In this post I will share simple tips that will help you to make your tracks sound LOUD!
1. Make sure you have the best possible sounds. I see a lot of people are trying to mix sounds that simply don’t work for their tracks. So instead of spending your time on complicated processing just replace the sounds that don’t work. It’s much easier and faster to do so. There are no good or bad sounds. But there are sounds that might not work for your track.
2. Arrangement. This is super important. If you have too many sounds playing at the same time you won’t be able to mix your track properly. Make sure you understand the roles of each of the instruments and sounds in your mix. Give enough space to each of those sounds. You will be surprised but good music doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple
3. Not it’s time to start the mixing processing. The first thing you need to master is the balance. If you have a wrong balance you won’t be able to mix your track. You can see that each step in music production is super important. Make sure that your kick is not too loud, the vocal sounds nice etc. When you balance your instruments properly your mix should sound already sound good. That’s one of the secrets to a professional mix
4. Group your channels by sound type. I have 6 groups for each instrument type. For example kick and bass group, drums, instruments, vocals, etc.
5. Now it’s time to work on the groups. Filter out the low end before you do any processing. I do a low cut with an EQ on my groups and individual channels. Just a low cut and nothing more here
6. Apply saturation. I like Fabfilter saturn 2 but you can use any plugin you want. Saturation adds warmth, eliminates peaks and glues your sounds together. Don’t forget to use a clipper on the sounds that have loud peaks that you don’t want in your mix. If you don’t know how to use a clipper make sure to check one of my older posts about it
7. After saturation apply compression to your groups. Keep in mind that you don’t need to compress a lot on the group. We just want to control the dynamics and glue our sounds together even more. Different compressors have different character. Make sure you understand what compressor you need to use on your group and channels.
8. After compression I usually apply Pultec EQ. Pultec EQ sounds rich, full and warm. It’s great for adding frequencies. You can also use it for cutting. Try on your mixes and you will be surprised how good it sounds and how easy it is to EQ sounds with Pultec
9. And finally at the end of the chain you can apply correction EQ to balance your sound. I use ableton stock EQ. Fabfilter Pro Q3 is also good
That’s it. If you follow this system you will be able to make your mixes sound loud, clean and transparent without distorting your sound on the master.
Let’s summarise what we’ve learned today:
Have good sounds -> Make a great arrangement -> Balance your tracks properly -> Group your sounds -> Filter low end -> Saturation -> Compression -> EQ boost -> EQ Cut
This is my approach when I’m mixing my music. You can use it both on groups and individual channels.