Q: In the mixing process, which instrument do you rough in first? Is there a particular order that seems to work for you?And I have basically no idea what's being discussed half the time. That I would call myself a producer is an insult to every real producer out there. I imagine this is the feeling that a goldfish gets when it's dumped in the ocean after being in an aquarium all of its life.
A: The first thing i try to do is a very fast rough mix of the song. All faders down to start, and two full passes top to bottom to get EVERYTHING balanced and listenable (i've been doing this a while). then i might sit back and simply listen to the song many times just to catch a vibe. When i think i have the song internalized, i'll often go back to building the mix from scratch, usually drums first, then bass, guitars, etc..... At some point early, i'll bring in the vocal, and just keep it low so i remember its there, and so i remember to carve a nice big hole in the mix for it to live. Personally, i like to mix fast early on, I probably do 80% of my mixing in the first hour or two, and might spend another 8 hours tweeking, refining, trying special ideas, etc... but it will almost always sound like a song within 2 hours. it may not sound like a finished mix for ten hours.
I should just go back to the sandbox and let the big boys handle the real work.