Final Mix Process
Possible Order of Operations in Final Mix
1) Listen to the song.
2) Do remedial processing work first (dynamics, tonal problems).
3) Create a fader level balance.
4) Use panning to create the soundfield (left-right) balance.
5) Tonal management (EQ within the mix and overall bandwidth).
6) Dynamics fixes, performance, mix movement.
7) Dimension: effects, enhancements, depth, motion, width, presence.
8) Interest: Performance dynamics, breakdowns, mutes, rides.
And finally, as always, keep an eye on those 'levels' - a distorted mix is just not acceptable.
*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 here). 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.
a) Background vs. Featured Instruments
The guitar sounds are blended well with the pad sounds.
b) Is the mix dynamic? Is it static or in motion?
The mix is dynamic.
a) Did the music mix support the lyrics?
Yes. The lyrics are heard well in the mix.
b) Does your mix have an Emotional Impact?
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