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14 September 2021

"When I use EQs and compressors, I'm not really concerned about or what these parameters do and how to best use them. My active mind is only superficially involved in this process and it comes mainly from the heart and the soul. " Jan 'Yarn' Muths

About the 


With over 2 decades of recording, mixing and music production experience, Muths interviews musicians, producers and engineers from the Australian East Coast and the world. Always curious about production workflows, gear, software, techniques, and strategies. The Production Talk podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in music production from the Northern Rivers and far beyond.

The Production Talk Podcast - The modern way of producing music

In this episode:

In this tech-talk episode: Yarn explains mixing for the self-producing musician.  Some highlights of this episode:

  • Good takes, bad takes, and beautiful imperfections

  • The mixing mindset

  • How to get yourself ready for mixing

  • The 3 big pillars of a good mix

  • Mixing and loudness

  • Volume balance, stereo width, depth, tone, dynamics and special effects.

  • Mastering in a nutshell


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Contact the podcast host Jan 'Yarn' Muths at

Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.


Jan 'Yarn' Muths or, in the studio


(auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error)

Welcome back to episode 12 of the production talk podcast. I'm delighted to have you on what again, today we're talking about mixing, which is of course my special field. So I have a lot of wisdom to share with you. And at the beginning, I would first like to talk about some basics, um, the scientific part of mixing, and then later on, we will talk about the artistic side and I think that's really what I'm interested in. At the end of the episode, I would also like to talk about mastering what it is and how it all works. So let's get started with the basics. What acts actually is mixing, what is it we do mixing effectively is the blending of many different signals into one cohesive stereo mix. Oh, well it can be different formats as well, like mono for a podcast sometimes minus and stereo, but anyway, uh, or surround for a film production. But when we talk about music, we commonly mixed down to stereo. So you might have a range of different individual channels and signals and they're blended together and baked into one single stereo mix. What techniques do we use for that? So, um, there are some standard techniques that are used in mixing. Um, this list is not necessarily complete, but it should cover all the basics. And the most important aspect of mixing is what we call the level balance. The level of balance is what you typically do with the faders. And, um, we are blending the relative level between the instruments and signals together. So we might want to increase the vocals a little bit or turn the bass down a touch so that they sound better in relation with one another. The second step is then the tonal balance, looking at the tone of individual signals and the overall mix altogether, the common tool for that is the equalizer, but other tools can be used as well. The idea is that we can dive into the details and look at a specific instrument. Let's say a Hyatt and change its tone to make it a touch brighter, or we can take an organ and make it a little bit darker. If we want to, we can also apply equalizing to the entire mix. However, if this is what you're trying to do, I would recommend to keep it very subtle and gender. The third element is stereo with which is generally achieved by using the pan pots. The pamphlets of make a signal louder on the left or the right ear. So by turning something to the left, uh, with a pan pot, we effectively decrease the level on the right and increase the level on the left, which creates the perception of sound coming from the left in stereo. We generally talk about the steer image from left to right with the center image. When signals are played equally loud on both speakers. In addition to width, we can also look at the fourth aspect, which is the depth, and there are many ways to achieve this. And the most common one is probably reverb, which creates a sense of space and depth, but depth perception can also be created with microphone techniques with ACU, sometimes with compression and other tools like delays. The fifth element is dynamic range controller by dynamic range. We basically mean the difference between the louder and the quieter signals. There are four categories of dynamic processes. Now the ones that make louder signals quieter, those are known as compressors and limiters. There are also the ones that may quiet a signal it's quieter. Those are known as expanders or noise gates. The third category are processes that make it quieter signals louder. These ones are often known as parallel compressors and the last categories than the ones that make louder signals louder. Those ones are known as upward expanders or transient shapers. And lastly, let's not forget about the icing on the cake. What kinds of special effects can be used to make a mix more interesting? So the typical thing is the added delayed to a certain voice or the reverb throw that is just opening up on special words. These things are not necessarily intended to create depth perception across