Today I want to help you rethink the workflow of mixing.
Recently, I sent out a questionnaire to work out what people’s pain points are when mixing and what they think would improve it. Outside of specific tips and tricks, there were two types of responses that were extremely common:
1) I am overwhelmed and don’t know how to approach a mix?
2) What sort of practice routine can I set up to help improve my mixes?
I want to cover the first point in this blog post and next week I will approach the second point, practice routines.
How to approach a mix
One of the big problems you encounter when learning to mix is that most people are schooled to approach problems by breaking them down into smaller tasks. This is, of course, useful when mixing, but often novices are breaking down these tasks into inappropriate chunks.
For instance, I have seen beginners do all of their equalisation, then the compression, then the effects etc. Others start on the...
There are countless mistakes that will cause you to ruin your mix. However, the correct mindset and one button in your DAW will help you to stop these problems before they take a stranglehold over your mix. Before I get to that though, I want to share a story of how I learned this the hard way.
In 2015, I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks watching and learning from one of my mixing idols. Alan Moulder has mixed some of my favourite records from the likes of Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers and Queens of the Stone Age. In some ways, it was a frustrating experience because he wasn't doing anything that I wasn't already doing but his mixes were substantially better than my own. He was also incredibly consistent.
You might be quick to point out that the source material was stellar before mixing began and that would certainly be the case the majority of the time. However, one of the projects he worked on during my time there was a well-known band that had...
This week I saw a viral post on Facebook regarding survivorship bias (a subset of selection bias) regarding planes in WW2. Survivorship bias is the logical error caused by concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions.
During the war researchers from the Center for Naval Analyses looked at the damage done to aircraft that had returned from missions and they recommended that extra armour should be added to the parts of the aircraft that showed the most damage.
Mathematician Abraham Wald noted that this logic was flawed as these planes still made it back to base. The areas where there was no damage to the returning aircraft would be the areas in which the plane is unlikely to survive and therefore these parts should be re-enforced.
It might seem a bit off-topic but this example lead me to think about when...
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