Visual Mixing: Tips by Grammy-Winning Producer Shawn Everett

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Producer/mixer Shawn Everett opens up his Grammy-winning mix of “Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes, showing how his “Mixing with Your Eyes” approach helps him give a rock song the low end of a hip hop track.

In this exclusive video for Waves users, producer/mixer Shawn Everett (War on Drugs, Julian Casablancas) opens up his Grammy-winning mix of “Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes, showing how his “Mixing with Your Eyes” approach helps him give a rock song the low end of a hip hop track.

“Mix with your ears, not with your eyes” is an oft-heard warning in mixing school, but Grammy-winning producer Shawn Everett insists that mixing with your ears and your eyes through visualizing what you’re listening to, will help you get the most musical results.

We go inside Shawn’s loft studio to learn the details of his unique mixing approach: Shawn explains how he uses reference tracks and plugins such as Waves’ Linear Phase Multiband Compressor, PAZ Analyzer and Q10 Equalizer, in order to visualize the full color palette of the “frequency rainbow” and mix more musically in each frequency range.

He divides his audio into frequency ranges: sub, low-mid, mid, hi-mid and high—“the frequency rainbow”—and starts by mixing each area separately, closely matching the performance of a reference track on his PAZ Analyzer. This allows him, for example, to imitate the frequency activity of a hip hop track in the low end and instill it into his rock mix for a fuller, fatter sound.