Before us start, there room a few things I’d like to clean up. I’m not an expert, by any kind of means, yet from my knowledge of the topic, I’d say the audio engineers and music producers do mixing more complicated of a process than it needs to be.

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As a general dominion in life, the simplest solution is generally the correct one. Over sophistication and overanalysis is a huge problem for many. Not just in regards to making a mountain out that a molehill but additionally for scaring beginners far from acquisition their first step in the door.

Less is frequently more, in my ever-so-humble opinion, and also the least complicated, the better.

Similar to mastering which I’ve written around at size before, generally the more you mess around with the song, the worse that gets as result of overanalyzing and also getting tripped increase on minute details, which might be crucial to audiophiles, but are not at every to the median listener.

This is the same factor why i recommend using an easy learning aids like PianoForAll for the piano, i m sorry will assist you take manage over the key tool because that music producers: the MIDI keyboard, in a method that isn’t bogged under by needless sophistication. It doesn’t matter how you acquired it done, as lengthy as it sounds an excellent and the very same thing goes because that mixing (usually).

by the way, I have actually a perform of every the best products for music production on my recommended products page, including deals, coupon codes, and bundles, that method you don’t miss out (including 50% turn off Melda Productions MCompleteBundle i beg your pardon is on sale NOW).

Adjusting the volume the a track by 0.01dB is really no going to do that lot of a difference. However, +1-2dB might be the difference between guitars that sound as well loud or too quiet.

I’ve gathered a advantageous depository that tips and tricks end the last couple of year messing about with DAWs, the town hall YouTube videos, and also reading books on audio engineering and also mixing.

Here are just a couple of mixing tips prior to we yes, really dive in:

The most essential tips for mixing in Garageband:1) Make certain Your tracks Aren’t Clipping2) There are 15 feasible Plug-ins for Each Track3) adjust the stimulate of her Plug-Ins in the Signal Chain4) Use good Monitors5) revolve Off “Export jobs At full Volume” in the Preferences

***A most these are great for various other DAW’s too choose Pro devices from Plugin Fox, and also not simply Garageband.

Without further ado, right here are some simple mixing tips for Garageband:

Make certain Your tracks Aren’t Clipping

One can’t stress sufficient the prominence of avoiding clipping audio in your DAW. The reasoning for this is simple: friend don’t want your music come crackle and sound terrible.

Many users once they very first start out, consisting of me, had actually no idea why my tracks always sounded dreadful whenever ns uploaded them come SoundCloud and iTunes (my guide). It transforms out, calculation meters matter and also they matter a lot.

I struggled with this because that a while, because I didn’t know specifically what was meant by “clipping,” or calculation meters.

In layman’s terms, clipping method that the audio signal is also strong, and the continuous cycling procedure of the audio signal is gift disrupted because of the amplifier getting to its limit.


Garageband – and also probably every digital audio workstation – comes through output meter that present a user that the signal is also hot. In Garageband, once the signal is clipping, the volume meter will be in the red, fairly than the green and yellow.


It’s imperative that your tracks are going only right into the yellow (or green), throughout the loudest components of her song, and never into the red.

It’s good if her tracks room hovering in the lower end of the eco-friendly throughout the whole track.


*Usually, if your volume calculation meters space at -6.0dB and also below, there won’t be any clipping.

It’s yes sir If The understand Volume output Is trimming (A little Bit)

In my experience, the doesn’t matter a many if the grasp volume is trimming a tiny little when you’re acquiring ready come export her track for mastering.

I usually have the master volume set at 0+ dB or -0.5dB when I violin it with an AIFF record and resubmit it earlier into Garageband for the last process.

The understand volume meter is on the top-right-hand side of Garageband above the workspace. At any time I’m functioning on new music, ns usually have it cranked, but later rotate it down once I’m gaining ready to mix/master.


Make certain Your monitor Are called Properly

In my various other article, 16 editing and enhancing Tips In Garageband (That are Actually Useful), ns spoke about the importance of naming her tracks and MIDI Regions, and also I’m walk to point out it again here.

Essentially, if you desire to name her tracks, it’s as straightforward as an additional clicking (two-finger click or right-click), the track region and climate a perform of alternatives will show up where it clearly says, “rename track.”

