What Is A Static Mix?
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Building anything without solid foundations is the fast road to a big fail and the same rules apply when approaching your mix. Along with gain staging and bussing out tracks, performing a static mix is often over looked in those early mix stages..
But, making a balanced static mix is not only a really important stage of the mixing process, it's a highly enjoyable one too.
So what exactly is a static mix?
Did you know that back in the day, when Abbey Road employees in those brown long overcoats leaned over the desks and tape machines scratching at their brows, they were known not as mix engineers but balance engineers.
And that's what a static mix is all about, balancing the mix using just two controls, your faders and your pan knobs.
It's often quite incredible just how good you can get a mix to sound at this stage and if it's something you don't usually do, I think you'll be surprised quite how far you can take things.
Here's a couple of top tips:
Start with the loudest focal part of your mix and build your mix around it. Typically this'll be the lead vocal.
If you're mixing double tracked rhythm guitars pan them wide whilst backing vocals will support the lead vocal panned closer together.
When you feel like you're done. Take a break and come back to the mix first listening ambiently from another room to check that the mix translates. This works really well to highlight anything that needs a tweak.
Building that solid foundation will pay you back in spades when you get further into the mix process so work it into your mix method and go create!