The work on final sound refining of a finished EDM music is yet more of a technical nature although professional mixing undoubtedly requires creative reasoning as well. Not to hurt anyone, let’s make a proviso – it’s impossible to overestimate the contribution of music studios to music industry. Nevertheless, in this article, we are trying to move beyond strictly audio material processing and taking a look at music creation defined a lot more broadly than just edm dance music mixing service practice – starting with first steps that bring about a future masterpiece emerging. I’m sure this advice compilation will turn into useful aid to everyone, especially to novices at EDM online mixing services for whom the choice of the right decision becomes a torment at times. Take my tips into account and don’t be shy of experimenting. And as far as mixing is yet our key topic, let’s consider how better to get your project ready for it.
1. Save sound processing for later
There is considerable temptation for a producer to polish the sound of each new instrument while adding them what is as a matter of fact already mixing electronic music. At a rough estimate, the idea is good, but in actual practice, this approach interferes with adequate assessment of what is happening as the instrument interaction with other EDM song elements is important but not the instrument sound on its own. Besides, it’s useful to separate the creative side of the process from the technical one. Focus on putting an IDEA into music and let the best mastering engineer take up sound processing. Your priorities are sound design and arrangement. When the song has been finished, put it aside for a couple of days in order to estimate your work with a fresh mind. Are you content with the result? Now the song is ready for seeing a engineer.
2. The keystone of success is in the right instrument selection
This is another argument for the previous point. Quality music starts with sound design but not with online EDM mixing services no matter how top-level the latter would be. There aren’t any absolutely “well” and “badly” sounding synth presets, there isn’t an “ideal” kick. There are correctly picked up sounds that even in the rough compile a harmoniously sounding EDM song. You should start exactly with them, and the professionalengineer will unveil their full potential. If kick gets lost in the wall of synths, if bass doesn’t generate a track foundation but gives only low frequency hum, needless to say anything audio services for the song. The professional mixing studio opportunities are limited, but it’s very important to know what changes the sound will experience at the postproduction stage in order not to hope for a mixing and mastering Rap and Hip-Hop vocals engineer’s sort of magic but to build up composition properly since the first drafts.
3. Carry out a final check
When the composition has been finished before going ahead with mixing, listen to the track from beginning to end, probably not once. Let your colleagues estimate your work. Arrangement is a lot more important than sound completeness in technical terms. If everything is O. K. here, and the composition really holds the listener’s attention, you can send the song to the electronic music professional mixing studio.
4. Take care of convenience
In the list of requirements to the material, most EDM mixing studios point to the necessity of giving a name to each track – it will simplify the project navigation and let engineers get down to work at once. If you plan to make mixing yourself, give each instrument its personal color – it will considerably increase comfort of work as eyesight responds to color much faster than to a text.
5. Convert MIDI into audio
In general, it’s not a hard requirement, but, particularly for professional mixing use, there are a number of points for the benefit of which it’s worth listening to the advice. And the most obvious one is CPU economy. EDM music production is strongly tied to sound synthesis plus audio processing in mixing services but computer resources are limited. Secondly, work with audio files is more convenient in principle, including for additional creative processing. And finally, the mixing of such session is by times more convenient in the sense of navigation and organization of hundreds of small operations expecting the engineer.
6. Group tracks
It’s logical to arrange functionally similar tracks into groups, once again for navigation simplicity during EDM mixing mastering services and what is more important for more correct processing of music layouts between which our ear can distinguish in quite a limited number. A competent engineer will work with these numerous synthesizers just like with parts of one “layered” instrument. And to take control of them is more simply by tying them to one set of faders and aux sends.
7. Find the right time
If you aren’t a professional engineer, and your daily activities go on at a noisy place, or the whole day you have just been listening to music at your main work, it’s elementarily criminal in regard to the final result to get down to professional mixing of electronic music after a long-term strain on hearing. So pick up the convenient time when you have gotten a good night’s sleep, have already bucked up, you are clear-headed and your head hasn’t exhausted from any outside activities yet. Now EDM music mixing and mastering services won’t be violence against you but will surely turn into a creative process to make you happy with a perfect sound.
