This article is designed to give you a simple worflow for mixing tracks in Logic Pro X.
I have broken down the process into a handful of simple steps that you can apply to any genre of music.
1. Gain Staging
If you know me, you know I am hot (pun excused) on the issue of gain staging.
Overly literal audio engineers will tell you how it isn’t needed in digital, which is true until you use an compressor or any analogue-modelling plugin!
But the benefits go beyond those of a technical nature, it’s also a matter of workflow.
Understanding how signals flow in the DAW can drastically affect the behaviour of your plugins and how you use them.
Here is an article I wrote before about Gain Staging in Logic Pro X
This is the key to mixing.
The very quality of the mix is predicated on how well balanced the elements are in the sound stage. One of my favourite pieces of advice is to watch the stage!
The sound stage is a 3 dimensional space.
Your goal is to make sure you position the elements in the stage for the benefit of the mix as a whole. NOT for the benefit of the individual track.
Once you’ve got your gain staging down, simply listen to what’s there, work the faders, and focus solely on the act of balance.
Resist the urge to dive straight into plugins. Use them only to resolve issues that arise in the balancing process.
Mixing IS balancing.
This is the natural next step after fader work. Panning is one of your most important tools in the mix process.
Again, think carefully about your sound stage and pan your tracks in a way that best compliments the mix as a whole.
Having said that, it really helps to understand the psychoacoustic nature of stereophonic sound.
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Personally, I like to make my life as simple as possible.
Simplicity is something I feel is highly undervalued in audio today. Bussing can help us here. Try bussing all instrument groups early on in the process to simplify your thinking and to enable you to work holistically when mixing, as opposed to diving into too much detail too early.
The easiest way to do this in Logic Pro X is to use Summing Track Stacks.
This is the big one.
That moment when you start doing things for the sake of it, adding candy here and there without any real purpose, is the same moment you need to stop.
At this point just commit and bounce.
Come back to the printed mix the next day and listen with a fresh perspective.
No distracting project lanes and plugins, just listen.
Take notes and execute on them.