Guy Gray’s Tips & Tricks: CRITICAL LISTENING


Resident Producer/Engineer Guy Gray is back with another set of Tips & Tricks to share with you. This week, he lets you in on a simple but crucial skill – the gentle art of CRITICAL LISTENING.

Every so often during your mixdown session, you should listen to your mix in mono at a very low SP level on one monitor only. Do this preferably on a domestic, non-pro type house hold speaker. Small multi-media or laptop type speakers are perfect for this, given we are living in the Youtube century! Many large scale studios tend to have Auratone’s for this very purpose.


Look (or ‘listen‘) for any obvious frequencies or level masking. Check for phase coherency and any instrument / frequency cancellation issues.

And remember the Golden Rule: The main vocal is of paramount importance so make sure it sits just right in the mix. It’s amazing how this critical listening mode can help you. Just re-tweak a couple of levels to make your mix sound better balanced and more finished. Remember balance is the corner stone to a great sounding mix.

[Award-winning producer/engineer/mixer Guy Gray has rejoined the Studios 301 team following his recent return to Australia.]