Mixing and Mastering: Mastering Mistakes
Most musicians, engineers, and producers know the difference between mixing and mastering. Those who are aware know what a difference mastering can do to a mix. A mastering engineer is usually a specialist that has honed their craft to an expert level. However, even the most accomplished mastering engineer can only do so much with what they are given. If a mixes quality is not up to par, a mixing engineer will generally turn down the job. To put it politely, you can’t really polish a turd. Let’s look at some mastering mistakes within mixing and mastering.
Mixing and Mastering: Common Errors
Too much low end is probably one of the most common problems when an engineer sends in a mix to master. In most cases, too much bottom is related to the mixing environment. Not having the proper acoustic treatment and dealing with reflective surfaces can cause an uneven response across the bass spectrum. Because of these issues, a mix can sound imbalanced and will be an issue when mixing and mastering.
On the other hand, too much treble can cause problems in the mix as well. Not always as easy to identify during the mixing process, too much high end will definitely be apparent during mastering. Be sure to use EQ sparingly and make good choices while doing so.
There are a few other pieces of a mix that help the mastering process. Not having a dynamic range within your mix can be troublesome. A mix that is too loud does not leave much room for mastering thus not allowing your song to sound as good as possible. Be sure to pan different elements in the mix and create space. Doing so will offer a wide, stereo sound. Removing the clutter from your mix will achieve separation between elements to let each sound shine.
If you’re worried that your mix has some of these issues, look into mixing and mastering services to get the best sound possible.