The Ultimate Guide
to Incredible Mixes
Sick of Bad Mixes?

Try this proven system that shows you exactly how to cure those embarrassing mixes and start making the best music of your life.
Dear Fellow Musician,

I never meant to get good at mixing. Heck, I didn’t even know what mixing was. Back in high school I wrote eight cute little songs and recorded them. I knew nothing about mixing, EQ, compression, and effects. All I knew was that my little system had an echo effect, and I put that sucker on everything.

The final mixes were somehow both muddy AND harsh. They weren’t nearly as loud as anything else I listened to, but I sold a bunch of copies to those sweet folks in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Small-Town Kid Gets His Music Played on the Radio

Fast forward a few decades, and things have changed. I’m still writing and releasing music (over 50 songs on Spotify/Apple Music, just search for Joe Gilder), but now my music sounds like the stuff I hear on the radio. In fact, in 2016 I managed to get one of my songs on one of the most popular radio stations here in Nashville (Lightning 100).

Anyway, I don’t write all this to brag. I write it because if a kid from a small town in Mississippi can release great-sounding music from a home recording studio, SO CAN YOU.

Maybe you’ve got great songs. Maybe you’ve got a knack for recording and producing, but your mixing skills aren’t quite there yet. You need some help.

Hey, my name’s Joe Gilder, the guy who’s been running Home Studio Corner since 2009. I want to help you get better mixes. (And I can, I guarantee it.)

You Don’t Need a Bunch of Extra “Stuff”

It’s natural to assume that you need to shell out some serious cash to buy all the hardware and software you need to produce pro-level mixes.

The truth, of course, is this:

You can get great mixes RIGHT NOW using the equipment you already own.

How do I know? Because I’ve mixed hundreds of songs using the simple stock plugins that come with my software. Songs like these:

Like what you hear? Keep reading, because I want to share my simple system with you.

Can anyone learn how to mix?

Absolutely. Just like learning to ride a bike, kick a soccer ball, or play guitar, it may come more naturally to some people over others. The variable in whether you become great isn’t your DNA or even your upbringing. It all boils down to your ability to LEARN and PRACTICE.

But you need both. All learning and no practice makes you like that guy who could tell you everything there is to know about the guitar but can’t play a single note. On the flip-side, all practice and no learning means that same guy might spend all day practicing a chord that doesn’t exist. (It’s a stupid example, but you get my point.) You need to make sure you’re practicing the RIGHT stuff. Learn from someone who has gone before you, THEN practice what they teach you.

Without both sides of the coin, you’re doomed to either a head full of useless knowledge or countless hours spent chasing your tail trying to get a good mix.

While I would LOVE to be the one to teach you, even more than that I want you to find SOMEONE who can mentor you, even virtually. YouTube is great, but if you keep reading you’ll see why I have a solution that’s a better alternative.

“Are you going to teach me exactly what settings to use when I mix drums or vocals?”

Nope. I’ll do something even better.

Let me ask you a question. If suddenly you got very sick and had a choice between two doctors, who would you want: the one who memorized all the treatment plans for all the diseases? Or would you want the one who truly understands the inner workings of the body, disease, and how to fight it? Of course, you’d want the second one.

If I were to give you exact settings to use on a vocal track, for example, that would be completely useless. No, rather than giving you a pointless exercise in memorization, I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom. What do I mean? I will show you how to THINK about mixing, how to APPROACH your mixes in a way that yields better results with less tweaking, and how to develop a PROCESS that virtually guarantees great results every time.

Sound too good to be true? It isn’t.

It’s how I’m able to mix a song in just a few hours and get results I’m proud of. And you can do it too.

How long should it take me to mix a song?

Some people mix songs in 1-3 hours. Some people take days. There’s no “proven” time period. What I can tell you is that developing a more efficient process will allow you to finish mixes much faster than you normally do.

