I know, I’ve been quite hardcore with the title of this post.
It’s just to catch your attention on the topic, I don’t think your mixes suck, at least not before hearing them.
I’ve also listened to a lot of demos from beginner producers that were sounding pretty good.
But if you think your tracks suck from a mixing point of view, here are few potential reasons for that:
- You need more practice: practicing is rule number one. It takes months or even years to get enough experience to be able to hear what works and what doesn’t in your mix. Referencing to other tracks is a good way to learn and objectively judge your mixes. But also this takes time to learn. Don’t rush it.
- You are over complicating your mixes: a good mix starts with good quality sounds and level balancing. Before using tons of plug-ins to saturate, compress, eq, brighten up, stereoize, warm up and whatever else you’ve seen in other tutorials, make sure your sounds have the right level in the mix.
- Your room sounds bad: if you add to lack of experience a bad listening environment, you have the perfect recipe for an awful mix. If what you listen to isn’t what is actually playing, you can’t take good mixing decisions.
In this post I wanna briefly face this last topic. How do you solve the problem?
The first step is trying to reduce the reverberation in your room. Absorbing panels 5 to 10 cm thick, are good to absorb down to 200 Hz.
In the following video you can see how I sound treated my older studio.
Below that value, you would need way thicker panels or other types of absorbers.
Another problem, which is even more annoying, are room modes. Room modes cause build-ups or cancellations at some very specific frequencies (especially low frequencies) and depend on the dimensions and shape of your room. These can also be solved with absorbtion, but when it comes to lower frequencies it is not a cheap fix.
That’s when SoundID Reference by Sonarworks can help.
SoundID Reference is a calibration system which consists in measuring with a microphone how your room responds to frequencies and then applying an EQ to your output to compensate for those problems.
I can tell you it made a HUGE difference in my studio, and now I can’t live without it.
SoundID Reference can be used also to calibrate your headphones (yes even high budget headphones aren’t as linear as we think). The company measured the response of hundreds of headphones models from different brands so that you will find your model among the presets.
Last week I run the measurements in my new studio and made a video about it. So if you wanna know my thoughts on SoundID have a look.
Last year I made another in-depth video about SoundID, so if you are not sure if trying it or not, have a look also at this video as well.
To understand some of the room acoustics basics, our friend Durosai made a very good video on the topic.
I just shared on Patreon Constratti’s sample pack.
I neatly organized and inspiring pack where you can find drums, percussions, basslines, pads and FX to get a creative boost while making music.
Here is a reel I made showing a bit of what’s inside.
If you are reading this post later than July 2023, find the pack on my website.
FROM THE WEB
1 – How bedroom producers made music in 1990
In this YT video, a very nerdy overview of the Amiga Sampler, a cheap sampler from the 90’s that allowed young producers to make music without having crazy expensive machines. The guy also comes up with some crazy good demos.
2 – Opal by Fors (Max4Live)
This Max4Live synth/sequencer is so powerful and interesting I am about to buy it. It is like having an Elektron machine in the box. Have a look at this video.
MUSIC OF THE WEEK
Here I share what I’ve been listening to lately both from the house music world and from every other genre.
I will keep feeding this section of my newsletter, with the hope you enjoy it.
1 – HOUSE/MINIMAL HOUSE MUSIC
Didn’t have much time for digging lately so I will share this from my collection:
Primitive Urges Vol. 3 (Bandcamp)
2 – OTHER GENRES
Point Sensible – Malik Djoudi (Spotify)
I simply like this kind of chill vibe. I also love french.