Put in a reference CD, see what it is you like about the CD and work to get a
comparable sound. Just remember, you are going for a mix. Don't try to get the
level as hot as the reference CD, you're reaching for the tone, balance and
placement in the stereo field.
Avoid digital clipping.
De-ess the vocals and carefully compress the vocals a little more so you can
hear all the lyrics.
Compress the bass a little more so it's even sounding.
Keep the crash cymbals low in the mix.
Make the kick a bit louder than you think it should be.
Compare your mixes with your reference CDs.
Don't try to make your mix as hot as commercial CDs, that's what mastering does.
Book a pre-mix clean up session. Take an hour or so to come in with Ken, and
erase all the throat clearing, the guitar clicks, the out-take solos, etc. At
mix time, you can concentrate on the creativity, not the housekeeping.
Don't compress the stereo output buss. It restricts what can be done in
Listen to your favorite commercial CD's in the control room to compare with
Be aware of the level of the lead vocals from song-to-song. Re-listen to your
Allow for extra time to mix. Nothing is worse at this critical stage than
running out of money, and you end up stuck with less than the best. Mixing is a
crucial point in your project.
Take breaks, have fun, enjoy the process.
Ken Sutton: "This is the Orignal 4-track mix with Altered State, which was
recorded on 3/3/01, on a Tascam 414 4-track. I Remixed the song in ProTools,
and I must say they really do have there own way of playing."
Listen To: Orginal mix of Altered State
Listen To: Remix of Altered State
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