Rob Byers of America’s NPR has recently authored the Producer’s Handbook to Mixing Audio Stories. It’s a step by step guide for mixing sound sources, with a helpful glossary of technical terms.
Getting the basics right: NPR’s guide to mixing audio stories functions as a primer for the beginner engineer. Complete with techniques, troubleshooting methods and a glossary of terms.
The extensive guide covers the following topics:
- What is mixing?
- The tools
- Adjusting levels
- Fixing common mixing problems
- Assess your mix
The guide’s explicit goal is coach people through podcast production. Yet, it’s obvious that these common sense techniques are applicable to mixing music.
For example, Byers advises us to automate phrases and sentences to maintain a natural dynamic, rather than zooming in to every syllable.
He also stresses the differences between clip-based (pre insert) and track-based (post insert) automation, another good reminder for music mixers who are new to the game.
Best of all, there are a bunch of recorded examples of best practice and of course, what not to do!
Head over to NPR to access the handbook.