How Do Your Tracks Relate To The Mix?

When it comes to mixing music, one thing that I learned fairly quickly was that your individual tracks will sound different, or appear to sound different once they are listened to in relation to the whole mix. A guitar, drum or other instrument might sound pretty bland or crappy when in solo, but might sound great IN the mix. Conversely, an in-your-face, seemingly grand sounding track might be opposite of what the mix needs.

 When I first started mixing music I had a hard time getting my guitar tracks to sound right. The biggest reason was the fact that I had sold all my amps and pedals for a POD X3 Live(I’ll talk about why in another post) and began using POD Farm for all recording purposes. POD Farm is awesome, but it took me a bit of time to learn the program and get my tones where I wanted them to be. Eventually I realized that the tones I thought sounded week and small actually sounded great once I listened to them in the mix. I wanted them to sound like an amp in a room, but they’re a modeling amp over headphones! Once I placed them in the mix, properly EQed them and cranked it, they sounded awesome!

The point I am making here is that many times the tracks you record will sound different in the mix than they do in solo. Many times you will need to create your guitar tones, synth tones and other sounds with relation to the entire mix. Once I realized this it became much easier for me to nail down a tone quickly and have it fit the song and overall sound I was after.

I’ll be doing an in depth review of POD Farm in the near future. I think it’s a tool many folks are turning to in this digital age. Not everyone can afford $3000 worth vintage amps and effects. The modeled amps might not sound exactly like their real life counter parts, but many of the models are extremely close, and many others sounds fantastic. Anyhow, stay tuned for the review. Have a great week everyone. Cheers!



One thought on “How Do Your Tracks Relate To The Mix?

  1. An area of my recording life that has bemoce too complicated is my inability to keep things simple, as Joe mentioned. Because I tend to be overly cautious and want as much variety as I can get during the mixing phase, I tend to over mic guitar amps sometimes. On my last session, I had a Rode NT-1A off axis, a Shure SM57 pointed directly at the cone and another SM57 angled 45 degrees at the cone (because I saw a youtube video of someone who suggested it). Needless to say, I had 3 tracks for each guitar part, which included a rhythm guitar, lead guitar and a guitar solo that kicked in before the outro (totaling 9 guitar tracks!). Mixing this was more of a headache, as it was time consuming to eq, set proper levels and panning. The end result was not too bad, but I had to spend a lot of time on it. Rather than having a vision and trying to achieve that goal, I was distracted by unnecessary tracks and trying to play around with them.