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HOW TO START MIXING A SONG

February 7, 2020

Desk for online mixing and mastering

CJ JACOBSON

You Just Finished Recording All The Tracks to Your New Song, Now What?


After staring at the DAW for a few minutes, you realize that you have no clue as to ware you should begin mixing the song and defining the sound for your mix. It can be a daunting task if your mix has 30 to 80 tracks in it. Throughout the years of mixing and mastering music. I have come up with a way that helps me organize all the tracks and mix the song without feeling overwhelmed


Organizing All The Tracks Are The Key


The best thing to do is to define each instrument group into different sections and put them in track folders, so each group has its own folder. Most digital audio workstations (DAW's) have some sort of a way to group tracks together, like track folders that are in Cakewalk by BandLab.  


An example of how to group the instruments together:

  • Drums/Percussion
  • Bass
  • Guitars
  • Keys/Piano
  • Strings
  • Brass
  • Synths/Pads
  • Vocals (Lead and Background)



Starting To Mix The Song


I like to start mixing in the order i put the instruments in groups above and I always put them in the same sequential order for all of the songs I mix. I always start mixing the drums and then I go onto the bass guitar. They are the backbone of every song. I think its the most important part of the song if you ask me. If you do not get the rhythm section sounding right and tight, then no matter how good the guitars and vocals are, the song will never sound right. The exact opposite can happen, you can have an amazing drums and bass (Rhythm section) and a mediocre guitar and vocal tracks and you still can have a kick ass song. That fact alone tells you how important the drums and bass guitars are to every song.


When you start mixing a song using the techniques i listed above, you will be amazed on how orderly and fast the mix starts to take shape. Organization is the key, as it is everything in life.