the entire song, but they can put emphasis on particular phrases and lines or words. Okay. So at summit app level balance who done with faders, the stereo with done with panning tonal, Behlings typically done with accuse and depth perception comes from reverb. Dynamic range control comes from dynamic processes, such as gates and compressors and lastly special effects. And that's about it. If you want to learn more about those processes, and there are plenty of thousands of videos on online, but I also recommend to just look up the operating manual of your digital audio workstation, most of them are very well-written and the standard stock plugins contain all the typical parameters. So they're very good for learning those tools. Good. Okay. So the question is now of course, now that we know what tools we use, how do we use them? And that, of course, it takes a long time to explain because effectively it all comes down to the lot of experience. And I would say an almost subconscious or emotional way of using those tools. Let me first explain some wrong uses for all those tools. When I look up internet forums on Facebook and other places, I often find users asking questions like, um, here's a screenshot of my plugin, what am I doing wrong? Or I would like to produce genre XYZ. So which plugin I buy and in which order should I process all of these questions basically reveal one thing to me, somebody is looking for a cooking recipe and that never works by cooking recipe. I mean, somebody is looking for the correct procedure, but I have to bust this myth. There is no step-by-step guide that you could follow in order to achieve an emotionally charged, warm, beautiful, rich mix. There is no such thing because in mixing everything needs to start by carefully listening to where you actually come from. So the question always needs to be how does the original, the source materials sound and only then once you know how it sounds, then you can form an image in your mind of how you want it to sound. And only then can you decide to grab an new, to make it brighter or take a compressor to bring up quiet details? There is no other way. There is no way to reproduce the exact same settings of somebody else and reliably get good results. It may happen, but it's actually just a coincidence if it happens. So in other words, am good. Mix is always a custom solution that pays very close attention to the original sound that you start from. It requires the vision of where you want to go. And then the experience to know how to get there. And for that, there is no shortcut. You can't spend money to achieve this. You can't find quick, quick workarounds. It only ever comes from experience. There is no other way, and this is actually very similar to playing an instrument. So if somebody picks up the guitar for the first time, there is not other way, but to practice and you have to go through learning phases and it takes a long time until one becomes experienced and really, really good at it. A lot of people refer to the 10,000 hour theory. You might have heard this before. It takes about 10,000 hours to play at your peak performance, whether this be music, sports, or other fields. And I would probably agree that in mixing this as true as well. So while you can achieve pretty respectable results, even with less experience, um, trust me that experienced engineers will usually look at an unexperienced mix engineers mix and is see mistakes that they may not. So, um, I guess that's also the same with musicians. If you are a very experienced musician and you go to a concert where young musicians play, they might play with full confidence and a lot of fun. Um, but they may not even be aware about the mistakes they may be doing. What you as an experienced musician may, who knows, I guess it's the advantage of experience here. So a long story short, there is literally no right or wrong way to get to a good mix. It has to come from experience. It has to come from, from the, there is no way to intellectualize a good mix to think it up into logically solve this problem. It really has to come from the heart. So I often use the analogy of, for learning to drive. If you visualize yourself the first day you ever drove a car, chances are, you were probably a little bit tense and your entire mind was focused on all the controls, the steering wheel, the indicator, the pedals, the mirrors, the lanes, and that was occupying your mind entirely. So that's a state of mind where your active mind is fully focused on the task ahead of you and completely absorbed. I think we can all agree that that's not the best place to be when driving. And obviously when you get more experienced the driver, eventually it becomes more second nature. So as an experienced driver, chances are, you can drive a car, speak to a friend, uh, listen to the radio, the do other things. And while you do so, chances are your mind says, okay, I want to turn left over there. And your body automatically does what it takes to get there while you might still be chatting to a friend. So in other words, your active mind might be occupied with a conversation and your subconscious drives your muscle memory and your muscle memory address drives the car. It takes no more conscious effort to operate the pedals, shift gears, you know, set indicators. It just happens. And, um, that is the place that you want to be at when you perform your instrument. I