Do i have to be able to mix on a high level to get the piano sound work well with the drum sound. I was just wondering because i have tried to mix everything i can with just basic mixing and still i cant make the piano sound to work well at all with the drum sound
Well, you need to be able to mix to the level that you want to achieve. I have no idea what you mean by “high level,” and no idea what you mean by “basic mixing.”
Your description is kind-of vague, it’s hard to tell what’s going on. What are the recordings? Do the piano/drum recordings sound great, each on their own? Or is there excessive room acoustics, drag, mic handling noise, clipping, or other such artifacts already? A mix can’t really take away bad sources, it can just highlight good sources.
If you listen to some recording that sounds the way you want, and compare to your own, what is different? And when I say “listen,” I mean really listen to the sound (not the music.) Start with the basics: What’s the dynamic range? What’s the balance? What does it look like on the spectrum analyzer? Is there compression? Is there side chain compression? Now, can you get that same shape on your own, using EQ and compression and levelling?
Or, answering another way: Do you need at least six months of practice in mixing to get basic competency? Yes you do! Ideally practice using a variety of material, trying a variety of things. Does six months of practice in mixing get you to “high level” on the order of production pros you’ll hear on the intertubes? No, that takes a combination of specific talent and significantly more practice.
I haven’t read it yet, but the latest issue of SOS Magazine has an article titled The Five Biggest Mixing Mistakes.
What’s interesting about it is that it is based on actual data and not just opinion. Basically an audio engineering school had a bunch mixes of the exact same material made by different different students over the years - making it easy to compare apples to apples.
Learning to mix is a life long endeavor.