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Blueprint To Immediately Produce Professional Music From Home

GUEST BLOG from Reagan Ramm with Orpheus Audio Academy

There are a million and one ways to improve your home studio productions, from upgrading your gear to learning new skills.

The problem is that these improvements take time and money.

But what if there were some production tactics you could implement right now to instantly upgrade your productions? No time or money investment necessary!

Well, without further ado… here is a blueprint to immediately produce better music from home, without investing in new gear or learning new skills.

1 - Move quickly

This first tip might sound counter-intutive, but by mixing faster, you’ll actually produce higher quality mixes.

You might think the more time you spend on something, the better or higher quality that something will end up being.

But this is a fallacy, especially when it comes to music production.

This is because, as producers, we are dealing with the reality of “listening fatigue”.

The longer we spend tweaking or mixing a song, the less objective our ears become, and our ability to make good mixing decisions decreases.

The faster we can move through a mix, the higher quality the mix is likely to be.

Of course, there are some mixes that are just going to take longer to finish. In this case, you can counter listening fatigue by being sure to take breaks so your ears can rest and recalibrate.

2 - Listen At The "Correct Position" In Your Room

Not only is the position in your room at which you’re listening back to your music important, but so is the position of your speakers.

1 - Avoid having your listening position be halfway across the length of the room

If your head is halfway between the front wall and back wall, OR halfway between the floor and ceiling, you will hear a distinct loss in bass.

2 - Aim your speakers down the longest wall

This will allow the sound waves to have as much room as possible to travel, and will improve your frequency response and give a flatter listening experience.

3 - Distance to the front wall and side walls should be unequal

If the speakers are the same distance from the wall behind them (the front wall) as the side walls, this can result in a build-up of “standing waves.”

Standing waves are the combination of two waves moving in opposite directions, each having the same amplitude and frequency.

The result is that these waves can actually reinforce each other, causing a build-up of a particular frequency in your room, causing you to make poor mixing decisions in an effort to correct this perceived frequency problem, which doesn’t really exist in your mix.

4 - Position the speakers away from the wall

Many speakers have bass ports on the back so putting them against the wall will cause low frequency boosting.

Position your speakers at the minimum distance from the wall according to the manual for your particular speakers.

5 - Have your speakers form an equalateral triangle with your listening position

This means you want the distance between your speakers to be the same distance as each speaker is from your head.

Making these little changes in your listening environment and position will go a long way towards helping you produce better quality productions.

3 - Listen At The Correct Volume When Mixing

Another easy tactic you can use to ensure you’re producing the best quality mixes you can, is listen back to your music at the correct volume level.

Most of the time, you’ll actually want to mix at a low volume level. Low enough that you can still carry on a conversation with someone else in the room, without raising your voice.

However, there is a key moment during the mixing process when you actually want to crank the volume up pretty loud. This moment is when you are using EQ.

If you are working with EQ, you’ll actually want to turn the volume up to 85-90db because of something called the “Fletcher-Munson Curve”.

However, the volume level where all the frequency ranges become the most linear to our ears is at 85-90db.

This reality becomes especially apparent when you listen at lower volume levels. Have you ever noticed that as you turn the volume down on a song you're listening to, the bass tends to disappear?

That is the Fletcher-Munson Curve in action.

Therefore, if you make EQ decisions at low listening volumes, you’re likely to boost the bass too much and end up with a boomy and muddy mix.

4 - Loop the Climax Of The Song When Mixing

Another quick tip is to loop the climax of your song when mixing.

If you were to mix while looping a verse, you’re likely to not leave yourself enough headroom when you tackle the climax.

By starting with the climax, the rest of your sections are likely to sound pretty good as well, and you leave yourself room to work in some volume automation as well if you want to help make that clear distinction between your verses and your choruses.

5 - Have An Intention

Be sure to have an intention when you are mixing. Don’t just add plugins because you saw someone doing that in a YouTube video.

Before diving into your mix, take a step back to listen to your song, and compare it to a few other songs that are similar to your track in terms of genre or instrumentation. How does your song stack up?

Is your song missing something, or does it have too much of something?

Use these references to guide your decisions, and have an intention for what you want to achieve when you start mixing.

This will enable you to cut down on the number of plugins you have to use, save you time, energy, and frustration.

This will also help you mix faster, which as we already talked about, is also key for pro mixes.

