Could Someone Give me Advice on Improving My Mixes for a Professional Sound?

Hello there,

I am new to the forum and excited to be a part of this amazing community. I have been producing electronic music for a couple of years now; mostly focusing on house and techno genres. While I feel like my compositions and arrangements have significantly improved; I am still struggling to achieve that polished; professional sound in my mixes.

What is your typical workflow when mixing a track? Do you have any specific steps or order you follow that helps streamline the process?

How do you approach EQ and compression for different elements in your track? Are there any specific techniques or settings you swear by for drums; basslines; or synths?

What are your best practices for achieving a wide; immersive stereo field without losing focus and clarity in the mix?

How do you effectively use reverb and delay to add depth and space without muddying up the mix? Any favorite plugins or settings?

What are your recommendations for monitoring environments and equipment? I currently mix on headphones due to space limitations but wonder if there are ways to improve accuracy under these conditions.

Also, I have gone through this post: definitely helped me out a lot.

How often do you use reference tracks; and what do you listen for when comparing your mix to a professional one?

Thankyou in advance for your help and assistance.

Hi there

I moved your post in the Music Production - Music Tech Discussion category since this is definitely not related to plugins, thanks for posting in the correct category on the forums :wink:

I will take the time to go through your questions and point you to relevant courses covering those areas, but best advise would be to get a subscription since all of this is covered in videos tutorials from established producers sharing their knowledge and techniques in every aspect of music production.

You can cancel at any time and there’s also other benefits with a subscription such as 10% OFF site wise, 50% OFF on individual courses purchases ( when you want to download the videos and keep them for ever to watch offline ), free plugin ( more to come soon ), some free courses and royalty free sample packs exclusive to subscribers.

More info about available subscriptions here : Subscribe To Sonic Academy | Unlimited 24/7 Streaming Access | Video Tutorials

I will update this topic with a new post and links to some relevant tutorials but that’s a lot of questions covering many different topics, so need to take the time to go through this :wink:

Meanwhile, suggest you start to browse through courses, there’s a handy search tools on the All Courses Page where you can filter courses by topic, genre, etc… and also use keywords.

Some courses are free to watch, all courses have 1 or several preview videos to let you check what the course is about and if it’s something for you.

Cheers and till my next post then :sunglasses:

It all start with choosing the right sound that will fit your Mix and works well with other elements in your track. You can spend time with EQ, Compressor and other tools to get a sound to work but sometimes it’s better to get back to the source and change your sample or preset.

Placement of samples and Midi clips also help to avoid conflicting issue, for example if you have your bass notes playing at the exact same time as the kick and if both sounds are dueling in the same frequency range, it will be more difficult to get a good Mix.

Using EQ or filters to get rid of unwanted frequencies, taking care of your gain staging and not overpowering effects are also important.

Always listen to each elements in context with the all Mix, you can spend hours to tweak a sound on it’s own just to realize it doesn’t work with the other elements when listening in context of the all Mix.

Those are general recommendations, you can build your Mix step by step each time you’re adding a new elements following those guidelines, then after this it’s more a matter of polishing the Mix.

Recommended Courses :

5 Beginner Mixing Mistakes with Haterade

Does Gain Staging Matter? with Kirk Degiorgio

Understanding Mixing Fundamentals with Phil Johnston

Understanding Mixing Level 2 with Protoculture

How To Mix Kick and Bass with Protoculture

Mixing Techniques Creating Space

Mixing Bass How To

Mixing in 3D with Kirk Degiorgio

Mixing with AI - Neutron 4 vs Sonible Smart Bundle with Protoculture

It’s really related to the previous points and it’s different for each song and content, what’s important is to understand what EQ and Compression can do.

When it comes to drums, it’s a blend of crafting the right beat that works with your Mix, then comes the mixing stage.

Understanding EQ Equalization - in-depth Understanding EQ guide for Beginners

Understanding EQ Level 2 with Protoculture

How To Hear EQ Frequencies with Bluffmunkey

Can you mix without EQ and Compression? with Bluffmunkey

Understanding Compressors

Understanding Compressors ( 2 )

Drums :

How To Make Better Drums with Enamour

Other Useful Tips → Tech Tips Volume 52 with Enamour

Those 2 relates to each other and still the previous ( in terms of placement, and also what you’d like to keep more mono, what you should spread to stereo ) and after this you can use chorus, delay and reverb to get a wilder sounding Mix.

Mixing Techniques Creating Space

How To Create Wide Mixes with Protoculture

Understanding Delay with Protoculture

Understanding Reverb

Understanding Reverb ( 2 )

There’s no secret for monitoring using monitors in a room, you definitely need to use acoustic treatment to get your room sounding right. It can be expensive and you need to know your room specs and how sound behaves in the room. This involve measurements that can help to know what treatment is needed and where to place them. Absorption and Reflection material only help if they are efficient and correctly placed. Not everyone can afford the time and money when it comes to acoustic treatment, at least you should try to take care of first reflections.

You monitors and listening position is crucial as well, a small and square room is the worse case scenario when it comes to reflections and bounding frequencies that will cause more issues.

Mixing on headphones is an alternative when you can’t treat your room, Open Back Headphones are more suitable than Close Back models when it comes to Mixing, for example the Sennheiser HD 650 is a good reference.

There’s also software solutions like the Slate Digital VSX ( it comes with a headphone ) and other companies like Waves Audio, IK Multimedia or Sonarworks out there, it can help, people love it or hate it.

The other very important thing is to train your ears and know what to listen to.

All the time is the answer. Always use Reference Tracks, try to get high quality audio tracks ( avoid MP3 for example ) and always compare your Mix with other Tracks, not only this helps to check levels, clarity, phase issue…etc but using Reference tracks also help with things like transition, arrangement, song structure.

Among different plugins than can help with A/B comparison, ADPTR makes really good tools

How To Use Metric AB with Protoculture

How To Use ADPTR Streamliner and Mastering for Streaming Platforms with Protoculture