080 Mixing Music Genres Outside of Your “Comfort Zone”

On this episode, we take a question from one of our MixCoach Pro Members about how to approach mixing genres of music that we don’t normally work with, and stepping outside of your comfort zone as a mixer.

Check out this episode of the podcast to see what advice Kevin and Jon have for mixing “outside of your comfort zone”.

Show Notes:

Mixing tips we discuss:

  • How to find a good reference track.
  • Using a reference track that is similar to the song you are mixing.
  • Not being afraid to go outside of your comfort zone, because it’s when you grow the most.

Raw Transcript:

Jon: Welcome to the MixCoach Podcast, the Podcast dedicated to making you a more skilled and confident mixer.The MixCoach Podcast takes both submitted questions from our free members and live questions from our pro members. If you’d like to submit a question or find out how to become a pro member, head over to MixCoach.com/free.Moving to the next question here, we have Jeff Manson who says: Here’s my question, how in the world am I supposed to mix rap on my first MixCoach.com month?

Jon: First of all I would say watch the interview with Pettidee. That was an incredible time when we sat down with him and he had some really crazy awesome insight about mixing music and it was applicable to all sorts of things other than rap even. He’s awesome and so watch that interview. Otherwise, I would just get a good reference. Like you can download a GRITS song or like an Andy Mineo song or something like that in that vein because that type of rap is interesting because it’s more in your face, where it’s got the electric guitars and that sort of thing. So look for rap that’s similar to that because you could do something more hip-hop or you could do something that’s more like on that rap core-style. But yes, so get a good reference is the other tip that I have. Do you have any tips, Kev, for mixing a rap?

Kevin: No, I mean that’s what I would do, I would just get a good reference. And the GRITS is a good reference. Anything Pettidee is doing it seems that like the song I listen to a lot is Big Boy that he did with the guy from GRITS – I can’t remember his name – it’s a pretty good reference. And what I would do is I would just analyze back and forth, put your mix up, listen to the low end, listen where the vocal sits, listen to how wide things are spread out and if you can match that. And then you know I wouldn’t spend, unless you’re just experimenting, I wouldn’t spend a ton of time on it. I wouldn’t spend all day mixing the song. I would mix it in hour segments. That’s what I would do.

Jon: And it’s interesting, I think this brings up a bigger question as well of like mixing outside of a usual genre because here in MixCoach this is one of the reason why we wanted to do a rap song. It’s because it’s almost the only genre we really haven’t touched. We’ve done pop songs, we’ve done rock songs, we’ve done country. And so mixing outside of your usual genre or mixing outside of your comfort zone is something that I think we all run into eventually where somebody calls you up and is like, “Hey can you mix this?” And basically you have to be able to do it and you want to be able to say “Yes I can do this” and kind of know where to go. So mixing outside of your comfort zone is going to be super key especially on your first month.

Kevin: Well, you know if you want to grow as an engineer you pretty much have to make sure that you’re outside of your comfort zone at least some of the time because that’s the time you’re growing. And I’ve noticed too that some of the Michael Bublé mixes that Chris did, they had his flavor on it, that Chris did his thing on it. Not necessarily my favorite mixes on the record, my favorites were the ones that are a little less affected, I guess. But definitely, just get a good reference is what I would say.

Jon: The MixCoach Podcast takes both submitted questions from our free members and live questions from our pro members and if you’d like to submit a question or find out how to become a pro member, head over to MixCoach.com/free.

Do you have any tips for mixing outside of your comfort zone?