We’ll keep it laser focused and simple on this one…
With multiple instruments taking up the same frequency range in your mix, you need to find the best frequency for each.
It’s rare that instruments sound best at the same frequency. If the kick drum and bass guitar sound great with boosts at 80Hz but they clash, with a little experimentation you’ll find the bass jumps out of your speakers elsewhere, perhaps at 100Hz, or even down in the 50-60Hz region.
Once you’ve found two discrete frequency ranges for two competing instruments, you simply cut in one what you boost in the other.
It’s that simple. It also works well to separate multiple guitar tracks that are playing the same progression, clashing lead vocal lines or overpowering keyboard parts.
To create separation in your mixes, cut for one instrument what you have boosted in the other.
PS: Make these adjustments in mono, and then check them in stereo. I find that it’s more accurate this way, as the stereo image won’t trick your ear into thinking there’s separation that may not be there.
I mostly mix in mono for this reason. If it sounds good in mono, it will likely sound great in stereo!
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