Fig. 1. Ground Zero, with the mixer “zeroed” out and no plug-ins, panning, or processing applied.

A proven mixing method.

Over the past few installments of “Guitar Tracks” we’ve cleaned up our tracks, organized them, and prepared them for mixing. Now it’s time to get started making those tracks into a finished mix.

I like to begin my mixes by pulling all of the faders in the song down to silence, except for the master output fader and any submix buses, which are set to “0 dB.” All pan controls are centered. No plug-ins are inserted. Any EQs or compressors built into the DAW mixer are set to a neutral setting and bypassed. We’ll call this Ground Zero.

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