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Maintining Focus in a Mix
Old 19th June 2008
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Maintining Focus in a Mix

When going for levels, I often find myself trying to get everything to be equal in volume, but then everything seems to be muffled by everything else/competing for attention.. it's very distracting.

I know that there are to be priorities as far as focus goes, not only in arrangment but in the mix. The music should sell the vocal, so obviously the vocal should be "featured" in the mix and easy to follow (assuming the song has vocals). Whenever the vocals drop out though, then you have to decide who it is that the spot light should be on and bring them up in volume, right?

The question now is, do you stagger everyone else generally? (vocal up front, then everyone else balanced to roughly equal volume) or is it better to maintain a hierarchy of some sort, making the vocals up highest, then the snare and kick, then the guitars, then bass, then cymbals etc?

Just curious how you guys/gals operate. I know most of you will want to say 'use your ears' or 'if it sounds good it is good' but us Novices don't always know what we are listening for. Please spare those comments for this thread.

This issue seems to borderline psychology and music, as far as attention span/focusing ability of a listener.
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