Why is that good? Because the more mixes you finish, the better your mixes will be. Finish mixes in 4 hours instead of 8, and you’ll be able to mix TWICE as many songs over the same time period. That means you’ve just fast-tracked your timeline, shortened the distance between where you are now and where you want to go.

The key is SIMPLICITY.

Sometimes you need crazy complex solutions in a mix.

More often than not, Dr. Occam wins.

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest solution to a problem is usually the best solution.

There are a lot of people who want you to think mixing is super complicated, that you can’t possibly do it on your own, that you need to hire a pro or buy a huge plugin bundle or upgrade to $10,000 gold-encrusted studio monitors powered by a tiny nuclear reactor.

The truth is you’re probably OVER-mixing your songs.

You’re doing too much. If you can find a way to restrain yourself, your mixes will instantly improve.

Go try it.

Seriously, bookmark this page, go to your studio and pull up a mix you’ve been working on. Count how many plugins you’ve used. Now cut that number in half and try to mix the song using ONLY that number of plugins or less. Go ahead. I’ll be here when you get back.

It changes a lot, doesn’t it? It changes how you approach the mix, how you think about it, AND the mix sounds better. Why? Because you’ve managed to avoid over-mixing the song.

Was that your experience? If so, keep reading.

Even the Pro’s Make This Mistake

We home studio folks aren’t the only ones susceptible to the dreaded tendency to over-mix. Famous engineer Bruce Swedien wrote this about mixing Michael Jackson’s album Thriller:

“I did 91 mixes of ‘Billie Jean’, and finally Quincy [Jones] said ‘Let’s go back and listen to mix number two.’ And we did, and it blew us all away! I had overmixed that song right into the pooper, so the mix that went onto the record was mix number two.” (Source: Sound on Sound, Nov 2009)

Perhaps they needed to go through all 91 mixes to realize that #2 was the best one. But I bet Bruce was much less likely to go overmix the next song after all the time they spent (i.e. “wasted”) on those unused mixes.

Don’t think you’re immune to it. Bruce pointed out that mixing is about making gut decisions, and oftentimes those initial gut decisions are the right ones for the mix, but it’s hard not to keep doing more and more.

Just like sometimes a good song only needs a piano and a vocal track, you’ve got to learn when to leave the mix alone.

So it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to mix a song. What matters is that you know when you’re mixing and when you’re OVER-mixing.

How do I know when the mix is finished?

You’ve probably heard cute little saying like:

“Mixes aren’t finished; they’re only abandoned.”

“The mix is finished when the deadline arrives.”

While there’s certainly some truth to the idea that there’s always SOMETHING we could tweak in a mix, we’ve already seen the dangers of over-mixing. That means we need to develop the ability to call a mix “done,” even when there may still be some imperfections present. (Sometimes the imperfections are the best part, by the way.)

So how do you know when the mix is finished? You need a system. While “winging it” can be fun, and it feels more creative, I’ve had far more success using a very specific system to help me determine exactly when the mix is finished. It means backing myself into a corner, giving myself a specific set of rules to follow, but it works.

The Need for a Mixing System

I know, I know. You’re a creative person. You don’t like to be boxed in. You don’t need a system, you’ll just “feel” your way through the mix.

But the truth is you DO like boundaries and systems. You need them. We all do.

Every time you perform a song as a musician, you are agreeing to confine yourself to a system, a fairly strict, rigid system as a matter of fact. You must follow the tempo. You must follow the chord changes. You must exclude most of the notes on your instrument and play only the ones that fit the key of the song. You must balance yourself with the other musicians. You must adhere to the song structure and arrangement. You get the picture.

We NEED boundaries in order to do our best work. That’s why over-mixing is so insidious. It gives the illusion that you are “making progress,” when in actuality you’re running in circles, chasing your tail. You need a system that pushes you through the process of mixing a song and demands that you finish.

It’s the only way you can say you make music — by finishing it.

It’s the only way you improve your skills and get better — by making and finishing music.

We inherently know this is true when it comes to learning to play guitar. It takes practice. But we assume we’ll be able to get pro results on our very first mix. It’s not reasonable.

