Originally Posted by blue_thunder
Thanks for doing the Q & A. I really dig the fact that a professional of your stature is willing to share your wisdom with us enthusiasts.
I'm curious, how do you usually approach an album when it's time to start mixing it? Are there any rules that you try to follow? Are there any parts of the mix that you usually address first? Any tips, tricks, or things to avoid that you could share with a novice mixer that might help them get closer to that professional sound?
I usually start with drums, then bass, guitars, keyboards, strings etc. leaving vocals until last - although on some folk records vocals would be in earlier. I try to get all the instruments in a rough balance within an hour or two. When I have all the elements up I find it easier to hear what needs doing. I do spend time on stereo positioning - trying out alternatives. If you get the positioning right, the mix will come together much easier. There are no rules, but mixing is more an art-form. It took me a few years to get a grip on how to get what I wanted. For FX I use an Echo Plate, a Room Simulator and 2 or 3 DDL's for most of my mixes - although there might be the additional 'death-flange' or special effect. A good stereo compressor across the mix.
Don't start out with levels too high! always easier to increase than decrease - never in the 'red' with digital