Learning how to mix music was organic for me and a way to go to the next level in my music career.
After graduating from music production school I was happy with the knowledge I got, the experience, and I was applying everything I learned.
In school, we did learn mixing, but not in-depth. So, mixing was something that I had to learn by myself.
Was it Difficult to Learn How to Mix Music
The learning curve was tough because back then there was no Youtube, online schools, etc to accelerate the learning curve.
The best resources we had to learn mixing were magazines, forums, the library, and a couple of blogs. We also had to go to professional studios to be an intern to learn how to mix music at a commercial success level.
But as people started publishing content online and schools started to migrate to the digital domain then things started becoming easier.
Is Mixing Music Hard?
It's not hard to learn how to mix music, you can choose to educate yourself for free, pay, or even get a coach or mentor. The possibilities are just endless these days.
If you choose to learn for free through youtube, blogs, groups, etc. that process will require a lot of time because the resources are scattered all over the place.
It's doable, but it will take ages for you to fully grasp the artistic side of mixing.
What you need is a system. Once you learn a certain system that works time and time again, for different genres, take that, add your touch, and you'll be producing great quality mixes all the time.
Here's one thing that I learned by watching professional mixing engineers, they all have a step-by-step system (or formula), while everyone else is relying on a bunch of tips/tricks they get online.
I believe the best way to learn audio mixing in 2021 is to get a mentor or coach.
You can find them offline through internships or someone who has a studio and willing to teach you the skill.
Choose someone who knows what they're doing, listen to some of the stuff they've mixed before to make sure that you're learning from the best.
Online I would recommend checking out Mix With The Masters, I learned a lot when they were still offering 1-year plans only. Now they offer a monthly subscription as well so it's affordable for most people.
Check it out, you'll learn a lot of stuff from legendary mixing engineers.
You can also check out Pure Mix and My Mix Lab.
Can I Mix My Own Music?
Yes, you can mix your own music. If you have the right knowledge, tools, and experience then it's possible.
If you're a complete beginner though, this can be challenging, especially getting your mix to compete with your favorite songs.
The best way to learn much faster is to give a professional mixing engineer your song(s) to mix while you watch how they mix your music. That's what helped me learn the art quicker.
This will also help you improve your recording, sound design, and production skills. If you're working with a great engineer they'll point out some of those mistakes so that you can improve your music making skills.
Once you're able to get the best sound from the source then mixing your own music will be an easy process.
Learning how to mix music using free Youtube tutorials, communities, magazines, etc. can be a bit tougher.
Don’t get it twisted, free tutorials are a great resource to learn from but the information is scattered all over the place and disorganized.
So, get someone who will teach you their step-by-step system then apply the tips you get online to improve that system (only when it's necessary).
Truth is, random tips and tricks can come in handy when you already have your own system and workflow.
They just become the cherry on top (or the sauce).
You can also fuse different systems. For instance, I combined systems I learned from Chris Lord-Alge, Andrew Scheps, Luca Pretolesi, and MixedbyAli to create my own system.
I'm not talking about tricks, I'm talking about watching them mix multiple songs from start to finish so that I can get a good grasp of their entire system and workflow.
How Long Does it Take to Learn to Mix Music?
This is something that is different for everyone because, how long it takes will be determined by a lot of various factors.
However, just like everything else, you’ll need to put in your 10 000 hours of practicing audio mixing.
Get material that you can use to practice.
You can go around your neighborhood to find artists and producers who need help with engineering.
Use their music to improve your craft and to create a portfolio for yourself.
You can also search for multitracks online that you can use for practice purposes. With a simple google search, you can find great websites that offer multitracks for several genres.
Don’t stick to one genre, mix different genres to expand your knowledge and skills. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t work for a particular genre.
For instance, MixedbyAli always groups his kick and bass to a bus channel then distorts them to make the low-end cut through. I’ve tried that on rap songs and it works wonders but on a dance music song, it sounds horrible.
So, when you’re learning how to mix music be prepared to go through a lot of trial and error as well. It won’t be a smooth process, and sometimes you’ll feel like quitting and just letting someone else do it for you.
If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it.
How long it takes for you to learn to mix music will be determined by your work ethic and how bad you want it.
Before I wrap up I also have to mention another very important part of learning mixing, which is to fully understand your tools.
You have no idea how many people send me emails asking me to use FL Studio for my tutorials so that they can implement what I teach.
I learned from people who use Pro Tools, but because I’ve mastered my software I can implement what they teach effortlessly in Cubase.
It’s very important for you to master your tools. This includes the DAW, plugins, and workflow stuff such as automation, grouping, bouncing, routing, shortcuts, etc.
Mastering your tools will fast-track your learning curve. Whenever you’re forced to work with tools you’re not familiar with you’ll be able to navigate much easier because parameters are often the same.
If you’re interested in learning my mixing approach, get mentorship, and a working step-by-step formula then fill in the form below to get started right away.