Mixing is like drinking beer. You will improve the flavor over time. It is not an exact science and cannot be explained by formulas and patterns. Each case is different.

And in the end… your ears are the boss!

Check out 21 unmissable mixing tips that will guide you a lot in this process.



Route certain tracks, such as the drum kit, pads, or leads, to subgroups. This way, you can control the overall level of subgroup elements through a single fader. This can be very useful!

Additionally, you can use certain plugins across the entire group, thus achieving a more natural effect.



especially reverb, as it can affect your mix and take away the contrast that is necessary to give it “punch”. The “drier” the sound, the more forward it will sound. The more reverb, the further back.



These energy-laden elements must be distributed equally between the speakers (ie: MONO) for best results. The more severe the element, the less it responds to PAN. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the lowest frequencies in the center.



There is something called the “Loudness Curve”. In short, this means that our brain does not interpret frequencies correctly if we hear them too low or too high. Therefore, there is a certain standardization at 79 decibels for small rooms. If you don't have a decibel meter, imagine that 79 decibels is the same volume as a person talking next to you. This is the ideal volume for you to mix your tracks! No bombing the monitor, ok?



Try to follow your music with as little visual distraction as possible at least once or twice during the audio mixing process. Turn off the monitor, close your eyes and just listen.

You'll be surprised at how much objectivity this can bring to your mix. We tend to attach a lot of conscious importance to what we see, so when we eliminate some of the visual stimulus, we allow our conscious mind to focus more on what we hear.



Do not use this limiter on the master during your mix. You cannot increase the gain when the limiter is on the master bus. It still makes it difficult to tell when peaks exceed 0dB. In fact, if you don't have a clear reason to use a limiter, don't use it!



Too much compression across multiple tracks can make your sound extremely flat, lifeless, and one-dimensional. Therefore, use in moderation!

Give preference to compression in groups, rather than using it on separate tracks. This will help you find more natural and coherent results. Of course, there are cases where you will need to use compression on individual tracks. But, compressing groups of tracks will make you find a more organic and natural result.

You can use a compressor to increase the dynamics of an instrument. A compressor with a slow attack can help bring life to an element that was dull.



CUT or BOOST? When we talk about equalization, always give preference to CUTTING frequencies rather than INCREASING frequencies. This minimizes the risk of distortion and allows you to achieve more discreet and musical results.

“>HIGH PASS FILTER (HPF) and LOW PASS FILTER (LPF): Apply an HPF to all instruments that are not kick or bass. This will help clean up the low end of your music, especially on tracks that were recorded live. This will free up a lot of space in your mix. Low frequencies carry a lot of energy and are often not even perceptible to human ears. In contrast, you can use a LOW PASS FILTER to eliminate unwanted high frequencies.



PRE-DELAY – Pre-delay is the most powerful feature of any reverb. It allows a certain amount of DRY signal to pass through before it is processed by the reverb itself. This allows the attack to remain preserved. Especially when it comes to vocals, it is interesting to preserve the attack, setting the pre-delay between 20ms and 80ms.

3D REVERB – You can create an incredible ambiance using 2 or 3 reverbs in a single element. To start, try adding a “small room” reverb, to give a little spatiality to the sound element. Then, choose a “plate” reverb and add it little by little, slowly, as if you were adding seasoning to your pasta sauce. Lastly, you can add a “hall” type reverb with a long tail and, again, add it little by little. BE VERY CAREFUL with excess reverb. But how do you know if you have too much? See the next tip

The amount of reverb is a matter of taste, of course! But, think about one thing. Reverb has the magical function of uniting the elements of the mix and creating an ambiance. Believe me, a little reverb already has big effects in the mix. When using it, solo the instrument and start adding reverb until you can hear it. Then, you reduce it a little bit, until you can feel that you want to increase it again. This will probably be the right spot.

Use HIGH PASS FILTER on REVERB: That's right! In the same way you apply the HPF (or high-pass filter) to your instruments, do it with the reverb. In other words, by cutting the low frequencies of your reverb, you will achieve a sound with more definition. Some plugins already have this function, but you can use another plugin for this, in an auxiliary channel, for example.



Organize the bands by color and name them. This will save you a lot of time. Don't be lazy to organize your track!



Equalizer or compressor first? Many producers have different opinions regarding this. However, there is no rule. Sometimes you will get a better result by putting the equalizer before the compressor and sometimes the other way around.

But the most important thing is to know that the order of the plugins has an important impact on the final result. Always keep this in mind!



If you have 2 elements that don't sound good together, because they have similar frequencies, you can do a trick with the equalizer. Observe what the preponderant frequency is and make several small cuts at that frequency of the main element. For example, if you have 2 leads that appear together and the preponderant frequency is around 500Hz, make small cuts in this frequency on the main lead. This will make the 2 appear “glued” in the mix.



You can use PAN to create a stereo image of your music (i.e. work in a horizontal position). But beyond that, there are 2 tricks you can use to increase the spatiality of your sound. Reverb is classic for providing the illusion of distance and must be used wisely to achieve this effect. You can also achieve a distance effect by removing some of the higher frequencies from the sound element.



Using the pan is legal, but you must be careful.

