Mix Critique: How to Improve Your Mixes

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A video of a recent custom mix critique by David Glenn. Get your own custom mix critique with any Pro tier of David’s in-depth mixing tutorials: http://mixingverb.com and http://mixingdrums.com

Transcript Excerpt:

So, let’s give a listen to yours.

[song plays]

Okay. Let’s come out here with some vocals.

[song plays]

Okay, cool. I had another note there.

Alright, man! So there’s that. Then here’s Chris Tomlin’s mix.

[reference plays]

And there’s a big pause…

[reference plays]

I’ve got Lecrae coming in with some good stuff, man.

Okay, so you hear the difference. It’s pretty dramatic, but at the same time, I think we can do some stuff to tighten your overall frequency range, the stuff going on… I’m going to give you some tips for – I hear some pumping in the limiter, so I want to talk to you a little bit about that as well, but I think that you’ve got good balances. You’ve got some great stuff going on.

Let’s get in and try to take this a little bit closer. The first thing I want to look at, is I’m not sure if you’re doing much referencing when you’re mixing, but I highly, highly recommend it.

I’m going to do an EQ match, but before I do that, I’ve shown this a couple times in some of my other videos, and you being a member over at The Mix Academy, I know you’ve seen me do this, but I can’t stress it enough, man. This could really, really help you out.

I’m going to throw this – actually, let’s put this right there… I’m going to throw this down to like, 30Hz, and I’m only going to listen to your track at 30Hz, then we’re going to check out Tomlin’s.

So, those of you listening back, and then Matt, if you’re listening to this, some good headphones or a system with a sub, or if you’re listening on monitors in a good treated room, you’ll hear this sub stuff going on, but if you’re on a laptop or a phone, you probably won’t hear this stuff.

Here’s the sub region on Matt’s track.


Okay, kinda cool.


And then on Tomlin, you can hear it’s a little more leveled out and a little more compressed. Things are pretty – I don’t want to say flat, but they’re nice and smooth, nice and tight.

Alright, Matt. So you’ve seen me do the EQ trick on my stereo buss – actually, the master fader, but for those of you guys watching back that haven’t seen it, what I have is in my mix session, I’ll have everything going to a set of busses I kind of adopted from the Dave Pensado, All Drums, All Vocals, All Music, Low End, High End, All FX, different groups… sometimes All Guitars, it just all depends.
But those pre-stereo busses go to my stereo aux track called the sub-master, which is my stereo buss. The stereo buss thing goes to the main outs – the master fader.
The reason why I do these stereo auxes is because then I can have my reference track solo safe’d, going out to my main outs, and then say this is my stereo buss right here. That then meets it at the master fader, but all of the processing goes to the stereo buss, and not the main outs.

I hope that makes sense. If not, I have a whole course on that called the mix series. It talks about session workflow and all of that good stuff. We’ll have the link in the description below, but just to kind of help catch you up, this is how I’m able to help reference, and this EQ here controls both of those.

Once again, let’s take a look at this, because Matt’s seen this, but for those of you that haven’t, I’ll take an EQ, it’s typically the Pro-Q2, and I’ll just go up the frequency range here.

So here’s 35 and below.

[35Hz and lower]

And then now I’m going to click over to the reference track and check out 35 Hz and below.

[reference lows]

More power, right? So, there’s a lot more going on. I checked Matt’s track, and he was at about a -8LUFS or RMS level, so it’s mastered. This is a mastered track.

So anyways, moving on, we can then pull this up and hear Tomlin.

Let me hear Matt, pull it up a little more.

[alternating between reference and Matt’s track; filtered]

Nice. And we can make our way up. For me personally, once I get to about 100 or 150, what I’ll do is I’ll add a low-cut/high-pass filter, and I’ll do the same thing, but now, I’ll take these two bands and link them, so I can hear everything except for the subs, and really just focus in on 100-200, 100-150, whatever you want to do to taste. You can sit here and have a blast with it.

[alternates between reference and Matt’s track; filtered]

Okay. Then we can just keep sliding up.


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