Bouncing your mix. It can be really nerve racking – especially if you aren’t sure that it’s actually finished. Here’s a quick checklist I like to use before bouncing down:
- Does anything stick out as being out-of-place? If so, should it be adjusted? (Level, EQ, etc.)
- Is my bass/bass guitar too loud in the mix? (If I mute it, does my entire mix seem completely empty? If so, it’s probably too loud!)
- Can I hear every word of the vocals? (Even at a soft volume, am I able to hear each word clearly?)
- Does my mix have appropriate dynamic range? If not, why is that? (Should I use less compression, remove parts from a section, etc.)
- Have I taken a break and come back to my mix? (If not, do it now and listen to it tomorrow.)
After going through this checklist, I feel that I’m ready to bounce down. This can really help to eliminate the frustration of bouncing down only to hear a problem immediately afterwards.
“2) Use a reference track throughout the mixing process. This will help you to have a point of reference while mixing and can help the balancing act a lot easier. Listen to your reference track (some commercial masterpiece that you admire and that has a similar arrangement to your tune), adjust your mix, listen to the reference track, adjust your mix, so on and so forth. This can really speed up the mixing process by eliminating almost all of the “fixed” bounces.” – deanpalyajr.com
This is key whenever you’re mixing – so be sure to do it! If you are using a reference track along the way, you’re almost guaranteed to come away with a much better sounding mix!
Do you have any other checkpoints you like to tick off before bouncing?