About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “Top 10 Mixing Mistakes – Warren Huart: Produce Like A Pro

  1. I finally had to subscribe, I've just watched too many of your vids now, and taken useful stuff away from them, so I figured it's about time I gave some feedback. Some exceptionally useful and interesting topics covered in this vid: you mentioned float point settings; I'd be interested to here what you think about recording and mixing at different bit depths an sample rates. I tend to do everything at 24bit, 41.1K as it is standard. Another useful area you cover here, is mix buss compression, something I have fallen fowl of before when using T-Racks plugins that are probably designed for mastering, but of course, the minute you switch them off that mix you think sounds so good, now sounds dull and lifeless, making if difficult to go back, so at what point would you begin to put plugins on the mix buss; i.e. is it a good idea to develop a full mix without or would you ever load up plugins and run with them from the outset?

  2. we need production tips like…Making the groove very appealing, the rhythm elements that combine with the drums (usually hit songs have an amazing groove made by a few elements that work together beautifully), another principle to remember is : leave a space after the chorus, leave some air, some pauses for the audience to feel what they just heard – especially after a super part, after a chorus or a great solo – like a comedian would leave space for people to allow them to laugh, let them enjoy the moment and not talking without breaks, not talking over their moment – it s their moment 🙂 OK – hope it helps someone. Cheers !

  3. Good stuff, Warren. Thank you! I'll offer one more suggestion for people like me who don't mix for a living. It's easy to get caught up in the visual process of mixing. I catch myself watching meters and making decisions based on what I see instead of trusting my ears. I find that if I force myself to close my eyes and really listen, when making adjustments, I'm more apt to make wise decisions. Not sure if that works for everyone, but thought I'd mention it. Thanks again, Warren. You've got yourself another subscriber.

  4. Young people, listen to this guy. He is dead on the money. He just summarized what it took me a life time to learn, and as he said, I, we, are still learning! (I'm 73.) I go back (my first job as an engineer/producer) to when a "punch in" was taking two or three, maybe four takes on a two track Ampex while working the mix in real time (those machines sounded great!) and then picking out the best sections and splicing them together. Then go from that, through the board (8 channels, tube), mix in the vocals, fills, rides etc. and catch that on another two track and so on. As time went on we had better and better equipment including multi track machines with punch in capability. Heaven! Opened my first studio in 88. Today's tech is beyond amazing though. You don't really realize what is available to you unless you were there at the beginning. But his mixing tips are dead on the money. Pay attention and you will learn! Just found you bro. New sub! Oh, and the best tool of all? Ears! And remember, it's not about the tech, it's about the music. Pay attention to what the music is doing and make the mix compliment it.

  5. haven't watched yet but am hoping to get some tips on PANS and Reverbs, I always have the hardest time trying to decide where to place things in the pan spectrum and how much reverb to put on the different tracks. I know you usually keep the drums and bass up the middle with no reverb except maybe some room sound on the drums but thats about all I know, I usually have drums track , and I'm using samples so I don't get to pan the drums pieces, a bass track, acoustic, electric rhythm, electric lead, keyboard, and lead vocal and backup vocal for chorus.

  6. Do the volume tip apply to EDM? How many club geared EDM, trance, or house mixes have you done? Cause tracks from Tiesto and the like, are really really loud.

  7. Great stuff!! Just to add to the topic of not mastering while mixing… agree 100%! Especially if haven’t really mastered before!! As an engineer that HAS mastered a few hundred or more indie projects, I break this rule always, but absolutely take a few days between mixing, and final mastering. The great advantage of doing it this way is that as a project comes together, and I discover slight bass or vocal level discrepancies across multiple songs, I have the advantage of having access to the actual mix, rather than trying to sort it with a multi band… Fixing mixing mistakes in the mix! thanks so much for the great reminders! (^=

  8. I wish I had heard of this guy's YouTube videos a long time ago. Fantastic practical advice, explained in basis terms. Also he provides the rationale behind each one of his recommendations. This is important, because it assists with understanding whether the recommendation is applicable to your own recording circumstances.

    After all, most of George Martin's production on Beetles albums were carried out on 4 track magnetic tape with limited access to effects and signal processioning. And dont get me started on early to mid 1970s Pink Floyd in the studio.

  9. Excellent vid!!
    Funny though when he’s talking about 1073, et al… anyone who actually has any of those should already be a pro and wouldn’t need corrective cut tips. Hehe.

  10. I saw your video on mixing and panning drums. What you didn't talk about was how to pan a second-floor tom. How far should you pan it? is it necessary to have a second-floor tom?