With stereo mixing, you can fall into the trap of having two sounds too separate. What's wrong with that? Most sound systems are still in MONO. This means that, if you have very separate sounds in your mix, they will simply disappear when you go to perform your music at that club or party you've always dreamed of. To avoid this risk, always check all the channels of your track in mono. If they sound good in mono, they will be perfect in stereo and you can play on any type of sound system without fear!



You must keep in mind that drum elements are made up of two important parts. The first of these is the initial transient and the other is the body or tail.


KICK (Bass Drum) – Frequencies of 80-100Hz provide the PUNCH of the kick. To make room for fundamental bass tones, you can remove some key frequencies from the kick, literally making holes in the kick for the bass to fill. Try starting by making cuts between the 200-400Hz range and, possibly, very fine cuts (Q) around the frequencies 160Hz, 800Hz and 1.3kHz. A High Pass Filter (HPS) above 50Hz will help to “tighten” the kick, in addition to removing inaudible sub-bass that only harm your mix. Additionally, your kick may also need some boosts in the mid and/or high frequencies. Try small boosts between 2.5-6kHz to emphasize the transient (click) and make the kick sound clean on small speakers.


THE SNARE (Snare) – Snares are generally very present. Therefore, some cuts are always necessary. Start cutting (high pass) everything below 150Hz. If the snare is very present, cut it at the magic frequency of 5kHz to take it out a little. A small boost at 10kHz will certainly bring a special shine. If you produce Dubstep or D&B and want a snare with a lot of punch, boost it to 250Hz. Cuts between 800-1.2kHz can bring greater clarity to this element.


EQUALIZING TONES – In tone equalization, we value color and not power. Most tones can benefit from cuts between 300-800Hz, in addition to a High Pass above 100Hz, so that it does not interfere with the kick and bass.


EQUALIZING HI-HATS (cymbals) – Cymbals do not have useful low-ends. So, start with a high-pass filter at around 200Hz. Mid-tones are fundamentally important in defining the character of a hi-hat, particularly between 600-800Hz. To “brighten” your hats, try a “shelving” filter at around 12.5kHz.



Equalizing bass elements can be a challenging task, especially for those who produce in small studios, where references do not demonstrate what is happening in the low frequencies. A big mistake when mixing bass is to only worry about the low-ends. It often happens that your bass sounds great solo, but when you listen to all the elements of the song together, it ends up disappearing. The challenge here is to value the high frequencies of the bass. Notice how your bass will become more alive and present in the music. Also, another advantage is that when your music plays on a small speaker, it will sound nice and clear. Otherwise, when you don't value the high frequencies of your bass, it simply disappears in small speakers, like those on a laptop, for example.

The bass has frequencies very similar to those of the kick. Therefore, it is a challenge to fit these 2 instruments into the mix, so that they sound clean.

You should pay attention to some frequencies in your bass, which should be cut, according to your ear and common sense. Remembering that the cuts must not be greater than 6db. OK?

Consider cutting, in your bass:


60Hz – This frequency, which some call “hum frequency” has this name because it has a “hum” sound. It's interesting to train your ear to identify and cut this frequency. It can be between 60-70Hz.


250Hz – As noted by AndiVax, this is the peak frequency of most electronic music kicks. So, it's nice to consider a cut at this frequency, so that the kick sounds freely.


1500Hz – If you cut it, you will get a cleaner bass. If you want fatter bass, cut less.


16kHz – Cut everything above this frequency. Harmonics will not be compromised.



Synthesizers can have varied sound spectrums, which can collide with all instruments (kick, percussion, bass…).

As reminded by AndiVax in his tutorial, the most common mistake is to leave several synth lines (pads, leads, strings) playing in the same octave, with similar timbres.

You must build your tones so that the DOMINANT FREQUENCY (peak) is different between them. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that the best equalization is not to equalize.

However, there are some frequencies that can be cut and, from there, you can go for your own artistic equalization.


>>>LEADS: 400Hz


>>>PADS: 800 Hz


>>>STRINGS: 1000Hz.


Remember that it is important to place each instrument in its proper place in the mix, through equalization, reverb, volume and panning.



Producers of other styles may disagree. But in electronic music, kick and bass are in charge. Therefore, the kick must be positioned at a volume that saves considerable headroom (-6db, for example) and the other instruments must obey the kick volume, never exceeding it.



Always bounce your tracks. It takes some work but it's worth it.

Some reasons to work in audio:

– You can get a visual sense of where the audio begins and ends, making it easy to clean things you don’t want (reverb, delay, etc.).

– You will save your CPU a lot. Your processor will love you!

– You can apply faders, reverse and a series of effects that would take more work to apply to a MIDI file.

– There are no oscillations.



HEADROOM is the space between the peak of your song and the moment it starts to clip. In other words, it is the number of decibels between the peak (highest frequency) of your music and the moment when the “overload” indicator LEDs (usually red or yellow) are reached.

If your mix is too loud, you will have problems with mastering. However, if it is too low, you will also have problems.

Therefore, it is recommended that, in your output channel, the peak (highest frequency) is between -12 and -3 dB. When the peaks reach 0dB, it is still possible to master, even though it is not recommended. Beyond that, you will have problems.

There is a lot of discussion around Headroom, especially about the ideal amount. Generally, whoever does the mastering has their own settings. But, most mastering engineers agree that you should preserve at least -3 to -6db of headroom in your mix.

Back to blog