Can Mastering Fix a Bad Mix?

Can Mastering Fix a Bad Mix?


Can Mastering Fix a Bad Mix?

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

No. Sorry. No can do, see you in another life, case closed. Goodbye. Why? Because mastering deals with a song’s mix at the macro level, it cannot fix issues at the micro level such as within the individual tracks in your song (otherwise than it would be mixing duh!). For example, mastering can’t add delays to just your vocal track.

However, mastering can help your mix in another important way.

How Mastering Can Help

Getting your song mastered can and usually does help expose the flaws in your mix, which you can correct in the mix session and have your song re-mastered (with us at no extra charge via our 30 Day Guarantee..I know cheap plug).

It does this because when you get your song mastered, you usually hear it in a completely new way.

You’ll hear it as you would hear a song on the radio or how songs sound from major label artists.

This allows you to more accurately judge your mix as you have a similar reference point for things like the drums, bass and vocals.

Mastering will not only expose the flaws in your mix but also expose everything about your song from your songwriting to performance to production.

Mastering Can Break an Artist’s Heart

Whenever I master a song that’s straight up trash I feel a little bad for the artist because this is likely going to be their wake up call that their music just isn’t cutting it.

At the same time, it’s also incredibly helpful (if the artist so chooses to see it that way) because the artist can use this as a lesson on where to improve as they’ve most likely never received any constructive feedback ever.

I’ve seen artists go from complete trash to perfectly decent just by getting the little things right (i.e. Getting proper production and of course getting their songs mixed and mastered by someone whose put those 10,000 hours in).

Mastering Gets You On The Playing Field

I cannot stress how powerful this is. I think of this as the first time you hear of some rapper and then slowly you keep hearing their name until one day you wake up and are singing their song in the bathroom mirror into your wife’s hairdryer (Okay maybe that’s just me).

If you didn’t get all that, it’s basically the idea of getting into the arena.

If your unfamiliar with “the arena” it was the place back during the Roman empire where gladiators would fight each other. The goal for any up and coming gladiator would be to get into the arena and live to fight another day.

They didn’t care if they won or lost (unless it was a death match) they just cared about being able to play the game.

And that’s exactly how you should approach your music career.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not signed or have a small fan base, what matters is can you still record songs at a level comparable to major label artists and are you aware enough to hear your stuff and consciously improve.

Getting your songs mixed and mastered right is one thing you can do to help take your music career to the next level.

Your Mastering Questions Answered



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not hunched over a mixing console he's hanging out with his son and daughter age 4 and 6.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the review, Andre. I’d like to pick your brain a little more though, if that’s alright with you. I’m a music composer looking for the right path. Thanks in advance!

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