think that's where the very best performance has come from. That is also true for mixing. So when I use EQs and compressors, I'm not really concerned about or what these parameters do and how to best use them. My active mind is only superficially involved in this process and it comes mainly from the heart and the soul. So I just think up the sound that I'm envisioning, and it's almost as if my hands to whatever it takes to just get there. And there it suddenly is. And that takes a lot of time to get to them. And I definitely also have good and bad days. Like everybody else, I have days where it's just not really happening. And then I just postpone the mix for the next day. But most of the time I get into this flow state, like mixing flow pretty reliably nowadays. Good. Okay. Um, so if you look up mixing techniques, online, chances are on YouTube. You will find thousands of videos that explain mixing in all honesty. I don't think anybody ever explained mixing the right way there, um, because nobody can actually explain how to mix. Well, it's actually something you can't teach because the moment you teach it, you're not doing it. Mixing is one of those things you can't really mix and also explain it at the same time. So usually what you see on YouTube, uh, videos of somebody saying, look, I just finished this mix and just want to show you what processes are used. And then they often show you some plugins on a screen and, you know, before and after, and you know, those are the typical things that you can see there, but that's just a slice of the pizza that is mixing. It's just a part of it. And it's actually not the important part. It's, uh, what I would call processing processing is all the use of audio processes, accuse dynamics, things like that. And they necessary. They are very important. These are the tools that are used, but in my personal opinion, a good mix doesn't actually come out of plugins. It comes out of tasteful, fate, emotions and tasteful panning. The majority of a good mix in my opinion, comes from faders and the accusing compressors are important. Don't get me wrong. But in most mixing tutorial videos, I find that there's too much emphasis placed on those tools. And, um, as a consequence, I sometimes find that people then suffer from a gear craving or, uh, gas. Some people call it a gear acquisition syndrome. So if your mix isn't perfect, yet the solution to a better mix is probably not spending money on a fancy plugin. That's unlikely to be the case. It may be, but you know, it's most of the time, it's not, most of the time, it really comes down to using the stock standard tools that you have and use them wisely, use them effectively and focus on moving faders more than you look at plugins. That is my personal suggestion. I know that this might be controversial that some people may strongly disagree with me here, but okay, that's fine. I'm happy to take that heat if somebody wants to complain about that. So how do you, how do you become experienced in mixing? There's only literally one way you have to do it again and again, and again and again, and by that, I don't mean to take a song and mix it for the next 12 months. That is not the solution. That would be a very frustrating, annoying process. Instead, the best way to get good at mixing is to finish a mix every three days, the process of finishing something and making peace with the good and the bad, and then move on and start again. That's where it all comes from. So I find that the longer it mixed takes the worse, it usually sounds. So there comes the point where you know, where it's overcooked, and this is a fine balance. So obviously you don't want to finish mixed too early when it's not yet done, but there's also the point where it's over cooked. And that's definitely not a good place to be at the only way to find out a, when a mix is ready and where it's time to leave it alone comes with experience. And again, there's no shortcut for that. The only way to get a sense for that is to actually overcook, a couple of mixes, and also under cook, a couple of mixes to learn how it feels like if you finished a mixed too early, and there were some rough patches that you should really should have fixed, but at the same time, it's important to sometimes over cook and mix and learn how it feels like to spend too much time on it, feel the frustration and how it actually sounds and how it actually didn't get better. So why his idea is to print a mix occasionally along the way. So halfway through, and then, you know, before you do some revisions and every time create a new version so that you make yourself a little history of where the mix was at. We touched on this briefly when I shared a story with Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, uh, in an early episode, um, you might want to go back to episode 10, if you want to find out more about this story. Good. So one of the most meaningful things I was told about mixing a can actually came from a different podcast from the production expert team in the UK and in one of their episodes, they, they dropped a line that resonated so much with me. They said with regards to mixing, perfect is the opposite of done. And what they're trying to say with that is that the mix is probably just right when the vast majority of things is done, but you still crave to fix some minor imperfections. But now it's probably the time to call it a day and say, this