Any want to help with the mixing?

Original song needs mixing

I have a rock song that I wrote. All of the parts are recorded. I have attempted mixing the song but I am really new to the engineering aspect of recording. If anyone is willing to get it a try, I can send you the packed song file. In return, I would be willing to help you out on vocals or any instrumentation you may need in your song. I figure this would be a good opportunity for me to learn.



If you are interested, here is the song in mp3 format (3.3Mbytes). I did the best mixing I could but I am sure it can be done better. ???



Rethink your panning and you’re halfway there :)

Can you be a bit more specific? I panned the rhythm guitar to one side (about 75%) and the lead guitar to the other (about 75%) trying to keep them from muddying up each other.

Maybe that was the wrong approach.


The file I downloaded has most of the low frequency stuff panned right and the highs on the left. Gives a weird balance, IMO.
I’d start with moving the lows into center stage and spread out the drums a bit wider but anchored center with kick & snare.

I agree that the panning could be better. I think the weak link in the song is the sound quality of the drums. They sound mono & dull. Perhaps using a wave editor you can bring out some presence in them. I’d be willing to give it a shot. How large is the song file?


By saving it as a packed file, I have 10 tracks compressed down to 6.3 Mbytes.

I mostly want to do this as a learning exercise. I am hopeing to learn better how to mix the songs.



Unless you are going for some unusual effect, panning should be done to “place” the instruments on a stage. Close you eyes and imagine where the person playing the guitar might be… Where is the back-up singer?.. What happens when the drummer does a roll across all the toms in his kit?.. etc…

However, as a general rule of thumb the kick drum and bass guitar should be dead center. Always. The reason is that low frequency notes tend to resonate and “spread out” over a given area and any directional information is usually lost, so by panning the bass or kick to one side, the only thing your really accomplish is to lower the overall volume of the track in realtion to the rest of the mix.

At least that’s what I heard. :;):


That is very useful. Usually the backup singers are over to the side. The lead singer is almost always in the center of the stage. I guess the lead guitar player is usually off to one side, but maybe not to the extreme. Same for the rhythm guitar player. Probably opposite side compared to the lead player.

How about horn players playing a solo? They would usually walk out to the center or if they were playing with a horn section, it would be off to one side.

Should this be the starting rule for the panning of tracks?

Thanks for the help.


Just keep thinking in terms of sitting in front of a stage, and you’ll be on the right track!

Generally, I say keep anything that becomes the “lead” during that part of the song, that is, anything that carries the melody, in center. This is true unless you have a duet part (whether 2 lead guitars, or vocals, or what have you) where neither one is the real “center focus” at that moment. I always recommend doubling rhythm guitar tracks and spreading them in the feild (how wide depends on how much else is going on and how important they are in the over all mix). This can be done by recording 2 different parts (better ideally), or simply making a clone of the track with a different chorus setting on each side, each one EQed slightly different (this works if you have already recorded, have a fast picking/struming song where hearing those 32nds are important, or if you are simply lazy like me). “Lead Guitar” parts that just play countermelody, etc. can be panned if there are 2 of them (either harmonied or double tracked), but if there is only one part, I say center it, but use a stereo widener or a stereo EQ (the classic series has a great little stereo EQ) to fill up the stereo field a bit. I tend to be distracted when parts like that are just sitting over in the corner somewhere. Kinda annoying to me. But again, that is my taste. For my opinion of panning, take a listen to the song I posted. You will get a good idea of what I mean. For example, in that song, I have two harmonizing lead guitars playing countermelody that are panned. Later, I have a guitar solo that is actually 2 guitars (2 new tracks) panned, playing the same thing until the end, where they split for some harmony. The rhythm guitars are also panned, except for the very begining and end. There, there is just one acoustic playing, and it is the center focus, so it is in the center.