And mixing is far more complicated than playing guitar. There are thousands of decisions to make. You need a system that helps you identify the right decisions to make, make those decisions, and move on through the mix until the mix is finished.

I’ve put together a package of training materials that will help you effortlessly develop your own mixing system, a system that will help you consistently pump out incredible mixes for the rest of your life.

Let me tell you a little bit about it…
The Ultimate Guide to Incredible Mixes

The Ultimate Guide to Incredible Mixes is a system of resources that will give you everything you need to start cranking out better mixes immediately.

The system is broken up into the following 8 courses:

Understanding Mixing
Understanding EQ
Understanding Compression
Drum Mixing Guide
Vocal Mixing Guide
Mixing & Mastering “Fighter EP”
Speed Mixing
Mix Practice

These components give you both the training you need (to better understand the concepts and strategies of mixing) along with plenty of practice material to “work out” those mixing muscles and start to see improvements.

Here’s what you can expect from each component…
Understanding Mixing

Understanding Mixing sets the foundation for the entire system. In the five core videos, you’ll learn a 5-step system for mixing that guarantees you’ll see better results as soon as this weekend. In addition to the core videos, you’ll have immediate access to several walk-through mixing tutorials, where I guide you through the mixing process step by step. You can even mix the song along with me on your own system.

With Understanding Mixing, you’ll learn:

How to organize a mix session
The difference between busses and sends (and why it’s important)
How to schedule your mix sessions so you stay fresh and excited
How to transform the sound of your drums with just a click of a button
One-step trick to better, deeper bass guitar tones
How to prevent hours of spinning your wheels with EQ (by one simple 30-second technique)
Why (and when) plugins could be the worst thing for your mix
A challenge you should give yourself every mix to see instant improvements
The one thing you can do that will have a bigger impact on your mixes than the fanciest plugin bundle
How the “bucket approach” to panning will simplify your mixing decisions and make your mixes sound wider and better
The single most common problem I’ve discovered after doing over 150 mix critiques for my students (and how to solve it instantly)
How to become certain and confident in your decisions about setting levels
When to start using plugins
An easy way to identify what to work on next in the mix
A simple strategy to help prevent levels from getting out of control
3 game-changing mix tips
Four reasons a very simple change to how you start your mixes will change your world
How (and why) to mix in mono
Mistakes to avoid when mixing drums
The “snap secret” to mixing drums
3 keys to a jaw-dropping bass track
3 EQ extremes to avoid when mixing guitars
Dealing with muddy guitars and harsh vocals
A common (and huge) reverb mistake
Understanding EQ

You cannot expect to produce consistently great mixes without learning how to wield an EQ plugin with confidence. Equalizers are fairly easy to understand, but they can be a pain to master. With Understanding EQ, you’ll learn strategies for how (and when) to use EQ to get the best results.

You’ll learn…

What the various knobs on an EQ are, what they do, and (most importantly) how to use them to get great results…FAST
A simple (but ridiculously powerful) change that had a HUGE impact on the low end in my mixes
The safe (and highly effective) approach to EQ-ing ANYTHING
A secret technique that will instantly improve your ability to hear and recognize different frequencies
A quick and easy way to set up your EQ to minimize confusion and maximize results (or…how I mixed an entire album by cutting my EQ options in HALF)
How to EQ with confidence instead of randomly turning knobs in hopes of a good sound

Included with Understanding EQ:

Core EQ videos
“My Go-To Frequencies” Training
Multi-Tracks to the song used in the videos
PDF Cheat Sheet with all my EQ settings from the videos

What people are saying about Understanding EQ:

“I’ve been following the blog for a few years now, and I bought and went through your Understanding EQ course at least three to four times now, get something new out of it every time! Especially the ear training excersises! Love those!”

Matt Howard from California

Understanding EQ is what made me what I am today. One of my best investments ever. Thank you, Joe.”

