Mixing music is quite often a thing of personal taste – while some like to have crispy highs (and loud HiHats and Cymbals), others prefer a more bassy sound. But why is it still a bit muddy or muffled (or too tinny)? Here are five quick tips that can help your mix – plus one quick look at a picture showing how not to do it:
Everyone has his favorite instruments, plugins and production tools, that can range from pretty basic stuff to weird things that just make the difference. So I thought I write about five of the effect plugins that I use all the time (not totally weird ones 😉 ) and basically can’t live without. Of course I can only talk about the specific plugins I’m using, and what I like about them, but you’ll find similar effects from other vendors as well, and I’m sure there are also a lot of great free ones out there. Oh and I don’t mention basics like compressor, reverb and delay here 😉
Don’t you hate that: You know the song you’re just hearing but can’t remember the title or who the artist is. Well, you’re not alone – and there’s a big amount of songs that most people recognize, but don’t know the title, let alone the artist’s name. “Popcorn” probably is the perfect example: Everyone knows the bouncy melody, but who can honestly say, who recorded it? Some might know the version by Hot Butter – but that’s not the original…
If you’re discussing music and sound design – especially with a group of synthesizer fans (or should I say “synth nuts”) – you often hear a strong sentiment against the usage of presets. They say to avoid them like the plague. But are presets really all-out evil?
Rises, stings and transitions are a stable in modern film scores – especially with movie trailers, tv promos and reality shows. They make dramatic string crescendos and finales even more dramatic and epic. They underline the superhero flying over your head with a big SWOOOOSH. And although the sounds and plugins used for this usually sound good already, they often don’t deliver that full sound you might want.
But with a few little tricks you can make your rises and transitions fuller and more piercing in the mix.
Not all famous artists write their songs themselves – but there’s a lot that do. And although I’m really interested in the “who wrote what”, there’s of course many where I don’t know that they were written by somebody else. Shame on me, I only discovered after his death, that Prince wrote The Bangles’ “Manic Monday”.
One of my favorite synthpop bands are Pet Shop Boys, and although I knew the obvious songs they wrote for other artists like Liza Minelli (“Losing My Mind”) and Dusty Springfield (“In Private”), there are more songs besides the big hits, that they wrote and not always recorded themselves later.