jrmasteringsmall

audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the 15 common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting these music mixing mistakes could greatly improve your audio mastering results. 
 
 
I'm not going to get into advanced mixing techniques in this article, but I will mention a few basic solutions for the most common music mixing mistakes I see daily (in no specific order).
 
I want your music to sound the very best it can. And if you follow these tips they will greatly improve your audio mastering results.  And hopefully, you'll use JR Mastering when you're ready to master your CD project!
 
#1 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - WRONG FILE TYPE!
What To Submit - .WAV File - 44.1 or 48khz / 16-32bit (preferably 24bit) OR .Aiff file
No one wants (or needs) to work with a HUGE 1GB 96khz file.
 
 
#2 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Plug-Ins On The Stereo Out (Main Out)
If your songs are going to be mastered, NOTHING should be on your stereo/ main out. No limiter, no loudness maximizer, no EQ, no spectral enhancer.  This is my job in the mastering process. I set everything where it needs to be based on your style of music. Then you tell me if you feel it needs a little more a less of something, and I'll adjust as necessary.   I don't need you to partially master the song for me.  Most of the time when a client tries to do this, they go way over on several sonic qualities.
 
 
#3 Common Music Mixing Mistakes -  The Songs Peak Too High Or They Have No Dynamic Range
 
 
#4 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Very Bright Mix Or Tinny
Roughly 25% of the mixes I get in, the client cranks up the high-end EQ or overuses a spectral enhancer, thinking they're getting that clear professional radio quality sound. This mix will never make a great master because it's already much brighter than it needs to be.
 
I'm not saying you shouldn't EQ your mixes at all, just remember a slightly dull mix can be turned into a great master, but an overly bright one can't.  If you think your mix is too bright, it probably is. 
 
When I have to cut a lot of high-end EQ, the song loses its sparkle and clarity. It also prevents me from using frequency phase correcting tools. I'm not saying you shouldn't EQ your mixes at all, just remember a slightly dull mix can be turned into a great master, but an overly bright one can't.  If you think your mix is too bright, it probably is.
 

#5 Common Music Mixing Mistakes -
 Tracks Not Ready For Mixing
Tracks not synced, fades, which effects to use, how much compression, etc. is covered on this page -
 

#6 Common Music Mixing Mistakes -
Using A Bad Mastering Engineer
I had to throw this in here.  Ha!  Too many people, for whatever reason, choose a mastering engineer that is either inexperienced, or pretty much a corporate straight up cash scam.  Go with an engineer that has worked with over 7,500 clients, treats your music like it's his own, and delivers fast amazing results.  ME!!  Thanks for checking out my low rates!  I'll do an amazing job for you!
 
 
#7 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Bass Is Too Loud Or Boomy In The Mix
35% of the hip hop songs I get in are very bass heavy, they go over 0 level, have no dynamic range, and are usually distorted too. The big bass you're looking for is added in the mastering process, along with a boost in overall song volume level.  There's no need to make your bass super loud during mixing.
 
Mixes that sound dull are actually good for mastering!  Listen to the BEFORE mix samples on my before and after samples page. Notice how the mixes are either average brightness and bass, or dull (slightly muffled). This type of mix allows me to put it where it should be.
 
 
#8 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Mixes Not Checked At High-Level
During audio mastering, most (if not all) songs are going to be volume boosted to some extent.  This magnifies whatever is in your mix.
 
Many times a client sends me a song mix that's very low level, maybe -8dbs to -12dbs headroom.  If it's a decent mix, the audio mastering results will be very good. But what usually happens is when I crank up the volume real loud, the song mix is super bright.  Way brighter than a commercial industry standard song.  Sometimes the song is a trainwreck when cranked up loud.
 
Why is this so common?  Since the song was mixed and monitored at such a low volume level, the sound engineer can't tell what it will sound like when turned up much louder.
 
Solution - If your songs were mixed at a low level, you must crank up your system volume output loud to hear how it sounds, and then adjust your mix as needed.  If it's unbearable bright or has super bass that runs over the entire song, you have to correct this. 
 
And I repeat, If you think your mix is too bright, it probably is.
 
 
#9 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Boomy Vocals
Problem - The vocals are too boomy and interfere with the kick and bass clarity.
 
Solution - Roll off the bass in your vocals. Use a high pass filter on your vocal track anywhere from 150hz-300hz. Move around in that range to see what sounds best.  Unless you're singing like Barry White, you don't need that low frequency in your vocal track.
 
 
#10 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Vocals Simply Too Low In Volume
I would say 50% of the rock songs I get in, the vocal volume is too low.  Maybe 25% when it comes to hip hop.
This is a common technique in rock music since many times the singer is poor and tries to hide his vocals under the music.  If I can't understand HALF of what you are singing, this is WRONG! 
 
You don't know how many times I've pointed out this error to a client, telling them I honestly can't understand HALF the vocals in the song.  I couldn't even guess them.  And the reply, "Oh, that's ok.  We want the listener to have figure out some of the vocals?"  REALLY?  I can see a few words, but how many songs on the radio have you heard where half the vocals are impossible to understand?  The answer is NEVER! 
 