is it. Because if you progress through the mix, I would say the first 50% of the mix community together really quickly, the next 30% now take about the same amount of time again. And then if you go into 90%, 95, 98, 99, from that on each step forward takes a disproportionately large amount of time. And there is the point where it's definitely time to, to call it a day. So therefore my recommendation is to go back to episode 10, one more time and reflect on the idea of the mental zoom in and zoom out, which is very important in order to make that core. If you want to decide whether a mix is done or not, it is very important to distance yourself from the mix to get out of the details and look at a mix holistically. The good idea is to let it sit there for a day and not don't listen and come back a couple of days later and, and check again, um, that can lead to a lot of clarity and then you probably know what it needs, but if you do this repeatedly again and again and again, at every time you get to the point where no it's not done more needs to be done. Well, maybe you've achieved the maximum you can achieve with this song. And maybe the song just doesn't want to be better. This is a true possibility. Some songs just can't get to a hundred percent. They are meant to stay at 90 or 95 close, but some imperfections are still there and you just can't get rid of them. You can't, if not mix them perfectly. And, uh, that is something that scares people a lot. Let me tell you one thing, musicians have a different angle than listeners. And I often find them in musicians, judge, their own takes with an, a mix. They do it with a music teacher's perspective. In other words, they listened to not entirely the mix, but actually what they contributed to the mix. And then they realized, oh yeah, there's one keynote. I think that ed node in the C major court was just a touch laid there. And I think I held this node, just a touch too long over here. This is an analytical view, like a music teacher and a find that some musicians adept the music teachers judgmental way of, of looking at their performance. When they, when they hear a mix, trust me, that listeners don't have that anger listeners only ever look at the holistic sound of a mix. I don't think anybody has ever bought a song because the snare sounded so good or, you know, the reverts were so creamy. Nobody cares about that. The only reason why people like your music is because they feel something, it makes them puts a smile on their dire. They just, um, go relate to it in some way. And that's where the money is. That's really where the money is. So for that, you can afford a certain degree of imperfections and that is an uncomfortable thought for some musicians. So I would say, if we look at, let's say, let me pick a guitar performance. If you played a hundred percent, perfectly, chances are, it would be a very, very boring performance, but let's just set a benchmark of a hundred percent perfect. On the other side, we set a new benchmark and okay, that's clearly not a good take. It's contains a couple of mistakes that should be redone. So there was a rep range in between there. And if you go from the sloppy notes and increase the performance, there comes a point where everything is just fine, but there are still some minor imperfections. If you dial it, then too far, you get to the point where everything's a hundred percent perfect, but that's usually a boring sounding area. I can't relate to that really well. So find that this golden middle where the music performance is actually really good, but contains some minor imperfections. They don't bother me. So, um, what I'm trying to say is have the courage to have the courage, to share all of the good bits of your musical performance with your listeners, but also some of the not so good. And although may be uncomfortable if it's minor imperfections, it's lovable for the audience. So the listeners can relate to those things. So if I listen to things like Bohemian Rhapsody, what is song? I keep bringing it up almost every episode right now. I definitely hear some imperfections. I can hear a distortion on the vocal. I can hear, you know, uh, things going on in the mix there that are not perfect, but I'm almost waiting for these moments. And I like them. So that's what I call lovable imperfections. And that is something that people relate to. So have the courage to embrace those and learn those and also share, you know, you can call it the not so good part about yourself with your audience, because they will love you for it. Nobody loves a robot. People love humans and humans have good and bad sides. So why not show some of your weaknesses as well? I think that's really important in last week's episode funded, very interesting how her Chelsea shared her vulnerabilities as a singer. And I think that grenades to one another, yeah. To have the courage, to share some imperfections of your own performance, you, you make yourself vulnerable, but that is also what listeners like, that's the best part of it. Okay. So enough about that. Let's bring it all back and talk about how this relates to you as a self producing musician. Your job is to get your music out to your listeners as quick and effortlessly as possible and as good as possible, of course. And that's a bit of a trade off. You can't have it all. You can't release songs on a regular basis, let's say every month or every two