Do your mixes sometimes sound like poo?

Guess what? You’re completely normal.

Thinking you should never make bad mixes (especially if you’re just starting out) is like telling my 1-year-old son Owen that he should never fall flat on his face.

It just happens.

He’s getting better at walking. (Heck, he’s trying to “run” now…looks more like a really elaborate way to fall down.) He falls down all the time.

All…the…time…

And you know what? Most of the time he thinks it’s hilarious.

You too can enjoy your crappy mixes.

Here are some ways:

  1. Take note of the things you LIKE about the mix. There’s probably at least ONE thing you did well.
  2. Ask the question, “Could I have recorded these tracks better? Would that have helped me get a better mix?”
  3. Make a list of things that need to be changed. Seriously. Write it down. It’s much less overwhelming when you have a list of specific things to go back and change.
  4. Ask the question, “Am I over-doing it somewhere in this mix?” (Did you compress the daylights out of the lead vocal for no good reason?)
  5. Cheer up! Mix #2 almost always sounds WAY better than Mix #1.

Rather than being bummed out by your latest mix catastrophe, laugh it off, wipe yourself off and go at it again…like a toddler who doesn’t know any better.

It gets better, I promise.

Chances are the majority of the issues are related to simple things like fader levels and EQ.

One bandaid for your mix boo-boo is a healthy understanding of how EQ works.

Stumble on over to this link for more:

www.UnderstandingEQ.com

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  • Naz

    Hey Joe, I just started reading your posts and lots more to read. Great article. I’ve been recording base on what sounds “right” and “good” to me, but after been reading your post, it seems I have got a lot to learn. Not only knowledge wise but gear wise too. Hope to start learning to walk and turn my “poo” recordings to sound better…

  • Andrew

    Very cleverly creative article. I love it! =)

  • Bob Sorace

    The only time falling flat on your face ISN’T funny is when you’re trying to walk through the house in the dark and trip on one of the kids toys! Everyone else thinks it’s funny though don’t they?

    Yeah, ha ha laugh at the guy reeling around in pain on the ground in his underwear, very funny indeed…

    Great post Joe!

  • Joe, your son’s behavior should be an inspiration to us all…lol If you fall, laugh it off, get back up, and try again!

  • Hi Joe,

    Great tips! this helps a lot of people to know the inner secrets of EQ and many many home studio buddy’s find it difficult to sculpt their mix. Joe, i feel that its a must they all SHOULD BUY your UNDERSTANDING EQ , its really really worth every cent.

    -Baba.

  • Ben

    So very true Joe.

    I listened to some old mixes of mine a few weeks back… and thought.. WOW they are crap. How awesome to think that 🙂 Shows that I have grown my skills.

    I have just finished mixing an EP that I am very proud of – my best work yet. Heres hoping I listen to these mixes in 12 months time and think they are kinda average.