It’s the exact same thing for the actual MIDI Regions also – “Rename Regions.”


This is quite beneficial for the mixing process because what an excellent is having a bunch of different tracks when you don’t even know what each one is?

For beginners, this may not it is in a super vital tip, yet after one has used Garageband and other DAW’s for around a year, you’ll an alert that the variety of your tracks will certainly likely increase by a lot, simply because there is so lot potential sports in the creative process.

One example: you have the right to use as much as 15 different plug-ins on each “Software Instrument” and also “Audio” track, so there are endless ways come modify her music, including with flangers, compressors, phasers, and also so on and also so forth.

Which bring me come the following tip:

There room 15 possible Plug-ins because that Each track (Channel) in GarageBand

A lot of users are surprised to discover out we deserve to actually use approximately 15 plug-ins in Garageband. Detect and setting them up is not rather as intuitive together you would think; for that reason, I’m certain a lot of of people miss the end on this treat.

If you want to collection up more plug-ins, you have to hover her cursor beneath the four standard plug-ins that come as default with each software application Instrument and Audio Track. You’ll see a small white line display up. Click the very bottom that the Audio effect Slot.

Once you’ve clicked ~ above the white line, it’ll provide you the alternative to open up up a plug-in, however, it’s misleading because it looks prefer you’re just setup up a plug-in for an already-existing audio-slot.

But, as soon as you pick a plug-in, you’ll an alert that Garageband just produced a whole brand-new Audio effects Slot and plug-in because that you. Be cautious though, because the bespeak of lock matters.

Changing The order Of her Plug-Ins In The Signal Chain

The bespeak of her plug-ins in the signal chain actually issue for the overall tone and shape of her mix’s sound. It’s a lot prefer using results pedals for guitar. The stimulate of guitar pedals actually provides a difference due to basic input-output processing.

In layman’s terms, the signal is moved in a chain through each plug-in.

For example, let’s say you’ve just completed a new song there is no plug-ins on the master track.

You add a Channel EQ, and then the signal runs through the Channel EQ, and into the Compressor, which compresses the sound and also then sends out it through a bit of Reverb, and then the signal is ultimately put with the Limiter.

It’s accurate a signal chain, for this reason it provides perfect sense regarding why the stimulate of plug-ins matter.

For the sake of experimentation, you deserve to see what I median when friend reorder the Channel EQ and Distortion plug-ins. If you placed the Channel EQ ~ the Distortion, you’ll notice how much stronger the distortion is, i beg your pardon is great or bad, depending upon your intention.

As a basic rule, begin with the Channel EQ plug-in, and use compression after ~ that. There’s a theory in the people of mixing: “cut before compression and boost after,” and also apparently it’s a good rule come follow.

For instance, as soon as I’m mixing the 808 – ns actually use Initial Audio’s 808 Studio II from Plugin Boutique – I’ll make the Channel EQ the first plug-in, then a little of distortion follows, and also maybe the Compressor after ~ that.

Frankly, over there is no right way of doing this. It’s all as much as you and also your ears.

Cut first, smooth the out, soften, and also then include a limiter to make sure nothing gets out of control. That’s how I think of it.

Turn turn off “Export jobs At complete Volume” in ~ The Garageband Preferences

This is a simple one, but additionally one of an important importance. You’re no going to have the ability to export music at a compete level if you have this alternative selected. Frankly, prefer I said in my short article on normalization, I’m not totally sure why Garageband has actually this option, to start with.

1) Just go into Garageband’s preferences.

2) click on Advanced.

3) and also then un-check the box beside the word, “Auto-Normalize.”

It states “Export At complete Volume,” yet when this choice is selected, tracks room exported at such a short volume the they’re nearly entirely useless.

Use The “Cycle Area” function to Repeat Phrases because that Mixing

When listening to her track, it’s precious hitting the “Cycle Area” choice on top of the ruler and also listening come each component of your setup on that is own, individually, if adjusting the volume sliders to her choosing.

Now, this isn’t other I perform personally, but I recognize a lot of others execute this. It’s a an excellent way of examining each component individually. It’s sort of prefer compartmentalizing the mixing process.

