What is mixing in music?

Don’t be alarmed if you hear this word for the first time. One of the most crucial processes in audio production is mixing. The phrase “mixing” refers to the process of combining components of different instruments to create a song.

The majority of individuals will be unaware that this procedure exists. One of the reasons is that the mixing engineers are not visible on stage. Only the performers on stage are visible to them.

Due to the emergence of new technological equipment and software, music mixing has developed.

When compared to the previous days, when you had to wait six months for the studio to give you your track after recording the song, the time it takes to release music has also decreased dramatically.

Mixing in music is the process of bringing together and musically placing different audio sources in a recording to appeal to a listener. The music becomes more pleasant and calming to listen to as a result of the mixing. A song would sound flat if it wasn’t mixed, and the instruments would sound out of place.

Just knowing that mixing is required to make a song sound great isn’t enough to communicate the idea of how it’s employed in a song. I’ll walk you through every stage of how mixing is utilized in music and audio production in this post. Let’s get this party started, shall we?

Music mixing steps:

Mixing music isn’t as simple as pressing a button. It takes hours to go over each aspect and make sure everything is in order. Even if you spend hours creating a fantastic piece of music, it won’t sound nice if it isn’t mixed properly. Let’s take a closer look.

Organizing

Some individuals disregard the arrangement as a component of the mixing process. If you don’t have the song’s arrangement ready, you won’t be able to mix it appropriately.

When adding effects to tracks and components of a track, this would result in chaos and confusion.

This is one of the reasons why you should finalize your arrangements before starting to mix from scratch. If you keep the arrangements basic, the rest of the mixing procedure will be easier.

Raising the bar

The process of gain staging a song is also known as leveling a tune. Gain staging, also known as leveling, is adjusting the volume of each ingredient to ensure that it fits exactly in the mix.

This is where you would adjust the loudness of a vocal or an instrument to make it stand out in the mix.

When you have more than 100 tracks in your project, gain staging might be difficult. You may attack them one at a time by combining them together.

Gain staging may be easier if you started with the drums and bass and worked your way to the other aspects of the mix.

Tracks for buses

Bus tracks will be used by trained audio production experts to structure a mix. If you have roughly 15 drum parts, routing them all to bus tracks and putting effects on the bus track is preferable to adding effects separately.

If you detect any faults with particular instruments, you may correct them in their own tracks. Bus tracks may be used to route and arrange all of the other tracks. When working on a large project with, say, more than 100 songs, this saves time and energy.

Compression

Compression is a technique for reducing the loudness dynamics in a music or audio recording. In music, some components or instruments may have a greater volume in one area of the track and a lower volume in another. This may be rectified by employing a compressor to bring both the higher and lower volume sections to an in-between level, allowing the sound to flow properly throughout the song.

In today’s mixing environment, there are so many different methods of compression. Some individuals prefer bus compression, while others prefer side-chain compression.

Even though audio engineers’ tastes vary greatly, when compressors are applied, the resulting song’s quality always stays pure.

Using compression extensively will also harm the audio track by making everything sound flat without any dynamics in the song. If you’re new to mixing in a song, mild compression on all elements is a good place to start.

Reverberation

The space around a sound is referred to as reverb. This can be explained by the fact that the same sound might be perceived differently in various rooms and environments.

This effect is intended to give an instrument or even a vocal a more natural sound by adding a distinct feel to it.

There are so many different sorts of reverbs to choose from while mixing. Short-tail reverb and long-tail reverb are two examples. The room size choice is a key feature of reverbs.

In audio production software, you may alter the room size and depth to get the best possible outcome.

 

Waiting time

This is a typical sound effect that may be heard in practically every song. Delay may be utilized to give an instrument more room and convey its individuality into the song.

In a song, a standard recorded instrument or vocal will sound dry and devoid of any atmosphere.

Delays may be found being creatively employed to shift the vocals around in a song when a certain phrase has to be emphasized again and again.

Stabilization

The meat of the mixing process is equalization. Even if you omit one or two steps, you’ll have an acceptable mix if you do both gain staging and equalization. Equalization is a technique for manipulating the audio spectrum to provide the greatest sounding audio for a song or piece of music in a project.

While playing all of the instruments simultaneously, equalization helps you to fit several instruments into the audio spectrum without generating problems. This is one of the tricks orchestras employ to accommodate several parts into a mix.

 

Panned

This is one of the most underappreciated approaches in music production. Panning is nothing more than a split second of sound in the stereo field’s left and right channels. This is seen in a headset.

To sound balanced, each ingredient in a song is put at different points in the mix. This is frequently done to give each instrument and element in the song more clarity and space.

Because every music was in mono before stereo was invented, panning had no influence on the mix. Every music was created in stereo in a 3D sound world, with panning on one axis and frequency spectrum on the other.

Creating an export

This is the final phase in the music-making mixing process. There are a few things to bear in mind before exporting the track for mastering. Gains beyond -6db should be avoided in your master track.

This will offer your mastering engineer plenty of room to work and boost the volume even further.

Always export in WAV files of the greatest quality, rather than other file formats, when exporting. This will enable you to make further mix modifications throughout the mastering process.

Is it necessary to mix your music?

You should not mix your music for commercial release if you have no expertise mixing music. It’s a good idea to mix your music if you’re learning audio production.

You will also learn the finest methods for combining with adequate training.

 

How crucial is it to mix a song?

The most crucial phase in the creation of a song is mixing. With the right blending skills, even a bad artist might appear to be a professional. Mixing is a post-production tool that helps to compensate for anything that was missed during the studio recording process.

 

What makes music well-mixed?

Everything from the bass to the treble should be in a decent sound space in a good mix. In a proper blend, there is no such thing as too much of anything. A faulty mix, on the other hand, will contain an incorrect frequency of sounds that can irritate your ears.

 

Is it difficult to combine music?

Mixing music is not difficult, but mixing music of better quality is difficult, as it takes years to train our hearing to detect and correct resonances in a mix. Mixing as a career is really difficult if you don’t practice.

Final Thoughts

Audio mixing is an important aspect of a musical track’s arrangement. If you’re going to produce a song, spend as much time as possible mixing it properly, just like you would while recording a song.

The outcome of a music production endeavor is heavily influenced by audio mixing. I hope this essay clarifies why mixing is necessary and how music is created in the studio.

Understanding the importance and purpose of mixing in music will encourage you to put more money into it and hire skilled mixing engineers to help you achieve your production goals.