What’s the biggest mistake people make when mixing music?

audio engineering diy home recording music mixing music production recording studio Jun 28, 2022
musician recording in home studio on a DAW

When producing music from your home studio, many people make a very common mistake that ends up costing them time and money when it comes to mixing.  This can be easily avoided.

The mistake they make is recording poor quality tracks and expecting to fix the problems during the mixing process either by giving it to a professional engineer to fix or by adding a massive amount of processing.

Neither of these are good options.

It is so important to start with great sounds when your goal is a professional quality mix. 

Taking the time to think about the arrangement and choose instrument tones and sounds carefully so they don’t crowd each other in the frequency spectrum will make it that much easier to create space in the mix.

Setting up your instrument and making sure it sounds the best it can before you record it and making sure to set your input gain properly will save you time and potentially money when it comes to mixing. 

If you have options when it comes to microphones, take some time to listen to a variety and choose the one that best captures the sound you are looking for. 

Don’t put a Shure SM57 on a kick drum when you are looking for a big, woofy kick drum sound.  A Shure B52 would be a better option.

If you are recording vocals and don’t have the luxury of a vocal booth, get creative and find a quiet closet or a few acoustic panels to create isolation and block out unwanted background noise.  Trying to remove unwanted noise in a recording with plug-ins can sometimes make things sound unnatural. 

I know that when the creative urge strikes, you want to just dive in, hit record, and worry about the mix later.  That’s fine if you want to capture a rough idea.  But when you’re ready for the real thing, take the time to prepare properly - your recordings will end up sounding much more professional and your mixes will come together more quickly and easily.



By: Michelle Sabolchick