5 Things to Try When a Mix Is Kicking Your Butt

By October 30, 2016Mixing

I was just hanging out with my kiddos watching a movie when an idea for a blog post hit me. If you’re anything like me (and probably 99% of mixers out there) you may experience a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the mixing process.

Does this sound familiar?

The Mixing Process:

  1. This is awesome
  2. This is tough
  3. This sucks
  4. I suck
  5. This might work out…

Trust me, I’ve been there too. Every. Single. Mix. Lol!

Here are five suggestions to help get you through those tough moments during the mixing process.

1. Take a Break

Sometimes a 10-minute break to pour another cup of coffee or to grab a snack is all it takes to get you back on track. Other times, it could be an hour or even a day later before the motivation or concentration comes back to you. Deadlines can make taking a day off unrealistic, but sometimes I’ll move on to something else. Are there any other songs that need to be prepped? Do that and come back to the current mix when you’re feeling fresh.

2. Focus on what IS working

Are the guitars or keys causing issues? Maybe it’s the vocals? Mute those elements and focus on getting awesome drum sounds or making sure your low end is just right. Making progress in other areas of the mix will help you, well… Make progress!

If the tracks weren’t recorded well or the arrangement is a bit clustered, I like to focus on the drums or the beat. Not only is it fun to take bland and boring drum sounds to another level, it can also build the foundation for a killer mix.

*Quick tip: This is something I do in every single mix. Add an EQ to the stereobuss and filter out the top end to focus on the lows and sub frequencies. Reference your low end against your favorite industry mixes and tighten up your low end as a way to make progress.

Here’s a video to demonstrate this quick tip:

3. Identify the trouble areas and run a search

It goes without saying that Google is an invaluable resource. However, it can be tough to decipher what’s junk and what’s truly going to help you. There are a handful of sites that I can recommend with confidence. Depending on what you’re after, one of these is sure to help.

The Pro Audio Files | Produce Like A Pro | The Recording Revolution | Pensado’s Place

*There are many awesome audio blogs/sites. These are just some of my favorites off the top of my head. I respect just about anyone who offers free content with the drive to help others be better. 😉

4. Ask a friend whose ears you trust

If you don’t already belong to a community forum, Facebook group, or even a paid mixing community like The Mix Academy then I HIGHLY recommend surrounding yourself with like-minded people who you can lean on for help in your time of need.

I have a private folder in the cloud that I share with my good friend, Joey Fernandez. I trust his ears with my life and he and I just click when it comes to mixing and taste in music. I can’t encourage you enough to find your Joey and watch how much it helps you on your mixing journey.

*Right now I’m offering a $1 entry into The Mix Academy. Click here to learn more about the community!

5. Custom Mix Critique

I know, I know… Promoting my own paid service in a top 5 list… I wouldn’t include it if I didn’t have full confidence in being able to help you.

Here’s a breakdown of my critique process (as seen in the video above):

  1. My first impressions. I listen to your mix and take detailed notes on what I hear.
  2. I reference industry mixes that either you provide or that I hear as fitting to your genre/style of mix.
  3. I listen on headphones, monitors, home speakers, iPhone buds, and finally, I take it to the car. I take more notes…
  4. I record an in-depth and personalized video tutorial to both share my notes with you and to also demonstrate any techniques that I feel will help you with your mix.
  5. I deliver the video to your inbox. 😉


Ready to get started? Maybe you’d like to lock in the current deal for a future project?

Click on any of the services below to purchase now or contact us here to discuss your project.

Video Mix Critique NO Mastering: $100 per song

Video Mix Critique with Mastering: $199 per Main Mix ($50 per Alt Mix)

*Mix critiques are on a first come, first serve basis with a usual turn-around time of 48-72 hours.

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