  11. Wish your advice was available back in the early to mid-1970s. I had to learn the hard way that what you are mentioning in your videos is so true. For instance, taking frequent breaks when mixing is so very important because your ears become fatigued. How many times I mixed down a session only to come back the next day and could not believe what I had done. Listening on various speakers and in multiple locations is super important. We had Altec Lancing (monster) speakers in our control room. I learned to take mixes home and listen on my home stereo system and then on car radio speakers. We produced jingles so most people were going to hear our final product on the radio or TV. I do have a question for you. Do you find that mixing a relatively large band/group any different than mixing, say a group of 4 or 5 individuals overdubbing multiple instruments?

  12. Ok headphones,every one says don't mix with headphones. I say headphones are a great tool for mixing, of course you want to use studio monitors on the final mix.I use headphones in a couple different ways, but mainly to clean up tracks. With headphones you can hear everything, all the imperfections and really clean up your tracks. Once you get everything cleaned up then mix on your Studio monitors.

  13. There are times when I've taken headphones off, but still play through them in front of my face – just to hear the mix in a different way – It's also a good indicator that I need a break!

  14. Do you alter clip gain (audio regions) settings rather then automating volume all the time? Personally for me is the fastest way to priorities certain instruments in different sections. Would love to know your views 🙂

  15. Loving your videos, Warren.

    That bit about 'hearing everything equally' and your disdain. I share that disdain! It gets too busy that way … the thing you said about the guy establishing the fact of the piano as the artist's instrument before putting it in support of acoustic guitars … yes to that! There is a ton of cognitive psychology goes on in mixing. Lot of physics too. Mixing happens at the interface of these two sciences.

  16. 1) Use NS-10s at a low volume liberally, 2) take the mix into the car, onto ear buds, to every non-professional listening method you can find, 3) use a variety of studio monitors of various quality and reference them all frequently and 4) make a reference track of your favorite track of another person, something that has a mix you love, stick it on a stereo track, put it on the top of your stack and give it a unique color and A/B your mix to that frequently as you go along. With no reference point you lose touch with reality and the better your studio monitors are the more you lose touch with reality. 5) If you can, listen to isolated tracks from various major records by the Stones, Zeppelin, whatever, so see how sloppy an unfinished they actually are. 6) STOP FIXING AND TIME CORRECTING EVERYTHING.

  17. Warren, when you say plugins don’t quite work as well for boosting EQ, would you say that’s any brand? UAD included? Waves? Just curious your opinion, as they get a little better every few years.

  18. eq your return channels. you dont need the full range coming back on a reverb for example. a bit of mid and some high is enough.

  19. I went to take a break and this video was on. I never liked the sterro in my Charger but now that I mix a lot more and use it for one of my references I love it when I make that sterro sound great. It means I'm getting close and heading in the right direction. Thank you Warren.

  20. Warren, how do you get over that voice in your head always showing up to tell you the mix is still not right? I guess I'm not the only one who gets this.
    How do you finish it and say "ok this is good, enough work on this mix"? I find that really hard.

  21. You are seriously such an awesome person for spreading all this wonderful knowledge. For those of us who don't personally know any pros to learn from, this is the next best thing!

  22. Great tips like always! I did a mix yesterday. I like it, but something isn´t quite there. And here comes one of your mixing tips in handy. I did no automation. So right after my comment I´ll start automating my mix 🙂 Thanks again for you great videos

  23. I made many of these mistakes on my last project – especially all of the soloing of tracks. I did many other things right too! Thanks Warren!

  24. when I get tired (usually after 1 hour and 30 minutes of mixing) or when I get frustrated, I turn off my monitors and put the laptop to sleep. I then go outside, smoke a cigar (not a tobacco one) and just relax, looking at the beautiful view in the brazilian countryside… i disconnect entirely from the mix (or beat) for a few minutes and then i'll inevitably start thinking about it again and I'll start having ideas both for the mix and the production (including lyrics) .

    My point is that breaks make me produce more and be more efficient so in the end, breaks mean money!! Not yet for me, but that's how I see it

  25. While Mixing a song of mine the other day I heard some tones that sounded like vocals, there were no vocals in the song at that point. When I tried to isolate the tones to enhance them, because it sounded cool, I couldn't do it. I could only hear them when I played the song as a whole. What is going On ? Ghost in The Machine ?

  26. Sir you are such a good teacher, you make your points very clear. And the tempo of your talking is very comfortable to listen to. Please make more videos on mixing, or maybe logic pro X if possible?

