If you want your track to sonically compete with other commercially released music and for it also to translate across different sound systems, you should get it mixed and mastered.
If you’re happy with the sound of your track and find that it already translates then you could jump straight to mastering or stem mastering.
MIXING – is balance.
A mix engineer starts with a finished piece of music and provides a considered balance of all the parts (or stems). Adding cohesion, fixing problems and not only giving the track the sound of a ‘record’ but also helping it translate to as many different sound systems as possible. From a festival PA system all the way down to a bluetooth speaker.
It’s the mix engineer’s job to help the musician/producer realise their artistic vision for a project. Utilising their experience to deliver careful use of equalisation, saturation, compression and effects.
Book your track for mixing.
MASTERING – is the final process before release.
A mastering engineer starts with a single stereo stem, or bounce of the final mix (sometimes called a pre-master). Using small amounts of equalisation and limiting etc. the mastering engineer will produce the final version of the track, ready for commercial release.
You will get a pristine 24 or 16 Bit file, plus separate files suitable for itunes, streaming platforms etc.
Book your track for mastering.
If you have a mix that is almost but not quite right you may prefer a stem mastering service.
This is a mini mix on five or six stems that allows a little more room for improvement than a stereo master.
An example of stems bounced for a stem master might be as follows:
1 – Vocals
2 – Bass
3 – Kick/Bass Drum
4 – Drums
5 – Synths/Guitars
Book your track for stem mastering.
You can learn the process of mixing and mastering by booking onto our mentoring/masterclass sessions. Ultimately it will come down to how dedicated you are. Many thousands of practise hours are needed along with a well-treated listening space and high quality monitors.
A better result is usually achieved by hiring a ‘fresh’ set of ears to mix your tracks if you’ve heard them a hundred times over already. Perspective is everything and some producers who are great at mixing will hire a mix engineer just for this reason alone.