december 2013

This session is set up in my preferred track order. The tracks are colored for easy location and organization.

Mitch Gallagher discusses how mixing is about presentation—how the various elements of the music are combined, balanced, and conveyed by the overall sound of the mix.

You can record the best tracks anyone has ever heard, but if those tracks aren’t presented in an equally great mix, they’ll never live up to their potential. I’ve said before that there’s a reason the top professional mix engineers make the big bucks.

Opinions vary on what makes a great mix, and requirements also vary when it comes to different styles of music. For example, a mix for classical music usually strives for totally natural presentation, as if you were in the room or hall listening to the performance. Electronic music, on the other hand, may try to push things in new directions and go against the conventions of other styles. Dance music relies on a strong beat, a heavy bass drum, and throbbing bass to pull listeners out onto the floor. A track by a guitar shredder is going to necessitate focus on the lead guitar. In all cases it’s about presentation—how the various elements of the music are combined, balanced, and conveyed by the overall sound of the mix.

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