· Consider setting up templates for a more efficient work flow. Why start from scratch every time when some of the procedures in all of your productions are exactly the same? If you know you are going to be applying a high / low cut on every channel then why not start with a template where all of this is already prepared? It will increase your productivity immensely. Remember the better your templates the better your efficiency, try creating different ones for different purposes. You may have one for remixes, one for originals, one for bootlegs etc. I do recommend setting them up with EQs already inserted, and maybe some reverb sends, delay sends and perhaps a chorus send. That should give you a good building block to work from. Any routing that you routinely do can also be set up in a template - for example having a Drum group or bass group set up.
· Take regular breaks - Ears tire easily!! Many times I have thought that I had a clean mix, only to return to the track the next day and realise it sounds terrible.
· Test your mixes on different speakers. Laptop, car, headphones, studio monitors. Most people will listen to your music on headphones….it needs to sound good in these. Try getting your music sounding good on an everyday set of headphones as well as your monitors. Honestly I regularly check my tracks through my laptop speakers. Of course you need at least an 8 inch speaker cone to really feel the low end but this practice still gives good results.
· Monitoring systems are great, however; you have try to and make do with the environment you are in. Read up on speaker placements and acoustic treatment. Sound reflections can be a nightmare in small bedrooms. Unfortunately we don't all have the luxury of perfectly treated rooms so you need to learn about your listening environment.
· Leave headroom for mastering - A peak of about 6db is fairly common.
· Use reference tracks - compare your mix with other professional tracks.
· Try to be efficient and mix as you produce, although this is not essential it will help massively when doing a final mix.
· Please do not be one of these people who smash plug-ins on their inserts just for the sake of it. Does that kick really need more compression? When I started I literally just banged a compressor on most channels - figure out WHY a sound needs a certain plugin on it.
· Watch your levels and prevent clipping. Remember headroom is good; we want headroom for the mastering stage. Digital distortion is usually bad; avoid it.
· Some people like to mix into ‘master chains’ so they can tell what their music will sound like after mastering. This is fine, however; you should maybe educate yourself on some mastering techniques so you do not destroy the sound. Doing this can also give you a somewhat ‘false’ sound. If you can get your track to sound big without a master chain then you can guarantee it will sound epic after one. Other people mix into limiters only, or a mix of a compressor and limiter. Personally I like to mix with nothing in my master chain because that way I can really focus on getting the mix sounding as good as possible without any fancy mastering. Another reason I do this is to save on CPU usage. Trust me if your computer is not of high spec then be prepared for some crack, pops, and maybe even crashes once you start adding more and more instruments in there. Try producing with and without a master chain on, see which you prefer.
· Emulating other peoples sound is fine when trying to learn techniques, but please do not conform to genres or sounds just because it is what’s ‘cool’. Make your own sound. If you try and copy a well-established artist you are only going to be a poor version of someone else. We have enough people trying to do the poppy Chainsmokers sound. Just make original music.
Remember to check mixes at lower levels of volume! The reason is that resonant frequencies in your room can give inaccurate results to your ear, in essence, confusing your ear. Let’s be honest not many people who produce in their rooms has a perfect acoustically treated environment. Lower volumes also make it very apparent when your high end frequencies are to loud.
Well just some tips for the new producer today!! ill follow up with more information at a later date.