Mixing · Music Production · Recording

The Basics of Mixing Raw Tracks to Make A Song

You’ve just finish recording some raw new tracks and now you want them to stand out in a new mix. These are some steps you can follow to make your raw tracks have the punch you expect and a good ending result.

First of all, when you begin to mix, essentially you are bring things together like EQ, reverb, delay and compression all in an effort to begin molding your song to your expectations. Before running to slap on a plugin or some kind of effect, consider putting them on your master fader or mix buss. This allows for faster mix time and you end up with less plugins this saves on your computer’s electricity. Even before you do all of this make sure you pick only the audio tracks you want in the mix itself. Just because you may have the option to do unlimited tracks doesn’t mean you need them – only use the ones you want. Leave the sorting out process to work on prior to getting your raw tracks mixed. So when you know exactly what you want, it can save you a lot of time.

Grab your best mixing headphones and clean your tracks up. This is so important because giving the audio engineer a track you didn’t intend takes up precious time as well. If you find bad edits, additional noise or pops then clean them up immediately before starting your mix. Make sure you correct all pitches and timing. This can also take up a lot of time. If you go for a desired pop sound, then make sure you do pitch and tone correction as much as you can before sending tracks off to do a mix.

Further make sure to turn off all effects and processing so you don’t overwhelm your engineer with tracks already rendered. If it’s an essential part of your sounds, then that’s okay. Bypass the EQ, compression or the other processed tracks when you begin rendering any tracks for mixing. Compressing tracks to the point where the EQ is harshly in-bedded can create issues. Labeling tracks helps as well. It’s best to get into some kind of practice for yourself when it comes to labeling because your engineer will love you for it. Use proper names on all tracks and not just basic numbers that no one can follow. This make all sessions for mixing run smooth. Stick with common names and you will save yourself and your engineer a lot of frustrations.

When you get organized with your raw tracks, you can then look at EQ. This can be really powerful when you use the EQ plugins. This will have significant impact on your song overall. You song will have all the width, clarity, definition with a natural feel to it. You hear it all the time on the radio, songs with a power and energy. This is because the compression was very well executed. Your songs will leap out of the speakers when this is done correctly. Learning how to properly use your compressor in the mixing process will give you the sound you want and having been searching for.

Depending on where you are recording, it’s good to record dry. It gives off a clean sound and with a some room reverb and planned delays it will spruce up your mix and give you a great studio polish. Overall, these are some basic ideas to mixing raw tracks so you get the best quality sound for your song. Give your audio engineer the correct and only tracks you want to work on. Consider taking off over processed tracks on your raw material as this can simply create frustrations and headaches in the mixing process.