Probably the worst song I've ever heard on the radio, maybe 10% of the words were tough to understand.  And many times that was because of a phrasing irregularity, not the vocal volume level being -5dbs too low.
 
 
#11 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Noisy Tracks Or Noisy Song Mix
Problem - There's a constant low-end hum or high-end hiss on an instrument track. This track noise eats up space, slightly clouding up the entire song.
 
Solution - Listen through your entire song for noise. Sometimes the cause is a mic being boosted to loud during recording or an instrument gained or boosted to high. Find your noisy tracks and either eliminate them, or EQ high or low pass filter them.  Or use a noise gate.
 
Noise/hiss is easily noticed at the beginning and sometimes at the end of songs when instrumentation is low (or has ended). It's not as noticeable when the meat of the song is playing, but that noise is always present and is slightly clouding up your entire song. 
 
 
#12 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Kick Drum And Bass Guitar Are On Top Of Each Other In The Same Frequency Range
Problem - Both the bass guitar and kick drum are in the same low-frequency range (50hz-75hz). They're washing (phase canceling) each other out and one or both can't be heard very clearly.
 
Solution - When you initially arrange your songs, you have to decide which instrument will be in the low-frequency 50-75hz range (usually the kick) and which will be in the mid-low 100hz-250hz (usually the bass). If the kick is low, then the bass needs to be mid-low (and vice versa) not both in the same frequency range. This is just the basics.
 
Note - This is more of an "arrangement" problem than it is a "mixing" problem. You have to select the right instruments in the correct frequency ranges in the first place.
 
 
#13 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - High/Sharp Instrument Becoming An Annoyance
When mixing, remember that after I master your songs, they'll be a lot louder and clearer. There's no need to make higher frequency instruments (synth, violin, chimes, etc.) real loud.  These bright instruments don't compete with too much in the mix, so they have no problem cutting through.  Many times the sound engineer doesn't factor this in and mixes them in too loud.
 
Remember, if these instruments are still too bright after mastering, you can upload a new adjusted mix and I'll swap it out at no extra charge.
 
Solution - If the Sss sounds in your vocals is the least bit sharp before mastering, it will be unbearable after mastering. Apply a De-esser to your vocal track if needed.
 
 
#14 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Vocals With Sharp Ssss Sound
If the Sss sounds in your vocals is the least bit sharp before mastering, it will be unbearable after mastering.  Crank up you mix loud and apply a De-esser to your vocal track if needed.
 
Note - The good thing about a de-esser is it's pretty much non-destructive.  If you were to use it moderately on a vocal track and really didn't need it, it won't affect it much because there's no Ssss problem for it to fix.
 
 
#15 Common Music Mixing Mistakes - Properly MASTERING Your Song
If you've made it this far, you pretty much know how to MIX your song properly.  Now you need to know how to MASTER your own music properly.

 

 

If you enjoyed this article like, share, tweet, or pin it!  Thanks!


My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

How To Correctly Set Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it!

 

#1 Best PC Desktop Computers For Music Production And Recording In 2017

PC Computer For Music

Looking for the best PC desktop computers for music production and recording in 2017 for your DAW home recording studio?

Out of all the components in the home recording studio, your PC music laptop computer is one of the most import choices you'll have to make!

 

15 Common Music Mixing Mistakes I See Daily

audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the 15 common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting these music mixing mistakes could greatly improve your audio mastering results. 
 
 

#1 Best Music Recording Software For 2017 DAW Home Recording Studio

In this article, I will discuss the best music recording software and best music production software for your DAW home recording studio in 2017.

 

#1 Best Audio Interfaces For 2017 DAW Home Recording Studio

best audio interfaces
 
Looking for the best audio interface for your DAW home recording studio in 2017?  An audio interface is another essential part of the DAW home recording studio.
 

How Much Headroom Before Mastering Should I Leave?

mastering headroom

How much headroom before mastering should you leave in your mix?  Here's the correct amount of headroom you should leave, using detailed graphic examples.

 

#1 Best Midi Music Keyboards For 2017 DAW Home Recording Studio

best music midi keyboards

Looking for the best midi keyboard or music keyboard for your daw home recording studio in 2017?

 

How To Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

#1 Best Vocal Microphones For 2017 DAW Home Recording Studio

vocal microphone

Looking for the best vocal microphone for your DAW home recording studio in 2017?

Out of all the components in the home recording studio, microphones offer the most choices and opinions on which ones are the best.

 

#1 Best Studio Monitor Speakers For 2017 DAW Home Recording Studio

Looking for the best studio monitor speakers for your DAW home recording studio in 2017?

The are quite a few choices when it comes to studio monitor speakers. This article will help you choose the best set for your needs.

 

Best Free Redbook CD Burning Software

Yes, burning your own redbook master CDs is very easy!  Here's how to make your own redbook CD masters for free!
 

How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do.

 

How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing

prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

Best Music Gear For Your DAW Home Recording Studio in 2017

best gear for daw studio

What's the best music gear for your home recording studio in 2017?

 

Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?

Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.
 

What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ

 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

 

Looking For The Best Hosting For Your Website?  Under $4 a month!!
http://BestMusicHosting.com

amsbannerbottom2

Go to top