- You can get a great idea how a track is coming along, by listening from outside the door or from down the corridor.
- Take a copy out to your car and listen there, as you are used to hearing music on those speakers, your ears have a reference to how your mix is sounding compared to other tracks.
- Drink and drugs effect your frequency perception, rather than ask your engineer ”where's my bass end gone dude?” Celebrate / Get trashed later.
Everyone knows the myth “you can fix it in the mix”, well, you can improve things, but it is time consuming, which equals expensive. The better recorded a track is, the better it will turn out. It is also easier to mix a well arranged track, where all the elements have room to breathe. Tip the arrangement if you have loads of keyboard and guitar playing at the same time. they are taking u the same space. consider tuning one part up an octave, or arrange the instruments to play at different points in the song or/and possibly cut some parts. Think about what's best for the song. Trust your engineer you know the person can mix, right? You did check out their work and like/love what they had done before, right? So let them get on with it. If you ask for “more guitar” then “can you turn up the bass” and then “more vocals” there will come a time when you say “why can't I hear the drums anymore?” (You may notice steam coming out of your engineers ears as their brain reaches meltdown at this last remark.) There should be an obvious time towards the end of each mix where your input is needed and wanted. In general while its nice to be friendly, don't distract your engineer while s/he is mixing, they can't talk and listen to your mix at the same time. Tip if you know ahead of time that you want a specific effect on your voice or guitar take a reference rather than explain your idea in words “I'd like the cello to sound like a yeti dancing in custard please” one engineer I know, was asked to make the keyboard sound more “orangey” extra tip - spend time recording your vocals An in-tune singer sounds a whole bunch better than an auto-tuned singer Mixing Part 2 WARNING Everything sounds great loud on big speakers Experienced engineers tend to mix quite quietly. Your ears can get used any strange balance quickly specially if you are listening loudly. Take an ear-break or better still give your engineer an ear-break ! If possible mix on a different day than when you record. If this isn't possible make sure you have reference cds with you ( a professionally recorded cd in a similar genre to yours) If you are mixing several tracks across more than one day, try and leave a day or so before your final mix day, get some perspective and also have a chance to listen to nearly finished mixes on as many different systems as you can. Make notes when you listen at home and remember to take them with you when you go back to the studio BONUS TIPS