I led the music at my church this past weekend.

We did a “stripped-down” acoustic set. I say “stripped down,” but there were actually 8 musicians playing. We had percussion, bass, cello, violin, keys, acoustic guitar, and two vocalists. (I played acoustic guitar, too.)

My wife commented afterwards that it sounded really good. Particularly she said she couldn’t necessarily pick out the individual instruments in the mix, but everything sounded like one cohesive “sound.”

So the math looks like this:

2 singers plus 6 other musicians = 1 sound

That doesn’t always happen, whether live or in the studio.

People focus so much on having “separation” in their mixes, but I don’t think that’s nearly as important as creating ONE sound out of all the tracks.

It’s like cooking.

When I eat a piece of cake, I really don’t want to taste the egg and flour separately. I want it to taste like cake.

It’s the same with mixing. While you do need to address the individual tracks, the ultimate goal is to combine them together in such a way that creates a single “moment” of music.

My latest mix is a great example of this. It’s one of the songs from my upcoming album. We’re mixing it next month over at Dueling Mixes.

It has a lot of tracks, but when you combine them in the right way, they just sound huge. They fit together like a puzzle.

If you’re not a member of Dueling Mixes yet, check out this HSC-exclusive “Sneak Peek” video I put together for you.

You can access it for free here:


Joe Gilder
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