The ideal mix should do the following:
1. Allow each instrument, or sound, to be heard clearly and distinctly
Even with Phil Spector's famous "Wall of sound", you could pick out an individual tambourine or maracas part from a sea of drums, strings, and vocals. If the parts mush together, you don't have a good mix.
2. Be transportable to any system
Playback systems vary enormously. A well-mixed record will sound good on a bad system and exceptional on a good system. While it's possible to make a mix sound good on any one system, it's a real skill to make a mix so good even a transistor radio with a 2-inch speaker can't destroy it.
3. Amaze, delight, and titillate the listener
Mixing offers as many creative possibilities as recording. Although you shouldn't leave too many problems to be "fixed in the mix", the fact remains that a lot of songs have been saved in the mix, and ace producers and mixing engineers command high lees to improve already good tunes.
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