Mixing is 1 of the hardest things producers will have to master to make professional grade music.
You can have an amazing Idea but if it sounds distorted, weak, weird, and shitty then what is the point?
Today I'm gonna go over 5 Mixing Mistakes EDM Producers Make.
You might be wondering what gives me the credentials to write about such a post.
Well I've hosted over a total of 40+ feedback streams where I listen to tracks from EDM Producers like YOU.
I've compiled all their mistakes into 5 things, and these are it.
1. Raping The Master AKA OverLimited
The loudness war is real and makes thousands of producers rape(overlimit) their tracks.
Limiting is the act of preventing anything over a certain volume from passing through to prevent clipping. We also use limiting to boost our track one last time to achieve the desired loudness without clipping.
Over-limiting is going to be limiting your song over it's limit and distorting it. This happens when you overload the signal aka rape and distort your song.
Why do producers overlimit in the first place?
THEY WANT TO GET AS LOUD AS THEIR FAVORITE ARTIST
What is preventing them from getting as loud without over-limiting?
A good mix-down is going to be a track that has all the elements in their own space, mixed well, and processed efficiently.
Plugins(while not the magic pill you want sometimes) will be able to get your track louder without distorting easier. For instance the Ableton Limiter can't get you as loud as the Invisible Limiter by AOM.
Make sure that if your mixdown isn't perfect that you don't over-limit.
2. Low Frequencies aren't Mono'ed
Currently there is a debate on this topic of having a mono low end.
I personally believe that anything below 150hz should be set into mono (center of the mix) as it's a driving force in your track.
Certain people say that it should be any frequency under 100hz.
Why do we want our low end in mono and what is mono?
Mono is gonna refer to having your bass in the center of the mix or just having 1 audio channel instead of 2 audio channels( left and right).
Why do we want our Low end in mono?
Driving forces of every track should be set to the center of the mix to maintain power and drive the track.
We want our low end in the center so it frees up the sides of the mix for other instruments to cover those areas.
SUBS on the sides of the mix tend to rattle monitors.
3. Too Much Processing
In this age making music is something out of this world.
There are sound design companies (like us ) making presets in Serum that are already processed heavily and sound amazing. Usually as a producer all that is left to do when using presets is to position them in your mix and make them fit (eq, sidechain, etc.)
I find producers tend to add a chain of plugins that aren't necessary that squash, and ruin the sound to the point that it sounds unappealing.
Just because some of your favorite producers are using huge chains on Leads doesn't mean you need to.
When in doubt just be more reductive about your processing (making it sound clean) rather than bigger because 80% of the time the leads coming out of Serum or Sylenth1 are good enough already.
4. Reverb Galore
Reverb is one of the nicest sounding effects out there but as producers we need to know when to tone it down.
As one of my mentors once told me
"If you can hear the reverb then it's too much".
What he meant with this saying was that reverb doesn't need to be heard consciously, it should be heard subconsciously in the background.
So how do we apply the perfect reverb?
Easy just use the reverb until you can hear it then ease up on it until you can barely hear it and you are done.
Also in EDM we tend to learn more towards Hall, plate and room reverbs.
Last thing to add is that your decay time is also very important. Try to keep it below 4 seconds tops.
P.S We are talking about mixing EQ HERE NOT SOUND DESIGN EQ.
5. Bad Sidechaining
How can someone mess up sidechaining?
Well by overdoing it or undoing it (notice a pattern in this blog post?)
How do we over do sidechain?
Well in theory Sidechain is used to move the bass out of the way of the kick by reducing it's volume.
People over side-chain when the bass moves out of the way of the kick for too long.
How do we underside-chain?
Instead of remaining side-chained the kick hits and the bass sidechains but it comes back to full volume to soon.
How do we achieve the perfect sidechain?
Easy, just have a side chain that is inversely proportional to the kick, aka the bass should reduce full volume when the kick is at full volume and the bass should be at 50% volume when the kick is at 50%.
In this blog post I hope you guys understood the 5 mixing mistakes I see most in my Feedback Streams. I've probably heard over thousands of songs from advanced to amateur producers. These are the 5 most common mistakes in their mixing I see.
A simple fix to one of these would increase their track tremendously.
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