How to Mix Grunge Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Are you a fan of grunge music? Do you want to learn how to mix it like a pro? Then this blog post is for you! We’ll show you how to create a grunge music mix that will get everyone headbanging. So turn up the volume and let’s get started!

What is Grunge Music?

Grunge music is a type of rock that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by its distorted guitars, angst-filled lyrics, and downbeat melodies. Grunge music became mainstream in the early 1990s with the release of Nirvana’s album Nevermind.

The Origins of Grunge

Grunge music is a style of alternative rock that emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was characterized by a distorted, raw sound, heavy guitars, and a DIY aesthetic.

The term “grunge” was first used to describe the Seattle music scene in a 1983 article in the fanzine Desperate Times. The word likely came from the word “crud,” which was used to describe the dirty, messy, and unkempt look of many grunge bands.

Grunge music is often associated with the Seattle music scene, as many of the most popular grunge bands were based in the area. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden were all part of the Seattle grunge scene.

While grunge music was initially popularized by Seattle bands, it soon spread to other areas of the United States and even to other countries. Grunge bands began to emerge from cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Chicago. By the early 1990s, grunge music had become a global phenomenon.

Grunge music is often seen as a reaction against the commercialism and excess of 1980s popular culture. The DIY aesthetic of grunge music was a rejection of the polished sound and image of mainstream pop music.

Grunge music declined in popularity in the mid-1990s, following the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994. However, many grunge bands continued to enjoy success throughout the rest of the decade and into the 2000s.

The Sound of Grunge

Grunge music is a style of rock that emerged in the mid-1980s and became a dominant form in the early 1990s. Drawing on punk, metal, and indie rock, grunge bands produced music that was raw and aggressive. The lyrics were often dark and introspective, dealing with themes such as social alienation, apathy, and despair.

Grunge music was partly defined by its DIY ethic; many grunge bands self-released their records and promoted themselves through independent channels. The success of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind helped bring grunge into the mainstream; by the end of 1992, several other grunge bands had signed major label deals.

The popularity of grunge fizzled out in the late 1990s, but the genre’s influence can still be heard in contemporary rock music.

How to Mix Grunge Music

Grunge music is a type of music that became popular in the early 1990s. It is a mix of punk, metal, and alternative rock. Grunge music is usually dark and angry sounding. If you are looking to create a grunge mix, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The Drums

Drums are the foundation of any good grunge song. They set the pace and provide the backbone for the rest of the instruments. When mixing drums, start with the kick drum. This is the most important part of the drum kit, and it should be EQd to make sure it sits well in the mix. The snare should also be EQd to make sure it doesn’t sound too harsh. The hi-hats and cymbals can be left alone for the most part, but if they are sounding too harsh, you can try attenuating them a bit.

The Bass

The bass is the foundation of grunge music, so it’s important to get the mix right. The key is to striking a balance between the low end rumble and the mid-range growl. Here are some tips on how to achieve that perfect mix:

-Start with the bass guitar. You want to get a good, solid foundation of low end rumble.
-Add in the bass drums. These should be punchy and dynamic, with plenty of low end thump.
-Now add in the other drums, keeping them fairly low in the mix.
-Bring up the guitars. These should be distorted and crunchy, with plenty of mid-range growl.
-Add in the vocals. These should be front and center, with plenty of attitude and grit.
-Finally, add in any other instrumentation you feel is necessary, such as keyboards or synthesizers.

The Guitars

The guitars in grunge are normally played through a distorted amplifier to create a “crunchy” or “dirty” sound. If you want to get that true grunge sound, it’s important to not overdo the distortion. Too much distortion will make the guitars sound muddy and indistinct. Instead, dial in a moderate amount of distortion and let the natural dynamics of the guitar playing do the rest.

In terms of EQ, most grunge guitarists will cut back on the low end to help the guitar sit nicely in the mix behind the vocals. A little bit of midrange boost can help the guitar cut through as well. Lastly, a touch of high-end EQ can help bring out some of the natural harmonic content of the guitar signal.

The Vocals

Grunge music is known for its raw and unrefined sound. If you’re mixing a grunge song, you’ll want to make sure the vocals are front and center. You can do this by using a track compressor to keep the vocals sounding consistent throughout the song. You’ll also want to use a small amount of reverb to give the vocals a sense of space.

Instrumentation-wise, grunge songs typically feature distorted guitars and heavy drums. To get the right sound, you’ll want to use guitar amp simulations and high-quality drum samples. To add some grit to the mix, try using distortion effects on the guitars and drums. And finally, don’t be afraid to add some white noise or other ambient sounds to fill out the mix.


Now that you know the basics of how to mix grunge music, you can start experimenting with different techniques to create your own unique sound. Remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to music production, so don’t be afraid to experiment. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create professional-sounding tracks that will make your friends and family proud.

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