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Virtual Mixing


I know quite a few composers that are great musicians but not great engineers. They tell me that "people think their songs already sound finished" and that "if you have chosen the right instruments in a good arrangement, there is no need to mix".

Although I respect and admire them, I disagree with these statements.

First of all, these days most music is created from digital sample files rather than real instruments and microphones. The sample files may be good enough for people to hear the song, but unless you are talking about real musicians playing together on properly mic'ed instruments with wide dynamic and tonal ranges (being able to hear themselves and each other well)...then the song can benefit from the sounds being properly mixed.

Secondly, although I understand that the right instruments used in a good arrangement should BE the song, unless the arrangement takes into consideration important song dynamics, the song will NOT realize it's proper potential, impact and expression.

Just because you may like an individual sound does not mean it fits perfectly with the other sounds in your song.

Almost every mix I have heard created by musicians (even the really good ones) has sounded like a demo...decent presentations of the sounds without the additional depth, dynamics, impact, cohesiveness and expression that make a good mix.