6 - Mix In Mono

Also, before you start to mix, it’s a good idea to throw a gain or utility plugin on your mix buss and set your entire mix to mono.

This will collapse all of your tracks to mono, so all of your instruments are going right down the center of the stereo spectrum.

This forces you to make a good-sounding mix without the crutch of stereo width. When you’re mixing normally, in stereo, it’s possible for frequency or volume issues to be disguised because sounds are panned away from each other.

In mono, nothing can hide, and you’re forced to create a good volume and frequency blend.

Then, when you switch back to Stereo to do your panning, your mix should sound very clean and open, and every instrument and sound is easily distinguishable.

7 - Volume Balance Your Mix First

When you do dive into mixing, start with your volume balance first.

Pull down all of your faders, and then move up your most important instrument (lead vocals for example) up to 0db and then balance all of your other tracks around that, just using your volume faders.

The goal here is to get your mix sounding as good as possible just using volume. See if you can set your volume levels to the point where you can still distinguish each instrument in your mix.

You’ll probably find it’s not perfect, which is to be expected (that’s what mixing is for), but if you get as close to perfect as you can with just the volume balance, then this drastically reduces the amount of tweaking you have to do, and plugins you have to add.

The simpler your mix is, the less chances you have of getting bogged down in complexity.

8 - Apply Group Processing Before Individual Tracks

Continuing with our theme of making our first mixing moves be ones that move the needle the most in the direction of completion…

Before applying processing to individual tracks, it’s a good idea to apply group buss processing.

For example, instead of individually mixing your kick drum, snare drum, high hats, etc., you can mix all of your drums at once using a buss.

Not only will this help save you time, but it will also enable you to blend your drums together and get a more cohesive-sounding whole.

Once the group is done, then you can fine tune by mixing individual tracks (as necessary).

When it comes to buss processing, I like to start with the mix buss first, for the same reasons I mentioned above.

If you can get your track sounding as good as possible, just from applying processing to your mix buss, then this makes for a lot less work for you on the rest of the mix.

If you want help processing your mix buss…

9 - Bounce Tracks To Audio When Possible

This one is kind of scary, but also can make a big difference. When you have finished applying processing to a track (whether it be MIDI or audio), go ahead and bounce the track in place.

This will “print” all of your effects to audio so that they are now “baked in” to the track. Not only does this allow you to save your CPU processing resources (because you can now turn off all of those plugins on the original track)...

But this strategy helps you to commit and move on to something else.

A big trap that producers fall into is “The Circle Of Doom”, as I call it, where you are constantly tweaking one sound, then another, then another, and then you find your first instrument doesn’t sound right, so you tweak that again as well, and on and on it goes.

By printing your tracks to audio, you basically prevent yourself from doing any more tweaking on that track because the edits are now made.

This way, you can move on, finish more tracks, and learn faster.

10 - Avoid The Solo Button

Finally, avoid the solo button as much as possible when mixing.

No one is going to hear your individual tracks on their own. Everything will be heard all at once, so what is important is that all of your instruments sound good together.

For example, if you mix your vocals in solo, you might find that they sound a little thin, and boost the low mids or even bass frequencies if they are present.

While listening in solo now, your vocals sound nice and full, but when you listen to them in the context of the mix, you find they sound muddy.

This is because you have other instruments taking low-mid range, and they are now clashing with your vocals.

Bonus Tip: Follow A Step-by-Step Mixing System

If you approach each new mix without a system in mind, then you’re making a big mistake.

If you’re just mixing by the seat of your pants, tackling instruments as you feel like it, and adding plugins because you think they are needed…

Then it’s going to be very difficult to consistently produce high-quality music.

Instead, you want to approach every mix the same way, like you would if you were baking a cake and following a recipe.

Throwing the eggs into the bowl BEFORE removing them from their shells isn’t going to make a great cake.

If you want a proven step-by-step mixing system (or recipe) that will help you to produce radio-worthy tracks faster, every single time…

This checklist will walk you through what to do first, second, third, and so on when you’re mixing so that you can start to crank out professional-quality mixes from home, consistently.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at

Have a great day, and happy mixing!

- Reagan Ramm


There you go! That’s our blueprint on how to immediately produce professional music from home, courtesy of Reagan Ramm from Orpheus Audio Academy. Now it is your turn to put these tips into good use. When you do, message us, because we look forward to hearing all about how it worked for you!

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