Learn To Mix: The Importance Of Proper Gain Staging
Welcome to the first installment of “Learn To Mix”, our ongoing series of articles and videos which will dive into various aspects of mixing music. The focus of Learn To Mix is to touch on certain aspects of audio engineering which either:
– Are commonly troubling to producers and engineers
– Are often misunderstood or misinterpreted by other videos online
– Are not covered much/at all by online tutorials
In our first lesson, we will help you to understand the importance of properly gain staging your track. Gain staging is the process of adjusting the volume levels of each element in your mix in a way which the levels and dynamics of each sound are optimized, without any distortion, clipping, or excess noise.
This process will also help each element sound best in relation to one another, so that no sound is masking or fighting another. It will help to let each element “breathe” in the mix, promoting overall clarity and optimized dynamic range.
Gain staging is often done early in the mixing phase, before any major EQ or compression are added. This process can be relatively quick, and will help you to create a cleaner mix to work with as you begin any processing, final mixing and mastering.
The video included in this post will take you through the gain staging process, using an actual beat produced by Nine Diamond of Expert Kits. As with anything else involving mixing, there is no one way to gain stage your track, but the methods used in the video are simple and practical, and are exactly how we do it when mixing.
We hope you learn something from this video, and we will see you in the next installment of Learn To Mix! Oh, and please don’t forget to check out the Expert Kits “All Kits Sampler”, one of our free drum kits which contains samples of all other kits on our site!