The Most Important Mixing Skill

Daily Blog - June 30th 2021

There is one mixing skill that is more important than everything else. It seems trivial, but most people struggle with it.

The Most Important Mixing Skill


Balancing - It's 80% of your mix.

Balancing means choosing a level for each track in the session and balancing them all against each other. That's it. 

Sounds simple, right? Yet so many people get it wrong. Most people, actually.

Before you ever worry about EQ settings, compression, saturation or effects, make sure your balance is right. Make sure everything is exactly as loud or quiet as it's supposed to be. 

Start with a static balance, choose a pan position for each element and then ride the faders or a simple gain plugin and record that automation until every part and all the transitions throughout song feel right.

If you then insert plugins, make sure you keep your balance intact. Proper gain staging is key. Always compensate for any volume changes.

This actually starts in the recording process (check this post: Keep The Faders At Zero), but it's absolutely vital for the mix.

If you can master this skill, your mix will be almost there. 

And it will be better than most mixes out there. If you get it wrong, no trickery and no piece of "mojo" gear can hide a bad balance. The foundation of your mix will be lacking and it will not feel right, no matter what you do.

Are you able to create a mix that feels great, using only faders and pan knobs? If your source tracks are usable, you should be.


PS: If you're looking for an amazing community to get feedback from and provide your own expertise for, check out The Self-Recording Band Community. It's 100% free and can be the growth accelerator you've been missing all the time.

PPS: Downloading one of our free guides and joining our email list is also a great way to connect with your peers, as we will invite you to events and keep you in the loop about what's going on in our community. We just had an amazing video meetup last weekend and together we helped 5 people improve their recordings, arrangements and mixes by listening and giving collective feedback live on the call. Join us now!

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