The term “mixing mastering” may be a bit confusing for many, but for those in the world of music, it is as well-known as “singer songwriter.” Without the fine arts of mixing and mastering, the songs you hear on the radio, or while streaming, would sound considerably less than.
The following information is provided by Kip Allen, songwriter, music producer, session musician, and Drum Workshop Artist located in Nashville, Tennessee. When you want the very best, Kip Allen is the one to call, and has been since 2008.
What is mixing?
In music production, audio mixing is the process of joining all individual tracks from a song into a single stereo track, but it is much more than simply adding tracks. There is copious amounts of work required to balance individual tracks so they sound well together. Usually, the tracks are processed separately with compression, EQ, reverb, etc. And then they sent to the main bus, where all the tracks are mixed, with certain volume and panning, to add them in a specific place in the mix.
In cooking, think of a music mix as testing various ingredients until you achieve the desired taste.
What is mastering?
Mastering is a zoomed-out, final look at the song to balance and improve the overall sound. To ensure consistency throughout an album, the producer must master each song the same. This collective process is why songs on your favorite record sound uniform in frequency, quality, and volume.
Again, using the cooking analogy, mastering is the final taste-test by the master chef; once that approval is acquired, the dish can be served to the public.
DIY or go with the best mixing mastering
In today’s highly-advanced tech world, there are apps which can be downloaded onto your computer, and those apps make it possible for even a novice to achieve elementary levels of mixing and mastering. To the untrained ear, these apps even do a passable job of creating a decent sound . . . and using those apps is much less expensive than hiring a music producer to work on it for you.
However, and I say this knowing that not all struggling musicians can afford a professional producer, if you want the very best, you must pay for the very best. Music producers, the topnotch ones, are highly-skilled professionals, and their skills earn them the right to charge appropriate amounts for their craft. It is the same with any skill. Famous musicians make more, per gig, than struggling street-corner pickers, and famous authors charge more than self-published ones.
If your goal is the absolute best final product, you pay to have the absolute best work on it, period, end of story.
That is not to say the aforementioned apps do not serve a purpose, because they do. The best music producers had to learn somehow, and those apps provide a valuable training ground for would-be producers.
A final word about Kip Allen
Nashville is generally considered the Music Capital of the United States, where the best of the best resides, and in that city the name Kip Allen is synonymous with the very best in songwriting, session musicians, and music production. Call Kip when only the best will do.