Music production is a multifaceted process. In most cases, the composition stage comes first - you won’t get far without a decent idea - and then you have to arrange your parts into something resembling a complete track. But these are only parts of the puzzle: mixing requires a completely different set of skills, and if you want to become a complete producer, you’re going to need to hone them.
On a basic level, mixing simply involves balancing the various parts of your track so that they ‘gel’, but there’s far more to it than moving a few level faders up and down. EQ, compression and other effects all come into the equation, meaning that it can be a time-consuming and complex business.
In fact, in the electronic music world, where the overall ‘sound’ of a record is so important, the mixing stage is one of the most crucial of all. Get it right and your record will have the power and definition to cut through on the radio or in the club; get it wrong and there’s a risk that it could sound sterile and lifeless.
This being the case, it’s best to set aside specific studio sessions for mixing, rather than trying to do it ‘as you go’. If you try and mix on the hoof, you’ll likely end up wasting time rather than saving it.
To MusicRadar’s Mixing week, then - brought to you in association with Softube - in which we’ll try and train you in as many mixing skills as we possibly can. Over the next five days we’ll cover everything from drum and bass balancing to loudness and giving your productions space to breathe, so strap yourself in and get ready to ride those faders. We’ll update this page with articles as they’re published, so keep checking back throughout the week.