The Beginner Guide To Music Production 2022: The Correct Way To Build Your Mix – Top Down Or Bottom-Up?

Mike White of, our friend and mix master extraordinaire, answers a common question that many aspiring recording engineers and producers ask-

What Approach Do You Use When Building Your Mix? Top Down Or Bottom Up?

Mr. Mike White- In general, there are two popular methods for constructing a final mix. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

The first method is known as top-down. This method begins with the vocal sound and then fills in all of the other instruments. This method can be effective for certain types of recordings in which the vocal is more prominent than the rest of the music. Some engineers prefer the top-down approach because it forces them to get the exact vocal sound they want and ensures that no other instruments compete for space in the mix.

Most professional engineers, on the other hand, use a bottom-up approach. This method begins with laying a solid foundation with rhythm section instruments such as drums, bass, guitar, and so on. The lead instruments and vocals are then added to the mix. I mix this way more often than not, but I almost always have the vocal in the background while I get my other sounds in. This allows me to avoid making the rhythm section instruments sound too “big,” which could crowd out the lead vocal.

Editors note- Be sure to visit Mike’s incredible site to learn more about music engineering and producing!

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