One of the questions I get asked frequently is in regards to my process in creating a mix from start to finish. The process varies a bit depending on genre. "Pop" mixes are generally the most involved...for me. So here's a look at that.
1. Mix set up while listening to the rough several times.
Import tracks into my mix template, track organization, color-coding, output assignments to my analog summing amps, bus assignments, and custom fader assignments on S6
Starting with drums I begin the process of EQ, compression, "space" footprint (reverb) and basic balancing of the tracks in the mix. As stated before, I like to listen to the EQ and compression within the balance of all the tracks...soloing as needed to fine-tune the sounds. It's also the phase where I begin to design my 2 bus processing..usually before adding in the vocal tracks. By the time this process is completed the basic sound of the mix and balances are fairly set.
3. FX design
Once my sonic picture is in place I like to dial in all the effects processing. Timed delays on vocals, special reverbs and any other fx that are needed to add the ear candy.
Now with all the sounds in place I begin the real creative part (and most enjoyable) of the mix process. The mixing console becomes my instrument through fader automation... creating drama and movement in the song, experimenting with any mutes or drops and anything else that takes the song to the next level.
5. When time allows
I really like leaving a mix overnight so that I can get a fresh perspective with fresh ears the next morning. At that point..provided I didn't make any awful decisions the day before, I make any final tweaks to any of the steps above and then print and send the mix for client approval.
6. Rinse...and repeat.