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  • Writer's pictureDavid Ronan

Everything you need to know about mixing music. The what, the how and the when.

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

When you're creating a song, the different elements need to be balanced correctly in order to create a cohesive piece of music. This is where mixing comes in. Mixing is the process of adjusting and enhancing the various sonic characteristics of each track in order to create a smooth, polished sound. In this blog post, we'll discuss mixing, how it is done and why it's so important when creating music or any other piece of audio content.

A high end studio for mixing music
A high end studio

What is mixing?

Mixing is an essential part of the music production process. It's what takes all of the different tracks and elements of a song or piece of audio content and blends them together into a cohesive whole. A good mix will sound polished and professional, while a bad mix can sound muddy and cluttered.

When is mixing done?

In music, it happens after you've composed, recorded and arranged your song and it happens before mastering. In other forms of audio content creation, this might be the last step before you publish anything on social media.

What do I need to do mixing?

First of all, you would need either a DAW like Ableton or Logic or you could use a mixing desk. Essentially, somewhere that you can listen to all of your individual tracks, adjust their individual levels and apply audio effects.

Second, you would need either a very good pair of studio-quality headphones or you would need a pair of studio monitors. Studio monitors are loudspeakers, that typically have a flat frequency response so that when you listen back to your song or audio content on them, there isn't any added bass or treble.

Third, if you're mixing audio on studio monitors, you may need to acoustically treat your room to avoid the materials of your walls, carpet or ceiling affecting the sound.

Finally, you would need to have a good understanding of how things like EQ, compression, panning and reverb work. Specifically, how to configure them, when to use and when not to use them.

How long does mixing normally take?

For music, mixing typically takes at least a day but can take longer depending on how many tracks you need to mix in your song. You will also need to regularly give your ears time to rest since listening to the same musical passages over and over again makes our ears tired and will affect your judgement.

Ableton Live's EQ audio effect for mixing music
Ableton Live's EQ8 audio effect

How is mixing done?

There are a few things that need to be done when mixing a song or piece of audio content. First, you need to make sure that all of the tracks are at the correct volume level. If one track is too loud, it will drown out the others.

Second, you need to set the panning position of each track in order to create a sense of space and depth in your mix. For example, you might pan a lead vocal to the centre and the rest of the instruments to the left and right.

Finally, you need to add effects such as EQ, compression and reverb to each track to help them all fit together. EQ is used to boost or cut frequency content on a track, compression is used to control the dynamics, and reverb is for adding short-sounding reflections to a track to give it more presence.

Where else is mixing needed?

Mixing is needed wherever there are multiple sound sources competing to be heard. This means many different types of content creation such as podcasting, video production and audio advertising. It also sometimes needs to be performed in real-time for live broadcasts, concerts, video games and virtual reality (VR).

Why is mixing important?

Mixing is important because it allows you to control the overall sound of your song or piece of audio content. By EQing, compressing, panning and adjusting levels, you can make sure that each element in your song or audio content is sitting where you want it to be. This helps to create a polished, balanced and professional-sounding mix that you can distribute on the likes of Spotify or Bandcamp or a social media platform.

Who normally does the mixing?

You could hire a professional mix engineer who would have all the required equipment and knowledge to give you a professional mix. You could also spend a few months of your own time learning the basics and investing in studio gear in order to be able to create satisfactory mixes, but you might prefer to spend more time composing and arranging. The final and least expensive option would be to use an online mixing service like RoEx Automix that harnesses the power of AI to give you a professional and balanced-sounding mix in a matter of minutes.


Mixing is a very important step of the music and audio content creation process and is ubiquitous wherever there are multiple sound sources competing to be heard. It can be a complicated and very involved process requiring extensive knowledge of audio production. However, it is also a lot easier and less expensive these days to achieve the goal of a professional-sounding mix using assistive plug-ins like Izotope Neutron or end-to-end web platforms like RoEx Automix.

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