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  • Manuel Scaramuzzino


In today's article, I'd like to talk about common mistakes to avoid when mixing.

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1 - Start processing before the rough mix

Rough mix your song before starting processing is essential for us to develop a vision of our mix.

The rough mix stage is also crucial for us to understand which are the strongest and the weakest elements of the song/recordings.

2 - Do not compensate the volume post-processing when eqing or compressing

Due to how our brain process audio information it's very easy to get fooled by the differences of volume when processing instruments. In practice, our brain tends to like what sounds louder, but louder doesn't necessarily mean better. In order to judge if the process we are applying is effective we should compare the pre-processed and the post-processed instrument at the same volume.

Have you ever asked yourself why compressors have a makeup gain? Or why do most of the eqs have a gain output?

3 - Over-processing

This is a very common mistake. I see many times aspiring mixing engineers have endless chains of plugins. It is a good practice to ask yourself: what does this instrument need? How can I achieve it? And develop a strategy from there. Make sure to have a specific purpose before starting processing.

4 - Don't work in the context

Solo is a very useful tool especially if you are trying to compensate for a specific problem. Despite this always remember that everything you do in solo must be checked in the context of the mix.

5 - Do not monitor at different levels

Our ears react differently at different levels. Is crucial to mix at an average level of 85 dB SPL.

It is also crucial to have a general check of the mix:

- at very low volumes: to double-check the relative levels of percussive instruments

- at louder volumes: to feel more the vibe of the song (be careful not to expose yourself for too long to loud music)

Each monitoring level will tell you something different about your mix.


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