Submitted by thewhippinpost on Fri, 08/12/2006 - 16:11.

Effects, hmmm... effects. Such a big subject, but fortunately easily dealt with for the purposes of our sound mixing tips.

Why? Simple really: effects are fun to play with but can quickly mess-up your mix; Reverbs and delays for instance, can result in instruments "over-staying" their welcome, thus "crowding the mix" - particularly if there's plenty going on anyway. It's very easy to lose definition and clarity if we're not careful.

Remember, contrast is a very effective tool. Don't feel you have to fill-in every space or gap in your mix with effects.

If you're using effects to make an instrument-part sound better, dump it and re-program the timbre; or alternatively, choose another.

Subtle effects are best

  • Effects should generally be noticed only when they are taken away: Mute, then unmute to test.
  • Avoid applying effects to every instrument - oftentimes only 1 or 2 are needed.
  • Dramatic effects are for dramatic events; ie., use sparingly and in short measure for maximum effect.

Short and sweet, I know, but I don't want to be too prescriptive: As with everything artistic, there are no laws; just taste. So don't be afraid to experiment.

I totally agree! in fact I

I totally agree! in fact I just wrote a post on different kinds of contrast in music two days ago! what a coincidence :)