Mix volumes for one's guitar

Andrei Moraru

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
406
851
1,566
andreilucianmoraru.com
Guitar Experience (years)
10
Hello there.

So I just noticed that my EP has a good enough sound on stereo, but when played on mono (i.e. Google Home, your phone speaker, etc.), some parts are way too loud.

And that is how I got introduced to what I think mixing in mono refers to.

Here's what I have:
- 2 rhythm guitars, one for each channel, panned 100% to the left and right
- 2 lead guitars, same as above

Volume-wise, I managed to reduce the volume for the lead parts that play the same thing, however, I am noticing a difference in volume when dueling guitar parts kick in. The dueling guitar parts are slightly louder but I fear that if I lower the volume too much on those parts, I'm gonna be stuck with the same problem as before, where the parts that play the same thing are too loud.

So my question is, how loud are parts that play the same thing should be compared to the other ones? This is a question I have for both lead and rhythm since I need to re-mix and re-master the whole thing and upload it again like the badass that I hope to be someday :LOL:.

Number wise, I have noticed that there is a difference of like 4dB between same-note parts and dueling guitar parts, in favor of the dueling guitar parts of course.

I hope I didn't confuse you all :LOL:.

Thanks,
Andrei
 

Filip Tomiša

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
829
237
1,581
22
Croatia
www.youtube.com
Guitar Experience (years)
6
Mixing in mono is great because it shows you how good or bad your mix is. I was mixing my song once and was happy with the result but when I put it in mono the pads completely disappeared so I had to redo the whole thing. Making everything super wide might sound good on stereo speakers but when you put that in mono it can sound really bad so you have to be careful with that. iZotope Elements 8 or 9 have the option where you can change your mix to mono and then you can mix it and if you manage to make it sound good in mono, it will sound great in stereo. You can import a song in your daw that has been professionaly mixed and then put it in mono and you'll see that it has minimal losses and then you can do the same with your song and listen to what disappears or sounds weaker and then fix it with EQing and compression.

There are a few ways to mix your song. First you have to ask yourself what's the main thing that people will have their attention on. If the song has vocals then the vocals are the loudest part in the song. Listen to every pop song ever and you'll hear that the vocals are always louder than the rest. The other thing you can choose between is either the drums or the guitars. Which one will be the main thing in the song?. I'm assuming that in your case the guitars should be the loudest part. So usually the rhythm guitars are quieter than the lead guitars because they are there to keep the rhythm and fill the space while the lead is something that will grab peoples attention.

If the dueling parts are too loud just lower the volume so it matches the other guitar parts.

Good thing to do when mixing is have a refrence track. Meaning you should import a song into your daw that you are familiar with and that fits the genre of your song and then compare the mix between the two and listen to every element of the song (kick,snare,bass,gutiar...) and then fix them so that it matches your refrence track. I have a pdf file that I found somewhere that gives you some tips on how to master a song. I'll put it here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X_cF3OLv2gsvyNcM39YlMdbIilueeERS
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: Ed Seith

Andrei Moraru

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
406
851
1,566
andreilucianmoraru.com
Guitar Experience (years)
10
Mixing in mono is great because it shows you how good or bad your mix is. I was mixing my song once and was happy with the result but when I put it in mono the pads completely disappeared so I had to redo the whole thing. Making everything super wide might sound good on stereo speakers but when you put that in mono it can sound really bad so you have to be careful with that. iZotope Elements 8 or 9 have the option where you can change your mix to mono and then you can mix it and if you manage to make it sound good in mono, it will sound great in stereo. You can import a song in your daw that has been professionaly mixed and then put it in mono and you'll see that it has minimal losses and then you can do the same with your song and listen to what disappears or sounds weaker and then fix it with EQing and compression.

There are a few ways to mix your song. First you have to ask yourself what's the main thing that people will have their attention on. If the song has vocals then the vocals are the loudest part in the song. Listen to every pop song ever and you'll hear that the vocals are always louder than the rest. The other thing you can choose between is either the drums or the guitars. Which one will be the main thing in the song?. I'm assuming that in your case the guitars should be the loudest part. So usually the rhythm guitars are quieter than the lead guitars because they are there to keep the rhythm and fill the space while the lead is something that will grab peoples attention.

If the dueling parts are too loud just lower the volume so it matches the other guitar parts.

Good thing to do when mixing is have a refrence track. Meaning you should import a song into your daw that you are familiar with and that fits the genre of your song and then compare the mix between the two and listen to every element of the song (kick,snare,bass,gutiar...) and then fix them so that it matches your refrence track. I have a pdf file that I found somewhere that gives you some tips on how to master a song. I'll put it here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X_cF3OLv2gsvyNcM39YlMdbIilueeERS
I see. Thanks for the tips.

Yeah, I'd want people to have a focus on the lead guitars of course. I have tried your idea of lowering the volume of the dueling guitars just a bit (like half a decibel or something) and the difference was amazingly good. I still feel I may need to amp my rhythm guitars by a little bit, but not too much. And yeah, now that you have mentioned it, I think I need to revisit the volumes on the drums as well.

I've downloaded that document and I'll try to put it to good use.

Many thanks for your help.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Filip Tomiša