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After recording, it is time to craft a mix that will be balanced and convey emotions. There are thousand ways to mix the same raw material, which plays a central role in the song's atmosphere.
The main steps of mixing are summarized below and you can find different mixes of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit to hear what great difference a mix can make.
The editing process
  • Noise reduction (remove unwanted sounds such as hiss, breath, background)

  • Comping (choose the best takes and combine them)

  • Pitch/time editing (small corrections can make a huge difference)

The mixing process
  • Balancing faders (adjust the volume of each instrument compared to each other)

  • Panning (create a balanced stereo image)

  • Equalization (make space for each instrument in the frequency spectrum and remove unwanted frequencies)

  • Compression (level the dynamic range)

  • Reverb (create a 3-dimensional sound and add an atmosphere)

  • Automation (different settings in different sections of the song)


Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit - Different mixes

Rehearsal demo

Live version

Andy Wallace's mix

Butch Vig's mix

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