The Difference Between Mixing & Mastering

Producer mixing music

Mixing and mastering are two important stages in music production. While they are often thought of as separate entities, they are actually closely related and often overlap in the music production process.

Mixing is the process of combining and balancing the various instruments, such as the vocals, drums, bass, and guitar so that they complement each other instead of overshadowing each other. It involves adjusting the levels, panning, EQ, and effects of each individual track to create a cohesive and harmonious final mix. The ultimate goal of mixing is to create a balance between all the elements of the song and make it sound polished and professional.

Mastering, on the other hand, is the final step in the music production process and is typically done after mixing. It involves further enhancing and refining the overall sound. This can include adjusting the EQ, compression, and overall volume of the mix, as well as adding any necessary limiting or loudness enhancing techniques to make the song sound consistent and professional across different devices, such as speakers, headphones, mobile phones and car stereos.

To sum it up, mixing is the process of combining and balancing the individual tracks of a song, while mastering is the process of refining and enhancing the overall sound of the mix. Both are important steps in the music production process and work together to create a professional and polished final product.