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6 Tricks to Make Your Mixes Sound Three-Dimensional

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Mixing engineers are like a referee on a football field. When they're doing their jobs, nobody notices that they're there at all. The music flows, uninterrupted, and the sound of the recording is appropriate for the message of the music. But a bad mix is a disaster. It backs listeners away from the song and goes against the grain of the artist’s vision.

All too often, a bad mix is a boring mix. Lacking an understanding of what’s inside your artistic head, whoever mixes you might just line the tracks up in a row, left to right, like prisoners in a police lineup. But mixing is a three-dimensional art. Panning across the stereo field is only one way to create a sonic space. Here are six other tricks that construct a homey space within a piece of music, creating interest, depth, and ambience.

Here's Where 80 Percent of Your Mix Comes From

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You might think your mix comes straight from the tracks you've recorded or those plugins you love so very much. But, believe it or not, it comes from two simple things that you probably haven't even thought of. Check out the video below and see how adjusting two elements of your recording will impact it more than anything else.

Here's Everything You Need to Do to Prepare Your Tracks for Mixing

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With recording technology constantly becoming cheaper and more accessible, more and more artists are recording their albums on their own. While this can be great for driving down costs on the DIY budget and allows people to put together their music on their own schedules and in their own spaces, the "jack of all trades" DIY mentality can only go so far in some cases.

The recording industry in particular is seeing a greater and greater trend towards people recording their own material, and then hiring people to mix or master their records. While this model in itself does have some inherent flaws (perhaps to be addressed in another article), it's serving a number of artists in the independent community very well. So the first question we should perhaps answer is, "If I have Pro Tools/Logic/Reaper/Cubase/etc. on my laptop, why should I hire an outside mixer?”

Try This Super Easy Trick to Give Your Mix an Energy Lift in the Chorus

Image via mamafication.com

We all love those hook-filled tunes that have an ultra-catchy chorus that seems to lift with a vibrant tone that sometimes, if done right, gives us chills. Want to recreate that same effect in your own songs? This one stupid simple trick in Pro Tools will instantly add that same sparkle to your own choruses. Hint: you could do it with a plastic Easter egg and some rice. It's really that easy.

Recording, Honing Your Craft, mixing, gear

Dec 7, 2015 09:00 AM

Caleb Hsu

The 6 Best Budget Studio Monitors of 2015

Image via wirerealm.com

Home studio recording has increasingly become a popular way for artists to jumpstart their projects, experiment with mixing techniques, and test their limits of capability. The challenge is deciding what equipment to get and finding quality that fits within a musician's tight budget. When it comes to studio monitors, there are more options than answers, so we've sifted through multiple brands to select our top picks for 2015.