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Church Sound: Critique Your Mix By Asking These 11 Questions

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By Chris Huff July 31, 2015

This article is provided by Behind The Mixer.

Critiquing your mix is one of the best ways improving your mix. 

You’ll improve the mix for the next week but you can also immediately improve your mix for the song you are critiquing.

Today, I’m kicking out the questions you must ask, concerning your mix, as well as a new method I’ve been using.

Top 11 Questions to Ask of Your Mix

1) Can I hear all the musicians and singers? Close your eyes and try identifying each musical instrument and each vocal. If you can’t hear something in the mix, ask yourself why. 

Can you not hear the instrument because the volume is too low or because another instrument is so sonically similar that you can’t distinguish the instruments? A good example would be drums and bass. Also, electric guitar and keyboards can sometimes do that to each other.

2) Can I hear the lead vocalist and understand what they are singing? The congregation is listening for the lead vocals above everything else so those have to be clear and present.

3) Is it clear which instrument is leading the song? It can be said for most any song that one instrument is clearly the lead instrument. It’s the instrument in which all other instruments are layered under. 

This isn’t to say the lead instrument needs to be twice as loud. Listen to professional recordings of each song and note the lead instrument and how the EQ and effects of the other instruments are set to make room for this instrument.

4) Does the mix fit the genre of music? You don’t want to make a pop band sound like a country band. Worship bands tend to have their own particular sound but at the same time, you do have to permit them the ability to change up the song styles from time to time. Don’t make the band sound like something it’s not.

5) Does the mix fit the music the congregation likes? This isn’t so much a mix critique as much as it is a reminder that your music mix has to sound like what the congregation expects to hear. 

They can’t fully engage in worship if they expect a well-balanced contemporary style and you’ve got the drums so far out in the mix that you’ve got them running for the hills.

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About Chris

Chris Huff
Chris Huff

Chris Huff is a long-time practitioner of church sound and writes at Behind The Mixer, covering topics ranging from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians – and everything in between.


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