Have you ever worked on a project one night, mixed a mastered your work, went to bed, woke up the next day, listened to the same project and it sounds like a giant turd?
The alarms bells are ringing in your head, right?
We’ve all been there…
Firstly, remember to slow down, one of the best things you can do as a producer is taking care of your ears, never try and finish a product all in one day.
Your hearing is a sense that needs to be reset, Chill out for a night, eat Doritos and binge watch a series of Game of Thrones,
Once you come back to the project you’ll be hearing what you’ve made like it’s fresh out of the lab.
What you’ll find is that even after repeating this process a few times, your mixes might still sound like doggy doo-doo.
That’s because you need something to reference it too!!!
We may all think we make 100% original music, and yes, you can compose every single element in your project, but I don’t care if you think you’re the greatest producer in the world! Your inspiration came from someone else! And you’ll always try and make your own version of what’s inspired you the most.
Through using one of your favourite songs as a reference for mixing, you can easily toggle between your track and your reference, shall we say your using…
Hmmm, let’s think “who let the dogs out?” “Barbie girl?” “dirty dancing?”
It doesn’t matter! The point is the comparison between the two.
Analyse what your hearing!
Don’t be a super douchey douche man and let it play in the background while you do other stuff.
Ok so now you’ve changed your mind set and your thinking straight!
Ask yourself a few important questions…
- Why does it sound so good?
- What have they done to make the drums sound like that?
- How much bass is really on that guitar?
- What are they using on their channel strips?
- Where in the stereo field does each instrument sit?
Use the reference track to model the sound, take from it and use it as a tool for furthering your education, even the masters still think of themselves as students and apply the same technique, time and time again, now stop reading and go and put this into action.