Aaron Nkosi from South Africa

“The quality of my work jumped up instantly (after YEARS of plateauing, and listening back to hear all my earlier work sound like I recorded it in a cave). So I recognize (and have experienced) the potential growth that taking action can bring!!”
Damon Fadjo, from somewhere in the US 🙂
Understanding Compression

Once you’ve grasped EQ, it’s time to get a handle on her partner in crime: compression. Compressors aren’t terribly intuitive, but you’ll need to become a compression master if you want to get incredible mixes. With Understanding Compression, I’ll show you:

What compression is and how it works
What all those knobs on the compressor are for (and which ones you need to pay close attention to)
What compression sounds like (and how to hear it)
How to know WHEN to use compression (and when to NOT use use it)
A simple process you can use every time you reach for a compressor
A real-world mix session featuring only compression plugins

In addition to the core videos, you’ll get:

Multi-Band Compression Explained with Ian Shepherd (from Production Advice and Home Mastering Masterclass)
What’s the Deal With High-End Compressors? with Ronan Chris Murphy (from Recording Boot Camp and Ronan’s Recording Show)
Understanding Limiters – Bonus training about what limiters are and how to use them
Understanding Gates & Expanders – These tricky tools are like the exact opposite of compression, but they’re powerful nonetheless
How to Maximize Volume With Compression (specifically, how to compress spoken-word audio)

Praise for Understanding Compression:

“Joe, loved your Understanding EQ and Understanding Compression videos. I record and mix much better because of them both…Thank you.”
Jeff G. from Ohio
Drum Mixing Guide

Drums are a fickle beast. Typically made up of anywhere from 4 to 14 tracks or more, they act like a single instrument, yet they include lots of individual sounds.

I’ve honed my approach to mixing drums over the years, and in this series I teach that system to you. And guess what? It’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. The system is simple yet POWERFUL. If you want punchy, killer-sounding drum mixes, this series will get you there.

This series includes a number of multi-track drum files to download and mix along with me, as I show you different drum mixing techniques and how to use them to get the most out of YOUR drum tracks.

Vocal Mixing Guide

Vocals are so critical, they deserve their own series of videos. The lead vocal is arguably the most important component of the entire mix. Do you have the confidence you can make it shine like it needs to? If not, don’t you worry. This series will get you there. I’ll help you:

Get the vocal to sit well in the mix, to not be too loud or too soft
Make the vocal punch through the mix, just like you always wanted it to
Make the vocal to sound warm without being muddy
Tame the S’s (sibilance)
Determine when to use automation and how much to use
Deal with certain pesky frequency ranges (100-500 Hz, 2-4 kHz, for example)

In this series I’ll walk you through several different vocal mixes, featuring both male and female vocalist. You’ll also get bonus training on How to Mix Background Vocals and How to Mix A Cappella Vocals. Vocals for days!!

Mixing & Mastering “Fighter EP”

Once you’ve gone through the courses above, you should be feeling more confident in your abilities as a mixer, but you still need some guided practice. That’s where the Mixing & Mastering “Fighter EP” series comes in.

In this series of videos, I will walk you through mixing an entire 4-song EP from start to finish. You can mix it right along with me. When I’m finished, I’ll show you how I MASTERED the EP as well. This is one of my favorite video series I’ve ever created, and it’s the perfect way for you to put in the practice and see more and more improvements.

None of my over-the-shoulder mixing videos are scripted, and that’s intentional. I want you to see me work through a mix, make mistakes, go back and fix them, move forward to the next thing. That’s real life. That’s how you get better, learning how to fix enough problems until the mix sounds incredible.

Speed Mixing

This one is for you if you’re feeling adventurous. In this fun series, you and I try to mix an entire song in just one hour, 60 minutes. While I don’t always mix songs in an hour, I occasionally challenge myself (with a timer and everything) to mix a song in under an hour. You’d be AMAZED what you can do under that kind of pressure. It’s intense, for sure, but something happens and your brain shifts to another gear. It’s wild.

