When you go to a recording studio, there are 3 important phases in making your album: tracking, mixing, and mastering. We all know what tracking is; It is the process of recording all of the instruments, but not a lot of bands and/or artists know what goes on during the other 2 phases of the music production process. So I wrote this post to describe what the mixing and mastering processes are about.
First, let's talk about mixing. Mixing happens right after you finish the tracking phase and this is when what you recorded finally starts to sound like an actual record. During this phase, the mixing engineer starts to add EQ, panning, dynamic processors, reverbs, delays, or what ever else seems fit to make your song sound how you want it. This is why bringing in reference materials for the kind of music you want your sound to be like is always a help for the mixing engineer.
Mastering is both the last step in the creative process and the first step in the distribution process. It is the collecting of all the songs that already have been mixed and making them sound like they belong on the same album. Unifying their sound in other words. On the creative side, it is where you make all the final adjustments that you need to make to your music. On the technical side, it is preparing the the audio to sound good and be distributed by which ever means, whether CDs or MP3s.
Hopefully this blog was able to help you understand more about the process behind Mixing and Mastering! If you'd like to get a preview of what mixing and mastering can do for your own track, get a free sample from Empty Road Audio!