  27. yes I have a question… how I have trouble know how much to limit… and how can I know when my track is a full volume with out distortion coming thru

  28. The mix engineer is often an arranger. Deciding when to mute things or leave things in. Because of that it’s beneficial to truly understand the structure of the song. Know the verse/chorus and how your mix enhances the arrangement and the build of the song.

  29. When I think of volume automation… Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" comes to mind… have a close listen to how the background instrumentation enters and leaves each section of the song. Its a truly brilliant audio mix.

  30. Nice video!! Just one comment about the breaks. I mix and master the songs and I found some years ago that only a night or a day was not enough for me to master properly. If I can, I disconnect for a week and then I master the song. In this week I don't listen the song, I listen a lot of different music and when I sit back in the studio, my ears are fresh and ready to do the job properly. Also it's important to know when to stop working. I think if you are tired or not concentred you have to stop and come back the next day. It works also for musicians. When you are not capable to play your part, have a rest and then try again.

  31. I’ve discovered many of these on my own, and it makes me feel better about what I’m doing. Listening in different environments is big…cutting instead of boosting, volume automation…all helped me.

  32. On cutting over boosting EQ. From what I've been told, a Pultec never actually boosts anything with the filter itself. The filter is a passive design ( well, several passive designs, one for each frequency setting ) so it actually cuts around the "boost" point, while simultaneously boosting the entire signal with a tube amp. This can be done in the digital realm with component level circuit modeling based on SPICE simulation. Unfortunately there are a lot of plugs out there that are simply using "black box" style emulation, attempting to match the curves of the original gear using stock digital EQ algorithms. This takes far less CPU, but then how much CPU does it take afterwards when you have to add additional plugins to further alter the signal in ways you probably wouldn't have to if you used a proper circuit simulation to begin with?

  33. Interesting. I have never experienced a digital EQ making the top end "brittle" as you describe. Could you demonstrate this in a video? If you already have one, could you please point me to the title?

  34. Great video again Warren, thank you for sharing.
    Here a metaphor that helped me improve my mixes and confirms your statement on “mixing the all song vs. soloing”.
    Compare your mix with a painting, frequencies with colors.
    The same yellow will look different when next to blue or red.. As your bass sound will be dramatically affected by you kick and all other instruments close to it in the frequency spectrum.. soloing is great to take a closer look at a possible problem or idea you have. But after making adjustments, as you said, take a break, get a drink and listen to the all song, never loose the full picture.
    Wish all the other soundnerds a wonderful weekend!

  35. Fuck it Warren, don't need the plug till latter mate, just get on with it right ? Quite frankly, never heard of you, so please, I've been in the game longer than you've been alive… GET TO THE SHIT, or be flushed… another V8 moment.

  36. Thank you very much Warren, very helpful tips, specially on volume automation, listening to the song as a whole and taking brakes.

  37. I'm surprised that you didn't mention referencing other tracks against your own to get a sense of where you are at. I've watched enough of your videos to hear you mention it in other places of course….
    .. my question about volume would be How quiet is too quiet to mix? I mix loud music at very very very low volumes to avoid burning out.

  38. Great tips and video… Did a 5 hour mixing session yesterday.. only had one short break to pee. Not good 😉
    Perhaps you have covered this question in another video, but many people ask me, "Can you use headphones for mixing?"
    My own experience is "only partly" to arrange and set the initial mix. But what are your experience with mixing with headphones?
    Cheers from Copenhagen, Denmark.
    ~ Lars

  39. Man why do you like to share this music production secrets? its not normal for a producers to share us all this trics!?

  40. I always upset when mixed dont sound like the radio. I feel like because I don't do it fast it not good enough.

  41. Excellent video. Can you make or do you have a video explaining in deep Volume automation??? Pleaseeeee 🙂
    Cheers from Sweden

  42. really agree with your top tips. Every days' a school day. Love the Genelecs! S30 's the fave. Replaced my NS10s with Soundcraft Absolute Zero's. A true blessing!

  43. Great video Warren – the best tip you gave was to listen to your production in different locations. My tip is as follows: Master on small speakers at low volume levels. We were in Chess Studios, Chicago, Ill and had the pleasure of working with Ron Malo the Rollings Stones engineer. When it came time to master Ron had the volume level so low we could barely hear it. We mixed the song in spite of the unbelievably low volume level and then he had us go out into the main studio and he cranked up the speakers and HOLY SMOKES it was like heaven. Tip – master at LOW VOLUME. If it sound good then it will sound great wherever !

