Lesson 23: Mix 101

Now that all the individual parts of your song are in place, it’s time to turn your attention to mixing. The mix is what pulls all the elements together into a cohesive whole and gives your song a polished, professional sheen. You’ll adjust levels to achieve the right balance of instruments and vocals. You’ll apply EQ to shape the tone of each track and the overall mix.

Effects like reverb and delay are used to create space and depth. Compression keeps dynamics under control and ensures a consistent volume level. Once the technical aspects of the mix are in place, you can make additional creative choices about panning instruments or spotlighting certain parts. With practice and careful listening, you’ll be able to create a mix that does justice to the song you’ve crafted.

This step is referred to as “mixing,” and although it may not seem as exciting as creating a melody or working on a rhythm, it is a critical element in producing a quality end result. During this process, you will take a good hard look at every aspect of your song and determine which elements are essential and need to be brought out through various technical methods like adjusting levels or adding effects. With proper mixing, you can ensure your track will sound its best.

There are also technical aspects of mixing and how much your computer can handle. This includes RAM, processing speed, the power of your CPU, and more. Your assignment for this course will be to continue working on your song, keeping in mind what you’ve learned during this and past courses.