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Turn a Good Mix Into a Great Mix

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

We’ve all been there … countless hours spent meticulously crafting a mix. Every instrument has been shaped to perfection, brought into level, and glued nicely together at the mix bus.

Yet, something still feels like its lacking; like there’s something missing. You want the mix to have energy and excitement, but you can’t put your finger on an obvious problem within the mix to solve.

Push the Master Fader +1 dB at the Chorus

The idea is to use automation on the volume of the master fader at different points in the song. When the energy of the song needs to build, just increase the volume by +1 dB. Then, bring it back down when the section is over. This adds a little extra impact for the listener.

Stereo Width of Reverb

Another thing I like to automate is the width of reverb effects. Rather than leaving the reverb panned +/-100 for the entire song, narrow the reverb to +/-50 for some sections. Then, open it back up.

This is the perfect trick to use on vocals. It can change the feel from close and intimate to huge.

Automate a High-pass Filter

One trick is actually to remove some of the low-end until you want it to hit. I recommend experimenting with a high-pass filter at 90 Hz. Leave that on for most of the song, so the listener gets accustomed to the balance of the bass. Then when the time is right, drop the HPF to 40 Hz and open up an extra octave of bass.



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