So you want to learn how to mix EDM? Well, you’re in luck! Here are my absolute favorite reads from all over the Internet curated into one mega EDM mixing guide / tutorial. Whether you want to know how to start mixing EDM or want to continue leveling up your mixdown skills, there’s tips here for beginners and advanced producers.
Now, don’t take this post lightly. These reads go deep. Take it slowly, try one tip at a time, and most importantly - practice it! Knowledge goes a long way but there is no substitute for practice and repetition when it comes to mixing music.
I plan on creating plenty of content on mixing and mastering because I am obsessed, but for now let’s point out the best of what other producers across the URL world have given back to the electronic music production community.
My favorite tip: an absolute fundamental.
“You have to be very clear where the bass is coming from,” Andrew continued. “If you’re playing a pad sound, and you’re playing it in the higher registers, you wouldn’t think that there’s any kind of low frequency. But if you look at an analyzer, you’ll find that it’s producing low frequencies. They may be playing at -20 dB, so you don’t really hear them. But the problem is, every track is generating low frequencies at -20 dB, so every time you’re adding something, you’re gaining that. That’s where all your mud comes from.”
What the iZotope guys are getting at here is the basic fundamental of low cut EQ. You should take a low cut (high pass) EQ filter to each track in your mix and check for any unnecessary low frequencies. You’ll be amazed at what you find and the type of headroom you get back when you clean up the low stuff that you can’t even hear. Just don’t get too crazy and make things too thin. As always, use your ears 😉.
My favorite tip: organization and sample selection.
Ok I have two favorites here. Well, I have way more than two that I agree with in this epic article from Sam Matla. I’ll keep my analysis to two.
“Labelling and coloring tracks speeds up workflow big time. Our brain responds to color faster than it does to words.”
I cannot advocate enough for dedication to organization. Some people use the scatterbrained no-color approach and some are nuts about color coding and organization. I’m somewhere in the middle in that before I do a final mix down I have everything grouped and color coded so I can easily access things and that my project makes sense in my brain.
My groups usually look like (from top to bottom in my project): vocals, topline synths, pads, chords/mids, bass, kick, hi hats, claps/snares, and fx.
“It all starts with sound design and sample selection”
A wise man once said, you can’t polish a turd. Enough said.
My favorite tip: reference, reference, reference.
“Reference other professionally mixed tracks while you’re mixing. It’s like having a cheat sheet right next to you as you take a test.”
This is so essential!!!! I’ve been to this place. I’ve been locked into my DAW producing a song for the past few hours. Now it’s time to mix. I mix for an hour or so. All I’ve heard the past however many hours is my stuff. You lose context this way. I think quality checking yourself against against one of your favorite tunes straight in your same Ableton session is a major key, folks.
My favorite tip: make decisions.
If it sounds good, COMMIT. It is often hard to commit especially early in the production process, but sometimes, you can do too much and actually impact the song negatively. If it sounds good, don’t mess with it to try and make it sound better, just roll with it because it will strengthen your production and end up sounding great!
Just commit! Decide! No two mixes will ever be the same. There are endless possibilities. That’s not always a good thing. You need to choose one of those possibilities. You only release one song. Now, are you going to listen to things you wish you would differently later? Yep, but that’s a producer’s life. Commit and go for it! Trust yourself and be confident in your mixing decisions.
Okay, so to add up the EDM mixing tips, we have 13 + 50 + 11 + 25 = 99. What! That ain’t 100.
To get us to a nice even number here I’ll reiterate what I mentioned in the beginning of the article. The most important music mixing tip is……
Make songs. Mix songs. Finish songs.
I hope you found this helpful, if so sharing it with your producer friends is the best way to show love back to Producer Brain. Also, signing up for our Producer Brain Newsletter (a weekly email packed with music production knowledge bombs) is a great way to keep up with me.
Now get outta here and get back in that DAW.