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When You Build Your Audio Mix, Build a House!

Posted on March 6, 2022 by Jonah Krochmal

Almost all engineers approach their mixes differently. I love to think about my mix, from the 1st track completely to the mastering stage, as a residence.

The very first thing you will need when creating a house is an excellent foundation. Your low end should offer you this. It really is with this foundation that the others of one's mix will undoubtedly be built. If your foundation is weak, your complete mix will undoubtedly be weak and ineffectual. Exactly like creating a real house, your foundation must be solid. The principal instruments creating this low end, generally in most music we pay attention to today, will be the kick drum and the bass guitar parts. Both of these instruments must gel, yet be clearly defined. If they're not clearly defined, meaning the listener cannot find out the difference between your two, you might experience some issues with your mix. Many home recordings have problems with the reduced and mid frequencies overlapping an excessive amount of and for that reason not being clearly defined.

Once we've our clearly defined low end, we have to begin building the house, brick by brick. The bricks we are using to create our house will undoubtedly be comprised of the mid frequencies. This area is a lot more tricky to clearly define since there is so much stuff going on in the mid range. Guitars, vocals, snare drums, toms, keyboards, and also a many other sounds all compete for exactly the same space in the mid range. For those who have a non-clearly defined mid section, your mix will sound very muddy. This, again, is typical of home productions. The mid range is muddy also it will ruin the complete mix, your home.

So, just how do we keep carefully the low end from getting too muddy? Again, let's look at the house example. In the event that you absorb a brick house, you'll observe that among every fourth or fifth brick you will have a little hole. I once asked someone what these holes were for. His reply, "They permit the house to breathe." That sounds weird if you ask me. I am not just a handy man, therefore i didn't understand and left it at that. What I know is audio, and I understand our mix must breathe, especially for the reason that tricky mid range. Just how do we allow our mixes to breathe the mid range? Well, there are many tricks. First, we are able to use different mics on instruments, use different microphone placement, we are able to tune similar sounding instruments differently, we are able to set the instruments physically apart in the area to add a sense of "space", we are able to add reverb to include space virtually, and/or we are able to use equalization to split up tones of like sounding instruments.

As you can view, there are several things we are able to do, either singly or in combination one with another which will help us deliver the results of fabricating a non-muddy, clearly defined, breathing mid section. You're well on the way to providing a more enjoyable listening experience for you personally as well as your fans when you can make your mid section breathe.

The last section of the house is needless to say the very best, or the roof. As you may expect, the roof will undoubtedly be comprised of high-end tones, but that is really false for me. The reason behind that is that the high frequencies are often just overtones and higher octaves of our root sounds which happen in the reduced and mid frequency sections. Quite often for those who have your low and mid sections eq'ed properly plus they sound good, there's little eq'ing that you'll should do to the top quality. Plus, a lot of the top quality will undoubtedly be accentuated in the ultimate process called mastering. So rather than frequencies to create our roof, or ceiling, I love to use dynamics.

Dynamics include compressors and limiters. Dynamic processors help to keep your tracks as hot because they can be, this means as a long way away from the noise floor as you possibly can, without distorting or clipping. That is especially important challenging digital equipment we have been now using because digital distortion sounds quite nasty.

Dynamics can offer a good, round sound or can "squash" your tracks, whichever you like and whatever compliments your look of music. Improper usage of compression can make the recording sound to confined, like walking right into a room with an extremely low ceiling. Proper, judicious, usage of compression, however, could make your recording feel just like someone is walking right into a room having an open, airy, cathedral type ceiling. You need to feel significantly less confined and many more at awe once you enter the latter kind of room, and listeners will a lot more appreciate you attempting to provide them with this feeling of aural openness.

So there it really is. Once you build your audio mix, be sure you create a house as well as your mixes ought to be a lot more professional.