Group mixing ended with a bang, as we completed my cover of Ballad of A Thin Man ( psychedelic electronica mix) and made some progress on another classmates house mix. Thinking back over the last few weeks here are three of the main principles I got out of Level 2.
1. Reference Tracks - Using reference tracks gives you a target to meet or exceed. By having the reference in your DAW you can keep checking that you're hitting the sound you want. We were able to match our reference tracks in many cases which gave us a superior mix.
2. Organize - put your stems in order by instrumentation, color code them, set your overall stem volume levels, group/stack the percussion, synths, other instruments and vocals. Setup your returns with various reverbs and delays. This way you can focus on the mix not dragging plugins all around or having to do housework in the middle of the creative work.
3. Watch your Levels - The only way to insure you will submit a workable track to your mastering engineer, is to keep your levels at least -6 to -12 DB under 0.
Next week we start Mastering.