Kim Lajoie's blog

Quick question – long long does it take you to mix?

by Kim Lajoie on April 5, 2012

I know I haven’t been around much lately. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about efficiency and productivity a lot. And I’ve been thinking about why we do things like optimise our workflow and find ways to waste less time. So I’ve got a blog post or two coming up very soon about that.

But first, I’d like to ask you a quick question: How long does it take you to mix a song?

And as a follow-up, how long do you spend mixing the kick drum?

I know what my answers are, and I’ll let you know in the next post. But first, I want to hear from you.

-Kim.

6 thoughts on “Quick question – long long does it take you to mix?

  1. George K says:

    It depends if it is a synthesized kick drum or a sampled one. But usually it doesnt take very long. usually I just set the kick -3db or so then route the kick to make the topkick(high end of the sound), and yes I adjust the rest of my mix to my kick.

    Okaaay just my 3 cents. Im not an expert just a passionate musicmaker

  2. ilter says:

    It really depends on the complexity of the song.
    I finish mixing an average rock tune (with about 40-48 tracks) between 8-14 hours.
    Initial “mixing” of the kick drum can take 10 minutes, but I always tweak it during the mixing process until I’m finished with the whole drum kit and bass track together.

  3. Pablo/Beaner says:

    ugh, it can take me anywhere from a few hours to mix a song (not really likely) to a month. i often do mixing tweaks as i am going along recording/producing the song, but in the end it always takes at least 3 sessions to get a mix i am close to not upset with. i often rely on the advice of others to make the mix better. most of my songs come out about 2 years after they were originally made, that should sort of tell you something.

    how long for the kick? depends. sometimes i mix everything else around the kick, sometimes i change the kick to make it fit the rest…

  4. shelby says:

    I make wacky ‘idm’-y stuff.

    Always spend more time than I should on mixing. Ideally I think you should aim from the hip while mixing. Try something, and if doesn’t get results quickly move on. You only have so much time before your ears and brain start to get overwhelmed and then I feel that I start mixing with my brains too much. “This kick drum probably needs more compression and a 120 hz boost of 4 db! that seems logical!”

    Some tasks take a while I recon, but it’s important that you actually have a task in mind and you’re not just floundering. That’s when you end up with hour long kick drum tweak sessions. Tomorrow you come back and realize its the worst kick drum of all time.

    This is why I think it helps to separate actually mixing a song from practicing/experimenting/goof off sessions.

  5. Dave says:

    I don’t spend a lot of time on the kick drum. I use EZDrummer or Superior Drummer and choose a kick drum sound from various samples that fits with the kind of song I am working on. After that, a little EQ and compression and I’m done. I also typically run my entire drum kit through a tape saturator to give it some grit and presence. As for mixes, my initial reaction was Too Long! It varies from project to project, but the current one I’m working on which is almost done has been in the works (off and on) since October. Yikes!

  6. Chris Bolton says:

    from a full sketch on and off usually about 40-60 hours in total spread over 3 or 4 weeks, usually working weekends.

    I spend very little time on the kickdrum, I actually have been using the same kick for quite some time with small adjustments and compression… it seems to fit well even without pitching to key… i spend a lot of time on the bassline and leads. and percussion

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