Notes on Digital Mixing & Mastering
Mixing is as creative to me as the songwriting process itself. It gives me the opportunity to craft and sculpt the sound of each music/vocal track in a song so that it is as unique as the artist. This entails more than just moving faders, adding EQ/misc. plug-ins and effects, etc. It’s a process that will bring the performance and sonic level of your song to a point that transports the listener to a place that’s beyond the mix itself. The end result is a radio and retail ready record!
Mastering is the final and most crucial phase of your production. My goal is to make each song flow from one to the other without distracting the listener. The final step is to maximize the amount of sonic energy and level in each song without sacrificing the sound and natural dynamics of your mix.
When I mix a song from scratch, I also master at the same time. This way, I/we can hear the effect that mix moves and sound processing will have on the final mastering. This method of mixing compliments the mastering process and provides an opportunity to know how the song is going to sound when the mix/mastering is finished, not afterwards. The final mastering stage may entail a little tweaking, but won’t be a major departure from the sound of your final mix.
During the initial mix/master or mastering stage, I also make A/B comparisons to already released songs that compare your genre/style in order to see how your mix holds up to the current radio “standards.” Once I finish your first song or two, they then become my point of reference so your final CD has a consistent sound and flow.
When the audio mastering is completed, the final Red Book Standard CDR and/or DDP Master will be duplication ready for your pressing plant and will include all text titles (for CD players that have that feature) and if provided, ISRC codes (needed for digital distribution) and UPC codes (for retail sales).
It’s also become very common for artists to record in their own home demo studio and then provide me with their individual multi-track files and/or Avid Pro Tools session for my mix / mastering studio. Whether recorded at Palette or by the artist, my goal in each of these situations is the same – to make these recordings, your recordings, sound like a record and be competitive with what’s on the radio today.
Depending on an artist’s needs, I can also enhance your existing tracks/elements by suggesting arrangement ideas, rearranging, resounding, tuning vocals or instruments with Melodyne or even adding additional instrumentation and/or vocal parts. I am happy to work in whatever capacity you may need and look forward to talking with you about your project!