Course 34: Mix 201A

When you’re working with digital mixing, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. That includes a digital-to-analog converter, cables, speakers, and paying attention to the room you’re in. But the most important part of your monitoring system is you: your ears and your ability to listen objectively. By paying attention to all the elements of your system, you can make sure your mixing decisions are based on good information, not just personal taste.

Have you ever wondered why some recordings sound amazing while others fall flat? The answer lies in the acoustics of the studio. Audio engineers understand the importance of a great room and many would even argue that it’s the most important piece of equipment in their arsenal. Pro studio monitors, unlike their more consumer-oriented counterparts, are designed not to sound pleasing, but rather to be neutral. They are meant to reveal problems in the audio, rather than to gloss over them with a smooth sound.

Just like studio monitors, it’s important to invest in professional-grade headphones for the best results. While some consumer headphones may be marketed towards producers and beat makers, they simply won’t cut it in terms of quality. Sure, checking your mixes with a variety of headphones, including inexpensive earbuds, is useful. But when it comes to actually mixing, you’ll want a good set of over-the-ear headphones.

You’ll also learn the dynamics of mixing, including the Glue Compressor and Gate, and cleaning up, organizing, and developing a plan. Your assignment will be to grab a previous track you’ve been working on and run through everything you are learning in this course.