Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/What doese the mixing process involve?


Dear Sir,
Iím a young songwriter in an Asian country and was lucky enough to sell my first song to a recording company.
The agent there told me that after they finish the vocal recording, they would like me to give comments on the mixing. This makes me nervous as honestly, I just wrote the song with my guitar and do not have anything useful to say about mixing.
Could you pls advise?
Thank you

Hi Ben :

Audio mixing is an elaborate process ( depending on many factors complexity of the arrangement, level of performances and esthetic
concerns as well among them ), but it can be boiled down into several basic categories:

setting balances between musical elements - vocal vis a vis background, internal sub -balances etc.

error correction and editing -fixing wrong notes, correcting intonation ( usually in vocals ) -these days with modern tapeless systems like ProTools this has become very easy to fix errors .

cosmetic enhancement  -amount of reverb, adjusting highs and lows through equalization and filters, application of limiters and compressors to even out signal level where required.

As a song writer, your basic concern will probably be the aggregate "sound " of the featured vocal. Listen to be sure the balance between the vocal and the background is to your liking and the treatment of the vocal is what you want to hear. Be aware of diction and pronounciation issues.

I hope this helps a bit  :)

good luck with your recording.

Phil Kelly

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Phil Kelly


I`m a semi-retired professional music arranger with over thirty five years in all phases of the commercial music production business. I can try to answer questions regarding music arranging, theory, orchestration , and/or composition for most acoustic ensembles .( jazz band or orchestral ) I can try to offer suggestions about studio music recording procedures and some basic MIDI applications , too. In the course of my career I`ve worked with such artists as Doc Severinsen and the old Tonight Show Band, Bill Watrous, Buddy Greco, John Gary, Mel Torme, Julius LaRosa, as well as the Pop programs of the Fort Worth, Dallas, North Carolina, and Houston Symphonies, as well as library music material for ABC, ESPN, and NFL Films.

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