months, and also tune them to absolute perfection and produce them for two years. That's just not possible. So you need to find the Gordon middle ground that works for you. And, uh, that definitely also includes the mixing. So if you were, if you were a musician, if mixing is not your day-to-day business, then you need to be very wary. Whether this is something you want to learn and the mix, your own music and release your music with, well, probably some mix mistakes in the early days, or whether you may want to consider outsourcing mixing. I don't want to go too far into whether you should be mixing or hire somebody else because we already spoke about this in episode 10, just very briefly for a demo, chances are you're better of doing it yourself. However, for professional reduces to it is a wise idea to consider professional mixing. Okay. I'm sure you're actually really dying to find out some mixing tips and tricks. And of course I want to share the most important things that I believe are very important to mix with you. So here, the good stuff. Well, when I started mix, I split my workload in different sections. And the first thing I try to knock artists, everything that is not creative means all the file management, uh, color coding, rearranging of track orders, setting Marcus for the arrangement, all of the things that are that I would call it mixed preparation. Those are not really the interesting things, but it needs to be done in order to get into the mixing state. Uh, I front-load all of those things because later when I'm actually in the creative workflow, I don't want to be bothered with any of those things. So I set everything up. So that later on, there's nothing left, but mixing, um, one part of this, uh, mixed preparation process is, uh, editing. So I basically look at the files and identify where a sections are played, but also where there are sections of silence. And whenever it appears to be silence, at least when it comes from a microphone or even an electrical source, like a synthesizer, what appears to be silence may not be solid on snow, even on a vocal channel, you might hear some breathings, some handling noises on the guitar channel, things like this, and those quiet elements can creep up in a mix and eventually cause trouble. So, um, I like to edit those things out and clean up my mix using just standard editing tools, uh, split clips or trim, and, uh, apply fades when necessary to reduce my mix to only the relevant aspects. The questions of course, how far do you want to drive that and how tight do you edit? And, uh, there's definitely a bit of leeway. And I would say that the John Ray, uh, has to definitely to do with that. So imagine a loungey jazz song wouldn't need so much tide editing. However, a modern rock song or modern pop song would get in a very tight editing or detailed editing. It's just, it already changes the sound right there. And, uh, yeah, so I consider the John Ray and to know how the music was performed when I make those decisions in the mix later, once the mix actually starts, I try to find the three pillars of a mix, which is the beat in most cases, that is actually the kick and snare, but it can be other things on jazz. For example, it's often, you know, the snare and the ride symbol, for example, but they're usually beat defining elements in Latin. It can be percussion elements, but I just ask myself, okay, what is the element that really drives the beat? And in most songs that's actually kicking snare and it is very important to me to get the perceived balance between kick and snare, right. Um, by perceived, I mean, when, when I know it's right, I can't look at my meters of feta positions and say that is, is not good. I really have to hear it and, and feel it in some ways and, um, to get the beat, right. Um, I look at the level of kick and snare, how they interact with one another. I imagine almost like pistons in an engine pushing and pulling it, the beat for and back. And, um, you know, there's things on my mind, like, you know, the amount of attack and the kick with a kick translate well to two smaller speakers. Now that has to do with the tone of balance, which also affects volume to some degree. But most importantly, I set the volume so that it moves my body well. And I know I've got the kick snare bell and stride when my head just wants to bop automatically. When I know of, I've got that point now where the kick and snare pushes and pulls and speaks to my subconscious and just makes my body work. I know the balance is not good when I have to put in conscious effort into this hat bobbing motion. So I use my, my own body as a sensor of of know whether the beat works or not good. That's the first big pillar, the beat, the defining elements, probably kick and snare and their relative volume balance. And of course, tonal balance as well. That's very important. The second big pillar is than the base or base instrumented can be synthesizer and acoustic bass, double bass electric bass at any of those because the bass is the element that connects the harmony and melody instruments to the beat. It's the combining factor. And once you have the beat that was pillar one and the bass together, they together form the groove. So again, I try to sense this more with my subconscious, rather than the analytical mind, but if the bass is too loud, it can prevent, um, this grew from happening and the same can happen if