If you’re just starting out in music production, then it’s easy to get confused about mixing vs mastering.
What is mixing?
At its basic level, mixing uses fader positions and panning to place each individual element in the desired place in the soundstage taking into account the loudness, width and depth of each element.
To help this process even further, the mixer will utilise EQ, dynamic control and effects such as delay and reverb to achieve a stereo mix that’s ready to be sent off for mastering.
What is mastering?
Mastering is the most often misunderstood of the two.
Mastering is the final stage your mixed song goes through to get it into an optimal state for release on to your format of choice and is applied only to the final approved stereo mix.
Mastering involves getting the mix louder and to the correct specification for its destination, for example, online streaming, CD or vinyl.
There’s actually a lot more to mastering than that and in this video I go into more detail about mastering and why I think it’s vital you have all your music mastered before releasing.
Check out the video where I explain the differences between the two and why you should get all your releases mastered if you want them to sound awesome online.