Mastering and Mixing Music
Mixing and mastering music are two different but equally important parts in audio production business that mostly become hard and blurred to differentiate between. Basically, mixing is the first step and it is done before mastering which involves adjusting & combining individual tracks together to form stereo audio file after the mixdown. Stereo file is then mastered, which makes sure that different songs are clearly polished & forms cohesive whole on an album. The above defines mastering and mixing in their most simplest form.
The mastering engineer receives stereo track with notes & reference songs from engineer and the artists. This helped engineer to have an understanding of sound that they are going for & so that mix isn’t altered in areas which are intended to sound in a specific way. Now, finishing touches are added to song by making little adjustments primarily to EQ, limiting, compression and enhancements. All the songs mastered on album are brought to similar levels so album flows & is cohesive throughout. Spacing & fades are added at the beginning & endings of songs. Normally Red Book standard of 2 sec is added b/w songs. Audio mastering engineers also offers sequencing service for albums to put songs in desired order, encode tracks with ISRC, label track names etc. The mastering engineer’s goal is to provide high clarity, high fidelity and professional sound that will be enjoyed by listeners on any source.
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