What Are The Different Mixing And Mastering Steps?

What Are The Different Mixing And Mastering Steps?

Mixing and mastering music can be two distinct but equally important steps in the audio production process. They can sometimes become difficult to distinguish between and blurred. Mixing is basically the step prior to mastering. It involves mixing individual tracks together and creating a stereo audio file. After mastering, the stereo file is mastered. This ensures that each song is well-polished and forms an album. This is mixing and mastering at its most basic. Let’s look deeper at the many differences between mastering and mixing.

Mixing Steps
Once all the tracks have been recorded, a mix engineer comes in to do their magic. The mixing engineer organizes the tracks into similar groups and labels them as part of their mixing and mastering services. The track is usually Normalized so that they are all at the same volume and no one tracks peak. To get the best tones from the instruments, the engineer will EQ each track and use high- and low pass filters in order to remove unneeded frequencies. The goal of EQing, is to adjust the frequencies so that all tracks can be found in their respective frequency ranges. This makes the song clearer and allows each instrument to be identified. This same principle can be applied to panning tracks to achieve a wide, full sound. To achieve the desired tone for instruments, you can add compression, reverb, delay and other processors to each track. Automation can be used to control the emotion and fades in the songs. Many engineers switch between studio reference monitors and headphones to achieve a consistent sound in their mixes. After hours of tweaking knobs, faders and adjusting the volume, the song is now ready for the mastering engineer.

The Mastering Steps
The stereo track is sent to the mastering engineer along with notes and references songs from artists and engineers. This will allow the engineer to get a better understanding of what they want and ensure that the mix doesn’t sound different in any way. After that, minor adjustments to the song’s EQ, compression, and stereo enhancement are made. The album’s songs are all mastered at the same level so that they flow and stay together. The songs’ beginnings and ends are given extra space and fades. Unless otherwise stated, the Red Book standard of two seconds is used between songs. Many audio mastering engineers offer sequencing services to albums. They can arrange the songs in the preferred order, label the track names, and encode the tracks with ISRC. The primary goal of a mastering engineer is to create a professional, high-fidelity sound that can be enjoyed by all listeners, regardless of source.

It is possible to have a great mix but not a master or vice versa and still not be able to create a professional sound that can compete with today’s music industry. It is important to not blur the line between mastering and mixing. Mixing these two steps together will only make your music less powerful and hinder its potential.