How do you mix songs together on Android?

Introduce song mixing on Android

Song mixing is the process of combining and blending multiple audio tracks into a final master recording. On a mobile device like Android, song mixing allows you to take individual vocal, instrument, and other audio tracks and adjust the levels, panning, EQ, effects, and more to get your desired sound.

Mixing songs on a smartphone or mobile device like Android has several key benefits compared to desktop solutions (Energy5):

  • Convenience and portability – Mix music anywhere without bulky equipment
  • Creative flexibility – Craft mixes using intuitive touch interfaces
  • Cost savings – Avoid expensive desktop mixing tools and hardware
  • Shareability – Easily export and share final mixes through your mobile device

The core song mixing process on Android involves importing your individual tracks into a mixing app, arranging them, setting volume levels, adjusting EQ and effects, and exporting the final stereo mixdown. Advanced options like automation may also be available depending on the app.

Download a Mixing App

When it comes to mixing music on your Android device, the app you use makes all the difference. Here are some top recommended Android mixing apps to consider downloading along with the key features to look for:

FL Studio Mobile – This full-featured DAW allows you to mix, arrange, and edit your songs. Key features include various effects, synthesizers, drum pads, audio recording, automation, and exporting to WAV/MP3.

Caustic 3 – Caustic provides a modular rack interface with synths, effects, and samplers. Great for loops and beats. Key features are real-time sequencing, song editing tools, MIDI support, and a vintage-style interface.

n-Track Studio – Boasting a multitrack recorder and sequencer, n-Track makes professional mixing possible on Android. Features include effects, automation, time-stretching, EQ, and support for plugins.

Some key features to look for in a mixing app include: effects like reverb, delay, compression, EQ; automation for mix parameters; audio recording; MIDI support; time-stretching; exports to common formats like WAV and MP3; synthesizers; drum pads; a song editor/arranger; and a customizable interface.

Import your music files

Before you can start mixing songs on your Android device, you first need to get your music files onto the phone or tablet. Here are some tips for importing audio tracks:

Android supports common audio formats like MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and OGG. When organizing your music library, it’s best to have all your songs encoded into one of these compatible formats to ensure they will work properly in your Android audio apps. Lossless formats like FLAC and WAV will provide higher audio quality.

The easiest way to transfer music files is by connecting your Android to your computer with a USB cable. You can then drag and drop songs directly into the Music folder on your Android device. On Android 11 and higher, look for the “Internal shared storage” or “Music” folder. Older versions of Android may require enabling USB file transfer mode in Settings.

If you downloaded music directly onto your Android device, the files are usually saved in the Downloads folder. You may want to move them into your main Music library folder for easier access by audio apps.

Some useful file manager apps like Solid Explorer make it easy to browse and organize all the folders and media files on your Android device.

Arrange your tracks

Once you’ve imported all your tracks into your mixing app, it’s time to arrange them in the order you want them to play in your final mix. This is where organizing and properly labeling your tracks comes in handy.

“How to Organize Your Tracks for a More Efficient Mixing Experience” on Flypaper suggests clearly labeling each track according to its instrument and section of the song (e.g. Guitar 1 Verse, Piano Chorus). This makes it easy to identify and arrange your tracks in your timeline.

Most mixing apps allow you to reorder tracks easily by dragging and dropping them into place. Arrange your tracks in the order you want them to play in the final mix. Generally, you’ll want to have the foundation instruments like drums, bass, and rhythm guitar at the bottom, then stack other instruments like vocals, leads, and percussion on top.

Leaving space between related sections can help isolate verses, choruses, etc. Having your tracks organized in this way from the start will make the rest of the mixing process more efficient.

Adjust volume levels

A key part of mixing is setting the relative volume levels for each track. This is typically done using volume sliders or faders in the mixing app. The goal is to achieve a balanced mix where no single track overpowers the others.

Start by setting the volume of each track to a moderate level. Then listen to the overall balance and adjust individual tracks up or down as needed. The most important elements like vocals and lead instruments generally need to be louder in the mix. Rhythmic elements like drums provide the backbone and are usually mixed lower.

While turning tracks up, be careful not to clip or distort them. Clipping occurs when a track’s level exceeds 0 dBFS, the maximum volume that can be represented digitally. This results in a distorted flattened shape of the waveform. To avoid clipping, leave around 3-6 dB of headroom below 0 dBFS on your master bus.

Use these volume balancing techniques for a professional mix:[1]

  • Set your main vocal or lead at around -10 dB to -8 dB
  • Mix drums in the -12 dB to -5 dB range
  • Have backing instruments between -16 dB to -10 dB
  • Set ambiences and backgrounds below -20 dB

With practice, you’ll develop a feel for setting relative levels across tracks. Keep your ears fresh and take breaks to avoid ear fatigue.

