When I first started up I always heard of mixing and mastering.
What’s the difference? Well in the video you’ll see.
Did this video help you out?
Here’s some more videos on mixing and mastering:
When beginning to learn mixing, I didn’t know what goal I wanted to reach, what tools to use, or even what certain plugins did.
Learning how to use your plugins for example, compression and EQ are very important in the process of mixing. They allow you to either make a sound stand out or fit in to the beat.
Mixing is definitely a process that takes time to learn, and you will only get better the more you practice and mix. And I’m warning you now, save your original file first before you attempt mixing cause I ended up totally wrecking a couple beat in the beginning. Many times less is more in the mixing and mastering stage (especially mastering).
And definitely get a good grasp on mixing before you start attempting mastering otherwise it’s just too much coming at you at once.
Many times how I start off is I make the beat, not worrying about mixing, then after the beat is done, I assign them all a channel. During the mixing stage is where I usually create all my bring-ins for the chorus, verses, bridge etc.
As you can see in the video that I already have mixer’s sliders down low so I do not have to bring every slider down each time I want to mix. I have this set up every time I open FL Studio which smoothens up the process of mixing. Want to learn how? Click here.
So now when it comes time to mix, I can just bring something up louder instead of dragging every slider down. Plus the beat will be below the -6dB like I was talking about in the video!
Now there is a BIG difference between a mix and a master.
Mixing is what I described above.
You want to make everything sound clear, balanced, sit in it’s own spot. You do this by adjusted the individual mixers tracks, panning sounds on the left or right speaker, or applying EQ/compression and other effects like delay, reverb, chorus etc.
Many master engineers will ask for -3dB, but talk to your master engineer before you mix your song for -3dB and he asks for -6dB!. It’s always always good to shoot for -6dB cause just like I said in the video, if it goes a little bit over -6dB at loud spots, your not stressin’ as if it were at -3dB now you got to adjust the whole song!
So now once you have your song mixed and it sounds great and is under -3dB you want to amplify the great mix that you just mixed!
You do this in a process called mastering.
So you take the mix, amplify it, make it loud and ready for a commercial release.
You will use tools like an EQ (Research Linear Phase EQ), compressor, maybe a multiband compressor, and then you bring out the limiter. (Now the “chain” you use to master is all a matter of practice and “learning” what suites the song. For example, does the EQ go first, or the compressor? — That’s what you feel works best!).
The limiter is always last of your plugins, and you always want the meter last to get accurate readings of what’s going on in your song/beat.
This is a lot easier said than done because as I said before, mixing takes a long time to grasp and learn the little tricks and tips to make your mixes strong, loud, and powerful.
So be sure to do this:
- After making the beat save another version of it as “Beat Name (Mixed)”
- After mixing it, export it as a 24-bit .WAV file (Only if you’re getting it mastered by someone else. Or if your computer can’t handle all the plugins. I showed exporting because that is the best way to approach mastering since your computer has all it’s resources and power to just focus on one audio track. Otherwise to make it easier for you and save space on your computer, just master it inside the “Beat Name (Mixed)”.)
- Open fresh project in your DAW and label it “Beat name (Mastered)”
This way you will stay super organized. Now when someone wants to purchase your beat, this makes things much easier!
Mastering just amplifies what you have and makes it crisper, sharper, louder, and adds the final touches on your song/beat.
Check out the video and learn some tips and tricks that I didn’t have while first starting up!
Have more questions? Ask in the comments below!