Today's blog entry is just about getting yourself in the right mind frame for mixing. Focus is essential and that comes with proper rest. Your mind, body, and ears should be well-rested before starting on your mix. When you take fatigue out of the equation, your mix will have a sense of power and intensity.
As you start your mix, it can be a good idea to align yourself to a reference track. Give your ears some time to adjust to a mix that has a similar energy. Absorb the sound from the reference track to put you on the right path for your own mix. This will map out the focus you need to start your mix.
I personally like to start mixing at a lower volume on my monitors. This allows me to challenge my ears and focus on the pieces of the music that need to be the foundation of the mix. These core elements are the source of energy that puts the music into motion. Once you have all of these elements in the right place, the rest of the mix can be layered with the accent sounds.
The mixing work you do may take some time. Give yourself the time needed to make wise decisions. You can change your mind about the mix and that is part of the journey. A good mix is one that has been given the proper amount of attention. It is OK to take breaks to restore your energy and get your focus back on track. You can take the time you need and sometimes what you need to do is step back for a while and review what you've done with the mix.
Procrastination and anxiety are not your friends. It's a good idea to keep them out of your routine when working on a mix. You do want to stay in contact with your client throughout the progress of your mix. If you're making reference copies to review, share them with your client for feedback. Sometimes they may like an aspect you are considering to revise. Remember that this is their music, so you want them to be pleased with the final decisions.
I hope these words encourage and guide you to be a good mix engineer. Just remember that it takes time to craft a masterpiece.