There are two ways to reduce the track: with strategy, and without. While the second option will be a more fun, interesting and fascinating approach – in 99% of cases everything ends with the project being re-assembled. Here are five ways you can focus and choose the right track mixing strategy.
1. The “rhythmic” approach
This is a true and classic approach to focus on the artistic elements of the track. Start the project with drums and percussion. Make the most dense and surround sound (the foundation of the track). Correctly mixed drums are 50% of the work on the mix. Once the rhythm section has been assembled, start pulling out the rest of the instruments. The big advantage of this approach is that you build the sounds of the instruments around the base of the track.
2. The vocal “pyramid”
This is a general approach that starts with the “coordination” element (very often it is vocals). You get a radiant transparent sound from your vocals, and then you begin to line up the rest of the instruments around it. Thus, from the main sounds that play an important role – you go to those that play a secondary role. Thus, it is convenient to build a logical chain, and highlight the necessary sounds. An important advantage of this approach is that you can highlight the most important elements and put them at the forefront.
3. Reduction “from bottom to top”
A less common but very effective approach is to start mixing from your low bass elements and build the mix vertically. The idea is this: immediately you can mix deep bass (808), sub bass, and everything that is in the lower frequency range. Then go to the barrel (it is slightly higher in frequency than the bass). Then the working drum (it is higher in frequency than the barrel), and thus the instrument after instrument rises to hats and crash. The big advantage of this approach is that it makes your equalization decisions transparent and well laid out in the project. Each instrument will be in its place, and will not compete with other sounds.
4. Gradual correction
This approach is not mutually exclusive of the above approaches. Basically, the idea is that you take your time to create the perfect sound. That is: listen to the mix, and put the “crutches” in those or other moments.
For example: you leave the live sound of the guitar, but when the bass comes in, they begin to compete and buzz. It is at the time of the entry of the bass – put the fader of the cutoff frequencies on a live guitar. Thus, you glue them in frequency, and thereby leave the live sound of the guitar in solo sections. When you finish this stage, you can leave the work with the faders, and do a full mix of the track.
5. Create space
The idea is that before you work with the instruments in frequency, the first thing you do is fill the track with space (reverb, delay, fx). Immediately build the whole idea of spatial processing, then track how it sounds and where the most problematic areas are. Then you begin to correct these areas, making complete cut-offs of frequencies and technical intervention in the sound.
It should be noted that this approach is not suitable for genres where artificial / unreal / diverse space (pop, EDM, Rap, Hip Hop). This approach is useful only for those styles that want a more natural sound and atmosphere (jazz, classic rock, indie rock). The advantage of this approach is that you create full stereo sound from the start.
Having a plan from which point A to get to point B will prevent a huge amount of headache, and in practice it will give a cleaner sound than mixing at random. Which approach do you prefer? Perhaps there is one that we have not included in the list. Feel free to send your information methods to us in private messages. If you have any difficulties, or you need high-quality professional sound, you can always order mixing and mastering in our studio by placing an order on the website.