If you are looking for free learning of audio mixing to start your audio production, considering that you learned the ear training by yourself. Youtube is the number one source for your mixing journey. But, because of the bunch of video tutorials and teaching on different topics, you are now confused, and you don’t understand how it works to create your flow style of mixing. Either you miss the real value of the said tutorial, or you got to use it in the wrong ways. If you are one of these and not sure about what you do, I have a small piece of advice and information for you!
Before you look at any mixing topic on youtube, you’ll need to know the mixing foundation first. Searching tutorials on youtube becomes painless if you follow these sets of steps for you, the way you follow these steps, it will get you closer to what tutorial needs to learn first. All you have is type the keyword phrase next to the magic question of “How to” on the youtube search bar.
Step 1. Find the right Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
If you are planning to learn simple recording, editing, and mixing, or either the complexity of programming electronic music thru midi, you need a DAW suitable handling these situations. From there, familiarize yourself with the workflow and find a basic tutorial on how to organize the tracks by labeling and grouping tracks to be sent to VCA and Bus using Auxes.
Step 2. Prepare your Reference Mix and your Track
Either you have a ready audio track or just inserting the audio, it is essential for the beginner is to have the reference mix inside the working tracks. Use it as a sound guide not only to copy but to become conscious about the right sound of the element inside the stereo field. Make sure your reference mix is in industry-standard and within the same genres as you performing.
Step 3. Set Gain Staging and Rough Mixing
Gain staging is the most important to start before you do panning and balancing, by setting up the gain, you are saving available headroom for the end of mixing and for the final process of mastering. Find a tutorial that caters for the elemental mixing is the key to understand the foundation of mixing. From there, perform the rough balance from drums, bass, and other elements, and assign panning depends on your perspective without any process of plugins.
Step 4. Finding Track Issues and Fix-it on Editing
By listening to your rough mix, be aware of sound issues like drums and bass looseness, unwanted noise like breath, pops, and esses, take note and make a list of possible tasks for editing, from track cleaning to tighten up the tempos. You can find youtube tutorials about tightening bass and drum editing, smoothen the cut and paste editing, etc.
Step 5. Learn EQ
It is the most challenging stage for the newbie, quite hard because analog EQ sound is different from digital EQ. Overall, harshness was prone from digital EQ, very noticeable, especially boosting mids above +6db. If you don’t have years of exposure to recognized bad and good frequencies, you end up in a harsh and unpleasant mix.
Step 6. Learn Dynamic Compressors
The word compress is self-explanatory, which means to maintain the pressure if we’re talking about water or air and tighten and control if we’re talking about sound. It is necessary if you are trying to control the dynamics by pulling up all the quite notes and pushing down the loudest by bringing it in almost the same loudness using plugin compressors. The artist performs with dynamics, it bothers, if you hear popping out notes or vocal phrases in your mix. The solution, learn how to use compressors.
Step 7. Learn Mixing Depth and Spaces
This step needs more focus to spread your elements in the imaginary spaces effectively. These are more artistry comes in with the help of EQ to enhance the light and shades of sound. Musical instruments play with purpose, some are purposely at the background as a pad, and more rhythmic instruments should be on the front. By using EQ, short or long reverb, and delay plugins, you can delegate instruments in their proper place from the upfront to the back to imitate depth and space.
Searching in the right order on youtube makes it easy to understand everything. You don’t need to enroll any mixing masterclass if you follow the steps of searching.
On the next blog, if you still confused about the tutorial that you found, I’ll send you a link that I think the easiest to understand and the best values for the newbie like you to learn from basic to advance.
For now, you can download my free ebook and check how the mixing engineers process the sound inside the mixing and recording studio, how they achieved the best audio recording using the studio standard pattern of making a good sound.
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