In this series, I do a series of one-hour mixes, going back over the footage with you afterwards to help you understand my process and how I was able to do everything in under an hour. You’ll get the tracks as well, so you can take your own 1-hour challenge.

Remember — The way you improve your mixing skills is by first learning the right techniques and systems, then by finishing mixes over and over again. This course will help you get faster at finishing mixes, which will speed up your mixing progress dramatically.

Mix Practice

Mix Practice is the final stop on the Ultimate Guide to Incredible Mixes. With Mix Practice, you get immediate access to a library of over 50 songs to mix. These are songs I have recorded and released over the years, and I add new songs whenever I release them.

If you don’t have a lot of material to use to practice (and show off) your mixing skills, Mix Practice gives you that in droves. Pick a song you like, download the tracks, and mix that sucker.

Rinse and repeat as much as you like. Some people like to mix entire albums or EP’s. Or perhaps you want to pick and choose. Either way, the more mixes you complete, the better your mixes will get. (Are you noticing a theme here?)
Will this make my mixes better?

The likely question on your mind, of course, is this — “If I invest in this program, will it actually make a difference? Will my mixes improve?”

The answer is an emphatic YES.

If you go through the material and put in the time and practice, your mixes will noticeably improve.

If they don’t. If your mixes aren’t completely transformed after going through this program, you have up to ONE YEAR to request a refund.

Try It Out For a FULL YEAR

If you’re smart, you won’t blow through all the material in a weekend. You’ll methodically and systematically go through the material over the next few weeks and months, applying what you’ve learned along the way. If you turn around 365 days from now, and you don’t feel you’ve improved your mixes dramatically as a result, just shoot us an email, and we’ll issue a full refund.

Seriously.

If I’m going to make big claims, I’m going to assume all the risk as well. There is literally no risk to you whatsoever. Take your time, work through the material. You have a full year to decide if it was a good investment for you.

The Key Word: INVESTMENT

That’s the key word here, right? This is an investment in yourself and your studio. Chances are you have already invested thousands of dollars in your studio already – microphones, instruments, audio interface, cables, speakers, headphones, software. Doesn’t it make sense to spend a small portion of that studio budget on making sure you get the most out of that equipment?

That’s what I’m offering with the Ultimate Guide to Incredible Mixes. It’s a way to maximize every other studio investment you’ve made. Your mixes will sound better without needing to purchase one more plugin bundle.

So, how much is the investment?

You’ve probably spent more on a single piece of gear in your studio than you’re going to spend on this program.

Seriously, what’s the last piece of gear you bought? A microphone? A guitar? Have you ever spent more than $1,000 on a piece of equipment for your studio? I know I have. How do you justify a purchase like that? Especially when perhaps home recording thing is more of a hobby than a career.

One word: PASSION. You are passionate about creating and sharing music. It’s why I first picked up a guitar as a kid. It’s why I own multiple guitars today. It’s my passion, and I happily invest in my passion. But I always want to be smart, and I need to know that my investment is worthwhile.

Well in my humble but terribly biased opinion, The Ultimate Guide to Incredible Mixes is a no-brainer investment for you.

Why? Because you get access to 8 incredible courses, any one of which could change your life.

And it’s Only $347.

Not $70,000 on a 2-year audio program.

Not $30,000 on a 4-year college degree.

Not even what you would spend on a decent set of speakers or a cheap guitar.

But this investment? It’ll pay HUGE dividends. And remember, it’s all guaranteed.
Choose Your Bundle
Regular
$347
All 8 Courses
Understanding Your Room Course
Custom-Recorded Mix Critique
1-Hour Private Coaching Call
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Advanced
$497
All 8 Courses
Understanding Your Room Course
Custom-Recorded Mix Critique
1-Hour Private Coaching Call
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Deluxe
$697
All 8 Courses
Understanding Your Room Course
Custom-Recorded Mix Critique
1-Hour Private Coaching Call