Hit the ‘C’ switch on her keyboard, and that should start the “Cycle Area” i beg your pardon you deserve to then adjust to her choosing. Or, fight the height of the leader with your cursor to set it up manually.

How to Fade out in Garageband

There room two means of fading the end your audio in Garageband.

Option Number 1:

Fading out in Garageband is as basic as going into the “Mix” setup in Garageband’s tool settings, and then choosing the option, “Create Volume Fade the end On main Output.”

This will instantly lower the volume slowly on the entire track. This setup works really well. There’s no reason, really, for developing a different automation fade-out.

However, let’s say, for every little thing reason, you’re no happy v the automatic fade-out offered by Garageband.

Option Number 2:

1) girlfriend can, instead, create your own automation track by hitting the ‘A’ key, on your keyboard. Girlfriend can likewise hit the “Show-Hide Automation” switch on the top-right-hand side of the track-header. It’s a lot easier, however, to just hit the ‘A’ on her keyboard.

This’ll carry up all of the automation setups in your workspace.

2) click on the Automation Line. It’s yellow.

3) Now, click on the yellow heat as numerous times as you want. This will certainly create small yellow dots permit the user to create very details and adaptable automation.

4) traction the lines follow to just how you desire your volume levels.

Setting increase automation favor this is very use useful for individual tracks, and on the understand Track.

*Select “Show understand Track” in “Track” setup In the optimal toolbar – Also, (Command + M)

*You can also delete the little yellow dots through double-clicking with your track-pad or hitting the delete button.

How to Fade In

Like the technique shown above, it’s as simple as hitting the ‘A’ on her keyboard, then clicking the yellow automation line, and also dragging the heat according to exactly how you want to fade the volume.

* girlfriend can also establish automation tracks because that “reverb” and other settings, not just volume.

How To reverse Playback

This is a dope function I identified while ns was researching all the possible things ns may have actually missed when searching for special mix tips.

Just double-click top top the recording as you usually would, and it’ll lug up the details in the clever Controls below.

With the exemption of “Software Instrument” tracks, you can hit the “Reverse Playback” checkbox where the plug-ins normally are, and also this will literally play your recording backward.

An amazing feature if you’re do the efforts to break out of a creative slump. If you’ve sampled miscellaneous cool and also need a quick new sound in the same vital signature, struggle the “Reverse Playback” button.

Lowering the Volume Of tracks By 1/10ths fairly Than 1/2ths and 1/5ths

Sounds a little bit confusing, for this reason let me explain.

When adjusting the volume, you’ll notice that as quickly as girlfriend get below -6.0dB, the numbers begin decreasing through 0.2 fairly than by 0.1, and then as soon as you’re down to -18.0, the number decrease by -0.5dB rather of -0.2dB.

There’s in reality a way of getting about this, and it’s with the “Automation” ar in the workspace.

1) fight ‘A’ for Automation on your keyboard, and Garageband will carry up the yellow volume bar.

2)Drop two automation point out on the yellow heat (there are three in the image over because ns made a mistake).

3)Now pick both that the points by clicking and also dragging a box approximately them.

4)You deserve to start pulling down the heat by the 2 points, and you’ll notice the motion in volume is more precise.

This might not seem vital in the beginning stages of mixing, but it will certainly come in handy later on when an ext precision is needed.

Listen to her Mixes ~ above Both Quality and Terrible Headphones – additionally In A Car

This is self-explanatory but crucial. If it’s a good idea come use high quality headphones come mixes, it’s likewise useful to listen to her mix with poor headphones/speakers.

The truth is, most human being won’t hear to your music top top the ideal gear in the world, because most people aren’t audiophiles or audio engineers.

When browsing roughly on internet forums and the like, I’ve seen producers/musicians say things like, “If the listener doesn’t respect my music sufficient to listen to it on a good pair the headphones, climate they’re beyond helping anyway.”

Obviously, a mentality favor the aforementioned is absurd. You want your music come sound as an excellent as feasible using every medium which is one factor why I usage multiple sound equipment for listening including Etymotic ER4SRs from Amazon for as soon as I’m top top the road.

