Mixing and Mastering
MIXING AND MASTERING
Our audio post production studio is equipped with quality equipment to offer you the best possible rendering. Our goal is to bring warmth and dynamism to your music, video soundtrack, film audio, podcast, or any kind of audio project.
Far from automated algorithm-based online audio mixing and mastering services, our mixing and mastering studio operates on a fully personalized and human approach. Each project is treated differently depending on the musical or audio style and rendering desired by the artist or the project director.
We emphasize communication and exchange, which are the basis of a successful partnership and which will allow you to obtain the desired result as soon as possible.
Mixing and Mastering: What is the difference?
Both mixing and mastering are very important processes in the post production of a music or soundtrack to sounds good and clean. However, there are big differences between these 2 processes, and in general, it would require 2 different people to take care of it. But our engineers can take care of everything: mixing and mastering.
Now what is the difference between mixing and mastering?
Audio mixing is the process prior to engineering mastering in which individual recordings (tracks) are edited and combined or mixed into a single stereo audio file. Mastering is the process that follows mixing, where we seek the balance between the different tracks on an album, or different sequences in a video or a podcast.
Each audio track goes through three phases: recording, mixing and mastering, and always in that order. We can all imagine how recording goes, but the line between mixing and mastering seems very thin.
Post production: 6 important differences between Mixing and Mastering
– Audio mixing studios can have basic acoustics and speakers, but mastering studios must have perfect acoustics and speakers. Because engineering mastering requires hearing all the details of the track, even very subtle sounds.
– The mix ensures the balance between the different instruments (voice, guitar, drums…) and voices, and puts them in the same balance. The result: a stereo file which is then sent to the mastering engineer.
During engineering mastering, this stereo file is processed. We make sure that the volume of the song is like other songs on the album, sequences of the full soundtrack and that the audio result sounds equally good in all the different speaker systems, respecting the norms.
– Audio mixing is all about expressing the artist’s or producer’s vision and conveying feelings, while engineering mastering focuses on sound quality and the technical requirements of different music platforms (digital, CD, vinyl).
– When audio mixing, we work a lot on emotions, mastering is about making sure that the already mixed sound good and homogeneous next to other tracks (radio, album…).
– Audio mixing sessions can be gigantic. Some soundtracks or music tracks can have more than 30 different tracks or sequences, while other more complex projects (like long feature movies) can have more than 200. In contrast, when mastering, one usually works with a stereo track.
– When audio mixing, you can make significant sound changes (always if it matches the artist’s or producer’s vision). This is possible because you can process each track separately. So you can distort the instrumental or sound effects part to the extreme without the voice being pulled. However, when mastering, the changes are much more subtle, as they affect the whole music track at once. That is: In engineering mastering, it’s almost impossible to turn down one part of the track (like the bass) without also affecting another one (like the drum).
Now that we know the main differences between mixing and mastering, we will explain in more detail what each part is made of.
Mastering is the final stage in the post production of a soundtrack. In this phase, you work with the already mixed sound and make some final adjustments to it before releasing it.
The mastering process has three main objectives:
– Turn up the volume
– To make the soundtrack sounds better
– Make sure the soundtrack sounds good on all speakers
As with mixing, it’s about creating a sense of balance, but between different music tracks or sequences rather than between different individual parts of a track.
The mastering consists of mixing a several groups of voices or/and instruments (drums, bass, synths, guitars, vocals, etc.) at the same time.
Our engineering includes the following services:
– Individual treatment of each stem
– Mix processing
– Volume upgrade
For example, to mastering a full music album, our mastering engineer decides the order of the music tracks so that they are consistent, and upgrades them so that they are all identical. He also works with volume crossfades, gaps between tracks…
The mastering will also adjust each track to have a volume and quality comparable to others tracks of the same genre (for example, if a podcast will be published on Spotify, it needs to sounds like the other podcasts of the author, but also like all the qualitative podcasts from other authors published on Spotify to not sounds too low or too loud).
The objective of mastering, in fact, is to arrive at a file that is ready to be pressed in the form of CD, or vinyl, or distributed on online music platforms.
Then, it’s during the engineering mastering that the final perceived volume of the track will be adjusted, for example by using limiters or clipping plugins.
Once you have recorded your different tracks, your project is ready for the audio mixing phase.
Mixing is the step that comes after recording and editing. During this process, the tracks are mixed and processed separately.
So the audio mixing is positioned just after recording, but before engineering mastering.
We add the effects and can also correct the accuracy of the voice if necessary. All this with the aim of creating a harmonious and homogeneous whole, in which each instrument will be heard and in its place.
Our mixing technique is based on precise and personalized work depending entirely on your project and musical style. The experience of our sound engineer and the quality of the equipment used allow us to offer you a professional rendering that perfectly meets your expectations.
