Elevate the clarity of your mixes with our indispensable guide.
One of the biggest challenges when mixing is making your track sound spacious and open, especially when there's quite a lot going on. There are some fairly simple steps that you can take, however, that will help you achieve just that. I'll break it down into five areas.
First and foremost: filtering. I use filters on almost every element in a mix. For example, I really want to have only the kick drum and the main bass sound occupying the bass frequencies of my mix, so everything else needs a filter on it. Even if a sound is only really audible in the upper mids, it's highly likely that there's some low-level bass in there which needs to be filtered out. Otherwise, you end up with a couple of dozen elements with 'hardly any' bass frequencies in them, and then the clarity and punch that you originally had in your kick and bass are gradually lost in a cloud of subtle rumbling. This applies to the top end as well. If you're introducing an element to your mix that doesn't need brightness or 'air' on it then put on a low-pass filter and leave that space in the high frequencies for the instruments that need to shine there.
I know filters are present in your EQ plug?ins, but I think it's good to talk about these separately — even if...