This post is about cause and effect, and why things have to be done in the right order.
I’m receiving a lot of e-mails from people who ask me to review and comment on their mixes, many even offer me money to do this as a service.
The e-mails go something like „what’s the single biggest thing I need to change to make my mix compete with commercial references“ etc. – you get the idea.
But – while I would gladly e-mail everybody the magic formula and take the money, the honest truth is that the solution lies in the process and the order in which you sort out your issues.
If you don’t have a methodology behind your mixing process, your mix will suffer from the
Which of course is an analogy for one bad decision triggering a series of follow up actions, and while you’re working towards finishing your mix, what started as a small problem will accumulate and get worse. This can be as simple as your room having resonances and notches that you compensate for at an early stage of mix preparation.
You’re getting all frustrated about the outcome of your mix, while in reality, you had no chance getting it right under the given circumstances.
Later on, when you check your mix in the car, in a club, or even at the mastering studio, it’s too late. I do believe that you have the ears to hear something is wrong with your mix, but your problem has gotten out of hand with a series of follow up decisions based on the wrong assumptions.
A good methodology helps to avoid domino effects by dealing with fundamental problems first.