What You need to Know in 2020

A Complete Guide for Mixing Music

An introduction to Online Mixing Music and Audio Mastering


Online Music Mixing


Online Music Mixing is, essentially, mixing sounds. It is taking the different parts to a song and the various recordings of instrumentals and mixing them together. It’s just that simple. This article is a complete guide for musicians and online mix engineers looking into learning how to mix music and what they need to know in 2020.


In music mixing, every element is treated as a separate entity to ensure that quality can be at its peak. With audio mixing services, every disparity or flaw can be addressed in due time, thus helping the engineer and the artist to produce a sound that is feels good to the ears for the mixed song.


One of the most fundamental roles of great mixing is to control the volume of each individual element all through the song, thus ensuring that each instrument and vocal is able to stand out and be fused seamlessly. However, the art of mixing is much more than just tweaking volume levels and providing a stage for every individual element to shine. There are also various methods of mixing that make it possible for a quality finished mixed song to be achieved.


As a mixing engineer, your job in the mixing process is to decide where an instrument is placed in the stereo spectrum- a process known as “panning.” A typical stereo field has right and left speakers, and each instrument can be placed at a specific space in the field to create the right effect. A mixing engineer handles this placing in the mix process.


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Audio Mastering


In the audio mastering process, the audio engineer works on the combined version of the track and treats it as a complete project to create a sound that’s professional and pleasing.


Essentially, a mastering engineer focuses on three things:


          1. The consistency across all the tracks in an album
          2. The overall sound of each individual track
          3. Preparing the album for distribution


As far as sound is concerned, several tools help to produce a complex track that has the required depth- reverb, equalizers, expanders, and much more. Each of these tools will play a role in determining the frequency and tone of a track. The audio engineer also listens in to correct any issues that occur with a song’s balance to ensure that the end product is polished.


Through mastering services, an audio engineer also considers the position of a song in an album, making adjustments to ensure that transition is as smooth and disruption-free as possible. This ensures that listeners don’t have to constantly change volumes, and that all tracks have the same level of consistency.


As post-production comes to an end, the audio engineer prepares the song or album by converting it to the delivery format so listeners can download them. Different tweaks exist for different formatting options, all to ensure that sound quality is maintained. In general, mastering servicescan help to refine the sound of a song and take it from a level of appeal to another.


Back in the day, everyone needed to either have mastering skills or know a mastering service close by. Now, things have changes; there are online mastering servicesthat mix and master online, essentially providing much more convenience for you to refine your song and get the best quality out.

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About Vincent Deleon

He is the founder of Mr Mix and Master and the House of Hits Recording Studio. He has recently accomplished his first RIAA Diamond certification and is currently 32 times platinum as a mixing engineer. In 2019 alone Vinny was nominated for four different Grammy Awards, further separating himself from the other online mixing engineers offering similar audio mixing and mastering services.

The role of mixing engineers


In the mix process of making a track or an album, one of the most important pieces is the mixing engineer. Whether they mix and master online or you do the entire recording in their studio, mixing engineers essentially sharpen a song- they help to achieve a perfect harmony between the instruments and the vocals at a specific frequency spectrum. Essentially making it possible for listeners to hear the words of a song over the instruments (but of course, while also enjoying the beats and melodies of the instruments in the production process as well).


To get this done, a mixing engineer:


          1. Balances the levels on various tracks using eq compression
          2. Ensures the consistency of the stereo signal flow on the song
          3. Applies the right effects to the mixed song- reverbs, delays, etc.
          4. Applies eq compression to the multi track
          5. Corrects the vocal pitching, high and low pass filters


Mixing and mastering my song to perfection


There are several ways to get this done, but we’ll be looking at two of the main options:


      1. DIY mastering
      2. Outsourcing to a professional

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If you didn’t have to deal with a budget constraint, you’d probably want to send your track to a mastering services center. However, a lot of people have the budget as a significant issue in their production process. So, as expected, the most important benefit you get from skipping on audio mastering services mastering a song by yourself is the financial benefit you gain. The only money you get to spend is for any additional software or gear you could be upgrading.


However, when you look at the long term, the benefits of self-mastering are quite questionable. In truth, there’s a slim chance that your track or album will sound as great as you would like if it’s not handled by a true professional. So, the case for audio mastering services is that they can provide you with a level of service and great mastering that you can’t get anywhere else.


