Operation and Basic Steps of Sound Mixing

- Sep 04, 2018-

Step 1: Get ready

Mixing can be a very tedious and tedious thing, so set up an efficient workspace. Prepare some paper and a notebook for use in recording, and adjust the light to a darker level so that your ears are more sensitive than your eyes and you are excited.

Take regular breaks (for example every 45 to 60 minutes) so that your ears can relax and keep you awake and put your work into work. If you are working in a studio, this kind of rest is a bit extravagant, but this two or three minutes of rest allows you to judge more objectively, so that your mixing work can be done quickly.

Step 2: Review the audio track

Use a lower volume to listen to what's in all the tracks, and then record the track information and use a sticky note or an erasable pen to briefly indicate which sound corresponds to which way of the mixer. It is best to combine sounds in accordance with general logical habits, such as placing the sound of all percussion instruments in a connected path on the mixer.

Step 3: Put on the headset to eliminate flaws

Checking the subtle flaws of the recording is a rational act that requires the use of the "left brain", which is different from using the "right brain" for sensible mixing. If the brain jumps around in these two different working conditions, it will hinder your creativity. So, before you do the formal mixing, you should do the cleaning as much as possible - eliminate the noise in the recording, Missing notes and other similar things. At this time, you can put on the headphones and play each track separately to capture every detail in the recording.

If you're mixing MIDI tracks, the job you should do at the moment is undoubtedly to thin out the extra controller signals, eliminate overlapping notes, and remove the extra sound from the single instrument track.

In order to organize the tracks recorded on tape (including digital tapes and analog tapes), they can be transcribed into the hard disk recorder for some digital editing and noise suppression. Although some tiny noises don't sound like attention alone, when you add a dozen tracks together, those disgusting sounds will be revealed.

Step 4: Optimize all MIDI sources

If you want to record something from a MIDI sequence, it's best to optimize the sound inside the MIDI instrument first. For example, to make the sound brighter, you'd better increase the low-pass filter cutoff frequency of the tone in an electronic instrument instead of using the equalizer on the mixer. One important point: When using an electronic instrument, be sure to always hit the output volume to the maximum value. This has the advantage of maximizing the dynamic range. You can adjust the level on the mixer if needed. When you need to change the synthesizer output level in special occasions, you can use the No. 7 MIDI controller information, but make sure that the maximum volume value (controller No. 7 value) in the synthesizer track is 127 (or very close to 127), in short, try to adjust the volume of the synthesizer on the mixer. If you push the mixer's volume fader to the maximum and set the controller 7 value in the electronic instrument to 32, the dynamic range of your work will be greatly affected.

Step 5: Establish relative level balance on the track

Now that the mix is still busy, don't be busy adding effects. Here you can focus on the overall sound of the tracks combined, without being disturbed by the various details of the left brain. For a good mix, the sound of each track itself should be great, but when the tracks are combined to interact, the sound should be better.

It is best to cut into the monophonic mode when listening to the overall sound. If the sound of each track is very clear, then they will be clearer in stereo than in stereo. If you listen to stereo in the first place, then some places in the tracks that conflict with each other are not easy to hear.

Step 6: Adjust the equalization

An equalizer (EQ) can be used to highlight the characteristics of different instruments and to make the sound more balanced overall. First, the most important elements of the song are processed (such as vocals, drums, and bass). Once all of these elements are "bonded" together, proceed to deal with other parts.

The audio spectrum has only a certain width, and each instrument occupies its own territory over the entire spectrum, so when the sounds of the individual instruments are combined, they fill the entire spectrum. One reason to start with the drum kit when mixing is that the instrument in the drum kit covers the entire audio spectrum very well.

Equalizing one track affects other tracks. For example, raising the mid-frequency portion of a piano track may affect the sound of vocals, guitars, and other mid-range instruments. Sometimes raising a certain frequency of an instrument will also cause the sound of other instruments at that frequency to be weakened. In order to make the vocals more prominent, you can try to attenuate the frequency band of the incoming frequency in other instruments, instead of using the equalizer to enhance the vocals.

In order to make the sound in the mix feel like it is from a farther place, then you only need to use a low-pass filter for filtering; you don't have to use the main equalizer. If you use a high-pass filter to filter instrument such as guitars and pianos that have a tendency to shift toward low frequencies, then the low frequency bands of these instruments will be reduced, so that the important components of the low frequencies such as bass and bass are fully unfolded.

Step 7: Apply basic signal processing

"Basic" does not mean that the sound is only "sweet" because the effect processing can be said to be a part of the "complete sound" (for example, if the echo of the echo effect falls on the beat section of the music, it is possible change the characteristics of the rhythm part, and the distortion will change the sound more intensely, etc.).



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