The Mix Styles
Here are some ideas about how to approach each style of mix. Use these pointers as a guide:
1. Pop (Radio) Mix
1) There should be lots of sonic contrast and separation
2) The mix should be bright, but warm
3) Keep the vocal(s) on the "dry" side and keep it "in your face"
4) Remeber the somewhat narrow dynamic range of broadcast radio
2. Club Mix
1) Lots of drama here. Build your song to a dynamic climax
2) You want a hard and fat rhythm section so people don't lose the beat
3) Feel free to add techno-ish overtones with a house flava
4) Make me move
3. Alternative Mix
1) This has got to have a fat, warm bottom end
2) Make sure the Bass/Kick combo is clear
3) You want that "big" snare sound
4) Go for lots of depth but with the vocals out front
4. Psychedelic Mix
1) Move your sounds around. Get lots of motion and depth in the mix
2) Go for syrupy, drippy vocals
3) Create a "wall of sound" on the bottom end
4) Don't make the mix too bright. You want warm and airy
*Use this list to help you focus on your mix. When you answer these questions, keep in mind the style in which you have mixed the song. A track with little dynamic range may be the wrong choice for one style but the right choice for another mix style.
Song Selected: ____________
Mix Style: ___________
1) Select Your Song and Mix Style.
We have detailed four distinct mix styles for you to choose from (see above). You are to pick the song, then pick the mix style and get busy mixing in that style.
(a) How would you describe the overall mix's Bandwidth?
@125 Hz / +2.5 dB gain / Q = 6.3
@1 kHz / +4.0 dB gain / Q = 8.0
@ 5 kHz / +6.0 dB gain / Q = 5.6
@ 250 Hz / +6.0 dB gain / Q = 8.0
@ 2.5 kHz / +7.0 dB gain / Q = 7.0
@ 5 kHz / +4.0 dB gain/ Q = 6.3
(b) How would you categorize the mix's Frequency Response?
Low: Bass, Kick drum
Low-Mid: Vocal, Toms
Mid: Vocal, Snare drum
Mid-High: Vocal, Guitar
High: Hi-hat, Ride Cymbals
(c) How would you describe the Tonal Integration (the blend) of individual sounds?
Bass: Bottom frequencies were killed. Mid frequencies were raised.
Vocal: Presence and Mid range were raised.
Guitar: Hi range was raised
(a) How would you describe the overall mix's Dynamics?
The overall mix's dynamics are 'Narrow'.
(b) Are your Mix Level changes smooth or choppy?
(c) How would you describe the individual instruments' dynamics within the mix?
Drum: The dynamics are Wide.
(d) Are there any Performances or Tonal changes that you have made jump in or out in an unnatural way? Why?
We set very high compression on the vocal to make 'pumping' effect.
(a) How are the mix levels?
(i) Vocal/Music balance
Vocal 1: -4
Vocal 2: -7
(ii) Drums/Instrument balance
Drums: -3 ~ -4
5) Sound Field
(a) Is the mix in Mono or Stereo? If in mono, why did you choose it?
(b) What did you Pan, how far to the left and right and why?
We set the pan narrow in order to make radio mix.
6) Panoramic balance
(a) Is your left/right mix balanced (width)?
(b) Is the front/rear balanced (depth)?
We set the depth a little shallow in order to make radio (pop) mix.
(a) What effects did you use? On what instruments?
We used Plate reverb on the vocal.
(b) How/where were the effects placed within the mix?
Chorus effect was placed on guitar a little.
(c) How were the effects integrated within the mix?
Those effects integrated within the mix made the song sounds smooth.
(d) Do the effects enhance or detract from the mix?
The effects enhance the mix.
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