The key to longevity in any creative field is versatility. As a music mixer , you may find yourself in a position to do audio post production — don’t say no, it’s easier than you think. Since you’re already familiar with the processing tools of audio, here’s some basic tips for using compression and EQ as it applies to audio post.
Compressors are the reason that television commercials sound louder than the program. Most spots are severely compressed and therefore their average volume is at a much higher level than a mildly compressed broadcast. In post, a bit of mild compression will ensure a smooth and even sound to your tracks. If you use too much compression, your track will sound like a 3:00 a.m. infomercial.
The bottom line with EQ: A little goes a long way. For problem solving you might have to get a bit severe, but overall it’s best to keep it subtle. A little cut around 100Hz can eliminate air conditioning rumble and exterior traffic noise. A little boost around 10kHz can add presence to dialog. If you talk to experienced sound mixers you’ll find that more often than not, EQing will consist of little more than a 4 or 5dB cut, and rarely anything more dramatic than a 2dB boost.