Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Hey everyone, it's Alex back at at again with another blog post, this time we are going to talk about Experimentation on the mix. This isn't a post geared towards just Engineers, but artists as well. You'd be surprised what both sides can learn from other genres to make your music sound better.
Okay, let's get started, shall we?.....
To start with there are damn near no limitations in songwriting, recording, mixing, production etc. But today we're going to focus more on the mixing aspect of music and some of the possibilities with the art of it all. One thing you can use that most people don't think about is you can incorporate elements of different genres to influence the mix. Now I'm not talking about production, production involves adding and taking away elements that completely changes the song structure. Anyway, if you're a fan of music in general and love many different genres you may not know this, but you're actually subconsciously thinking about other genres while you're working in your current genre.
Like if you're a rap artist and you also listen to rock or metal for instance, there are some elements of rock mixing that you might incorporate into your mix. Tonally speaking you could be incorporating a mixing technique for bass guitar for a sub bass like an 808. And the thing is whether you're the engineer or the artist, you both have tastes in different kinds of music, but you can pull elements from all the genres you both listen to and sort of make it into a unique "style" if you will.
Back on the genre crossing thing there's a million different things that can influence the final mix, a genre will typically have a certain sound to it that distinguishes it from other genres, even though that's mostly in the production part of the process, you'd be surprised what you can do in the mixing process with FX like reverb and delay or modulation like chorus, flanger, or a phaser. Panning and automation is something that can create some interesting FX. Like another thing you can do is like take Rock or metal and incorporate mixing techniques from the electronic genres, for instance let's take two unrelated instruments, a synth pad and a screaming vocal. You could the style of the synth pad influencing the mixing technique for vocals on the rock track. You could take a look at how some synth pads move and swirl and in some sections of the rock song make that voice into something out of this world.
Now there's an infinite amount of possibilities with mixing, just like there is with production and recording. With mixing it's all about putting it all together.
My whole point of this is to say have fun and experiment with the mixing portion of your song. As I said at the beginning this isn't just geared for the engineer, but also the artist or songwriter. There may be different things about different songs you like from each of them, why not try one or all of them in your song to see where it goes? If you're the engineer, don't hesitate to go "Oh, hey I have an idea...." or if you're the artist don't hesitate to say "OMG! This sounds like it could work a bit like <Song/Artist>!" Music is a universe of opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and crossing lines. So go ahead and cross some tonal, FX, and Mixing boundaries. Make that song into something crazy unique, bend genres, make a new genre! You never know where this will lead!
Anyway, this is more of an Experimental post itself, lol, just try and see what the hell you come up with! If you want some ideas look up stuff by Sylvia Massey, she's like one of the top producers in the world and her techniques are absolutely insane, even though we're talking mixing here, you can damn near be inspired by any and everything Sylvia does. THE WOMAN MIC'D UP A CHICKEN FOR GOD SAKES! LOL If that alone doesn't inspire you to go out of your head and comfort zone, I have no clue what will! LOL
Alright I'm outta here. Have a good one, God Bless, this has been Alex of Studio 7-22.