8. Faders down!
And once again some advice based on the decades of the mix mastero studios practice and the knowledge of the structure of our hearing. Pro engineers always literally “build” a future song by adding tracks as far as important. There is such subsequence in EDM music that works failure-free in 99% of cases:
First, the engineer sets up kick loudness – in electronic dance music, the bass drum mixing plays the role of the basis on which the rest of a song structure is built. Professional electronica genre engineers recommend setting kick loudness not more than -6 -9 dB – it creates necessary headroom for adding other instruments. Then bass – it packs the space between kick strokes with low harmonics, and sidechain technique commonly used in mixing determines the movement through pumping effect at once.
When the basis is ready, the engineer places vocals – the most important element of the foreground. The other sounds are being “strung” on this basis by gradual addition of loudness from zero up to the necessary one.
Keep in mind that in dance music mixing and mastering, it’s more simply for our ear to build balance by adding loudness to damped instruments rather than by reducing the loudness of rambling ones.
9. Filter the low end
Ignoring this recommendation is novices’ error. For most instruments in EDM music except bass and kick, bottom end frequencies (up to 100 Hz) are an unnecessary element which interferes with purity in electronic dance music mixing and mastering and has to be cut with a high pass filter. For more precise setting, enhance cutting frequency gradually until the filter starts distorting the sound. Then put it back a little and check the final frequency value in the context of the entire song.
10. Reference tracks are your guides and assistants
The use of reference tracks is a technique greatly appreciated by audio engineers as well. If you are just a novice, it’s impossible to overestimate their role at all. While basing on the sound of commercially released EDM songs during mixing of your works, you set the right direction to the work at once as there are the decades of successful work under the belt of those who have made them. Besides, the works of best online mixing and mastering engineers are a constant inspiration source and a measure of your development.
All described in the preceding items is yet a prelude directly to mixing, preparations that just facilitate the process which is of interest for us. Now let’s figure out the details of what is happening in the studio when the work on postproduction has come into an active phase. The following tips will concern both technical and creative aspects.
11. Start with the most important
As stated in item 8, the online mixing engineer begins building up EDM song with a bass drum as a reference element of the entire song. Consequently, this element is the first to be processed in details. This axiom concerns electronic dance music. In general, the subsequence can change depending on the genre and the EDM mixing mastering engineer’s idea. To make up your mind, listen to a raw project, it will help you to figure out the song structure and to emphasize the main element with which mixing. For example, in hard rock genre, guitars can be a reference element, but not even vocals which is the main one in most other styles. And although music is an uncharted territory for experiments, you shouldn’t ignore Pro engineer's experience – build up your future track around the key element. It is kick in EDM.
Do not try to make a music masterpiece in a rush – mixing is in particular a process, an action which requires concentration and a definite time to weigh up details. EDM online mixing mastering engineers often work in several goes – first, they make a raw draft with basic audio settings, then after a break they finish small stuff and finally perhaps after one or two days off check to fix up the audio nuances omitted during the primary music mastering. So take at least a couple of hours for a job to avoid working it over afterwards.
13. Reduce loudness
You should work in a studio while music loudness is small – there has been much talk about it. And this is a question of not only health as moderate loudness reduces tiredness and the risk of hearing disorder, but also quality of your mixing and mastering demos. Firstly, a correctly spaced in music element will be well heard when loudness is small. Secondly, when monitor loudness is small, the loudness of reflections from the surfaces in the studio reduces hence distortion level does as well. As a consequence, if the track sounds well while the loudness is small then everything will be all right when it is higher.
14. Polish right from the very start
If the track sounds dull and muddy, don’t reckon on magic hearing of an EDM online mixing engineer who will correct everything afterwards. Achieve an ideal sound of audio from the first steps. Balance, panning and low end filtering – you won’t correct an error in any of these points when the song has been exported to a single stereo file. So achieve beautiful and complete sound right here and right now – in the studio as long as the entire means range is available to achieve the very branded music sound.
15. The best is already in your hands
Do not chase after “ideal” plugins which give that very magic sound to your music – they don’t just exist. Professional EDM mixing mastering engineers “work miracles” only because they have a thorough knowledge of their equipment and operation technique for it. Contemporary digital audio workstations are already equipped with a necessary instrument set, and there is an array of examples when mixing is done exceptionally with these means, moreover, at quite a high level. So save your money and, to begin with, study audio compression and equalization technique in music – your DAW stock plugins and basic device set in the studio will be a perfect start!
