The Hack to Better Mixes


What takes your mixes to the next level the fastest possible way? You know it’s not about the gear and it’s not about the right DAW or the right plugins. The biggest hack to better mixes is to follow the mixing techniques such as “mixing in mono”, “mixing at low volumes” and “raw balance”. These techniques changed my mixes for good, but only once I truly started to utilize them. Why would I otherwise try to convince you to use them?

Rightfully, you might have some doubts or questions. Why it works? Why you should use these techniques, even if some of the best mixers out there aren’t using them? Isn’t it more fun and educational to do as Dave Pensado, Chris Lord-Alge or someone whose work you adore?

Some of the best mixers out there don’t need this kind of techniques, because they are so accustomed to crafting that pro sound and they know exactly how to get it. They’ve been doing it for years and developed a workflow that works for them. It allows them to proceed fast with intuition leading them.

The mixing techniques that I preach to you, are the ones I use every time when mixing. Why I’m using them? I’m not the best mixer out there. I can’t instantly hear what frequency to cut or boost and I can’t put the tracks to the perfect balance with the snap of a finger. That’s why I need a foolproof way – a set of guidelines to follow. These guidelines help me to get things right – to make better mixing decisions.

Hack to Better Mixes – Forced to be better

Forced to Be Better

You are forced to make better mixing decisions when you apply these techniques. You can’t go wrong, at least as easily. When you have to make everything sound good and audible in mono and at low levels, it’s much harder than in stereo at loud levels. but your mix will benefit from itYou really need to put an effort to make that happen. These techniques forces you to be a better mixer.

That’s not all, as you also have the benefit of a mixing plan to follow. Without a plan you’re jumping here and there, not really sure where you should focus on. The foolproof way of following the steps of raw balance, mixing in mono, mixing at low levels, eq, compression, sweetening (reverb, delay, saturation, effects) and automation you know exactly what to do and where you’re going. You’ll save time and most of all nerves – and it is so rewarding. 

It is so frustrating to mix for hours and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. The best part is the feeling of being in control of the mix, that’s what you’re looking for. That’s what you’re going to get when you start applying the foolproof way.

I’m not going to lie to you, it takes time to become better as a mixer. At least with these guidelines you’ll become better, mix by mix. You develop mixing skills and improve the quality of your mixes much faster when using these mixing techniques. Without any unified guidelines and following randomly tips from the “pros”, you’ll be stuck for God knows how long.

Start Hacking Your Way to Better Mixes Now

Maybe you’ve tried mixing in mono, maybe mixing at low levels. How did it go? It can be challenging, trust me I know.

For me it went like this:

I heard about mixing in mono, I tried it and it was okay. I knew I did better EQ:ing choices by doing it in mono. Still, there were times when used it and times when I forgot – I slipped into EQ:ing in stereo.The same thing with mixing at low levels: I knew I should keep a moderate level, but somehow my arm went ahead and rolled that volume up – every time. 

In spite of that I noticed a difference in my mixes, they were getting better – slow and steady. Over time I got that mono button to stay down for the entire EQ:ing process. I even forced myself to listen at low levels for most of the time. The more I applied these techniques the better I felt about my mixes.

My point is that the faster you start using these techniques frequently in your mixes, the faster you’re going to see the results. It’s tempting to lift that volume up or flip back to stereo, because it sounds so much better that way. Try to resist and focus. The end result is so much better when you have the self-discipline to do it right.

Conclusion – The Hack to Better Mixes

I know you want your mixes to get better, so trust me when I tell you there’s no better hack than these techniques. From now on out start applying them for real. Set a moderately low listening volume so that you could have a normal conversation while mixing. Begin with the raw balance, followed by EQ:ing in mono. Add compression, sweetening and in the end automation. This is the game plan I follow and it works.


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