Fixing My Mixing – Finally Making Progress

The book and link I posted earlier today are the two resources I’ve used to solve the Mystery of the Muddy Mix.

Here is a list – on what made the biggest difference:

  1. Microphones – I switched microphones around and figured out what is best and where. I use an NT1A and SM57 on my guitar amp cabinet. The SE VR2 and SE7 didn’t cut it. I use an NT1A and Royer R10 for vocals. The two SE7’s will work for miking my mandolin and VR2 for voice and maybe mandolin.
  2. I try to use as few plugins and effects as possible. I have been way over doing it for two years
  3. I concentrate on the mid tones and mix with my cheapie cell phone speaker in mind. If I can hear all tracks clearly, then I’ve succeeded. If it sounds good enough on my crummy cell phone, it will sound great on a better system
  4. While I record using two mics per track, I always mute the lesser of the two. This also cuts the Number of tracks in two. This really helped a ton – the mix gets much cleaner and crisper
  5. I turned my monitors to have low cut set and favoring the mids
  6. I thought my EQ settings needed help, but the mics were much more important
  7. I had treated my room acoustically, but I don’t think that made a huge difference because my studio is tiny
  8. My favorite Arturia Piano patch emulated an old upright piano, complete with the banging of the keys. That really created weird thuds in the mix. I switched to one that doesn’t include that thud
  9. I set two mics to low cut, but that doesn’t seem to necessary, given the other things listed above
  10. I ordered Yamaha NS-5 speakers and a single Avantone Mix Cube. The judge is out on this one. I suspect the Mixcube will be a serious surprise hit.

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