How To Prepare For A Professional Mixing Session

US Grammy-winning mixer Dom Morley shares advice      23/08/23

How To Prepare For A Professional Mixing Session

Dom Morley has a fantastic pedigree in the world of mixing - having worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Adele, Dionne Warwick, Jeff Beck, Morrissey, Richard Ashcroft, and many more. In the linked article, he writes about how to prepare for a professional mixing session - sharing some of his top tips, to get the best out of your time, resources, and personnel. Here's an extract:

Everything In Place
Your first task is to gather all the things you need. You do this first, and don't leave anything until later, because you'll want these resources at your fingertips when you're in the middle of a focussed part of the process - searching for a file can knock you out of the deep concentration that you need. Obviously you need to gather all the files of the track that you're mixing, but you should also have the last rough mix that was done before the end of the recording stage – this is a good signpost to show you where the balance should be. If you're mixing for someone else then you'll hopefully have some notes, so make sure you know what they say, and also some tracks to use as a reference when you're mixing. It's a good idea to find out why those reference tracks have been chosen as well – is it the vocal sound or the drum sound that they love on the first track they've mentioned, for example?

Clean And Neat
Get your audio sorted. I find it way easier to navigate a session if the drums are at the top, then the bass sounds, then keys and synths grouped together, then guitars etc. You may well have a different process, and the order you put them in only matters in that it needs to be the most obvious to you, so you can navigate around the session quickly without losing time searching for tracks. Any time you spend doing boring things like that is a drain on your focus. 

You should also do any cleaning up that's necessary at this stage. The vocal can often be the worst for this, with headphones spill, clicks and pops etc. Mixing is like a magnifying glass, showing up the little noises that weren't noticed in the recording phase, so this is the last chance to clean all of those out as they'll just drag you down if you've already started focussing on mixing.

Read the full article here:

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About the author [midierror]: midierror makes nifty Max For Live devices, innovative music hardware, award winning sample packs and hosts a podcast speaking to people in the music world.

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