16. Automation instead compression
EDM mixing services has an advantage – since you deal with a synthesized sound, audio editing opportunities are practically unlimited. And even if you aren’t a novice at mix and master yet and know audio compression technique perfectly, there are some cases when in principal it’s possible to do without it. For example, it’s possible to fight unnecessary loudness splashes in music by just using loudness automation. This approach is especially recommended by EDM mixing and mastering services tips where sounds have already been hard compressed on the edge of overload – additional dynamics equalization with automation gives more sound transparency.
17. Sidechain creatively
Sidechain technique that became literally a cliché in EDM music has a lot higher potential than just fluctuation of a kick-bass couple. Professional engineers apply it in imperceptible doses to increase readability of any track elements while using kick, a synthesizer, snare… whatever you need as a trigger. Keep on experimenting, go beyond standards.
18. An eternal question
There are two factions who call for the superiority of stereo analyzers or hearing in audio mixing. But this approach is too one-sided – it’s definitely impossible to overestimate the importance of audio analyzers which have become a fundamental part of any EDM mixing studio, but they are only an instrument to solve technical tasks in music, a support for hearing there where it can make a mistake. Be sure to use them but make a final decision by basing on hearing as edm mixing and mastering is that what is beyond precise numbers.
19. Knowledge decides but not instruments
Do not shift your blame for dull sound on equipment or insufficient acoustic room decoration. The only thing that is important is your knowledge and experience but not the cost of monitors and use of audio hardware equipment or plugins. Quality instruments help in the work but don’t solve everything. Would you like to enhance your skills quality? Then start with detailed study of what you have at hand – your DAW has already been equipped with necessary instruments.
20. Open your ears!
I don’t know why working in a cap came into fashion among novices. Over and over again they take it off to allegedly “check result in different conditions”. Colossal stupidity! This “super-method” gives nothing except high frequency deadening and loads of unjustified decisions at songs mixing and mastering.
21. Give a free range to fancy!
Music doesn’t tolerate standard decisions, and professional online music mixing mastering services is not an exception either. Study techniques and methods; analyze works of yours and others. But only in order to allow fancy to play around when you will be working on a new thing. Top EDM mastering engineers are always open to novelties and experiments – and it makes their works stand out in the crowd.
22. Compress wisely
Good EDM mixing is not when there is a lot of processing but when there is a definite aim of processing. Whether to apply it or leave an instrument without processing at all, it’s also an important mixing decision which affects the final quality of music sound. The same concerns compression. To “overload” with it only because best EDM mastering engineers constantly harp on compression is not the best approach. Especially in the age when digital instruments prevail. Their dynamics in contrast to live record is predicted very much and flexibly controlled through MIDI. The professional engineer knows precisely when compression is necessary. And if synthesizer sound suits him, he leaves it as it is – lots audio mixing and mastering demos demonstrate this perfectly!
23. Do not come to standstill
Keep experimenting constantly – even if the result doesn’t always rejoice you. EDM music engineers always seek for new ranges of expression; listen attentively to nuances of processing as these details pick out just pleasant sound from extra ordinal one. Try something unconventional in your next track – parallel compression with specific EQ setting, experiment with delays as the art of mixing is a constant search. The exception is an important project or the work with a client who is sure of his expectations. You’d better use proven technique here.
24. Learn but not copy
To extend your horizons doesn’t mean to blindly follow others’ work. If anyone has used crazy synthesizer equalization, it’s not reason for henceforth doing the same in each track. Analyze, WHY the EDM mastering service engineer has done in this way but not in another and then adapt technique to your work process.
25. Do not pick up everything in sight
You shouldn’t pick up the first available audio effect and use it at random only because its interface looks cool. The EDM online mixing mastering engineer is in the first place interested in the sound of the plugin and the produced to music effect that he knows beforehand. The novice at mixing can surely come across a lucky find through searching everything what his DAW is crammed with, but it’s sooner an exception. You’d better spend time on studying the toolbox in order to make conscious decisions during mixing but not to play roulette. The differences between plugins in the effect they produce at audio are often quite fine, but the professional engineer always knows why this time he has used exactly a transient shaper instead of a compressor.
In general, the idea is understandable – first look into available devices and only then use them. Although, for truth, I must say while being in search of inspiration, even Pros sometimes use random set of audio effects and search presets – suppose a fresh idea sprang out.
