As I was mixing an EP for a client yesterday, it crossed my mind that I was missing some clarity and definition in my mixes.
They all sounded floppy, boxy, and dull. I just wasn’t feeling it, I guess.
So as I thought about what to do, I decided to try two simple things.
And it blew my mind – my mixes went from dull, boring tracks to clear, hi-def master mixes. Here’s what I did:
I was messing around with a few faders and pulled out all of the reverb. Even though the tracks were supposed to be on the ambient side, there was simply too much reverb. Once I pulled the fader down, my mix started to get clearer and clearer.
This was almost the entire issue – the reverb was taking up way too much space in the mix. It was too loud.
So I turned it down about 4 dB, but it still sounded a little jumbled. Since I knew the problem was with the reverb, I decided to try fixing the reverb sound. By placing an EQ on the Reverb Return Aux channel, I was able to carve out the low frequencies in the reverb.
It instantly cleared up the entire problem with the mix. I added a 3 dB boost at 3 kHz and cut everything below 300 Hz, and the mix instantly got clearer.
Now, there are a lot of reasons why you might be struggling with gaining clarity in your mix, but this is one of the things you can try when you feel like your mixes are just too muddy and dull. Especially with ambient tracks, you’d be surprised what a little EQ on your reverb return channel can do!
Give it a shot in your mix and you’ll be amazed at how much it can really clear up any muddiness!