The reason for these entries is that I hope my posts will help you in some way take your audio skills further. One thing to keep in mind is that nothing replaces experience and time playing around with different ideas. Something I love about mixing audio, live or in the studio, is that there’s no right or wrong. Whatever gets you a good end result is “right”. The more you learn the better your mixes will sound and the faster you’ll get there.
I started mixing audio, when I was 11 or 12, man that’s a while ago. I just started with a CD and playing with the EQ. Pretty sure it was a CD and not a cassette, ha ha. Start building that mental connection between what you’re hearing and identifying what frequency it is. I’m not saying that you have to be able to identify 862hz off of the top of your head, although that would be awesome! But you’ll want to be able to get into the ballpark and know where to start to add or subtract EQ.
Before you get crazy into outboard gear like comps and gates and verbs, get to know mic placement and EQ. Learn to get a good mix with those two things and your ears before you start to play with everything else. You’ll be surprised how much you can do with mic selection and placement alone before you reach for an EQ knob. That said there’s a lot of tools that can help you get good mixes. Just don’t focus on the extra toys more than mixing and mic placement.