Dance mixers do not affect the way dance fans listen to music, because they make the music sound like something other than the source of the sound. There are some disadvantages, too. For example, music mixing is a very labor-intensive process, and if we have to mix 10 tracks of music, what’s the point of putting them through a mixer? It would take me a few hours.
When musicians mix their own music, I often say, “It’s easier to mix it down by listening to it in one mix, and then go back and put the individual instruments and vocals into an other mix with the same music on it—it sounds cleaner.”
As musicians learn more about recording and mixing, however, they are discovering that in many cases mixing is actually part of it. Mixers don’t always mix what the artist intended—you can find a great drum kit mixed correctly from the same set of drum pads as another drummer. It’s all about balance and trust.
Why are DJs, promoters, musicians, and DJs sometimes confused about the proper process of mixing music?
It can be difficult to distinguish the difference between mixing as an engineer and a mixer. But mixing is done for a reason. All recording involves putting together pieces of information that are meant to be heard together in sequence. If you’re not careful, you have to make decisions between all the potential choices for playback, and if you don’t make those decisions right, there’s nothing to be heard. It’s easy to get lost in the muddle of mixing. Some mixing engineers I know would much rather mix their own music by itself and then make that part of the mix, and that way people would be “on the same page” before they’d finished listening to the “drum kit.”
Where do producers and labels like to listen for mixed mixes?
When they do, they generally hear things that they don’t like, which is why I say artists always hear what they want to hear. I have an engineer at home, but when I’m mixing, I go out to clubs or festivals with my mixer and get all of my friends to hear whatever comes out.
What is the biggest misconception and lack of information that DJs, labels, and musicians still have?
I think for most people the biggest misconception about mixers is that we just give people a CD with a lot of music on it. In reality, most of us are mixing for music. We always mix for our
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