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How much mixing is too much mixing?

July 5, 2011

I’ve recently been exporting samples from recent sessions so that I can show people what I’ve previously done on my audio page. Listening back to these mixes, I’ve found that there’s some things which I’d like to change on them and I even made a few adjustments before whacking them up on here. I changed a really clicky kick drum and tamed it a little bit and took out some of the low end on the other as the master was way too boomy.

Despite me really taking my time with these mixes and getting (what sounded to my ears) a perfect mix, I’ve found that you can really over-mix…. a mix. For the Parkway Fires guys, I actually resorted back to my original mastering project instead of the more tweaked projects I’d made due to me not being happy with them. The same thing happened with my old band, The Friday Finish, I tried to match the sound of the kick drum exactly to Jimmy Eat World’s “Bleed American”, but from doing so I over-hyped the kick drum making it really irritating which was only accentuated in the master.

In this day and age, we have too many options to consider; as with what DAW we should choose, what interface(s) we should buy, what plugins we should include in our amoury, what mics we should have, etc. With these choices, we don’t make decisions and stick to them. It’s so easy now to make continuous adjustments to projects because we’re never really satisfied with the results. 30-40 years ago, this was completely different  for the engineer, choices were far more limited and they would have to live with these results.


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