Many of you asked us about it, here is a short guide on the differences between two essential and complementary stages of musical production: mixing and mastering.
Many producers tend to confuse these two processes and not understand the added value of each. We will detail in this article the role of each and what they bring to the final piece
Mixing is the process of combining different audio tracks into one final track. This includes adjusting the levels of each track, applying filters and effects to improve frequency balance, and creating a final stereo mix. The purpose of mixing is to create a final version of your song that sounds good on all sound systems.
Mastering is the process of preparing the final version of your song for broadcast or publication. This includes optimizing dynamics and tone, adding additional stereo space, and normalizing volume level. Although it tends to be underestimated by amateur producers, mastering is essential to make sure that your song sounds good on all broadcast systems and that transitions between songs are smooth when playing your album or EP. This allows a smooth transition between successive tracks in streaming or other broadcasting mode.
It is important to note that mixing and mastering are two separate processes, even though they are often performed by the same sound engineer. The mixing mainly concerns the processing of the individual audio tracks that make up your sound while the mastering is a treatment sheet applied to the whole piece. One of the main challenges of mastering is also to raise the volume of listening to the desired level. The listening standard for platforms like spotify is generally -14 LUFS (Loudness Units relative to Full Scale).This allows a smooth transition between successive tracks in streaming or other broadcasting mode.
In summary, mixing and mastering are two important steps in the music production process, and it is essential to take them into account when preparing your music to be pressed onto a physical medium like vinyl. If you are an independent artist, it is recommended to work with a professional sound engineer to ensure that your music is mixed and mastered so as to obtain the best possible result.
If you want to become independent and keep your hands on your music production, there are complete online training sessions to learn the basics of CAM (Computer Assisted Music).
Our partner for this article,La Guerre Des Potards, offers a complete curriculum to learn how to create your tracks from A to Z (even if you start from scratch)..