As a mixer, your final result isn’t a group of multi tracks, it’s a song. Your final product is just a stereo wave form. With that in mind, you should know that it’s okay to process the mix bus. As long as it makes the final stereo mix sound closer to a song and makes your head bop to the beat, it should be okay.
Mixers these days tend to be more attracted to the control they have and precise tweaking they can do to the individual soloed out instruments. And they feel that throwing an EQ or compressor on the master fader is too much of a general step in the mixing phase.
You should try your best to come out of this mindset as soon as possible and come to the realisation that a decision you make while mixing is a good one as long as it makes the final waveform sound better, more like a song. And that you shouldn’t make mixing decisions because you feel a certain cut or boost on these certain instruments would look good rather than sound good.
Its time to start trusting your ears and not your shiny expensive processing plugins.
Yesterday while mixing a song I recorded for fun, I straight away put an EQ on my 2 guitar tracks, ready to cut away the low end, most likely remove some of the 250-500hz range and add some highs for more presence. But I realised that I haven’t even listened back to the edited song since I opened up Pro Tools.
I just jumped to conclusions without putting my ears to use. I didn’t even plan out in my head what kind of guitar tone I wanted with these tracks.
Surprisingly enough the second guitar track had a lot of intentional low end that I liked in the final song, the final stereo waveform. And it also had a small boost at 500hz which brought out something special in the guitar.
If I had gone on and jumped to conclusions in the beginning, I would’ve never found the true potential that I found in my guitar in the mix and I would’ve never achieved that above par final mix, final waveform that I achieved
And that my friend is because I used my ears to mix and not my eyes.
So in conclusion, I hope this article has enlightened you to why it is okay to processes the master fader. I hope this article has also opened you up to mixing more with your ears than your eyes.
Look forward to more enlightening mixing tips.
Have a nice day.