Manuel's here from masteryourtrack.com
In today's article, I'd like to talk about some mistake not to do when mixing.
I hope this can be helpful to beginners and a good recap for the more advanced mixing engineer.
1 - Start processing before doing the rough mix
The rough mix gives you a general idea of the strongest and the weakest elements of the song.
The rough mix also tells you which are the elements that drive the song. Is it vocal? Is it the guitar? After this evaluation, you can start to make a plan and start mixing.
2 - Don't compensate the volume post-processing when eqing or compressing
It's very easy to get fooled by the difference in volume. If something sounds louder, our brain will prefer it even if it doesn't sound better. It's a good practice to compensate for the volume after compressing or eqing and compare the processed and not processed instrument at the same level.
3 - Overprocess
This is a very common mistake. I see many times aspiring mixing engineer have an endless chain of plugins on an instrument. Always ask yourself: what does this sound needs? How can I achieve it?
Make sure to have a purpose of doing something and making sure you can hear the difference post-processing.
4 - Don't work in the context
Solo is a very useful tool, but all you do must be checked in the mix as each instrument must work well with all the other elements together.
5 - Don't monitor at different levels
Our ears react differently at different levels. Is crucial to mix at an average level (85 dB SPL - as loud as a normal conversation between two people). It is also crucial to have a general check of the mix at loud volume (be careful not to expose yourself too long to loud volumes) and at a very low volume. Each monitoring level will tell you something different about your mix.