26. Take a break
Everyone who is engaged in EDM mix and master must realize that the sound is ephemeral and insidious matter, and our hearing grows weary fast. After that it’s difficult to make appropriate decisions. As is often the phrase can be heard engineers saying: “On the first day I have completed basic settings, experimented with instrument processing and put off song finalizing till the next day”. So if you have already been struggling with song for several hours, take a long break, one hour or longer. Refresh yourself in the out-of-doors and have some fun. Believe me, it’s only good for the result. The first what clients appreciate in what he considers the best EDM mixing is indeed the quality but not the speed.
27. Do not underestimate automation
Automation in mixing EDM is one of fine nuances that distinguish commercially released music from novices’ works so dramatically. In principal, this is a simple, however, sometimes laborious way to bring movement into static, however, high-quality sound after basic mixing. Naturally, you shouldn’t pick it up from the very first stage (except, perhaps, vocal loudness automation) as far as it will divert you from building up the main song structure. Professional EDM engineers recommend achieving ideal “static” sound first, and only after you have put the last hand to instrument processing, you should draw automation. Afterwards the engineer sometimes has to fix up nuances which have all of a sudden turned up, though – by the way, it’s a small price to pay for a magnificent sound.
28. Do not go too far
It sounds odd, but in mixing, it’s important to know when to stop. If instrument sound suits you when the interference is minimal, that means good deal – do not overload with plenty of effects only because “I am a best mixing mastering engineer indeed”. The right processing is just as much and then as when it’s really necessary. Senseless use of effects will only ruin the sound.
29. Guidelines, not rules
Yes, music doesn’t admit precise rules, but there are some guidelines based on pro EDM mixing engineers' experience – that is exactly they are useful, especially as a starting point for the search! Let your fantasy pass all bounds, but do not underestimate guidelines on a purely technical side of mixing. They have behind many years of experience that will prevent you from unnecessary wanderings.
30. White noise – halleluiah
It is impossible to imagine at least one EDM track without having white noise! This waveform has been used by audio engineers practically since the earliest work stage – from the design of separate sounds to the arrangement of entire transitions. The absence of its own tone and an array of harmonics in the whole spectrum is the reason why white noise is so widely used in mixing. Mix it to synthesizers, create drum tails, use it as rhythmic filling through a sidechain and whatever suits you best. Your studio – and that is you to make a decision!
31. Start with the base
The main sounds that make people shake dance floor are kick and bass. In dance music mixing, they are a keystone that is why you should start track processing exactly with them. Experienced EDM music engineers claim that you should make this couple work, and finding a place for the other instruments just applies the right skills.
32. Keep the low end clear
Low end is the most complicated field for a novice. As these frequencies both sound quite illegible for human hearing and have the greatest energy that can easily overload a master channel. That is why they clear stems so carefully in studios (except kick and bass stems) from a low frequency element - it can be heard in every mixing mastering demo. Accumulation and intercrossing of these harmonics haven’t brought benefit to any song yet, and engineers practically always filter them. The same concerns reverberation and delays – another mud source in each song. In mixing and mastering while using spatial effects, it is recommended to clear them up with low cut filters as well.
33. Do not rush to say: “All done!”
So, the last several hours you have been spending mixing your project, the details have been worked out, and the overall sound makes you excited. And on this place, professional EDM music engineers don’t rush to report their client on completion. You should also slow down. During hours you had spent in the hip hop mixing techniques studio when you were running through a song again and again your hearing easily got used to its sound and hardly distinguishes between minor hiccups. Put off the project, switch into mixing of another one or just take a rest without music. The rest will help you to bring back a fresh look at the things, and some inaccuracies of EDM song mixing will for sure become noticeable. You’d rather check them on different audio systems and fix them up before showing the track to the world. You’d better wait a little than run up against criticism, what’s more, quite justified.
34. A magic button
Keep in mind the button “bypass” and do not get lazy to occasionally check how really well your EDM song mixing and mastering are going on by simple switching it on and off. Frequently, while adding a new effect, the sound seems to be getting more and more beautiful (compression is in particular insidious in this regard), but experienced engineers know how deceptive it can be, especially when compression is concerned. But to test yourself is just as easy as pie – only one mouse click. Any device in the EDM mix master studio, any DAW allows you to deactivate the effect with one movement and to check whether it should have been used. Is everything going according to the plan? O. K. Then another advice – most plugins let you easily experiment with settings by switching with one more click between presets. Check settings with such an unsophisticated way – it’s a matter only of one second indeed.