Are you too afraid to release your songs because you don’t think your mixes are good enough? Or do you constantly tweak your mix without knowing whether it’s done?
If you want to learn to mix your songs by yourself but don't know how to get a professional quality sound then you'll be interested in custom one-on-one music production training.
Let me ask you, how many times are you happy with your mixes?
If you're starting out, you might hate every single one of your mixes up to this time, including the one you'll do tomorrow.
They just make you want to throw your headphones in the trash and give up on your music for good!
On the flipside...if you've been mixing for a while, you might finish a mix every once in a while that you really like.
But the rest of them? You're anxiously unsure about their quality.
Don't get me wrong, they sound decent. You can hear all the instruments clearly and nothing truly stands out as being bad.
But you can't help but wonder whether you can make it better...
You have trouble finding the right reference tracks to see whether you compete with your favorite commercial releases so you deal with this nagging suspicion that you haven't done everything you can to make your mix as good as possible.
And remember, this isn't Baseball where a 30% batting average makes you a major league player.
Just imagine if you listened to a 10-song album where three of the songs sounded great but the rest sounded like a muddy mess?
You could never be proud of that! The three good mixes would be judged against the seven shitty mixes you made on the same record, making you look inconsistent at best, apathetic at worst.
So...because you don't want to be remembered as the Mario Mendoza of mixing, you want to get better.
So you take another listen to your mix. This time you wonder if you can improve the drums better, so you learn some techniques from my Drum Mix Toolkit and sure enough, your drums sound punchier and more powerful.
You might even decide to invest in improving your mixing skills even further and grab my Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course to help you finally understand everything around EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and saturation.
But even after applying those mix improvements, you're still nervous about whether your mix is good enough.
You wish somebody could tell you exactly what you need to do to make your mix as good as it needs to be. You want to feel confident in releasing your music without worrying about whether it's good enough. Sometimes you suffer from "Imposter Syndrome" because you simply don't know if what you're doing is "good enough."
You just want to know if you're doing the right things the professionals do to their commercial productions.
If that sounds like you, you're in luck.
If you want somebody that can coach you to make better mixes, with custom mix training that helps you improve from A to Z...where everything is personalized and focused on the exact music you're working on, not on some random multi-track that you don't care about, then my custom mix training is for you.
How are you going to make your recordings and mixes better in the next month? Are you going to stick to the same stuff and stay stagnant or are you going to take action to improve?
If you want to make your music jump out of the speakers, my goal is to help you do that. My dream is for you to email me out of the blue one day and tell me you won an award for your music because I helped you make it sound successful.
My name is Björgvin Benediktsson and I run Audio Issues. I've been an audio engineer for over 10 years and I help home studio musicians like yourself make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce themselves.
I’ve played in bands for more than half my life, gigging both in my native Iceland as well as internationally throughout the United States. I've written over 1,000 articles on audio production that have helped thousands of audio engineers and musicians improve their music since 2011 and I'm the #1 best-selling author of Step by Step Mixing.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with other musicians is helping them improve their productions in a one-on-one setting. Instead of just working on their songs or having them take my courses, my one-on-one coaching helps you solve the exact production problems you have to make your music sound professional. Instead of having you take a course or read a book, I help you improve through a series of coaching calls and custom videos that teach you the techniques you need to know, using your own multi-tracks. That way, you'll learn exactly how to record and mix better sounding music.
If you want to get better, you might be inspired by the story of my friend Jevan from Australia, who decided to take charge of his production skills.
Jevan Cole is the mastermind behind Meadow Argus, a '70s inspired Space Rock and Psychadelica project. He approached me last year looking for one on one tuition where he could get concrete answers to his mixing problems instead of endlessly searching through books and courses.
He wanted to clean up his mixes and create space for all the instruments in the mix, but was having problems figuring that out on his own. He had been getting the hang of compression, but it was taking him too long. All he could figure out was how to glue things together on busses but couldn’t figure out how to use compression for dynamic control on individual instruments.
As is common with the many home studio musicians I talk to, he was confused with reverb and delay. He didn’t know what space to use for each individual instrument and needed some sense of direction as to how to select the right mode (hall, plate, room etc…).
Finally, he loved using saturation because he felt it warmed things up without needing to think too much of it. However, he was concerned that because he didn’t understand what saturation was doing to the underlying audio, he might be doing something wrong.
Now, I could’ve just told him that my Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course would cover most of the problems that he was dealing with, but I enjoyed the music he sent over so much that I jumped on the opportunity to work with him.
After a bit more back and forth we decided on a combination of custom video training and one-on-one coaching via Skype.
One On One Video Coaching
Jevan and I jumped on a video call and discussed everything he wanted to know to improve his home studio recordings. We talked about guitar and vocal recordings. I told him how to get better treatment in his studio to get his instruments sounding better at the source, and we also discussed the finer points of compression and mixing theory in general.
