You’ve recorded your song. You’ve had a great day or so and seen your song grow from your demo into a fully produced track; but it’s not finished yet! So what happens after your recording session? Read on to find out what needs to happen to your recording still and how we do it at Silver Street Studios.
The first thing you’ll get is what we call a monitor mix. Your producer may have provided this for you before the end of the session, but sometimes, depending on the way the producer has chosen to work during the session, it may not be possible to do at the end of your day. If this is the case, your producer will try to get it to you at the earliest possible time.
The monitor mix is essentially the version of your song that you’ve been listening to during your recording day. There will be limited effects and possibly some parts that are too loud or too quiet, but this doesn’t matter too much at this stage. The whole thing will sound quiet when played next to a released professional track, so you may wish to turn up your speakers or headphones when listening to it (but don’t forget to turn them back down again before sticking on finished music!!). We provide it for you to listen to because the mix stage may take some time before you hear results and the monitor mix can tide you over until then and even alert you to potential performance issues that you may not like.
You hear a lot about mixing, and rightly so. A mix can easily be over half the work of the record. But what is it? What does it do?
Your song was recorded in parts, sometimes with multiple microphones on each instrument. Each part is known as a “track” and collectively the overall recording is the “multitrack”. During mixing, each track is processed using specialist audio tools to remove the sound we don’t want and to enhance the sound we do want. The tracks all affect one another and the process can take a long time. Your producer will also add some creative effects to individual parts.
Why Is My Mix So Quiet?
When your producer has a mix with which they are happy, they will send you a listen link via email. The song will still be quieter than a finished (mastered) song, so you might like to turn it up on your speakers or headphones. Have a few listens over several days to really get to know your mix. The mix will sound great, but don’t worry if there are things you’d like to change about it. Mixing is a creative process and we understand that there is an element of personal taste that we have to try to match. Silver Street Studios offers unlimited mix tweaks for a set price.
Once you’re happy with your mix, get back to your producer and they’ll start mastering.
Mastering applies many of the same audio processes as mixing does, but it works on the track as a whole rather than on the individual parts. It is the final polishing stage and is key to that radio-ready, releasable sound that we promise. We set the volume of the track here, along with the overall balance between bass, middle and treble.
Mastering also includes the creation of the final file format ready for distribution and streaming. Usually for music this is a .WAV file at CD quality, but we can also create MP3s or any other audio file for that matter. You can have your final master file in as many of these as you want. Normally we will deliver these online unless otherwise requested. We’re happy to provide on CD or Memory sticks etc.
So that’s everything that happens when you’ve finished recording and left the studio. Now you are ready to send your finished audio to a distribution company and get it into the online stores.