Mixing, Mastering and Recording: The Ultimate Guide

Mixing, Mastering and Recording: The Ultimate Guide

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Mixing, Mastering and Recording: The Ultimate Guide

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

Alrighty then! I always wanted to start of a post by saying that. Anyway, today I’m going to be complying all the posts we’ve done over the years that are about mixing and recording so that you don’t have to search around our blog. Actually, it’s more so I don’t have to search around our blog anytime someone emails me a particular question about their mix, I can just point them to this post.

So hopefully by the time you read all these posts you’ll know (or at least better understand) how to record and mix your songs. Now why would I want to do this? Wouldn’t I go out of business if you know how to mix and master? (We do make our living providing mixing and mastering services after all). I feel like and have always felt like that the more you know about audio engineering the more you’ll likely be impressed about by what we can do for you since you’ll better understand what goes into it. It’s like that one summer I got into wood working and bought a table saw and thought I was going to be some big handyman, and once I realized all the work, tools, and know-how that goes into making a table, I was like oh fuck it let’s just buy a table from IKEA.

So without further ado let’s start.

Recording Vocals

microphone

Learning to properly record yourself is such a powerful skill that completely separate the wannabes from the people that actually make it somewhere. Someone actually contacted me telling me they recorded their song on Garageband (which is fine) but on their iPhone (which is not fine and their song sounded like hot trash). Here are some guides on how to make your vocals not sound like hot trash:

How to Record Good Quality Vocals

Recording Vocals in a Closet? Try This Instead.

  • What are the Best Budget Microphones for Vocals?

    Headphones for Recording

    headphones-in-pile

    I do realize not everyone can afford to build tricked out home studios or even afford to pay to go to a studio. But if you’re recording music at home and don’t have a pair of good monitor headphones to actually hear yourself when you’re recording I don’t know what to tell you. Actually I do, your music is hot trash. Being able to hear yourself and understand how your sound comes across to normal people is another competitive advantage you can have over the competition. Only a select few of artists have this ability, an artist like Drake comes to mind. This post will help you get the right headphones.

    Best Budget Headphones for Mixing

    Mixing Your Song

    mixing-board2

    Now that you’ve recorded your song, you’re going to want to mix that sucker (though you may want to leave it to the professionals *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink*). Here are some tutorials covering various aspects of the mixing process.

    How to Mix a Hip Hop Song

    How to Make Your Drums (And Bass) Bang

    How to Mix a Snare

    How to Mix Hi Hats in Any Genre

    The One Trick Every Audio Engineer Does to Make Your Songs Sound Better

    How to Use Any VST Compressor

    Pre-Master

    headphone-dummy

    If your sending your song in for mastering you’re going to want to make sure the levels are right. Here are some things to consider:

    RMS Levels Before Mastering

    How to Prepare Mix for Mastering

    Release to the World

    hot-air-ballons

    After you’ve sent your song in mastering (hopefully you choose us), you may want to put your song iTunes and at the very least Soundcloud and Youtube. To do that you may find yourself asking:

    Which is Better? CDBaby or Tunecore

    Why Soundcloud is Better Than Youtube

    And there you have it! Everything from recording to mixing to getting your song out to the people. I of course will be updating this as I add more posts but I hope it acts as good starting point for getting your music right. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found this helpful and what else guides you’d like to see.

  • Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not in front of a mixing board with his eyes closed, he's having impromptu dance parties with his son and daughter: ages 2 and 4.

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