Use Subtractive EQ first And climate Additive EQ After

When you an initial open your Channel EQ, generally the very first thing a mixer does is lock drop the shortest of the lows and the greatest of the highs. The human being ear can’t really choose up those supervisor high frequencies anyway, therefore nothing’s lost.

The very first thing that I generally do, is ns go end to the component around +200hz and also I drop that frequency out just a tiny bit, due to the fact that that is the point most audible to humans, and thus, it’s commonly the “problem area,” so to speak.

It can acquire a small “muddy” if you have actually too much signal comes from this area.

Then, I’ll offer a nice small boost come the part starting indigenous +300hz all the means until +10,000khz. I like it when my mixes sound bright and also clean, for this reason that’s why I give a boost of around +2.5dB.

After that, I’ll an increase the +100hz area by +3.0dB, yet I’ll likewise have the ‘Q’ set to about 0.50.

Use Compressor Pre-Sets

The presets the come v Garageband room actually quite good. It’s rare the I’ll usage a compressor and also actually make custom settings for each track. I usually employ the “Platinum Analog Tape” setting, and that’s all the compression I’ll usage on the whole mix.

In my opinion, that isn’t worth messing with as soon as you’re an initial starting out together a music producer/audio engineer. Compression is one of those tools in a mixer’s toolbox, that, for every little thing reason, human being tend to use and also abuse.

There are various other pre-sets worth checking out including “Tight Snare” and also “Modern Kick,” and so on and so forth.

If you’re serious about becoming a producer/engineer, it’s worth researching the compressor and every one of its parameters, consisting of ratio, attack, gain, threshold, and also release. A an excellent place to begin is Timothy Dittmar’s book from Amazon, Audio engineering 101.

Don’t Be fear Of Reverb but Don’t use it Too lot – Use delay As Well

Using too lot reverb is a typical mistake for beginning music producers. Let’s be honest, reverb is a good feature, and it adds therefore much particularly if you’re using SP2016 native Eventide (on Plugin Boutique).

However, the mistake is that world will, for instance, record 5-7 various tracks, each one with reverb on it, and also then when every one of those tracks are blended together, the sum full of every the reverb on each individual track provides the amount of it gargantuan and awful sounding.

I use reverb ~ above guitar, yet I seldom douse my music in it. It’s great to usage it sparingly, otherwise, you’ll pay because that this mistake afterwards when it’s time to master.

With the said, reverbisuseful, and also it sound great. There’s no question around that, and the exact same thing could be claimed fordelay as well.

Make certain There Aren’t any type of Effects running On her Output master Track

This is crucial. There have to never be any effects, EQ, compressors, limiters, or any tools on her output understand track for a simple reason. All of that stuff need to be empty and unused until it’s ready for mastering.

If you shot and mix and master your track later on with all of these effects, you’ll discover that everything has end up being muddied and practically impossible to mix and also master correctly.

Use Noise gate On taped Audio

This one’s a no-brainer for every one of the etc players the end there – if you’re right into metal, anyway. Noise gateways are very useful for human being who play metal due to the fact that there is so lot distortion involved, so whenever you protect against playing the guitar, there often tends to be buzzing and also hissing from the amp.

However, once you rental a Noise gate on her guitar components or vocal tracks, the device eliminates all of those annoying sound that would certainly later become a trouble in the mix.

The Noise gate is an option down in the smart Controls’ plug-in area under the “Dynamics” sub-heading.

It’s essential not to usage the Noise Gate too much, however, since it’ll finish up destroying the dynamics of your recording. For instance, if you’re playing a guitar solo and need a keep in mind to ring out, a Noise Gate will certainly limit the sustain.

Understand Signal to Noise Ratio

Often abbreviated as S/N or SNR, Signal-To-Noise-Ratio is an important concept for mixers and also music producers. In layman’s terms, it’s the comparison in between the desired signal’s strength to the background noise.

In various other words, let’s to speak you’re record guitar and using a most distortion for a etc solo. If the S/N is as well low, that method the hissing signal the the amp, people talking in the background, the sound that the waiting conditioner, and so on and also so forth, is as well close come the signal of the actual etc playing.

Many products come with an S/N ratio, however not every one of them.

Measured in dB, a higher specification means for every dB the the wanted signal, there is ‘x’ many dB the undesired signal. For instance, if an S/N proportion is 100dB, that method that the signal is 100dB more powerful than the noise.

