Five Major Differences Between Mixing and Mastering
Updated: Feb 11
If you are trying to figure out the difference between mixing and mastering, then congratulations, you are at the right place.
• The difference between mixing and mastering is that mixing combines multiple tracks into one cohesive product (final mono, stereo, or surround sound), and mastering polishes the final recording. Thus, you can mix without mastering, but you cannot master tracks without mixing them first.
• Mixing provides access to all of the instruments in a song, so even if you need a new lead vocal, this can be done. However, with mastering, you can only access the final mix.
• Even though mixing and mastering are both about achieving balance, there is a slight difference. With mixing, you balance the individual instruments, and during mastering, you balance complete songs and spectral content. In plain words, mixing makes instruments sound good, and mastering makes songs sound good.
• Mixing sessions can be immense compared to quicker mastering sessions. While mixing projects may contain 30+ tracks, mastering projects usually include one stereo or multitrack file per song.