|The Neve console in Village Studio A|
Most mixers can hear some version of the final product in their heads before they get too far into the mix because they’ve already heard rough mixes of the song many times during production. Even if an engineer is brought in just for the mix, he'll listen to all the elements several times in order to get a picture of what the final product will be like before he really gets down to mixing.
Until you have a certain amount of experience, you need a few questions to help mold your vision of the mix beforehand. Here's an excerpt from The Mixing Engineer's Handbook that shows that the way to do that is to go back to the six mix elements (balance, panorama, frequency, dimension, dynamics and interest) and ask yourself:
- How do I imagine the final balance?
- How do I imagine the instruments EQ?
- How do I imagine the panning?
- How do I imagine the compression?
- How do I imagine the ambience in the track?
- What do I hear as the most interesting element in the track?
Even if you can answer these questions, you may still not have a full picture of your final mix, but you’ll have at least a general idea of where you're going, which is the first step to a great mix.
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