When computers started becoming more popular for music production, we started to use our eyes more than ever.
Our eyes became another sense we can use to produce music with. We don’t have to solely rely on our ears anymore.
In fact, when you have enough experience, you can work on variety of aspects of music production without listening the music at all. Just look at the waves, frequencies and meters of the audio. (I know, you can do that with analog gear to some extent, as well)
This changed the entire process of how we mix music.
When using the computer as the main tool for mixing, it’s very easy (and tempting) to use your eyes more than you have to. You might forget to stop and actually listen.
Instead, you constantly watch the screen and tweak things, and use your ears ”on the side”. You’re not putting your undivided attention to actually listening and hearing what you’re working on.
I’m not saying everyone does this, but I can honestly say I’m guilty of it.
I might get so caught up in working on the mix with my eyes that I forget to use the sense I should use 90%, my hearing.
This may sometimes lead into a poor mix. I may have missed important details and even obvious things I should have heard. But I didn’t.
Close Your Eyes
Recently, I’ve noticed that I use my eyes way more than I should. I need to use my ears more.
So, I started to make it a habit to close my eyes while mixing. No, I don’t mix with my eyes closed (duh!) but every once in a while, I stop, close my eyes and just listen. I don’t focus on anything else except listening mix during that time.
This process has made a drastic change in how I hear the mixes. The details are more clear to me and I’m also more confident about the mixes. I used to go back to tweaking the mix A LOT because I always heard things I didn’t hear before. But after implementing this process, I don’t have to do that so much anymore.
I highly recommend starting to implement this small step into your mixing routine. It will help.