What is Mixing and Mastering? 5 Tips of Online Audio Mixing and Mastering
What is Mixing and Mastering?
This is the process in which you mix and master within the same project. The advantage to this method is correction can easily be fixed within the mastering process itself. Meaning if the kick is too low, you don’t need to go back and remix it.
Easily fix mistakes
Takes less time
You become compromised and can no longer separate yourself from the 2 process.
Mastering: This is typically done a few different ways, one which I personally promote and another which I personally don’t. We’ll cover the vintage method first and that is “2 track mastering”.
How do I master my vocal?
I love questions like these because you have to ask yourself, who the hell asks questions like this? You do that’s who.
First of all, let’s cover some of the basic.
Two track mastering: This is where you mix down all your tracks to a stereo file and export it from your DAW. You have already added FX, automation, vocal correction, exc. The mix is completely done and is exported with peaks no higher than -3dbtp and lufs no higher than -18 (to leave some room for the mastering engineer). This is a 2 step process. 1- mix/2- master.
You have two sets of ears/two working environments
Less CPU strain
Changes not as easily accessible
Higher level of knowledge
What is Stem Mastering?
In this method you are bouncing down instrument groups (drums, bass, synths, vocals) to separate stem groups. Similar to mixing and mastering but less CPU strain. It’s still more like mixing than mastering even though you are mastering in this way.
Easily correct group levels
Less CPU strain
Limited to group stems and not multitrack
Adding certain FX can be an issue to previously treated stem tracks.
Mastering your vocal: My favorite. The all-time best, who the fuk invented this idea. It is typically found within the mixing and mastering within the same project realm, however we are seeing it more now with people who download YouTube videos and add a vocal track (to rap over a beat). The biggest problem is not mastering the vocal over these downloaded files, it is the actual quality of the files themselves. You are downloading a shitty lossy format and this will never provide adequate quality. However with some fiddling of knobs and shit, you can get it mid-grad and good enough for ideas.
The biggest issue you are going to run into is the downloaded tracks have typically already been mastered. To beef them up on YouTube to make them sound great. So you can't really master an already loud as fuk beat that you download in a lossy format. You can however master the vocal. This means using a limiter, EQ, Soundgoodizer, The hot dog maker, whatever the fuk you have in your loopy fruits FX list.
In common projects when you are mastering your vocal in the mixing and mastering multitrack format. You will benefit more from using a limiter on your master bus to take the whole tracks loudness level in totality vs. using a limiter on your vocal track itself. Instead use compression on your vocal track and save your big guns (the limiter) for your master bus that is receiving all tracks in sum.