Have you ever played your music to your mum?
Has she ever commented how the snare sounded? Or the top end of the bass amp? Or the ping pong delay that your solo has? Nope. Because 99.99999% of the people who listen to your music care about only one thing – what the song makes them feel.
However – a poorly mixed song will prevent the listener to connect with the melody, the singing, the beat. Once your song sounds as good as everything else on the radio – only then it starts competing as a song.
Mixing is science and an art. It’s science because there are certain psycho acoustical realities that will cause your mix to sound good or bad. For example if you do not clear up the bass frequencies of tracks that don’t really need bass frequencies (think tambourines, solo guitars, high pitched synth sounds, backing vocals) your mix will be so heavy in the low end – it will sound muddy and be lacking in excitement. Or if you don’t have enough low end it will be piercing to the ears and tiring to the listener pretty quick.
However it is an art form as no two mixing engineers will produce the same sound even though they follow the same basic guidelines. Even the same engineer will not produce the exact same sound had he mixed the song twice on different days. What sounds “good” is highly subjective and this allows for variety and personal touches to the music.
Basic tools such as EQs or compressors or reverb might seem to have a “right” setting – but what most people tend to forget is that these tools affect the emotion of the song tremendously. You can make the same drum recording sound punchy and exciting or tamed and solid to allow it support some other exciting element. These are all decisions that need to be made with the artist to achieve their unique vision.
What worked for Led Zeppelin 40 years ago, what worked for Green Day 25 years ago and what works for Bruno Mars today – might not work for you. Your music is your own one of a kind voice – and needs to be treated as such so the final piece of music is both original and as much as engaging as the previous song on the radio.
Contact me to start the discussion of how we can get your music to the next level right now.