  44. I always hear a lot of how to do this and that, but I never hear about how loud should a guitar amp be when recording when you're micing the cabinet?

  45. Flipping one channel out of phase can be disconcerting to listen to, surely, but it's madness for the simple reason that they will cancel is ever summed to mono. Who knows what's going to happen to your music once it leaves your studio. Maybe some streaming service or weird college radio station plays in mono.

    Now, ONCE, I had a shaker in the mix, and I did flip one side out of phase purposely to make the shaker sound like it was unusual. I didn't care if it got lost in mono, it was just something I did for fun and it didn't make or break the song.

  46. I am always shocked when I see someone do a dead fader mix. One of my teachers stressed fader moves, but I really never had to be told. Gotta make fader moves.

  47. You laughed at the guy who said all things should be the same volume, and I agree, that's just frakkin silly. But there is a guy with a popular youtube channel who in a video about recording actually said he asks drummers to move their cymbals to the same height above the kit because is helps even things out or something. When I heard that I laughed because what sound sources are EVER going to be the same volume no matter what? And isn't that what he want? I want cymbals in my OHs to sound different and be at different places and different levels. It adds depth and texture to a good mix. That guy needs to be flipping burgers.

  48. Ahhh famous clipping… Always had a problem with that, after finishing exporting a mix always get that horrible distortion, never knew where is the problem, hah..

  49. Thank you so much for this – I wish I had watched this video in particular before I made (most of) these mistakes, particularly the 'not taking breaks' one.

  50. Thank you for another great video! I'm happy to hear I'm not the only person who thinks his mix sounds good just to play it in the car and the music is all distorted. I plan on investing in some monitor speakers soon. I also like to work one song and then take a break and work on a different song. It is good to hear that that is ok and you don't have to work on one song and finish it before moving on to the next. I enjoy the choice of choosing what song to work on depending on my mood.

  51. Solo in front is a useful feature; solo, but instead of completely muting the other non-solo channels, it just turns them down so you can listen in context.

  52. is a chrous effect basically achieved by offsetting the phase of a left / right signal? I really like the presence given to a bass track with a bit of chorus on it. maybe it just fits my musical style, I dunno. if I like that sort of effect for bass but if chorus is not a wise choice from a mixing standpoint, what would be a better alternative, if any?

  53. For the record, taking breaks has been the biggest boon to my mixing. It's HUGE! Your ears and your brain just get biased in such a short time (if not downright worn out!). This is all very good advice. Thank you so much for sharing!

  54. regarding EQ cutting and boosting – i like to think of it like an iceberg … where 2/3 is underwater and only 1/3 over …for every two degrees of cut you should be allowed to boost by 1 …

  55. the other big EQ 'trick' people may or may not know is – if you're trying to get rid of an annoying sound – FIRST boost the hell out of it to make it much worse THEN once you've centered in on the frequency – THEN cut it – makes it MUCH easier to ID the problem region.

  56. I'm 75 and I've been engineering, producing, mixing, playing multiple instruments what have you since I was a teenager. Got my first studio job at 20. Owned my own studio since the 80's. I've produced and mixed hundreds of singles and albums during that time. I said all of that to say this, young people, listen to this guy. He knows what he's talking about!

  57. glad you said that about widening, cus i steer clear of that cus i need it to sound good and similar whether mono or stereo….check out my music and give me some tips!! would be an honor. Listen to the newest tracks though and let me know how to take it to the next level. Anywho, I loved your video and keep doing your thing!! pce (Oh and a question……I have a fairly low voice and a snowbal usb microphone and it comes out muddy and soft. so i have to crank the gain 14 dB's to get audible and then it's altogether too low for ppl to like….but when I high pass filter repeatedly, as high pass filters occur as side-benefits of many plugis, I find sometimes i take it too far to the point of making my voice too high, akin to if I highpassed at double the Frequency, but through h-passing repeatedly…my question is, do you know of another way besides layering high passes to get rid of the mud without making it sound thin? I know adding a delay at the end after reverb helps but im really curious to know what you have to say, and it might honestly help to check out a video on my channel so you know what we're working with. Also, why does it seem like professionals voices always just sound like THEM, without ANY processing…..yet my mixes always seem PROCESSED or even BAD at times….like, for example, do rappers like krs-one or ice cube not even higpass filter their vocals? why can they get away with it but the second i leave too much of my natural bass tone in my mix ppl are screaming that I sound flat monotone et cetera….55'pce my brotha , thanks for the Video!!

  58. Revisited this video. Really well presented basic but very important info for mixing. Beginners listen to this….. Warren does a good job explaining.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *