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Check out the Mixing area of our BBS and share tips and tricks online!

The word "mixing" means two different things in the context of audio recording: Mixer

  1. adjusting the fader levels, balance, equalization, etc. so that the live sound is properly recorded in the first place
  2. the art of turning the live sound you recorded in step 1 into a finished, polished masterpiece that's ready to listen to

One might argue that I'm splitting hairs here, since Step 2 above involves much of the same kind of adjusting, balancing, EQ, etc. as Step 1. But they are indeed two different things. The techniques and skills involved in recording are at a more prosaic level (and primarily covered in the Recording section), while Mixing (also known as "mixing down") is more of an art. In either case, you'll want to learn about the equipment and the techniques for getting the most out of it, and that's what this section of the site is all about.

Mixing down from multiple tracks to stereo is the second step of the process involved in making a finished song. With the type of equipment usually used in home recording studios, you basically flipping a few switches on your multitrack recorder, turning it from a recording console to a mixing console. As in cooking, you add seasoning, such as effects and EQ, to your taste.

If you want a basic look at what the mechanics of mixing involves, check out this page (but come right back!)

Click here to find mixers on sale at Zzounds.com

While most people focus on the recording part (even the name of this site reflects that), most of the creativity and personal satisfaction of the entire process, for me, comes in the mixing session. It's the same reason some people would rather be film editors than cinematographers, I suppose. Mixing is where all the hard decisions get made, and can make the difference between a workmanlike recording and a masterpiece of sound...even starting with the same source material.

For serious mixing, you need studio monitor speakers. While mixing on headphones gives you a great experience, it won't translate to speakers correctly. Since headphones almost always have better bass and treble response than speakers, your final mix will sound dull and lifeless when you hear it "normally". Click here to go to our "official" monitor page.
-- Dragon

OK, So Then What's Mastering?

Mastering means to set up all the songs on a CD so they sound well together (and separately!). This takes some special skill. Here's the link to our mastering page. If you're interested in making your own CDs yourself, check out this page.

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