Hey Sax,

As a veteran of soundcard handycaps, I’ve learned alot around here about drums and what can be done with the old two channel dilema. I’m shure you’ve long since gotten good responces by now but here’s my 2 cents anyway.
I would take a compressor mic and position it in front of the kick about 3 feet. There’s just no substitute for good bottom.
Create like a tunnel out of cardboard, blankets or whatever you got that helps muffle sound. This will help with the bleed from the high end. Pan that track to one side.
Now take your remaining mics and position one above the hi-hat facing down towards the snare. The other as an over head directly above your last tom and main crash.
Keep both of the mics panned to the other side.
Now you can split theses to tracks into seperate mono tracks. The mix them down into two different stereo tracks.
The resulting tracks should give you two decent tracks to work with. Now the fun begins.
You can take the low end (kick track) and compress out the bleed that made it through the tunnel, by limiting the frequencies and tweeking the limiter so to speak. But be careful not to take out to much of the mid range or you will loose the snap, and be left with a foggy thud of a kick drum. You could always split the new stereo kick track into two mono tracks, and experiment with compression and panning to give a more stereo sounding kick.
Now you also do something simular to the high end track, but in reverse of course(removing the kick bleed with compression). I would also seperate the new stereo high end track into two mono ones and try to use panning on them to create the illusion of stereo by isolation the hig hat mic, and the overhead cymbal mic, panning them respectfully left and right to make a drum roll sound like it’s actually moving from one side to the other.
It doesn’t hurt if you asign the two high end mic’s tot their own frequencies going in to the mixer. I would suggetst giving the hi-hat and snare mic more 12khz range and the tom~cymbal mic more 2.5khz and less of the other just to help you isolate them later.
It takes alot of time isolating frequencies and compressing , but you can come up with something half decent in the end.

keep trackin’


Wouldn’t seperating the Highend track into 2 tracks not do much for the illusion of a drum roll going left to right for the fact that on both newly seperated tracks, they both contain both high mics? Meaning, you’ve created 2 tracks out of one, and they both contain the High hat mic and the crash/tom overhead mic combined? You could still pan them and delay one slightly or eq them etc. etc. to give some depth and stuff, but I’m confused about how to make a drum roll appear as if its travelling from side to side using this method. It’s a cool idea, I just feel like I’m missing something, help me as I am currently using a 2 input soundcard for drums as well!

Hey smitty,

Ok, here’s a more detailed explination.

In order to get the two hi end mics more isolated you plait the stero track you create fron it’s mono origin (left or right channel)
Now you should have two mono tracks semingly identical, both have each mic’s sounds on them. (As I mentioned earlier, you make shure the hi-hat mixer levels are one the higher frequencies during recording, and the other overhead above the right cymbal+tom is more in the mid range with the higher end cut–DURING RECORDING!
Now take your two mono tracks which are only duplicates of the original (One channel) process mentioned above.
On one of the tracks, put a compressor on it with the limiter set really high (like in the-25 range or better) whatever you can get away with without the sound breaking up. While doing this you also tweek the equalizer to remove any unwanted frequencies on that track, --like the ones you had predermined for cymbals+tom. Between the limiter and EQ you should nnow have one mono track that you can mostly here hi-hat and snare on (since the cymbals have been cut off by the compressor) Take this track and pan it -12 to the right.
Now for the other track, this one you just follow an opposite process of the first one, turning down the frequencies the hi-hat and snare are on, and boosting the cymbal+lowertom respectivelly. Once you have that track ajusted most of the snare and hi-hat are cut out or limited. Pan that track to the left -12 or -8 depending on the overall volume of the two ajusted mono tracks.
When you do a roll, the hi-hat mic will pick up the begining of it, and transmit that sound to it’s designated frequencies, then as you reacj the end of the roll the overhead will collect that sound and send it to the other frequency range. By panning the two ranges, you get the illusion of stereo sound and a movement required to help that illusion.
And then there’s the matter off the other mic (condensor) I recomend for the lower end(Kick). Depending on how you record it, it’s possible to isolate the bleed over fron the center tome, and limit out the kick on a duplicate mono track for that one as well. Pann that center tom reflection into the center of the mix along with the regular kick track and Whola!
You’ve got about the best you can do, with a basic SBlaster “live” or Laptop computer, built in stereo jack (which I have been told isn’t really stereo)

Here’s a couple of song half of ehich the drums where recorded in a simular manner and most from a laptop.

My Webpage

Not a member of soundclick?
Here’s a couple direct Mp3 links:

American Dream
Holdin’ Back the Tears

enjoy, good luck, and happy trackin’


Hey Sax,

I’ll give it a try…I love mixing - it’s fun (most of the time).

Email: gpayne41(at) <- Replace the (at) with “@”.

I’d love to try mixing something I didn’t record.

An Example of my mixing: