If your mixes sound thin and dull, and you want to learn how to make them fuller keep reading this tutorial.

But before we start, we first need to understand what a full mix is.

Basically, a full mix is a mix that contains each one of the frequencies ranges in the frequency spectrum at a decent level.

The Human Frequency Spectrum

The human frequency spectrum describes the range of frequencies that the human ear can process.

The frequency spectrum is divided into three parts.

It’s our job as music producers/mixing engineers to make sure that each part of the frequency spectrum is well balanced, and present in the mix.

And there are a couple of ways that can help us do that.

Use Layering

When it comes to making things sound full, layering is by far the most significant tool you can use.

For those of you who don’t know, layering means that you let two or more different instruments play the exact same role.

By layering correctly, you can add fill out the frequency spectrum without making your track messy.

How to layer correctly?

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that all of your elements are adding value. If they don’t, replace them with other ones.

A great trick you can use to determine whether an element is essential or not is to close your eyes, press the mute button a few times until you don’t know if it’s on or not, then press play, and press the mute button again.

If you hear a change, that means that this lead is worth keeping, and if you don’t, it means you should replace it with another one.

Use Saturation

Since the main effect of saturation is adding harmonic frequencies, it’s an incredible tool when it comes to making things full.

Let’s see what happens when we add saturation to a single frequency generator.

Now, lets add saturation.

As you can see, the saturation added a bunch of new harmonic frequencies that make the sound richer.

If you want to learn more about the ways saturation can help fill out your mix, I highly suggest that you check out my saturation guide.

You’ll learn all you need to know about saturation to use it correctly and fill up your mix.

Listen to this example of a future bounce drop pre and post saturation.

Make sure that you’re listening with headphones or with quality studio monitors so you can hear the difference easily.

First, let’s listen to the drop pre saturation.

Now, let’s listen to the drop post saturation.

As you can hear, the saturation made the track sound brighter, and a lot fuller.

Use The Stereo Field

A great thing to know and take advantage of is the stereo field.

Have you ever heard a song where the chorus comes in, and everything suddenly starts to sound super wide, but still incredibly focused, and powerful?

If so, it means that that song’s mixing engineer has used the stereo field correctly.

But, before we dive into how to use it correctly, we need to understand what it is.

As you probably know, every song consists of mono elements, left/right elements, and full stereo elements (which are elements that play both in the left and the right channels).

What are mono and stereo?


Mono tracks use only one single channel.

It can be reproduced through several speakers, but all speakers are still producing the same copy of the signal.


Stereo channels send two signals, one for each speaker. You can use different channels, one for the left speaker and one for the right speaker.

You can use stereo channels to create directionality, perspective, and space.

The vast majority of audio systems today support stereo signals.

The stereo field is the range that’s created when mono and left/right elements are combined.

The Stereo Field & Common places of elements in the mix.

How can the stereo field help us?

We can use the stereo field to make space for all of the elements in the mix, and therefore, to make it sound full.

LCR & 50/50 Panning

We can take advantage of the stereo field with these methods of panning.

Basically, LCR & 50/50 Panning means that every element in the mix but the vocals, the kick, the bass, and the snare should be panned all the way or 50% to the left/right.

That way, you make space for the main elements like the vocals to shine, and you add a lot of width to your mix, and that can result in a super full mix.

Check out the picture of the stereo field above to see the usual possible places of common elements in the stereo field.

Basically, you usually want the vocals, the kick, the bass, and the snare to be centered and mono, and everything else to be on the sides.

Check out this example of one of my songs, pre and post panning.

Make sure that you’re listening with headphones or with quality studio monitors so you can hear the difference easily.

First, let’s listen to the track pre-panning.

Now, let’s use panning.

Do you hear how much space went clear?

It’s incredible because this space now allows me to add new elements that will fill out the track.

Ease down the highpass filters

Lots of people online will tell you that you have to highpass everything but the kick and the bass in order to avoid muddiness and get a clean mix.

The problem with this is that you cut a lot of low-end that doesn’t need to be cut.

And then you end up with a thin mix.

Others will tell you that you should only highpass elements with a problematic low-end.

The problem with this is that even if an element only has a little bit of low-end, it can add up to another element that has just a little bit of low-end, and they will add up to others as well.

Then, you’ll end up with a muddy mix.

So, should you or should you not highpass everything?

The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

What I’ve found to work the best is high passing all the elements, but the kick, the bass, and the snare softly up to 50Hz-80Hz and all the problematic low-end elements up to 120Hz-200Hz.

That way, you prevent the muddiness, but you don’t cut too much low-end and leave the mix

Similar Posts