Archive | January, 2012

Tip of the Week: Mix Notes on the Go

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Tip of the Week: Mix Notes on the Go

Posted on 10 January 2012 by D' MacKinnon


When I’m working on mixing songs I always check my mix against a variety of setups to ensure that it’ll sound decent on as wide a variety of systems as possible. My workflow will usually proceed as follows:

  1. Mix on studio monitors
  2. Run through pre-lim mastering process
  3. Check mix again on studio monitors
  4. Check mix on car stereo 1
  5. Check mix on car stereo 2
  6. Check mix on laptop speakers
  7. Check mix on ear-bud headphones
  8. Check mix on over-ear headphones
  9. Check mix on shitty boombox
  10. Repeat steps until mix is refined to final state

In my opinion, the car mixes are the most important as that where the majority of people tend to listen to their music. With such a large number of listening environments things can get disorganized pretty quickly unless you have a process in place. I used to carry around a paper notebook specifically for mix notes but I noticed that it tends to get a bit messy. Sometimes I forget if I’ve already made a fix I took a note on, sometimes I don’t have my notebook with me, etc. While I still keep the notebook around for quick notes now I’ve switched over to using Evernote. I first heard of ever note when I went out to SXSW in 2011. I used it at the conference to take notes on my iPad while on the go. Evernote stores all of your notes in cloud storage so you have access to them from any computer, tablet or smartphone. This is much better than copying files back and forth from a USB drive, you never need to worry about if you have the most recent version if you are making changes on multiple computers. They have native applications available for desktop, iOS and Android in addition to the website interface. Since Evernote worked so well for me at the conference I decided to start using it for other things as well, such as taking notes down on mixes when listening in my car. I can just update the mixnotes notebook from my smartphone and then look it up later when I’m in the studio. As I make the changes I just take them off the list. Next round of mix listening I take more notes from my phone or desktop and repeat. The free version only limits the amount of data you can transfer per month, since most of mine is text I have yet to really run into going over my allotted bandwidth.

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