Finishing a Mix – The Secret to Moving On

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You’ve probably been through something like this with your mixes.

You start mixing and make a pretty big improvement the first day. Then you set it down, knowing that there is a lot more to get to.

You pick it up again and are ready to keep working. You make a big step forward, but it’s not quite as big an improvement as you saw the first day.

After many sessions, you start seeing smaller and smaller improvements in your mix. It gets to the point where you’re moving things by 1dB, then questioning whether or not that was the right move.

This is a problematic way to work – you won’t get anything finished! That’s why you need to work this way – you’ll finish more mixes and have an easier time doing it. Let’s take a look:

Set a goal for each mix session.

This is the first step towards successful mixing. If you sit down to a mix without a goal for it, you’ll work until you’re tired of working. However, you won’t get as much finished.

The beauty of setting mixing goals is that you force yourself to actually finish them and call them done. For example, if my goal is to mix the drums during a mix session, there’s a 99.9% chance I’ll walk away from the session with completely mixed drums. This is not to say it can’t change once you see how it fits in the mix, but those changes will most likely be small tweaks.

Set a deadline for the mix.

This is the most important step in any mix process. You must have a deadline. Otherwise, you’ll enter “tweakville” and probably won’t be leaving any time soon.

No mix is perfect. There, it has been said. Now that you know that, go out and finish your mixes. Giving yourself a realistic deadline is the best way to get a great mix and avoid entering mixing limbo.