5 Tips to Mix Your Music Like a Pro

Article by: Andrew Samples  | Author, Music Creator

Article by: Andrew Samples | Author, Music Creator

VQS Advice Blog | Cover Image by: Kalhh


Learn how to put more emotion into your mix.

A great mix is one that pulls the listener into the song, into the performance, and greatest of all…into the EMOTION. Here’s our top 5 tips to mix your tracks like a pro:

1. Emote in Your Vocals

The vocals are the most important part of any song. Vocals are recorded before the mix process, but are usually the most defined part of the mix.

Make sure your lyrics are clear and that your audience can hear and understand them.

To help to highlight your amazing vocal sound, you can use a parametric EQ plugin to bump up, or lessen any frequencies to keep your track balanced and to make your listeners want to turn up the volume.

*Bonus tip* Bus all the vocal tracks separately from all the musical tracks to give the vocals their own chance to shine!


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2. Emphasize the Beat!

Second to the vocals, the kick drum is important because it is the heartbeat of the song body. The syncopation, the groove, and the tempo all rely on the kick to keep them together.

To make an impact on your listener make the kick drum pulse through their chest. To do this, make sure the kick drum’s mid-level EQ is somewhere between 200-500 Hz.

When you can make the kick drum and the bass root notes dance in sync with one another, we are able to accentuate a solid foundation we can feel in our bones.



3. Balance the Levels

Close your eyes, and feel the music.

Photo By: Kalhh

Most of the emotionality from a great mix is simply about the relationship between the volume levels of every track, otherwise known as: fader levels.

When deciding the right levels for your track:

  • Start at 0
  • Slowly bring the fader up
  • Stop when it feels and sounds right to you!
  • Don’t be afraid to mute things- they may not belong there.

Let your levels complement each other so that that the right parts takes center stage.


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4. Create Space

Put the best parts of your track on display and give them their own time to shine! A simple, delicate part of your song, performed on its own (with the right amount of reverb or delay [or not!] ), can fill the recording with its entire beauty and leave your listener in awe.

Don’t let your music compete with itself. Leave space for each listener to feel the emotion within the small breaks in your music.

5. Surprise Your Listener

Everyone loves surprises!

Photo By: Kalhh

There are no hard rules in the creation of music.

Push the normal boundaries and create something unique and intriguing.

  • Maybe adding a guitar playing a cool, short lick in between verses?
  • Or perhaps a drum fill is happening right before the chorus?
  • Is the bass walking up the scale for a moment in the bridge?

Be creative, but also be smart. These moves should tend to complement the song, not distract.

Summary:

  1. Emote in Your Vocals
  2. Emphasize the Beat
  3. Balance the Levels
  4. Create Space
  5. Surprise Your Listener

What challenges do you have in your mixes? We’d love to hear from you.

Article by: Andrew Samples

Article by: Andrew Samples

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