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Striking the Perfect Balance

So you’ve been mixing for hours, and you think you’re just about ready to bounce down and wrap it up.

You give it a final listen through and bounce to disk – ready to listen to it tomorrow morning.

But as soon as you listen to your perfect mix the next day, you realize – “wow, there are some real problems here!” It’s not a good feeling.

So you go back into your session, fix the two most obvious flaws, and bounce it again – only to take it out to the car the next morning and hear three or four more problems. This can go on for days, weeks, months, years…

There are actually ways to prevent this – here are the guidelines I use before bouncing to make sure this doesn’t happen to me:

1) Never bounce down after you’ve been mixing the track. Always put off the bounce for at least a day so that you can come back and make the final tweaks and adjustments. This will save at least 1-2 extra bounces, and a lot of frustration.

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.

3) Listen on different systems before bouncing down. Use earbud headphones, good headphones, studio monitors, your computer speakers – anything you can play your un-bounced mix through. This is going to give you a good idea of how your mix will sound after you bounce and listen to it on different systems.

So try it out – and start learning from the pros as a member. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your skills improve.

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