I'm just getting into recording and mixing and all my songs sound like they have the smallest fraction of a beat chopped off the beginning. The effect is very unsettling and I would like to get rid of it. Any advice?
If I understand the problem correctly, it is the playback of the recorded/mixed production that sounds cut-off. My golden rule is have 0.8seconds of silence at the start of the track before anything audible is heard. Latency of the the file loading up for playback *may* be the culprit here and it is actually cutting off the first X milliseconds of the track. I add 0.8 seconds of silence at the end of the track, too.
Perhaps post a clip on soundcloud and let us give it a listen.
I'm not sure I understand exactly what it is you're talking about but if you're hitting record and immediately starting to play, that's not good.
I always "let it roll' for at least a few seconds before any playing begins. Then we have the drummer click us in, usually with a four count before we start playing. That really helps with any over dubs that might need to happen at the beginning of the song.