Our engineering can include the following services:
– Individual processing of each track
– Added effects (reverb, delay, chorus…)
– Track cleaning, voice pitch correction (like the autotune)
– Mix mastering
We can apply various effects to your track, like compressors, delay, modulation, saturation, or reverb to give each element space and create a sonically balanced mix.
Our mixing methods ensure that each track is heard, and the energy is properly distributed across the audio spectrum when the tracks or sequences are played one after the other.
During the mix, we edit tracks, adjust pitch and time, modify crossfades, optimize track levels, and apply automation if you want your adjustments to happen in real time during playback.
It’s important that your mix sounds equally good on different playback systems, otherwise it will sound great in your studio but like nails on a blackboard elsewhere. That’s why it’s important to test your mix with our headphones, in-ear headphones, and our professional studio speakers.
Objectives of audio mixing
The objective of the audio mixing will therefore be to produce, for each piece, a single audio track (generally stereo) which will be balance:
– In terms of frequencies: with a harmonious balance of bass, instruments, voices, etc.
– In terms of dynamics: to simplify, and adjusting the relative volume of each track with the others
– In terms of 3D space: ensuring that the position of the various instruments in the stereo space is pleasing to listen to and meets creative needs.
To achieve this objective, several effects will need to be applied to the tracks. For example:
– Distortion and saturation of delay
– Reverb, etc.
When are we considering an audio mixing as completed?
Concretely, to be considered finished, a mix must be perfect. Yes, perfect.
If we hear problems in your mix, we don’t consider it as finished.
It must be a finished product, in the form of a single file, which is pleasant to listen to.
A mix must be 100% finalized before we move on to the engineering mastering.
Are you at the end of the creation of your music track and want to know if it’s necessary to master it? We are going to explain you why the music mastering needs to be done by a professional.
Depending on your objectives, we can already tell you that you will need to go through the music mastering box. This step is really necessary to finalize the music piece which are intended to be marketed, or simply to be good to listen. Before the music mastering, you can surely consider that your track if not finished.
So, what is music mastering exactly for?
First answer: to have a professional rendering. But let’s develop.
Music mastering is the last step in creating a professional-quality track, which comes after the mixing step. Do not confuse these two steps! Mixing, on the other hand, is used to balance the sound of the different tracks of a piece with each other, to homogenize the final rendering. It would be a shame, for example, to hear the instruments very loudly to the detriment of the voice, or for the guitar to sound much louder than the drums if that’s not the desired effect… Hence the interest of assist in the mixing of your titles with the sound engineer in charge of this mission: you can tell him directly what you want to bring out when listening to your music.
While the interest of mixing is to bring a piece towards an ideal both technical and artistic, the music mastering stage has a double objective: it allows the titles to maintain good sound quality regardless of the listening medium, as well to homogenize the pieces between them within the framework of a project (album, EP) and on streaming platforms and radios.
Music mastering therefore allows titles to retain the same audio quality, regardless of the listening medium. This means that, thanks to music mastering, whether you listen to your music with headphones or on large speakers in a nightclub for example, the sound will remain impeccable. Which is obviously essential if you want to market your songs! And to do this, our studio can take care of it.
Then, if your musical project concerns several titles (as part of an EP or an album for example), music mastering will also be important to standardize the pieces between them, so that there is no differences in volume between the different titles.
Our sound engineer will then set the overall volume of your work so that listening to the entire project is pleasant for the listener. And it’s the same for streaming platforms! Since streaming services have adopted a standardization of listening levels, it’s necessary for a sound engineer to mastering your music for all the online platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc.
The final stage of music mastering thus consists in bringing the final treatments to your music piece or to your project as a whole.
How can our engineers take care of your music mastering?
Mastering and mix a song is the business of a professional! So, unless you’re a professional sound engineer yourself with the right equipment, it’s better to trust us, as a mixing and mastering expert. In other words, to put the odds on your side in order to obtain songs and a project with a homogeneous sound result and in line with the current market, nothing is more effective than calling on an audio professional like us. It’s a very small investment, and well worth it!
Are you looking for professionals to master your tracks? We can help independent artists, like production houses to develop and/or improve their musical projects step by step, you are assured of optimal quality music mastering.
AUDIO POST PRODUCTION
In conclusion: although these two post production processes may seem similar, they serve very different purposes. Mixing plays a crucial role. Even if you feel that it’s sounds good, we can assure you that after our work of mixing and mastering on your track, you are going to be amazed by the difference.
The role of mixing can make the difference between an average music or soundtrack and the perfect track. It has a very important artistic component, and it finalize the post production of your soundtrack.