I mentioned in a recent e-mail how one of the keys to mixing effectively is to simply know what you can and can’t accomplish in a mix.

I want to expand on that a little bit today.

There are plenty of things you can do during mixing to drastically change the sound of some of the tracks. The key word there is “some.”

As I’ve mentioned before, you can’t take a poorly recorded track and magically transform it into a really great-sounding track. It just doesn’t work that way.

However, if a track has some minor flaws, there are lots of tricks you can employ to make it work for you in the mix. You have to be careful with this line of thinking, though. I have come across many more tracks that I can’t fix than ones that I can.

Here are a few examples of things you can’t fix:

* an out of tune guitar
* an out of tune piano
* poor vocal tone
* a really weak kick drum hit
* a timid bass part

Just to name a few.

If you want to get better and faster at mixing, know when you can and can’t fix something in the mix.

To see a few great examples of how I take less than perfect tracks and make them work for me in a mix, check out the latest weekly video for my VIP members over at:


Joe Gilder
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