Mixing music is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy taking a rough draft and turning it into a great-sounding song. Having expensive studio monitors to mix with is not always an option. Also, we don’t all have acoustically treated rooms to mix music in. It’s usually money, time or space that’s the issue. In this article, I will attempt to teach you not to let these problems stop you from mixing music. Remember, these tips are based on my own personal experience and may not be the way you would do things.
One thing I have had to do in the past is mix on horrible headphones or speakers. Whether it was generic computer speakers or cheap headphones, I found ways to get decent results. I realize that a lot of you reading this may be thinking that waiting until you get something better is the best option, but practice makes perfect. If you can get a decent mix on a cheap pair of speakers, imagine what you will be able to accomplish once you upgrade your equipment.
Burn them in
No matter what listening device you are using to mix music, you should burn them in as much as possible. This is the process of listening to professionally produced music on them to hear how each frequency shows up on your speakers or headphones. I recommend spending a week straight listening to industry quality music for hours per day. Now when you go back and try mixing your own music, you will have an idea of how it needs to sound in the end.
Use other sources for reference
As you mix your music on your less-than-desirable listening device, you should regularly burns some CDs of your mix and play it on as many different systems as possible. Play it in your car, play it on your PlayStation and maybe even at your friend’s house on whatever playback devices they have. The more sources the better. Some listening devices will mask certain flaws in your mix, and some will emphasize them.
If you use the information I provided, you should be able to get a decent mix on bad speakers or headphones. It may take a week or so before you start getting better results, but it certainly is possible to do. Keep practicing and good luck to you all!