Hey! I wanted to share with you what I learned being an engineer within the past 16 years.
Being in the music industry for long enough and exploring the art of mixing from the bottom (like EQing, compression, and other well-known techniques) up to how sound and music affect our emotions I’ve found how easy it is to get lost among countless pieces of gear.
And the digital era with thousands of plugins has made it even worse :)
Too many options cause too much distraction from the focal point of the whole process – creating a mix that elevates the artist’s ideas and gives the most emotional impact on the audience.
After years of practice, I resulted with my personal method for mixing mastering that I want to share with you.
The concept is pretty simple - I found myself enjoying narrowing down my setup while exploring how to get the most from what I have. One of the most fun parts was going extreme with each piece of setup to explore its capabilities. Learning extreme settings and everything in between… Quite a long but fun journey!
This has led me to quite a compact setup and what’s important MUCH greater understanding of what’s under the hood – the concepts of how the sound can be transformed by the use of compression, saturation, EQing, dynamics, etc. Which has changed my workflow significantly!
Now when I need an EQ (for instance) the first thing I think of is WHAT’S THE GOAL I want to achieve with this move, and which characteristics I want to emphasize!
- Do I want to just lift or scoop certain frequencies, or do I want to control their dynamics as well?
- Or maybe I want to add a touch more color through saturation?
And the choice of the tool got so much easier!
The pros of this method are obvious (at least they work for me) – less distraction from the creative side of the process. Less confusion when it comes to tool choice. And overall more focus on the emotions that I want to deliver when mixing a song.