Professional Tips for Sound Engineers

Sound work is often quite painstaking and complex. And small tips that professionals use can make this hard work easier. Therefore, in this article, we have collected useful tips to help you make your mixing audio tracks better.

1. The best place to start is by editing basic sounds. If you give it a little time and effort, the mixing stage will be easier and more enjoyable.

2. Walk through the piece and listen to the silence between phrases. Very often, especially in vocal parts, in the moments between separate phrases there are unnecessary noises, for example, quiet breathing and unnecessary rustling. And guess what happens if you add compression to that? The noise will get louder and be heard too well.

3. At the initial points of the sound wave, unnecessary noise very often occurs, which can significantly spoil the quality. Therefore, try to clean up the null points of your sound wave.

4. Let’s say a vocalist has a slight cold and his voice breaks off after a verse. Think about adding backing vocals there, which will improve the sound of the voice and create a more beautiful arrangement? This is a very simple and quick way to improve your mix.

5. Want more control over your audio? Adjust individual parts of the track by simply zooming in on the wave and looking at it in more detail. This will save you from situations in which you cannot figure out what is not the way you would like.

6. Sometimes plugins interfere too much with the sound. Many have a high-pass filter, some can limit the signal or trick something with phrases. Rely more on your ear than on plugins and their indicators.

7. The difficult path will not always be the right one. If you’ve been working on your brainchild for a very long time, but you can’t do it right, just try another way. Sometimes it’s better to go the alternative route rather than trying to fix it.

8. Don’t be fooled by the price thinking that if a plugin is expensive it means it’s good. Many free plugins can perform much better than their paid counterparts.

9. Working with music only with headphones is not a good idea. Combine them with monitors. In monitors, the overall sound is better heard, and in the headphones – the details.

10. A good track should not “crumble” at high volume. Therefore, work on it at different volumes to understand how it will behave if you make it louder or quieter.

11. Do not overload the piece with effects. Pick the ones that work best with your track and stop there. And you need to know exactly what this or that effect does, so that small changes that can spoil the work do not come as a surprise to you.

12. Very often sound engineers, especially beginners, overdo the bass, and as a result, they begin to buzz and bulge. If the track sounds muddy and boomy to you, try working with the bass. Most likely, the point is in them.

13. The space in which you work is of great importance. Try to work in a room with good acoustics so that the sound is not distorted.

14. Mono compatibility may not be so important today, but it’s best to make sure your track sounds good outside of stereo. Strive to sound good no matter what the situation.

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By Cary Grant

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