As a DIY mastering engineer, there are certain fundamental disadvantages you could face in the production process; you could be working in a room with terrible acoustics, which can change how you see and feel the eq frequency of the song you’re recording. Second, you need the experience of a professional sound engineer if your song is ever going to sound as good as you expect. Apart from the fact that their experience will play an important role in building your track’s quality, they also have the benefit of providing some high-end tools as well.


The best thing about mastering today is that you don’t need to be there while they get it done. There are online music mastering companies that can help take your track in, work on it for you, and send it back easily. This is one of the most crucial pieces of the mix process, which leads to a great mix and helps the multi track sound great.


That said, there are some mastering tasks that you can handle by yourself. The most basic of these is sequencing the album putting the songs in order, trimming the ends, adding crossfades and fades, eq compressions, frequency spectrum, signal flow, gain staging, and putting the required spacing between songs.


At the end of the day, mastering a song by yourself is great if you’re looking to save money and if you actually have the experience and expertise required to conduct the mixed song task. If you don’t, then it’s always recommended that you get mixing and mastering services from a professional sound engineer. You could also get on the internet and get in touch with online mastering services to help you out with the mix process.

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Mastering Home Recordings


If you’ve got a home recording and you’ll like to throw in some mastering effects, then it is usually recommended that you get it to a professional audio mastering service. Here are some reasons why:


People hear the sound before your actual song


If you’ve ever previewed a song you’ve never heard before, you most likely know if you’ll actually sound great before the first minute of the song. That’s because we all don’t have the patience to see if the melody will speak to us or not. Things like the lyrics and melody tend to take time before the build. The sound, however, does not. Someone skilled in mastering services understands this super important piece of the mixing process.


We all make snap judgments when it comes to the great sound of a song. If it’s captivating, then we listen to the mixed song which sounds great on our ears. That’s essentially why you need to get a professional sound mixer while you are learning how to mix. One of the many benefits of audio mastering services is that they can help make your song’s sound grab the attention of listeners immediately.


Mixers can help bring the best in your performance


Mixing engineers have quite a lot of ways to help bring out the best in a performance. A good mixer knows how to strengthen the intensity of vocals and bring out the breathiness of one if needed. They can manipulate sounds to refine them, and they know how to make instruments sound more explosive as well.


While you might have the talent to carry your performance, a sound mixer is the professional you need to touch it up and smoothen those rough edges to create something refined.


Get out of the “demo” label


We’ve all heard songs all our lives. Thanks to expert production, we’ve been able to get used to a specific sound and production quality. Anything lower than the standard we’ve been used to sounds like a cheap demo rather than mixed song which sounds great!


The truth is that in today’s world, a mix that’s done poorly will sound like no more than a demo, and a demo is frankly not going to cut it anymore. Mixing and mastering costs have also gone down, so it’s as good a time as any to call on a professional mixing or mastering engineer.


In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter if you go to the mastering service by yourself or just get in touch with an online music mastering company. As long as they’re professionals, you’ll be getting quality service.


Now that we’ve seen the importance of getting an your audio mastered, there are some places you could go to get a professional mastering service for a fair price.

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Get an audio mastering service close to you


Audio mastering companies are almost everywhere these days. You could easily book an appointment with a company close to you and have them work on your track. However, make sure the audio mastering company is a professional one. At the end of the day, their skills will be to your advantage in the production process. Still not sure on which company is the right fit for you? Visit our newest blog article on where to mix music online, a how to on choosing the right mixing and mastering company.


Online mastering services


Online mastering services have become rather popular these days, especially for those still learning how to mix. They’re especially great if you can’t find audio mastering services close to you and you need a professional help your recordings sound great. Just call them for an online mastering quote, and they’ll be able to lend their expertise to your song and provide great mixing services.


However, if you believe that online mastering is the best for you, then you’ll need to be clear with the online music mastering company concerning what it is you want. Since they won’t be there with you, make sure to outline how you want the song to sound and the ways you think they can help you out such as pointing out the kick drum, signal flow, eq compression, gain staging, frequency spectrums, or high and low pass filters for example.


Be sure to prepare your songs mix for mastering, if you need a few tips on how to prepare your mix for mastering follow this link for important pointers for a great sounding mix and master.