Apply EQ

Equalization, or EQ, is one of the most important tools for mixing and shaping the sound of tracks. EQ allows you to boost or cut specific frequency ranges to balance tracks and get the sound you want.

Most mixing apps like DJay 2 or Cross DJ give you parametric EQ controls, allowing you to target specific frequencies like low bass, mids, and high treble.

Some common EQ adjustments when mixing:

  • Boosting bass around 60-100 Hz on kick drums and basslines
  • Cutting muddy frequencies around 200-400 Hz on overlapping instruments
  • Boosting 1-5kHz for clarity on vocals and lead instruments
  • Cutting harsh treble around 10kHz

Careful EQ can remove muddiness in a mix and make elements pop. Just take care not to overdo it.

Add Effects

One way to take your Android song mixes to the next level is by adding audio effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and more. Effects help create a sense of space, depth, and movement in your mixes. Here are some tips for adding effects when mixing on Android:

Most mixing apps have a library of built-in effects you can insert directly onto your tracks. For example, adding a touch of reverb to vocals can help them sit better in the mix. Or using a delay on guitars can make them more expansive and atmospheric. Try out different effects on your tracks to see what helps enhance the mix.

You can also send your tracks to busses or auxiliary channels with effects inserted. This is called using sends/returns. The advantage of using sends is that you can control the amount of signal from each track that gets sent to the effect. This prevents over-processing. For example, you could send all your drums to a reverb bus so they share the same sense of space, while still retaining control of the reverb amount for each drum track.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different effects and settings while mixing on your Android device. Effects help glue the mix together and make it more professional sounding. Just be careful not to overdo it on any individual track.

Automate mix parameters

One powerful technique for mixing songs on Android is to automate various mix parameters over time. This allows you to dynamically modify volumes, EQ, effects, and more to create interest and movement in your mix. Popular Android automation apps like MacroDroid make it easy to draw automation curves to control different parameters.

For example, you could automate a low-pass filter to gradually open up over time during a buildup section. Or automate a delay effect to increase in feedback as a song progresses. Volume automation is also key – you can create fade-ins or fade-outs, automate choruses to be louder than verses, and more. The key is to avoid static, unchanging settings and take advantage of automation to create a dynamic, professional-sounding mix.

When automating, it’s important to draw smooth, gradual curves instead of sudden, jagged changes. Make use of automation presets in your mixing app, or manually draw curves with easing in and out. Modulate parameters subtly rather than drastically for the most transparent, natural sound. Adjust multiple parameters simultaneously to create more complex changes. With practice, you’ll develop an intuition for effective mix automation techniques.

Final mixdown

Once you’ve completed your mix and are satisfied with how it sounds, the next step is to export it as an audio file. Most Android mixing apps will have an “Export” or “Bounce” option that allows you to render your mix.

You’ll want to choose an audio format that retains high quality while keeping the file size manageable. Common formats include WAV, AIFF, FLAC, and MP3. WAV and AIFF are uncompressed formats that preserve audio fidelity. FLAC is also lossless but compressed to reduce file size. MP3 is a “lossy” format that compresses by removing some audio data – useful for sharing online but not ideal for your final master.

Set the sample rate to 44.1khz or 48khz, and use 16-bit or 24-bit depth for CD quality audio. Higher sample/bit rates like 96khz/32-bit can be used if releasing lossless audio online.

Some apps may apply effects like normalization during export. Make sure to disable any processing you don’t want so you get the raw mixdown.

After exporting, you may wish to run the file through additional mastering processing using a DAW or online mastering service. This can help maximize loudness, stereo width, and tonal balance for commercial release.[1]

Share your mixed song

Once you’ve finished mixing your song on your Android device, you’ll likely want to share it with others. There are a few different ways to do this:

Upload the song to music streaming sites like SoundCloud or YouTube so others can listen to your mix. On SoundCloud, you can make your song public or private, allow downloads, and more. YouTube also gives you options like making the video unlisted if you don’t want it public. Just follow the instructions on each site for uploading audio.

You can also transfer the song back to your computer via USB or wirelessly. Then you can burn it to a CD to share the old school way. On Windows, use the Windows Media Player burn feature. On Mac, use iTunes or Finder. This lets you give people a physical copy of your mixes.

Finally, you can share the song file directly with others wirelessly using Android’s Nearby Share feature. Just enable Nearby Share on both devices, then select the song file and choose the contact to share it with over Bluetooth or WiFi Direct.

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