When I started out in music production, I wished that I could have someone that could answer all the questions I had and explain everything and expand my knowledge in the areas I was lacking. The problem is that the whole area of music production is huge, not to mention most people have their own unique way of doing things. I am now going to give you some pieces of advice that are important in your success and will help you to pave a path to a professional music production. Producers widely accept the following as “rules” within music production.
Do not mix for too long; let your ears rest – It is important to take breaks during mixing. For each hour you are mixing a track allow a twenty minutes break. This can be quite hard if you are doing computer music production, as the computer you will be mixing on will no doubt be in the room you spend most of your time. Now. Nobody really sticks to this break-time formula as regular clockwork but it is something to aim for and maybe let this time overlap slightly. I would say to take a break sooner if you are working on a small repetitive section of a song for a while, as your mind will just ‘let go’ and not be sharp and anything will sound amazing after a while sabotaging any plan to get a professional music production finished. This art cannot be rushed or forced.
Do not mix in a large spacious environment – Anything that alters the sound of your track that is outside of computer music production or a mixing desk is a problem. If you mix like this, you might get a professional music production out of your track but once you take it out of the room you mixed it in it will sound completely terrible as the ambiance and acoustics of that room are no longer present. You need to make your mixing room a ‘dead’ room, which means you need to dampen any sort of effects the room is creating. Natural reverb is normally the biggest problem; clapping your hands is a good way to see if there is a problem.
Do not mix a music track on the same day recording it – This is for two reasons. First reason would be because you use two different parts of your brain to do each. For one you have to really concentrate hard and the other is the opposite, you want to concentrate too but you also want forget what you are doing and sense or feel. It is hard to explain but it is universally expected you cannot do both on the same day. The second reason would be due to the possible levels your ears have been exposed to during recording, some artists/bands would not have this but they would have the first reason as a reason not to do both mixing and recording on one day. It can be hard if you are working on a computer music production but you really must learn to leave it alone and give your mind and ears a rest; do something that uses your other senses and do not sit in the same place that you will mix in when you are not mixing.