Important things

Here’s a list of things I consider important when building a mix, divided into ‘tiers’. I might add to/fiddle with this over time, but I’ll put it up now as it’s been saved in draft for a year or something. I wanted to get this up so I can refer to it in future articles.

Gold level:

– Sound selection

– Arrangement

– Gain structure / levels

– Making good decisions /  doing less

– Space/separation vs intensity/density


Silver level:

– Individual EQ

– Individual dynamics

– Pan/space/depth


Bronze level:

– Group processing

– Sidechaining

N.B. These apply when talking in a mixing context as opposed to a creative/musical context. For example, hitting a buss hard with compression to try to keep things from clipping, vs hitting a drum buss hard because it sounds cool. Or sidechaining stuff to try and get stuff to fit together in a mix, versus sidechaining for the rhythmic pumping effect.

I’m not going to discuss it all at length; other articles can/will do that. Looking at this now though, a few things jump out at me.

– The higher the level, the more focus it should get.
– The lower the level, the less focus it should get.
– The more focus the higher level stuff gets, the less you need to worry about the lower level stuff, and the better your mix is likely to sound.
– The more time you spend with the lower level stuff, the more you’re likely making up for mistakes made on higher level stuff.
– The higher level stuff is principle-oriented; the lower level stuff technique-oriented.


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  1. Yet more on sidechaining | Bob Macc's Blog

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