My whole family has been sick in one way or the other for the last 2-3 weeks.

(And by whole family, I mean my wife and me…somehow Owen has super-immunity and doesn’t catch what we have…awesome.)

Anyway, I’m not sure if this last thing we had was the flu or not, but we were pretty miserable. And it might have been worth it to get a flu shot to prevent all this sickness.

Being sick is pretty miserable.

Having sick mixes can be potentially more miserable (because sometimes you’re not sure there’s a cure).

So here are 4 ways to give your mixes a much-needed flu shot:

1. Mix Bus Compression

Yes, you can over-do it with this, but if you’ve NEVER slapped a fader across your mix bus and compressed the entire mix, you should give it a shot.

And if you already use compression on your mix bus, try a DIFFERENT compressor. Go for one you wouldn’t normally choose and see what happens.

2. Quick Re-Mix

If a mix is giving you fits, maybe it’s time to scratch things and start over. Only there’s a twist.

Use “Save As” to create a new session. Delete all plugins and automation. Turn all the faders down.

Set a timer (your cell phone should have one) for 1 hour. And MIX.

Pace yourself. After 60 minutes you need to have mixed every track in the song.

Will the mix be amazing? Maybe…maybe not. But forcing yourself to work quickly makes you focus on what’s important. And you may find a solution to a few of the mix problems you were having, simply by making quick, snap decisions.

3. Do a COMPLETE Mono Mix

Wait a second…before you skip over this. I’m not saying mix in mono first and then flip back to stereo. I’m saying do a complete mix in mono. Don’t use ANY panning…not even at the very end.

Get good at this, and your stereo mixes will jump out of the speakers and kiss you on the face.

4. Mix Swap

Maybe you need a fresh set of tracks to work on. Find a buddy to swap tracks with. You mix his song, he’ll mix yours.

(I’ve been doing this with Graham Cochrane lately. Stay tuned for more on that.)

Well, that should be enough for today. Just pick one of ’em and go to town on it. Your mixes will get that much-needed shot in the arm.

Okay, okay, one more…

BONUS TIP #5 – Learn How to Become an EQ Master

This one’s easy. Just mosey on over to:

www.UnderstandingEQ.com

…and grab a copy of these videos for yourself. Within a couple of hours, you’ll be well on your way to better mixes.

Stay healthy!

  • Your tips are all good Joe. But NEVER get an actual flu shot. They hardly ever work, often have a nasty side effect ov giving you a version ov the flu! And for the elderly they are a subtle form ov euthanasia! So beware and take care!

  • ChrisPorro

    these are all great ideas man.

    i’m meaning to do a post related to your first point. using buses. one thing they do is change the signal processing order. instead of compressor then summing they are flip flopped. i suspect this changes the sound. it’s something i overlooked for a long time. but i was reading a wallace interview and he was talking about all the submixes he uses and i thought….hmmm.

    quick mix is a great idea too. get’s you to start making instinctual decisions. wallace does the basic mixes very fast usually.

    and mono mixing. i always start in mono. first it’s a check on phase issues. second if there is little masking in mono the stereo mix will only sound better.

    hope you guys feel better soon. school started for us and our kid will probably expose us to the bubonic plague any day.