Ironically, even though this is part II, these tips are actually more fundamental than the previous guide. So pay attention! :-)
Internalize the following fact: 90% of mixing is getting volume levels to be right. For the longest time I was obsessed with using EQ to get my mix to sound good - not realizing that my levels were way off. This is dumb. If you're building Mt Rushmore with your trusty DAW, volume levels are the dynamite, and EQ is the chisel. :-)
Aside from a high-pass on non bass instruments (see the previous guide), you don't really have to worry about EQ until you're confident you've got your levels correct.
Wait - how do you become a good judge of volume levels?
Eventually you'll just be able to intuit it, so keep practicing. Until that point, there's a really good trick: make all mixing decisions with the volume turned down low. For complicated reasons, the brain can make better mixing decisions when a track is very quiet - it's much more easy to recognize which instruments are too loud or quiet.
Imagine that your song has a couple of slots:
- midrange (melody/singing)
- midrange pads
- high range (high arps, or sometimes nothing).
If you put one instrument in each slot, the song will sound full. (Yep! It's that easy.)
If you put more than one instrument in the same slot, they will fight with each other and make each other inaudible.
If you notice that your song is sounding cluttered, this is almost certainly why. Yes, it means you have to get rid of elements - sometimes good elements - and it sucks! But trust me, a muddy song is always worse.
Never let your volume meter go into the red.
This is called clipping, and it's bad. If you are, turn down your volume levels until you aren't any more.
If you're using FL Studio, for God's sake, take the limiter off the master channel, and never put it back on. EVER
Limiters make it impossible to make good mixing decisions. Just trust me on this one. (Once you get much better, and you want to drive up the loudness of your song, you can add it back on - but only after you're completely done with your mixdown.)