Organize Your Session
An organized session is an efficient session. Get into the habit of organizing the tracks in your sessions in a particular order.
By creating a similar layout for your tracks every time you mix, you will more easily notice problems with your mix and more easily locate your tracks. This speeds up your workflow and makes for better mixing habits.
Check Polarity and Phase
With tracks coming from so many different studio setups, often there are wiring and “pinning” issues and mistakes where the polarity of a signal is incorrect or flipped even before it hits a track.
A sound recorded with improper polarity will cause speaker to “suck” air rather than “push” air, greatly reducing the impact of your sound and mix.
Be sure to check the waveforms in your mix so that they have the correct polarity.. Often can use a trim plug-in with a phase flip to correct any tracks.
Set Up Your Master Buss
When talking about a master mix buss, many philosophies apply. Ask 100 people and you probably get 100 different answers on how to set it up…
These days 32 and 64 bit floating point systems more likely cause your output converters to clip before your buss. Darrell worries less about headroom on his mix buss and often drives mixes a few dB hot. He demonstrates placing a trim plug-in across the buss to prevent clipping in the output converters.
Others may take a much more conservative approach. But whether you leave lots of headroom or drive it “hot”, you definitely need to pay attention to your master buss and make sure it’s not out of control.