Before we get into the actual mechanics of mixing, it's important to have some perspective on how this art has developed over the years.
It's obvious to just about everyone who's been around long enough that mixing has changed over the decades, but the why's and how's aren't quite so obvious. In the early days of recording in the 50's, there really wasn't any mixing per se since the recording medium was mono and a big date used only four microphones. Of course, over the years recording developed from capturing an unaltered musical event to one that was artificially created through overdubs, thanks to the innovation of Selsync (the ability to play back off of the record head so everything stayed in sync) introduced in 1955. The availability of more and more tracks begat larger and larger consoles, which begat computer automation and recall just to manage the larger consoles fed by more tracks. With all that came not only an inevitable change in the philosophy of mixing but a change in the way that a mixer listened or thought as well.
The most basic element of a mix is balance. A great mix must start here first; for without balance the other mix elements pale in importance. There's more to balance than just moving some faders, though, as we'll see.
First of all, there’s a difference between Mastering and Premastering: Mastering is a process, that matches premastered Audio material with the Demands of unified Pressing-Copying-Standards. Premastering is the process of finishing and polishing-up your mixdown… The tips I’ll give in this article are suggestions, as there is no general rule or recipe how to make things sound good.
Different mixers start from different places when building their mix. This has as much to do with training as it does with the type of material. For instance, most old-time New York mixers and their proteges usually start from the bass guitar and build the mix around it. Many other mixers work from the drum over-heads first, tucking in the other drums as they go along. Many mixers mix with everything up, only soloing specific instruments that seem to exhibit a problem.
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