What if I told you that I recently mixed a song where I (gasp!) didn’t use any plugins on some of the tracks?

You might be thinking to yourself, “Okay…big deal, Joe.”

Well hang on there, cowboy.

Think about the last song you mixed. Visualize it in your mind for a second.

Do you see a plugin on every track?

Busted. 🙂

See, the problem we run into in the studio is that because we have all these amazing digital tools at our disposal, we mistakenly assume we need them on every track.

But on this last song I mixed, there was a ridonkulously good guitar solo. I started to do my normal EQ/compression routine on it, but everything I tried just took away from the sheer awesomeness of the solo itself.

When I removed the plugins, it went back to sounding awesome again.


There were other tracks in the mix where I went for a more minimal approach, too. For example I didn’t compress the kick drum OR the snare drum.


Well…not if you listen. I think they sound great.

Just goes to show sometimes simpler is better.

If you want to hear this mix, watch a video about how I mixed it, AND take a stab at mixing it yourself, then pop on over to:


and become a member.

This month’s song is a lot of fun to mix.

Trust me. 🙂

To keeping it stupid simple,

Joe Gilder
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