Lesson 50

Mixing and Mastering Overview

The 2 things that I most commonly see as the weakest links that amateur recording artists don’t don’t give enough attention to are room acoustics, and quality mixing. You could have stellar recording quality, but with poor mixing, the song will sound like it was recorded in a basement. The reverse is also true. A basement recording, that’s professionally mixed and mastered can sound like it was done in a proper studio. This was one of my biggest mistakes when I was starting out. I thought mixing was all about adjusting levels, eq, compression, reverb and making each part sound good. I didn’t even know that there was so much that I didn’t know. Learning how to use eq was a real eye opener for me. And I don’t just mean learning how to adjust bass, mids and treble, but learning how to sculpt a sound to complement the mix. Also learning the power of stereo spreading, and the advantage of high quality compression, such as outboard compressors or really good digital compressors. I learned the value of high quality studio monitors and good room acoustics ... which made it much easier to pinpoint problems and make accurate adjustments, plus lots of little tricks to add energy and life to a song. Check out this song that I did when I was first starting out. I spent several entire days working g in this mix, and I could not figure out why I couldn’t make this song sound good. I recently revisited this old project, and I spent 3 hours mixing and mastering it, and here’s how it sounds.
I’m not holding anything back.. I want to help you make great music by providing you with the best microphones in the world for their price, and also showing you how to get the most from them. I want your friends and family to be impressed by the quality of your music.... it’s good for my business.

Mixing is the process of taking all the individually recorded tracks and playing them back as a stereo left and right. It involves adjusting the levels and various sound parameters of each track.

When the mixing is finished, the next, and final step is mastering. Mastering is the process of optimizing the final volume of the song with compression, adding eq as needed so the song is well balanced to sound good on any playback system, and applying subtle effects such as reverb.