Anyone done before even mixing a tune?

Mixing was the part of producing that I liked the least. Then I bought a mixer and and a few fx pedals and started mixing like dub producers do. This way mixing becomes something intuitive and creative. This approach also helped me to make my tracks simpler and to focus on the important sounds.

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yeah I also try not to over-do it. I focus pretty hard on getting everything to sit together in the mix while I’m writing and creating each sound. that helps a lot. I also used to write with bombastic sounding live drums playing alongside huge sounding synths. that was a hell of a lot more difficult to mix, so it seems pretty simple now. sure my mixes aren’t gold, but they’re fine for who gets to hear them (me, and sometimes friends).

I’m also of the opinion that I’d rather things sound a bit more rough and real than surgically pristine and perfect. but I grew up on punk bands who could barely play their instruments, that were recorded in someone’s basement to a four track, then released on the cheapest, shittiest quality vinyl possible (or manually dubbed to cassettes). so it’s all relative, I guess.

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…oh, that’s THE classic…

…creating a track is the funpart…
…finishing a track is work…

if u avoid the work…u simply don’t work…
and if u don’t work, u can’t call it a living…

totally ok if that’s the case…
but then ALL THIS remains nothing but an expensive hobby of urs…

workflow beats talent…sometimes.
get urself some rules…
like…
u got a loop…u created it with lot’s of fun and right NOW it’s grooving and has some magic…
u created five or ten or whatever how many single sonic elements that, once they run along together, alltogether, make that loop…

what do got there?..4bars…8bars…16 bars…and now u stuck…how to arrage this?
how to make this loop a track…?

see that loop as the climax of the track for now…
now copy it and kik all the drums out…
take another copy and feature only the bass line with some hi hats back in the game…
boring if this version just keeps going until the whole loop comes back?
well then, how about a snare roll upfront and mute the last four bass notes…
wow…we got a break here…some tension…some something…

to get out of the loop but making that loop a track means…pick one element of the loop and dare to play it all alone…call it the beginning…on bar 1…
and now always start again from bar 1…no loops anymore…just regions/clips to place in some following order only u can tell…
add another new elemet of that loop, every 4 bars or whenever u get bored…have a little mute this mute that thing going on every 16 bars ad see where it takes u…

always start listening from bar 1 again…and again…til ur ot getting bored by that loop for the next at least 2 and a half minutes and hey, congrats, u got ur first FINISHED arrangement…
now there’s only final mix AND master left to do for u…
puh…still not done…but way closer…now.
work it out…say to urself…well done…!

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There’s really only one answer for me and that’s focusing on finishing one track at a time, which means leaving sketches and ideas alone, unless they’re really special. So any music-related activity that isn’t creating patches, has to be spent in the project. It gets easier over time.

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Me in a nutshell. I’m exactly like this. Its the same in painting. Unless i complete it in a few weeks i lose interest and start thinking about the next project.

I don’t like to waste time doing the details if I feel the track isn’t that great and worth the effort these days… I’ll just call it a day and move on…
If the track is decent then I’ll put the last 20% in and find it actually can be enjoyable doing the final tweaks and the feeling of it being complete, well as much as possible anyhow

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Yep, exactly the same here. Do as much mixing as possible in the sound sculpting phase, and cant be arsed to spend two weeks mixing a bloody kick drum, hehhehe.

the better the sound selection the less mixing necessary.
Just use sounds that fit together nicely. Don‘t use multiple sounds that overlap too much in frequency range. No need for much equing afterwards

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I loathe mixing because I’m no good at it. But I love the idea that I’m in that phase, because that means I’m starting to see the end of a track I’m working on.

As some have pointed out here, I try to avoid the pitfalls by being careful in the selection of my sounds. If there’s too much work to get a mix right, it usually means in my case my source material isn’t all that good. Combined with my lack of general skills in the area. Killer combo, that is.

yeah sometimes it’s as simple as “I’ve already got a big beefy bass line using a 24db low pass filter synth, if I want a melody in here too I should use a band pass filter synth…” sort of thing. you’ve immediately given your sounds more space to be heard.

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Edit: mostly what has already been said. :laughing:

I’m pretty old school when it comes to mixing and probably my attitude to it, I tend to mix as I go, making sure that sounds work well together by selection and treatment (eq/filtering) and using complimentary sounds - for example if I use a heavy kick then I’ll have a lighter bass, or vice versa. For midrange stuff either avoid frequency clashes or exploit them in an additive way.

I’m not a fan of new school production as a listener or as a producer, I think people tend to get stuck with “rules” like compress everything, side chaining, loudness etc, TBH it bores the shit out of me. I prefer to take a holistic approach and not focus on sounds individually, but the overall sound, that is how most people listen to music anyway.

This isn’t to say be lazy and just throw shit together by playing safe, quite the opposite, but rather to actively listen to what you have and let the music guide you, trust your ears not your eyes.

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cheers

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Makes me wonder why I spent so much of my younger mix days trying to eq by soloing tracks. Unless of course you’re looking for an offending freq and trying to isolate it.

Great advice. Sometimes I just close my eyes and really try and hone in as best I can, become one with the music if you will.

Also as @Unifono stated, try your best to select sounds that compliment each other frequency-wise, or else you get clash / mud and have much more work ahead of you during that last 10%. I think you’re much more likely to have a tune done before mixing stage if you do this.

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…it’s really the same thing everywhere…

first 80% of a track is fun…but it’s far away from ready to hit any point then…
last 20%, final mix tweaks, final overdubs, final mastering, are not really fun in first place, take at least the same amount of time than those first 80%, that fun part, and can be easily exausting…frustrating even…

but once u do, it can be lot’s of fun…and once u did, really polished a track to the end, it can become even addictive…

and hey, u can always come together and find other sonic people u can exchange sonic missions with and to each other…

in most cases, it’s a GOOD THING to have some second opinion, some SECOND EARS…
no one of the “big ones” is doing their finals all alone…
so find someone u can exchange ur files with…

here is my stuff to finish…gimme urs…is always a good step to take…
too many single sonic fighters out there anyways…come together…

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Another thing is to restrict yourself to just a few tracks. Don’t keep piling stuff on top of each other so you end up in a mess, less is more and much easier to sort at the end. Also listen to the music and bring up each track individually and if something is not adding anything or is muddying things then delete it. Make each individual sound as good as it can be and interesting.

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This is good advice. Group as much as possible and process the groups. More top to bottom.

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for me, composing, arranging and mixing are 3 totally different tasks.
my brain just can’t process them simultaneously.

i totally don’t get „youtube tutorial workflow“, where the 1st thing to do is adding kick, and the 2nd is adding a stack of EQing on it.

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gotta say I find the mixdown a relief as at least I am not thinking about the arrangement anymore.

I mean, sure the mixdown will take ages and be frustrating but at least there’s a clear goal, and you just have to keep going until you don’t hate it.

before that you don’t even know what you’re making or how or when it will be finished! At least you know it’s going to be a tune once it’s mixdown time.