Adobe Audition is a terrific program for creating a great mix of a song, but home audio engineers often make a few key mistakes that rob their mixes of quality.
Here are some easily made mistakes in Adobe Audition that you can easily avoid, resulting in a better-sounding, more balanced song.
1. Using Audition’s Studio Reverb Effect rather than the more professional Reverb effect. You should always use the best reverb that you can get your hands on, because it’s one of the most important (if not the most important) effects that you’ve got, and one of the most commonly used. Beginning home producers will avoid the full reverb effect in Audition for two reasons; it’s CPU intensive, and it sounds too full. You can avoid both issues by sending the effect to a bus, then adding small amounts of the reverb signal to any tracks that you need reverb on.
2. Not taking advantage of buses. Audition supports the use of buses when mixing, and they’re a fantastic tool. A bus basically allows you to send one or more tracks to a dedicated mixing track that you EQ or add effects to; by using a combination of the dry signal and the bus, you can have some really fantastic effects, and make your mix sound far more professional. Search my articles for a full explanation of how to use buses in Adobe Audition.
3. Not fully using the panning abilities of Adobe Audition. Panning is just as important to a mix as EQ, so be sure to use it. In Audition, there are several effects to help fill out the stereo range, and when panning in the Mixer screen (Alt + 2) you can see the levels of different instruments as they play. Use these tools to make sure that each instrument in your song is in a different part of the “room” of the mix. Don’t put everything in the center, spread it out and you’ll make everything sound much more full and complete.
4. Low final volume level. Throughout the process of recording and mixing, volume levels on individual tracks get pushed down rather than up, usually because there’s more room that way. When the final track is mixed down, you’ll find that your mix is especially quiet when compared to other songs. By pay attention to how you use the Mixer screen in Audition during your mixing, and keeping the volume at a high enough level consistently (occasional red lining is fine, as long as there aren’t audible clipping sounds), you’ll avoid a lot of trouble in the final mixdown.
Do you have mixing tips for Adobe Audition? Post in the comments section below.