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What is Music Mixing and Why It Is Important

Music is all about mixing your audio, tracking and mastering. However, it’s pretty usual for musician and non-musician to underestimate the power of mixing and its importance. In the world of music, mixing is a vital aspect of a recording.  

Although most people won’t notice it, when done right, it turns a song it into something better. Mixing is more than adjusting the volume levels of vocal tracks and individual instruments. Even though there are other parts of mixing, what is audio mixing in music and why is it important?

What is audio mixing?

Audio Mixing is a process of blending individual things in a recording to come up with as good as a possible version of a song. The mixing process includes:

  • Fine-tuning the sense or sound of each instrument using and EQ (equalization)
  • Balancing pre-recorded track levels
  • Panning tracks between speakers to come up with a stereo image
  • Compression, Adding reverb and other effects, improve the already recorded song.
  • Taking your song from Good to GREAT!

Often, mixing also includes editing. Editing is choosing the best bits of a song and sometimes even include building a musical element from scratch. On other occasions, mixing include more than editing or the editing involves separate stages in between mixing and tracking.

What are some of the steps of audio mixing?

Equalization (EQ)

A good sound engineer will use multiple instruments layered together to make sure they come up with an excellent final product. When the instruments are layered together, they produce a “muddy” sound once they start taking up the same frequencies. Only a mixing engineer knows what the instrument to reach highs, lows, mids and everything in between for a clean EQ. Each instrument plays an independent role in the song. It takes a trained Mixing engineer to ascertain the frequencies and knows the ones to cut or boost for that particular song.

Panning

Panning is another mixing process that includes deciding where to place each instrument in the stereo spectrum. The songs are pre-recorded and then played back in the stereo field, which means there are right and left speakers and sounds to help place volume levels accordingly. It is essential that instruments be panned to a proper place.

Effects

A vast majority of effects is achieved during the mixing process, even though most guitarists can record with effects, the final process goes on during mixing. A mixing engineer will tweak things like reverbs, delays, compression and other effects of the mix. The work of the engineer is to help turn a dull and lifeless send into something lush and full. Engineers must take advantage of the plugins and professional quality effects processors at their disposal to ensure a final great production.

Automation

The last process of mixing is the automation process. This process includes automating panning, volume levels, and other effects.  Automation is the process engineers use to program certain pans and fades into various parts of the Track. This means the pans and the fades plays each time the song plays. The automation process is a special, but complicated process. Only well-trained mixing engineers know where and when to do the automation.

It would be wonderful is mixing was left a simple process that can be done by anyone. However, setting the volumes, EQ, panning, and automation requires more than just knowing how the instruments work. It required training and experience. As you have gathered, mixing is difficult, but also the most vital part of the song. It is best left for professional to do the work. If you care about your song and future, call us today to enhance your audio quality and make it sound radio ready today!

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