A Powerful Mixing Tool

When mixing music, it’s easy to get distracted. At the point you have a static mix, you probably start fixing something with an EQ, begin to fiddle around with effects, compressors and so on. It’s aimless and unfocused.

To overcome this dilemma I use a very simple but powerful tool. Pen and paper.

How should this help me mixing?

Well, you don’t go grocery shopping without a list and when you’re hungry. Otherwise you come back with all sorts of things, but surely forgot the milk you actually wanted to buy.


How does it work?

  1. Listen to the whole song, but don’t touch anything in your DAW.
  2. Write down the things that bother you in the mix (e.g. harsh vocals).
  3. Then implement everything on your list.
  4. Repeat this process until the mix is finished.

Like using a shopping list you simply check off every item until you’re done. This greatly increased my focus and confidence while mixing a track.

You could probably also do this with your favorite text processor on the computer. But at least for me pen and paper keep me away from the mouse and keyboard, force me to listen to the music and focus on the really important stuff instead of doing little moves which in the end probably won’t make a difference for the listener.

So next time you’re mixing give it a try and let me know if it worked out.