Mixing audio and mastering audio are both fundamental parts of the music production process, and the difference between mixing and mastering is an important lesson for music industry newcomers. Although intrinsically related, there are some major differences between these two processes. We examine them both in today’s post filled with Recording School Tips for beginner music producers!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MIXING AND MASTERING?
Both mastering and mixing are important parts of the entire sound and audio engineering process. If you’re only recording a demo, then you just may be able to get it done professionally without any mastering. However, if you’re recording an album with intentions of selling it, you simply must use both good mixing and good mastering techniques. Here are the main differences between mixing and mastering:
MIXING VS MASTERING: WHAT IS MIXING?
Basically, when you spend time tinkering around with what you’ve recorded in order to complete your various songs, that’s mixing. Think of this technique as putting the pieces of the puzzle together to complete the project. It’s about putting the various parts of what you’ve recorded together, and adding your finishing touches to ensure that it all blends, or “mixes”, together just right.
While mixing a song, you’ll complete tasks such as adding sound effects, adjusting the fader, equalizing the track, etc. The goal at the end of this part of the project is to be 100% pleased with the overall sound of the song.
MIXING VS MASTERING: WHAT IS MASTERING?
Mastering is about adding your own personal shine and sparkle to the music. Basically, mastering an album involves creating sound continuity.
When you master an album, the goal is to keep the levels of the various songs similar and consistent; your finished recording should have a general sense of audio cohesiveness. In other words, your job is to make sure that listeners don’t blow their speakers out listening to one song, and then have to turn up the volume to hear the next one.
There are other important aspects to mastering. Some are a bit more complex than others, but the bottom line is that if you’re interested in music industry jobs in the mastering sector, you must have what we refer to as “the golden touch.” If you do, you will make an excellent professional. This can be a very lucrative career, as many bands and artists hire others to do their mastering prior to releasing the albums and tracks.
MIXING VS MASTERING: THE BOTTOM LINE
Artists and bands don’t necessarily need mastering when recording a demo. But mixing is an absolute must, no matter what. If you can learn how to mix professionally, you stand to make a great deal of money in related music industry jobs. Mastering, on the other hand, takes a great deal of time, practice, and know-how.
LEARN TO MIX AND MASTER YOURSELF!
A quality education from a good audio engineering and recording school like F.I.R.S.T. Institute, one of the best audio engineering schools in Florida, can teach you the skills you need to succeed in the audio engineering industry. There you’ll learn what you need to get your new audio production career off the ground, you’ll even learn many tips for beginner music producers and the process of recording an album!
You won’t get our quality, hands on learning experience with passionate audio industry professionals anywhere else! Check out the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute audio production school today. You’re only months away from your dream audio production career!