Song mixing is one of the vital qualifications required of every producer. Just like any art, it requires a lot of creativity and uniqueness. If you’ve been to DJ shows, then you’ve noticed how fast they have to move to make their mixing styles work.
Whether you are producing in a studio or your house, you need to come up with a unique style that will impress many. To achieve this, you need to work on things like creative looping, using multiple decks and mash-ups. Unfortunately, that is what makes the whole thing complex, but not when you follow the right steps.
Here are tips on how to improve your song mixing skills.
Take a trip to your favorite DJ shows
The first step in becoming a better DJ is finding a style that suits you. To achieve this, you need to listen to your favorite DJs’ live song mixes. More often, DJs will post their track lists. You can take the list, go and try it and see if it matches your style.
If it doesn’t impress you, it is likely you won’t enjoy using the style to mix your songs. A good style, need to impress you first. When listening, focus on the harmonic keys when transitioning tracks. Find out if the mixing brings some energy in you. Learn when it goes down, remains constant and most importantly when it picks up.
Sort out your tracks
Before you start working on your mixing skills, ensure that your tracks are organized. Doing this will allow you to figure out the tracks you’ve worked on and those that you’ve not. If your tracks are disorganized, you might waste a lot of time going through them, and that is the last thing you want. When arranging, start with the drum. Secondly, bass. Thirdly, Acoustic and lastly, electric guitars.
You can then proceed to pianos and pads and finish with vocals and harmonies. With all these arranged, you can develop several subgroups and then route your tracks as required. Doing this will make your work simple, and you will be able to control multiple tracks with the only one fader. Also, you won’t have a hard time applying compression and EQ where they are required.
Try several effects
Song mixing is all about creative application of effects that defines your unique style. When mixing, focus on beat masters and delays. Try coming up with a technique you’ve never tried before, but seems to work. If you’ve figured out a technique that is almost similar to your style, practice it throughout your tracks when transitioning. In many cases, you will find experienced DJs playing up to five minimal house tracks without including any effect.
At some point, especially in the 5th track, they would start adding some delay to their tracks. And when they transition to the sixth track, they will have included a variety of delays creating a unique style. Lastly, he or she would bring in reverb to the delay effects that would drive the audience crazy. As mentioned earlier, it is all about creativity. So, don’t be afraid to try several effects.
Compression will help you reach your desired plug-in with much ease, but not when you overdo it. Many systems today allow you to use unlimited processors. But I guess you already know, this kind of power requires you to be in a position to control yourself. So, ensure that you are adding a compression only where it is needed.
Keep in mind; music mixing requires you to entertain a balance between movement and dynamics. Overdoing it will not be different from making an annoying noise. In most cases, applying a creative compression effect will add some value to your style and will keep your audience wanting more. But this doesn’t mean they will be impressed with you going overboard. So, keep watch of the compression as well as the gain reduction meters.
Apply subtractive EQ where it is needed
Apparently, several sounds in your song will require you to alter the frequencies. At some point, you will be required to increase or reduce the frequencies on each sound to prevent the sounds from going different ways. If you decide to mix the sounds with EQ, there is a high chance you’ll mess everything. Reason being, you will have high EQ than the signal. The best way to deal with this is to employ subtractive equalization instead of additive.
To do this, you will be required to remove the unnecessary parts of the signals while at the same time increasing the level. Doing this will increase the signal level without adding more EQ which might ruin it all. The point of doing this is to help level up the signals while at the same time reducing the EQ making your sounds to come out clear than before.
- Add reverb to achieve some sense of space.
- Always add panning at the end of your mix to achieve a fantastic stereo.
- Make it simple. Remember, the less, the better.
- Filter bass frequencies to achieve a clearer mix.
Mixing is never complex. As a song mixer, you are the one who complicates things. The simpler your work is, the easier it will be for you to achieve your desired sounds. Keep pressing buttons, try several effects and most importantly, be you. There is a lot to learn in mixing songs than you think. So, keep doing research and continue listening to your favorite DJs’ mixes. Remember to stay healthy physical; it will help boost your creativity. Visit F4 Old School New Body reviews to learn how to get started.