1. Be careful when selecting your multitrack. Some units don't allow certain combinations to work together:
  2. If you also play an instrument, be careful to not favor the instrument you play in the mix.
  3. Use your ears. It has to sound good to you.
  4. See my page on bouncing tracks.
  5. If you use punch-in, both sections have to be recorded in the same environment, or the edit will be obvious in the finished product.
  6. Use PFL (pre-fader-listen solo) to check for signal presence before opening the fader, and also to cue up recordings.
  7. Use AFL (after-fader-listen solo) to balance out groups of performers during the mix.
  8. Keep the vocals clearly understandable in the mix.
  9. Make sure the room reverberation can decay between beats. Otherwise, the drums and base will blend into a drone, instead of timekeeping beats.
  10. Remember that once you bounce and combine tracks, they can not be separated again once you erase the original tracks.
  11. Use EQ and pan to separate instrument overlaps.
  12. Listen to your mix through several sets of speakers, in several different rooms.
  13. Reset the board before mixing. Set everything to zero, off, or flat.
  14. To use one mixer to do recording, PA, and monitors, use the pre-fader aux sends for monitors, an after-fader aux send for the PA, and the LR bus (or the submasters) for the tape.
  15. When recording "live to two" you have to keep monitoring balance between instruments. Use your AFL. You have only one chance to get it right.
  16. When recording "live to multitrack" and each part does not have its own track, concentrate on balance on the tracks containing more than one part.
  17. When recording "live to multitrack" and each part has its own track, concentrate on getting the cleanest signal on each track. Worry about balance during the mixdown.
  18. Avoid using a piano and acoustic guitars together, unless indistinction between them is acceptable. If both instruments are present, make sure they are not both playing chords. Otherwise, you might end up with a "guiano" (or maybe a "puitar").
  19. Use EQ to smooth out peaks in vocals. Compress to smooth out level variations.
  20. How to control a singer's level: