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How do you get that loud, full impact in your mixdowns? It’s a question that i get asked every day. So over this two part article i’ll aim to pass on some great tips and advice to help achieve fatter, louder productions and mixdowns. 


  • Stage One – The Arrangement

In order to understand what’s going on in your DAW, you need to understand a few basic principles of how sound works. If you stand in the street banging a drum, and then more people join in, the banging will continue to get louder with each new person added. Why is this? There’s no limit to volume in real life…More simply means more.

In your DAW the opposite applies, less is more…The more parts that play simultaneously in your track, the less headroom is available on your master output. Make sense? Good…

A lecturer i heard once described the musical arrangement as “a conversation between the instruments, instead of an argument where everyone is shouting at once!” 

Tip: Use fewer instruments etc in your track to achieve what your after.

  • Stage 2 – Choosing the right sounds and recording quality

Due to a combination of various elements such as frequency, attack, delay, distortion, harmonics  etc some sounds will have more impact than others. 

My advice is to fix problems at the source, don’t wait until your into the mix. You have a lead synth that’s got a lot of resonance and is a bit to bright…Try adjusting the synths filter and resonance or velocity.

Your better off spending an extra day preparing sounds, finding the right sample or synth or re-recording a vocal with a new mic or different pre-amp.

Tip: Spend more time finding the ‘Right’ sound, rather than mixing it! You can’t polish a turd, as the saying goes…

NI Massive's filter and resonance controls

NI Massive’s filter and resonance controls

Part two coming tomorrow…