I’m you are probably similar to me in the fact that you are always on the hunt for new trick and techniques to help make your mixes sound better. You probably also want your recordings to sound as professional as possible, right?
The only thing is that we blindly listen to anyone and everyone who is willing to tell us what we are so desperately looking to hear. We aren’t looking for what we need to hear, but instead what we want to hear. I know because I am the same way.
What Did You Do To Get That Drum Sound?
Not too long ago I was talking to a friend of mine about a question I see asked a lot on the internet: “What did you do to get that sound?” I often tense up when I see that question because I know the answer they are goin go to get is not what they want to hear.
Basically, how I got that drum sound wasn’t through samples at all. I definitely didn’t use that new and exciting VST plugin. It also wasn’t from the use of some cool EQ techniques. The drum sound came by using a drum that sounded like that. Not every exciting, I know.
Often times, there are multiple snares present for a recording session. Some will sound just okay. You can move the mics around but it usually won’t help. It isn’t until you swap out for the right one that you will fall in love with the sound you really wanted.
Mixing Begins With The Source
For almost all of my reader, the reality is that are probably recording your own music or at the very least, music that you have recorded. If that’s true than that’s great because this advice is going to be right up your alley.
I think that out of all the advice I could give you on mixing, the best would be to record anything and anyone that just sounds plain good. Record good sounding drums, that are in tune and have brand new heads on them. If you record guitars amps, try and fine ones with new tubes and great tone. Try to find acoustic guitars with tones that you already want. Also be sure they have new strings.
We Just Don’t Seem to Do This
Most people reading this probably aren’t doing this even though it sounds super obvious. I know because I never used to do this. I would throw up some mics, push the record button and think that I could make it sound better, later, when I got to mixing.
It must be a disease because I see how common it is when ever I go anywhere or I speak to anyone. We would all rather play with sounds for hours, once they are inside the computer, than take a couple of minutes to record better sounds.
It’s Okay, We’ll Just Photoshop It to Perfection
If you are in the photography world, then you probably see similar problems. A lot of would be photographers will take many pictures without even thinking about getting that perfect picture from the start.
They would rather shoot a bunch of shots and then take them back to the lab to open them up in photoshop? Why is that? Because they want to tweak them create that perfect image.
My fiancé is a pro photographer and she will be the first one to tell you, what separates her from her peers is that the perfect image comes from inside the camera. What happens is that you will get much better pictures in a lot less time.
So What Are You Going to do Now?
So will you believe everything that I just told you? Will you take the advice I am giving you and make better recordings instead of looking for the best mixing tricks?