Using the instance of a refrigeration, if you’ve taped a conversation in between two human being in a kitchen, in which a refrigerator is running and also humming at 30dB, the pair’s conversation much better not whisper, because the fridge could actually be lot louder than the sound that the conversation.

Later on, this trouble is magnified in the mixing and mastering process, specifically in the case of compression, which will certainly accentuate the loudness that the refrigeration and bring under the volume the the conversation.

It’s every pretty intuitive. Make sure that your signal is much, much, lot stronger than the bordering noise. It’s essential as well to make certain recordings space executed at similar volume levels, otherwise, the audio engineer will certainly never bring balance to the mix later on.

Let Your instruments Ring out – (Fade Out)

It’s constantly a great idea come let your instrument ring out, that method the whole of the part is recorded and also there aren’t poorly executed fades at the finish of every track, and thus, your final recording.

For instance, let’s speak you’ve tape-recorded a guitar solo. If you didn’t allow the final note ring out and also the solo suddenly simply stops in the center of a note playing, it’s going to sound abrupt and also unnatural.

The very same thing can be said for in-between sections of her arrangement. Because that example, if you’ve taped a base line, climate let the last note ring out, or also use the volume Automation to fade the one section into the other. That adds a little of cohesiveness and naturality come the music.

Get your Hands on A good Pair of Headphones

Even despite studio headphones and also monitors are never ever truly “neutral,” they attempt to offer a balance the low and high frequencies.

When listening to mixes, you want the many accurate reflection of the music, without being colored by the headphones. The Dre Beats, because that example, space absolutely not meant for the studio, due to their increased low frequencies.

The exact same is true for many casual headphones. Almost all of them have actually boosted the bass and low frequencies due to the fact that that’s what consumers want.

However, in the studio, designers want “neutral” headphones that offer the most accurate representation, that means when they’ve mixed and also mastered the music, the won’t come out with too lot bass or too much low-end due to increased short frequencies of many listening systems.

For additional explanation, if you’ve mixed and also mastered making use of Dr. Beats, you’ll likely think there’s enough bass and low-end in the mix, just to later find when hearne in a auto or on another pair that headphones that there’s hardly any bass at all.

The headphones simply made the seem prefer there to be a the majority of low frequencies, even though there wasn’t.

I recommend grabbing a pair the Audio-Technica ATHM50X Headphones for mixing (on Amazon). They’re noise canceling studio headphones that are great for mixing and mastering tracks.

Emphasis on “noise-canceling” since you don’t want the acoustics of the room affecting your listening ability.

The link over will take it you to the Amazon page for the headphones I always use because that recording, tracking, mixing, and mastering. The cable on them is really long i beg your pardon is pretty convenient for making use of in the studio, and also the sound is at sight clear and also balanced.

However, if they price too lot money, there are various other models the the same brand to shot out ~ above Amazon. Can’t walk wrong through the ATHM50X headphones though.

Using Auto-Tune and also Pitch convey On your Recordings

This is give-in the most world consider when thinking around the magic of record studios. Anyone thinks auto-tune is this magic feature that everyone provides on their vocals to sound great, and also truthfully, it is.

Every major singer does usage it.

Trippie Redd said recently that he provides it on all of his vocals, together does everybody rather in the scene. It’s pretty much an imperative for most.

In Garageband, you can use “Pitch-Correction” in the bottom portion of the smart Controls. Ns haven’t composed an short article on exactly how to usage Auto-Tune however (update: now I have), yet I will certainly in the future.

Not just is there a default pitch Correction in Garageband, however there are also external plug-ins the you have the right to buy, consisting of Antares Auto-Tune agree (from Plugin Boutique) i m sorry is conveniently the finest vocal tuning tool you can acquire for Garageband.

Use Volume Automation To turn The Volume and Signal Down during Silent Parts

During the quiet parts of a track, I rotate it appropriate down through the Automation option, and also then increase again as soon as the tools start earlier up. I carry out this whether it’s MIDI or a traditional Audio recording.

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It cut out any kind of unwanted signals and frequencies, that means there is many of room for frequency later on in the mixing and mastering process.