Basically, anything he wanted to know more about, I helped him understand.
Custom Mix Training Tutorials
I also took the multi-tracks to one of his songs and mixed it as if he were to hire me as a mixing engineer. Then, once he was happy with how the mix sounded, I shot a complete mixing tutorial of how I mixed his song from beginning to end. I talked about how I set up my sessions, how I use EQ and compression on the mix bus, group busses, and individual tracks and how I use effects to create depth and space to get that final 10% professional feel.
This way, he could learn exactly how I got the mix to sound the way he wanted and he could reproduce those techniques on his other songs. With the custom tutorial, he really only needed to hire a mixing engineer for one song, learn some concrete techniques that worked on his music, and then mix the rest of the songs himself. Instead of spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on an audio school that would just end in more questions than answers, he was able to get his most burning questions answered in about an hour.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed working on his music and helping him improve his productions, but don’t take my word for it...
Here’s what he emailed me after our collaboration:
"Thank you very much for your extremely informative mix tutorial. I’ve only been mixing for a couple of years now and have been learning on the fly through books, online videos and a few courses sourced through the web (quite a few of yours by the way!).
My main goal is not really to become an engineer and mix for other musicians (am not counting this out though) but to produce and release my own “space/psych/pop/ambient/whatever” music.
As with all creative endeavors, feedback and collaboration are integral parts of any creative process so by deliberately isolating oneself as a “solo” musician can be quite a hard path as self-doubt, second-guessing and sometimes just pure, dead set confusion can set in.
So, I guess, most of what you went through in the mix tutorial with my song was not necessarily new information to me, but because it was presented in such a logical and cohesive fashion, I really felt that I got a huge amount from it. Not the least being how to control the EQ. and utilize reverb effectively.
Previously, I focused on trying to fix things with broad changes using only a couple of mix moves per track/issue, whereas you showed the true value of small incremental steps to get to where you’re aiming for with the mix.
And in regards to the focus of a mix, I really think you ‘got’ my aim for a mix that sounds clear and cohesive but also a bit old school and analogue, a la some of the 70s music I’m so obviously influenced by.
Another big takeaway for me was that mixing truly is a subjective artform along with the actual composition, arrangement and performance stages and that a clear goal before you start is if not a must, then extremely helpful. I’ll try to stop mixing as I write/arrange/track from now on!!”
Other things I learned:
And I’m sure more things will show up in the future!
Patrick Mercier is another home studio musician who learned some game changing mix moves about panning, stereo widening and parallel compression that changed the way he approached mixing for the better.
"Thanks for the recording of our call. My initial impression is that you are going to be just what I need.
As I’ve described to you - what I’m most in search of is validation that what I’m doing is either on or off the right path. But I got a lot more than that in this first call and I’m looking forward to the next 2.
What I got out of the first call was way better than having that focused of a conversation about a single track. I got a lot more fear-negating / confidence boosting about mixing in general out of our first call. Listening to the way you talk about mixing is helping me to understand that it’s silly to think that there’s one way of doing things. I have to be proactive in understanding how I want my music to sound and then I can do any number of things to make that happen.
The second call was so great. I had 2 aha moments...one during the call and one after.
During the call it was understanding that proper manipulation of the stereo field requires a grounding in mono. That makes so much sense and is characteristic of the issue that I’m noticing with my understanding of mixing in general. I’ve spent a lot of time jumping right into the more complex solutions and have missed a foundational understanding of many simple concepts. In general, the most invaluable things that I’m learning are when you catch on to the fact that I’m missing these basic concepts. You’ll state the concept...and then so many other things will just fall into place in my mind.
Understanding panning was one of those. Chasing low mids instead of lows to get rid of muddiness was another.
After the session I messed around a lot with parallel compression. This is changing everything for me.
The parallel compression on the drums (as you pointed to as a possible culprit) was contributing significantly to the peaks that I heard so I was able to tame that down and get rid of the peaks. But adding parallel compression to the bass was a complete eye opener. I’m realizing now that the bass sounded hollow prior to doing that. Mixing in some compression completely filled in the hollowness with wonderful, fat, meaty energy. So the bass now sounds super solid.
Talk to you soon and thanks for everything. I can’t express enough appreciation to you for doing what you do."
Working with musicians like Jevan last year was really enjoyable. If you think you would like to work with me one on one to improve your recordings, now's your chance.
If you're looking for a mentor that can help take your production skills to the next level, then a custom coaching program is guaranteed to help you out. I'm currently taking on new coaching clients and I want to make sure I can create a custom program that helps you the best.
Because I can only work with so many home studio musicians one on one I want to make sure my skills will help you advance to the next level. Therefore, I've put together a quick application for you to fill out so I can learn more about your situation and see if we're a good fit for each other.
If that's you, and you'd like professional help in figuring out how to make your music the best it can be, click the link below to apply.
Looking forward to getting to know you and your music better!