DJ Distance has been very helpful recently helping me learn about the complex black art of mixdowns. And as we all know, its all about sharing the knowledge. So sit down, open your books and hush - mixdown class for beginners is in session.
Distance says: I'm running Cubase VST 5/32 and using Fostex PM1 Monitors, but most of the below will apply to any software-setup.
1. Get yourself a pair of decent monitors. Tannoy Reveals, Alessis MkII, or Fostex PM1's ( if you have a tight budget). If not then take a look at Dynaudio or Genelec.
I recommend getting monitors a soon as you know you want to take producing seriously, it's very hard to adapt after using Stereo speakers for a long time.
2. Mixdown at a low volume: I used to have it pumpin but this didn't do me any favours.
3. Eq-ing is the key! Give every element its own space.
4. Read up on frequencies, this makes a very big difference & obviously goes hand in hand with EQing.
5. Compress your drums and subbass only if you need to.
6. Before using compressors get some info on them, make sure your actually effecting the sound and not just raising the volume.
Check out the Sound on Sound tutorial.
7. It does make a difference in what order you apply your compression, EQ, delay etc. I usually compress first then EQ.
8. Try getting your head around grouping & bussing.
9. Panning certain sounds can open up the whole mix.
10. Listen to your finished mix in as many different places at you can, it might sound good on £300 pound monitors but if it sound heavy on 5 watt stereo system then you know it aint a bad mix.
Check this good book for all round mixing advice.
know your studio shit? got any more tips about mixdowns? add them in the comments sections...