Kontakt Libraries and mixing

Hi @Mikael I have purchased and am enjoying your Scary and Ambient music courses

After watching those courses I just had 3 questions

1/Main question is how do you mix with all those elements playing together without getting muddy? Is it spreading the elements to stereo field?

2/ How does one afford the necessary Kontakt libraries for this type of music they all seem so expensive?

Really want to get into this type of music production, what steps do I take after your courses?

thanks Leighbeater

Hello Leigh,
Let me answer your 2nd question first. Basically, you start with the essentials first, and build from there. I still think the Komplete package is a great starting point, because you not only get the full Kontakt, but a lot of libraries and plugins. I still use plenty of the ones in the Komplete package.

Another option is the East West subscription, which will give you access to a great number of libraries and plugins, for a monthly payment. That way you avoid the big spending at the beginning, and you can always change in the future.

Regarding mixing to avoid muddiness, I am a believer of mixing with your arrangement. Meaning the composition and what goes on in every one single moment, is 90% of the mixing. Avoid clashing harmonies, clashing rhythms etc. So it is about ‘respecting the core elements’ and then arrange variations over time, instead of fighting too much in any single moment.


Hi @Leighbeater,

I agree with Mikael. The first step, is to invest in Komplete or going with a small subscription fee. It doesn’t matter at that point what bundle. Small, big. Whatever you can afford. You have plenty of options there and as I have written in my PDF that you can get for free (CLICK HERE), it’s unbeatable for price, quality and what you get for that.

Mixing is another topic that will come with time. I remember when I have started with all this and it took me years before I realized what’s happening inside a “real mix”. If you want to be successful and have a lot of fun during the whole music production process, first concentrate on one thing. In your case the “music”. After you made your first steps and have more confidence, you do the second step. Step by step. A lot of people do this mistake in the beginning. They do everything at once. Result: Never get to the level as fast as they could if they would split their focus! Remember that.

The last thing I would suggest you to do. Stay here in the forum and learn from and with others. You get so much useful information that will lift you up! You have nice people here everywhere that will don’t tell you things that are out of focus. That is super important in the beginning, as many people even professionals show you so many plugins, libs and other fancy stuff that they already have and say “you can’t live without that!”. Blah blah blah. Forget that. Nothing of that is important for you when you start music.

*PS: I started my blog and my YouTube Channel where I will talk about common music & audio production topics. Subscribe there. I tell you that because I will never say to you that “only I” know how to…and blah blah blah. My focus is on being as transparent and honest as I can be. If someone can help you more out than me, I will tell you that. Many people still don’t do it, or it least don’t mention that there out so many great possibilites to learn from. I want YOU to start the “right way”. And the right way is when people who tell you that like me and Mikael are 100% honest and transparent.

On more last thing: Ask, ask, ask! If you don’t ask, you will never know! :wink:

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:


Thanks @Mikael and @jlx_music appreciate responses, I have experience in mixing house type music but some of this soundtrack music seems so dense with elements everywhere. Its like I am starting from scratch again.

I have an old version of Komplete but will look at getting an upgrade maybe to Ultimate version when it goes on sale next time.

Will check out your other suggestions as well including the subscriptions. thanks guys will start reading the forum more in depth


The cool part is, that no matter what genre you are / were in, you can always learn so much from other genres. And every genre has its own style and specifications. „House“ doesn’t necessary mean it’s easier to mix than cinematic only because less elements are included. By widening your horizons you collect more ideas that you can implement in your favorite genre and your productions. :slight_smile:

Agree with everything that’s been said so far. Awesome feedback!

Regarding libraries, I’d only add that I have a little savings pot that 50% of my music earnings goes in from each project. I only buy when I have enough… some people don’t do this. I haven’t had any experiences with subscription services to be honest… I started with audio and recorded live instruments so I did it that way around (many moons ago). I do recommend this way of doing things as you can start to earn from recording artists straight away and just ask for a gesture in pay which will go towards things in your studio. It will also help with your mixing experience too.

In terms of mixing advice I can say this… treat your room. This will do more for your mixes than any advice that anyone could ever give you… Don’t use foam, use acoustic panels. They’re around £50 each on amazon and they work great! Foam is a waste of money. Treat the first reflection points (each side of your speakers) and the corners. Being in a new studio this is something I’m doing slowly. I’m getting one new panel a month. Even the 2 on each side of the speakers will do wonders. I understand this isn’t as exciting as a new library but it’s 100% more important!!

As for actual mixing advice…
• before you put any plugins on your mix, level your mix so that everything is exactly where you want it volume wise. You shouldn’t have to touch the faders after this.

• everytime you add a plugin to a channel make sure your not increasing the volume on the output, if you are then pull the volume down to match the input.

• less reverb is better. Even better, use an aux for your reverb and EQ some of the highs out and most of the lows so your reverb doesn’t mask any of the other instruments.

• learn about side chain compression and learn how to utilise it. There’s loads of YouTube videos that explain this.

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