Essential Steps To A Better Mix
My philosophy on balancing my mix is all about feeling. I want to feel a given instrument leap out of my speakers a certain way or level. You can do that with a single fader.
Actually, you should only accomplish this with a fader at first. This process takes a great deal of time givien the amount of instruments you'll have in your DAW.
Let's follow these steps for perfecting your balance:
1. Set your levels at about -12.0 db
2. If one or more of your instruments are too low DO NOT crank it up. Rather reduce the volume of the louder tracks. Subtractive leveling maintains headroom, alowing for more acurate adjustments later
3. Use panning as well. You have both a linear and vertical platform. Use it creatively
4. Take your time and refrain from plugins. Plugins are not problem solvers by any means