5 Most Common Mixing Mistake
When errors Mixing to make, is not a shame. It is only important to turn it off. In this article, you’ll find the five most important tricks to avoid mixing problems that beginners and advanced users particularly like to make. It is about the leveling of the levels by the use of compressors & limiters (increase of the loudness), too prominent bass in low frequencies.
This article provides you with the essential handgrips to better mix your music. This way you avoid exactly the mistakes that are made especially often and are also the biggest misbehavior for your mixing.
By the way: If no recordings have been made yet, Tip # 5 is particularly valuable for you – it is not a question of mixing errors, but the illusion of always having to mess up a failed recording.
Top candidate for the most common mixing error is probably the too high loudness. This means a mix whose dynamics are greatly reduced by over-use of audio compressor or limiter. Above all, the master bus should you not only compress for the reason that the mix then immediately sounds louder and more powerful. For, perhaps, too many of the contrasts between loud and soft elements are lost, which make up the liveliness of most of the musical pieces.
The last tip: If you plan to have your mix still mastered by a mastering -man, you should definitely renounce the compression or the limitation of the master bus.
The bass, which we mean here, is roughly less than 40 hertz. If it is too strong, it will often lead to a “muddy”, “pulpy” mix, from which sound events such as kick drum and electric bass strings no longer stand out. And finally, the level of the overall mix is boosted by a prominent deep bass – your potential to raise the volume and loudness is unnecessarily reduced. It would be a capital mixing mistake to ignore all that.
One of the most common mixing errors is not to tame the bass – use high-pass filters!
By the way: Many (small) studios without subwoofer support can not reproduce sub-basses or only very weakly compared to the higher frequencies. You may not even hear what is happening in the frequency cell – at the latest when you listen to more powerful loudspeakers (and headphones), then you can experience a nasty surprise.
The solution: Use one of the bassy tracks in your mix.
- High-pass filter as insert effect
- Limit frequency: 40-50 hertz
- High edge slope (-24 dB / octave or more) is recommended
Observe in the spectral analysis whether the filter leads to a significant reduction in the sub bass range in the entire mix and if necessary add filters to further tracks. On the tracks, which do not necessarily have to contribute to the bass range in your mix (eg vocals), the frequency can also be slightly higher (about 60-90 Hz).
Another typical mixing error is the neglect of mono compatibility. This means that the stereo sound is processed in the unknown, without checking whether the sound in mono (eg via kitchen radios, but also in some clubs) still “works”.
A correlation degree measurement helps against mono-mixing errors.
Sometimes certain elements almost disappear, in other situations, they become louder or sound somehow “hollow” due to phase shifting. Apart from this, a too broad mix, in which there is little going on in the “middle”, is not really powerful and succinct.
Possible tools for checking mono compatibility
- A button on the audio interface
- Mixer software of the interface
- Monitor controller
- Onboard equipment of your DAW software
- The free Plugin Boz Digital Labs Manipulator – Mono at the touch of a button
- The free plugin Flux StereoTool Correlation degree meter.
A mixing error, which I myself am very happy to do: listening to individual tracks and instruments and then an isolated sound shaping. Avoid it, because ultimately it depends on how the mix sounds. So you should always hand the sound if several to all tracks sound at the same time.
The importance of this mixing philosophy is particularly evident when you hear isolated single tracks from large, best-produced hits – sometimes they sound rather thin and drab. But precisely this reserved character ensures that the sound becomes coherent and the elements do not “fight” each other.
The last point in our list of five most common mixing mistakes is one aspect that has nothing to do with the artfulness of mixing. Rather, it is a way of thinking that you should not be able to make: The speech is from “Fix it in the Mix” – the practice of wanting to correct a crooked, badly timed or otherwise suboptimal recording by editing the audio clips and / or effects .
This is often more time-consuming than to record anew. In addition, it sounds unnatural or simply not convincing at the time of drastic interventions. Even the best tools can not do miracles. In the worst case, you will be in Devil’s kitchen, when it is clear when mixing that a new recording is unavoidable, but the artist is no longer available.