What is the Difference Between Mixing and Mastering?

Understandably, anyone getting into music or music production for the first time will have a ton of questions they want answering. However, if there was one more common than most, it would be to clear up the differences between audio mixing and audio mastering.

Well, despite sounding very similar, these two stages of music production actually carry a lot of differences. They are both very important and will play a big part in how the final production sounds, but each pertains to different aspects of music production.

In this article, we will take you through the main differences between the two while also stating the importance of both when producing music.

What is Mixing?

Audio mixing is an earlier phase of music production that involves combining the many different layers of a track. It is the process of making sure the end result sounds as good as it can. Every layer once combined, should sound good together. The process involves balancing levels, equalizing audio elements, and enhancing harmonics among many other aspects.

What is Mastering?

As for mastering, this is making sure that the audio mix is ready for distribution. Essentially, it is making the final touches and adding the last bit of polish to your music. It also involves making sure the finished audio sounds equally as good depending on the media or file type that it is played from.

Both Mixing and Mastering Important Pieces of the Puzzle

You could have created amazing lyrics and instrumentals and believe you have a song that will impress anyone that listens. However, if you do not get your mixing and mastering right, your track can go from good to bad very quickly. This is why it is important to use good audio mastering software/platforms that will make sure that your track is as good as it can be before you release it to the wider world.

Essentially, these steps are equally as important as the initial creation of the song. So, if you’re taking your first steps into the music world, always remember that a good final product requires top quality throughout each stage of production. Just one wrong move and all your hard work could go out of the window. On the flip side, get the right balance and your track could go on to earn you the success you were hoping for!