the basis too quiet. But if there's this golden middle range between, you know, the push pull motion of the beat and the volume of the base, when they just look in with each other and that's when the groove starts. So I often think about people listening to my song, you know, at, at a popper clap or somewhere. And the beat by itself would get the head bobbing motion, but it doesn't drive them to the dance floor. That's what the base and the groove needs to do. So once you have this golden ratio between kick and snare and bass, you get a song where people just want to dance and that's effectively what I'm looking for when I, uh, when I blend these things together. And the third big pillar of course, then must be the main vocal or the melody main hook instrument. And in many situations that is obviously a vocal. Sometimes it's other instruments that piano synthesizers, the guitars can be anything, but I'm looking for something that people remember that is the, the element that people hum when they drive home, after, after an a good night out, you know, it's, it's stuck in their mind and that's a very important part. So these are the three big pillars, the beat, the bass and the main vocal or the hockey element, the, um, the other elements, there's probably a lot more elements. Of course they are. These are, will not fit around the mix and find their pockets around these three main pillars and abdomen so that they feel the gaps and fill the space around them. Sometimes these elements can then step forward or backwards depending on how I feel it. But in many situations, I basically allow only one main element to be in the foreground of the mix, um, that can differ from song to song. So in my mind often visualize a dark stage with a band on the stage and there's a one spotlight illuminating the front center stage and one band member can step into it. Um, so if somebody else wants to be there, the previous band member needs to step out first. That's how I approach a mix. So I was trying to think about the most important, most entertaining, most engaging element right now. And in all honesty, more often than not, that's obviously the vocal. And then also look at other elements that are interesting in the gaps in between. So it might be that there's a vocal line and there's a little section at the end of the verse where the vocalist has a break. Then I look out for other elements that do interesting things. So it might be that a piano does something cool, or now there's a really interesting Vitalik. And then I basically move these elements forward into the spotlight while the vocalist stepped out. Um, yeah, that's my method of, of blending things together. I basically listen to the entire song, start to finish and ask myself, okay, how long is the song? How engaging is the song, how many interesting things are happening? And, um, the human attention span is of as a funny thing, you can keep your attention up for just for so long. So if there's too much repetition in the song into the song is very long and that's generally not a good thing because people get to the point where, where they've got it now and yet it's happening again. Okay. So nothing new is happening and eventually they get bored and might even skip to the next song. I don't want that. I don't want the listeners to skip forward. I want them to be engaged. So I always try to add things that engage people again and variation is a, is an important factor there. So I make sure that if let's say the chorus has repeated several times that these choruses sound a little bit different each time, um, or have little surprises built in that make them unique or sound a bit different than the previous chorus. And this can be done with time as effects, volume balance is important. Uh, any, any kind of movement and motion can help with that. Um, so the arrangement of the song is, is a very important aspect of, of, of mixing effectively. And that's where mixing literally starts when a song is arranged. I think so embed example would be a song that's too long and it doesn't have enough engaging elements. Um, another bad example would be too many band members competing for that sweet spot. So it might be that the singer sings an important verse while the horn sections to schools go right on top of him. And at the same time, there's a somebody that's trying to play some lead guitar solos on top that just doesn't work. So as a band, it is the arrangements responsibility to allow space for one another. So I want my band members to look at each other and support each other and be aware about what's currently happening. When is it appropriate to step forward? And when is it appropriate to step back and allow space for somebody else? And when bands achieved this level of playing and awareness, I often find that they sort of mix themselves as some people say, and that's obviously the very best place to be in. And it also makes things very engaging and interesting for the listeners. Good. So yeah, the engagement factor, the a is very important to me when I listened to music and I often visualize this like an intensity curve and a good mix takes me on a ride and that starts some word births the intensity up, but it has to drop somewhere. It has to Grise and fall and surprise me at, at stages. There's very few, few songs that I like where the intensity curve is basically the same energy start to finish. Okay. There's a one more point