing tutorials is to Mix as fast as possible. Why is this?
Well it’s actually quite simple. When someone listens to your mix for the first time, they most likely have never heard the song before. So this is their first impression of not only the song, but your Mix as well.
So when you sit down to Mix a song and it takes you 10 -12 hours to finish it, you have almost no perspective as it relates to what this person is about to hear. You’re making changes based on someone who has already listened to it over and over. That being you after you’ve worn yourself out.
For this very reason, I recommend that you first get to know the song you’re going to mix. Play around with it first. Rename things. Change their order. Maybe even bring in your template with all of your FX returns into this session or project. Get as much pre-mixing done as possible, then take a nice break to clear your head. This way you can tackle this mix in the fastest way you can. No interruptions and no side tracks. Any editing or tuning things should already be done. You should only be focusing on actual mixing tasks at this point forward.
Regardless of how big or how many tracks you're mixing, this stage should only take you 2-3 hours. Don’t get caught up in minutia. Only make adjustments on things that you really need to tackle. Everything doesn’t need a HP Filter, EQ or Compression. Work on the things that jump out first to you and that are the most important for this song. IOW - If you spend more than 2 minutes on the shaker, you’re doing it wrong.
Now that you’re done with this stage…STOP. Go do something else for a while. Not music related. Go take a walk. Mow the lawn. Doesn’t matter. Forget about this mix as much as you can. And when you feel like you’re ready, go back and listen to it with fresh ears. This part is very important. Don’t look at your DAW. Maybe even close your eyes. Just listen as if you’re NOT allowed to change anything. You’re a listener. Not a mixer.
Now take notes. Write down the first thing that jumped out at you. Keep writing and make a list of everything you need to change. But again. Very important. Only change those things. If you didn’t notice it on the first listen after taking this break, it doesn’t really matter. Fix the most important things first. Then listen back a few more times and tweak a bit more but don’t get lost in lesser things.
When you mix this way, not only will your mixes be 10X better, but you will mix in half the time. I promise.
You can learn more by watching my mixing videos over at www.groove3.com
Happy Mixing. Kenny Gioia