I spent a lot of time watching myself mix while editing my Mixing in REAPER Vol 1 video series. I’ve learned quite a bit from it and I think these things are worth pointing out.
- I work pretty quickly, I don’t spend a lot of time on things that won’t matter much.
- I don’t overthink and second guess what I’m doing.
- I don’t set up several options to decide on later.
- I use a small handful of plugins. Maybe less than 20 different plugins and ReaEQ was used most.
- I almost never A/B compare plugins/chains, only with and without a plugin.
- I could be more organized. In the video I rushed and did the bare minimum and I think I fumbled later because of it.
- I could be using some reaper features to help with the organization. Autocolor, and track templates come to mind.
- I spend an average of 45 seconds setting a plugin. If it takes much longer it usually gets replaced.
- The first and last hours of the mix were the most important to the final sound. But that’s not to say that the middle two could be skipped, of course.
These things are not all good. I’m always looking to improve my skills and results. Mixing at maximum efficiency isn’t my goal. If I spent a little time to A/B compare a couple different compressors, or to think about the emotional impact a processing choice might make, the mix might be even better. Would the mix be measurably better if I side-chain compressed the bass? Who knows. We can’t explore every possible path, nor should we try to.
I think it’s good to look at how we work once in a while and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and also determine what is important to spend your concentration on.
If you want to check out the video series I’m talking about you can get it here: MIXING IN REAPER VOL 1