Mixing Tips – How to Mix Music the Right Way


Establishing the ideal balance is the cornerstone of all mixing decisions, ensuring your song sounds excellent both inside the studio and in live gig settings.

Mixing at low volumes allows you to detect mistakes more efficiently, as human ears are sensitive enough to hear even small 3dB changes in volume levels – so take extra care in being extra precise in your approach! The average human can notice minor adjustments, such as changing instruments’ positions within the 3dB range, so be extra diligent.


As much as it’s tempting, spending the majority of your time perfecting EQ, compression, and other fancy effects may seem more exciting; getting your levels right will save you much hassle in the form of plugin purchases and manual tweaks to volume and panning settings can often do the trick!

Beginning by creating a stereo mix, dim all the tracks except your master and use subtle panners to move specific instruments left or right for an immersive listening experience.

Levels are the cornerstone of your mix and should be treated as the centerpiece, much like you would your EQ and panning settings. For this reason, please treat them with equal importance.

Setting levels accurately often means producing pink noise at an initial group that falls just under where you believe your final mix should peak to prevent peaking that will be squashed by mastering. This will also help prevent overly bright notes from being crushed during mastering.

Once your levels are in place, spend some extra minutes listening carefully to each track for any issues, such as muddy or dull sounds. Plug-ins like RX may also prove invaluable; its quality check feature may detect mic plosives or guitar squeaks that need addressing during mixing if you want a polished professional mix that people want to listen to repeatedly – this should be your goal!


Panning is one of the critical elements in a mix that will allow instruments, vocals, and sounds to stand out without being overwhelmed by other elements. Furthermore, panning can add depth and width to your stereo image by emphasizing particular sections.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to center core mix elements (kick, snare, and bass/subs) but experiment with panning tracks to different areas in the stereo field. Just be wary not to concentrate too many sounds on one side, as this can become tiring.

Soft panning can be an excellent way to shift a track around slightly from side to side without hard panning it entirely left or right. This method works particularly well when applied to piano, acoustic guitar string instruments, etc.

Switch your mix into a mono mode to see which frequencies are competing and give a better idea of how you should plan your track to resolve it.

Example: Having two guitars panned to the exact location will cause them to clash and produce excessive distortion in the high frequencies, which isn’t what you want. If possible, using mono for testing out mixes and making adjustments as you see necessary is recommended; you may even automate panning effects, such as moving sounds between left and right channels for added movement and energy in your track.


Once a song nears completion, it’s time for some last-minute tweaking. At this stage of production, personalizing your tracks through tweaking is critical; here’s where the equalizer comes into its own as a powerful tool to help give them character.

Before doing any EQ work, however, it’s essential to establish an ideal volume balance. This is the cornerstone of radio-ready mixes and must be achieved before undertaking other effects processing techniques.

To do this, we advise using a plug-in such as iZotope’s Repair Assistant to conduct quality checks on each track you plan to include. This can help identify mic plosives and guitar squeaks that could cause problems later in the process, saving you some headaches!

The next step in mixing is using the stereo bus or master output fader. Every track in your song sends its signal directly to this fader and is concentrated into two new channels: left and right. Ideally, heavier sounds should be placed closer to the center, while lighter ones should be spread out more; this helps avoid flat or overcrowded mixes.

Use your stereo bus to perform a global EQ of the song, eliminating frequencies that could be muddying things up and creating a compelling dynamic mix! Once this step has been taken care of, you should have a solid, vibrant blend.


Compression is one of the critical tools in mixing. Not only can it add depth to your music, but results are highly dependent upon which settings are chosen for compression.

One of beginner mixers’ primary mistakes is not correctly panning their tracks. This simple mistake can drastically enhance the clarity of their mix. Panning can help move instruments around in stereo mixes or pan-specific frequencies to either side of your soundstage.

Panning aims to give a track a more three-dimensional sound, giving listeners the impression of sitting alongside your band and hearing them perform live. It’s an integral step to creating a more immersive and realistic music experience for listeners.

At the core of it all lies limiting your processing. Overly processed songs may sound less transparent and less authentic; this is especially important when mixing for streaming platforms or those who listen to music on lower-quality speakers or headphones.

Avoid overcompressing any instruments. Overcompression will make them sound lifeless and flat; to maximize effectiveness when applying compression, do so sparingly and carefully, listening for results before changing settings.

Always use a crossfade when joining audio regions to avoid pops and other unexpected noises when the clips fade in or out. This will prevent pops or annoying sounds from appearing when one clip fades out or in.


Filters such as reverb, delay, and distortion can add depth and dimension to your songs by filling them out more realism. But these effects must be used sparingly; adding too many products when mixing may overdo it – most experienced mixers strive to use as little processing and effects as necessary for their desired outcome.

Panning instruments is also essential to crafting an outstanding mix. Newcomers to mixing often place all their devices at once in the center, which can cause everything to sound muddy and compressed together. Instead, it is usually best to pan instruments to the left and right side, giving each one more prominence without competing for listener attention with each other.

Add compression and EQ to each track for added depth of sound and to ensure that its loudest parts don’t become overwhelming while still keeping more subtle details audible and not being overwhelmed by more explosive elements of a song.

Digital audio workstations (DAWs) and plugins provide access to abundant audio effects – it’s hard to know where to begin! While learning as many effects as possible is beneficial, beginners should become acquainted with several fundamental ones, including reverb, chorus, and flanger phaser distortion. Understanding these real effects provides a solid basis for mastering more advanced products later.