for today. That is a really dear to my heart. Loudness is something that needs to be considered when mixing and it needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt. Loudness is how loud your music sounds in comparison to music that is released already. So it is a wise idea to compare your, your song against professional mixes. So, you know, whether you fall short or whether you're way too bright away to base you or whatever, that's a good idea, but when you do so you will notice that the commercial releases are louder and that leads a lot of people to jumping into processes. And, you know, there are lots of videos that show you how to make something loud, but that is a dead end street. Don't end up there, please. It is normal for mixed to be quieter than a commercial release. That's perfectly normal and trying not to process in order to achieve loudness while you mix use processes to increase beauty detail, um, musical Newwassis, that is fine, but the mindset of saying, okay, now I'm making it loud. It almost always leads to poor outcomes and often a lot of damage, um, which is obviously unfortunate. So because this is the mastering engineer's job, it mix sounds quieter than a master. That is definitely the case. So when you compare your mixes against a commercial release, you literally need to ride the volume pot, turn the volume port down. When you listen to a commercial music and up when you listen to yours. So that it sounds about equally loud. That's when you make good decisions, trust that the mastering engineer will solve the loudness for you. That's their job. And they know it better when trying to make an entire mix loud, a lot of things can go wrong and it takes a lot of experience to get it right. So if you don't have this experience, chances are, you will find out after the fact that a wind, a pear shaped and you don't read on want that. Good. So let's talk about mastering for a moment. Um, when a mix engineer takes a bunch of signals and blends them into one cohesive song, stereo mix, the mastering engineer will take a collection of individual mixes and put them together and make him sound and feel like they belong to one album. That per definition is the mastering engineer's job. The mastering engineers, also the last quality control before it goes out to the listener before public release and therefore should be very experienced, should be very focused on details. And it should be somebody who you trust to get it a hundred percent, right. Not 95, but a hundred percent. Right. And if you're the producer and have you spent hundreds of hours with those songs, chances are by the end of it, you're pretty brain fried. Would you trust yourself to get every detail a hundred percent right at this stage? Okay, well, I can't answer this question for you, but I know that a lot of people do trust mastering engineers. For those reasons, mastering engineers are extremely experienced. They are basically the most senior engineer in the production circle, and it's also the place where things can turn pear shaped very, very quickly if it's not done properly. So I really recommend considering to outsource mastering. So if you have money only for one mixing or mastering, then mix yourself and get it mastered by a pro. That's definitely my recommendation. Well, I guess, you know, we should always look at the individual case and how it actually sounds, but, um, yeah, that's my recommendation. A good mastering engineer is worth their money because they will make it sound better and they will make it sound better on many playback systems, that's their job. And they will walk on the musical beauty of a song. And as part of it, chances are the loudness will increase as well, but they're very skilled at it. And the good mastering engineers are the ones who don't as go bluntly for loudness, but who just basically work on improving the music. So that's my recommendation here. It's definitely worth doing, because it gives you the peace of mind that at the final stage, it has been checked and tuned by the most senior professional, by the most experienced professional. I think there's a lot more to say about mastering and maybe at some stage I can actually invite a professional mastering engineer to the podcast. Um, if you believe this would be beneficial for you, please, um, leave a comment in Facebook to mix artists that come that a you, or send me an dot a U. I hope you enjoyed this episode about mixing. Um, we literally just scratched the surface and there's heaps more to say, but we'll just leave this for another episode. And we will progress on our path discussing the production cycle. Last week, we spoke about songwriting and creativity and the music production process with TK and shell today was the mixing and mastering episode. Next week, we'll move on to marketing and promotion and to be first speak to my friend, Shane, who is a very experienced musician and also a very successful self promoter. And then the week after we'll speak to Dan, who is a marketing professional and they will both share their experience and their wisdom with us. Well, I hope you enjoy yourself today. It was a great episode for me. I hope it was a great episode for you. Please subscribe and rate this podcast. And if you could leave a review that would really make my day. Thank you so much and speak to you next week. Thank you.
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