SonoCrafters can mix and/or master any recordings. Typically we do these services for the live recordings we collect for our clients. Mixing is inherent in any live production. Live mixing is similar to studio mixing, but there are limits to what can be done during a live performance. This page addresses the process of taking previously recorded material into the studio for mixing.
Mixing is the art and science of blending multiple recorded tracks in a way that presents the sound as the artist imagines it. Many people think of mixing as simply pushing faders up and down to balance the various instruments and sounds. Today, mixing involves much more than balancing sound levels. Mixing involves contouring sounds to meet the artists’ concepts, and to manipulate those sounds so that they come together with the other content to create the impact that is desired.
Mixing can involve many processes such as:
The live recording environment adds other challenges that may be addressed at mixing time, such as:
“Mastering” is a somewhat ambiguous and mysterious term in today’s studio environment. Historically, mastering was a completely separate process performed by specialized engineers. These mastering engineers took the completed stereo mix and made overall adjustments so that the material would sound its best on the target medium (vinyl, tape, 44.1 CD, etc.). Indeed, mastering was essential with vinyl in order to make sure the intensity was never so high as to cause the needle to skip.
In today’s world of MP3, SoundCloud, and YouTube, we no longer have to worry about the needle skipping, but mastering still exists as a discipline to contour the final stereo product once the mix is done. And mastering is still required to regulate the overall loudness of the published material, and to ensure the best options (e.g. compression levels) are chosen for the targeted media.
This short recording presents a song snippet in three forms: raw audio with a rough mix, a more sophisticated mix, and finally with mastering techniques applied. Notice the overall increased richness of the sound. Also notice that the bongos and cymbals are easier to hear without dominating the vocal. The strings have a greater shimmer. The finished product gives more of a feeling of being close to the musicians, which is desirable in this sort of song.