So, here we are talking about mix down.
First of all, the quality of your song is determined by the quality of your mix down. No matter how many plugins you put on your master track, if my track has a better mix than yours, you will lose.
With that being said:
The quality of your mix down is determined by the quality of your sounds.
So, if your track doesn't sound "loud" enough and you've pushed it to the max, you're probably using shitty samples.
Now i will unveil the secret to get a good mix down without having gazillions of dollars of gear... Ready ?
Yeah, that's really it.
No, actually, that's not.
The truth of the matter is that you can make good mix downs even without listening using spectrum analyzers & co. but the real shit comes when your taste is combined with your hearing to determine what should be in front of the mix and what should come after. A "BAD MIX" is a mix where you can't enjoy the listening experience because something is messed up. So, ASSUMING ALL YOUR SOUNDS HAVE BEEN DESIGNED TO FIT, here's what you gotta to the get a good mix (whatever style of music you're making); prioritized gain staging. What does this mean?
This means that you should bring element into the mix in according to their importance. Let's say i'm mixing an hip hop track. This would be my order of gain staging (of course this is totally personal):
- LEAD SYNTH
- SECONDARY PERCUSSION
- ADLYBS & DOUBLE TRACKS
- ETC ETC..
Why i'm mixing this way? Because this way i know that the most important thing in the song are not buried by the least important.
So if i'm mixing an house track:
- ETC ETC
And so fourth. Using this workflow will allow you to get pretty good mixes without having to worry to much about loudness & co.