Audio Mastering Vs Audio Mixing, The Scope Of The Mastering Engineer.No comments yet
A comparison between mastering and mixing As an online mastering studio engineer sometimes people find it confusing as to what mastering is actually capable of achieving with their music productions as mastering is the final process in the production chain.Not every mix is perfect and som have inconsistencies of balance. Quite often mixes are presented that do not quite have the right blend and mix of sounds. Here are some common problems in a music mix.
Kick drum too loud, snare drum too quiet, lead vocal too loud or quiet, backing vocals too loud or quiet, very harsh sounding guitars, bass guitar making clicking noises as the strings hit pick ups, vocal pops, harsh sounding hi hats, bass guita too low in the mix, kick drum has too mush sub bass frequencies. Such issues as these are often best dealt with in the mixing stage but are often only discovered during mastering when the music is heard on very high reolution monitoring equipment. You need to be able to trust your mastering engineer and hope that he can give feedback regarding such mix issues. During mastering a mastering engineer can often try and resolve these problems but it is normally a compromise as the mastering engineer is working with the stereo 2 tracks mix and not the individual multi track files.
Of course this makes it difficult to fully isolate any given instrument in a mix and process it accordingly. In this case it is great if the mastering engineer has had prior mixing experience in his audio engineering career as he will instantly recognise the problems and be able to advise the best way to resolve the issue in the mix. I have found bands and record labels very much appreciate this feedback regarding their music and releases and it is great for both the band and the mastering studio as the music sounds better and reflects on both parties in a favourable light. When you choose online mastering studios it is important to make sure that you check that your mastering engineer has the experience required to be up to the task.
If the engineer has had recording and mixing experience he will understand the needs and be able to give good advice to you at the mastering stage. Mix feedback is an important aspect of mastering especially for enthusiastic young musicians and more inexperienced bands who are finding their way and improving their playing and production skills. The tools that are available for mastering audio are no doubt very sophisticated. As such in mastering it is possible to do the following tasks.
1)Adjust the tone of a mix, this could encompass brightening, adding bass, adding warmth, reducing harshness.
2)Increasing the level (perceived) and also reducing, entire mixes.
3)Removing troublesome and problematic resonances for playback systems
4)Removing pops/glitches and clicks and other audio oddities
5)Enhancement of the stereo image and widening/ collpasing if need be.
This list is not complete but gives and idea of the possibilites of work a mastering engineer can achieve with the right tools and abilities.
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