Let’s talk about mixing in the context of mastering?
It would seem that what to say, everyone knows how to mix :). It seems to be so, but for some reason, modern mixing engineers have adopted the information (reading on the Internet apparently) in which mixes are intentionally, while the incidents and negligence at the stage of information are already sounding, or not fully, or with some characteristic features.
Let’s talk about these features. But first about negligence — sometimes mixing engineers with insufficient experience in their work are guided by an amusing principle — they will pull up and master the mating. There is really nothing to discuss here :). Engineers — never, never let yourself work in conjunction with such thoughts!
Rule number one: Make the best mixes that are only possible for you. Mastering engineer is not a profession of fixing bad mixes (horrifying is really a delusion).
In general, with negligence figured out, let’s go further.
And at this stage I will touch on the questions and mixing features encountered in those mixing engineers who want to be better than yesterday :). I will make a reservation, I am not a supporter of frozen ideas, and I also believe that you can study all your life.
However, sometimes this absolutely right approach plays with us and evil jokes (well, the truth, remember how many times this happened personally in your practice). I think a lot of people know what I’m talking about. However, we are a little distracted.
So, some advanced mixer engineers of today I would say are infected with some generalizing trends. Of these, I would like to highlight a couple. Work with panorama. I often get mixes very narrow, in which the work with the width of the image is intentionally ignored. In some cases, such a sound is determined by the customer (it works well in some cases or not, this is a question of another plan). To my questions about this, it is often answered that paranomization is better left to mastering engineer, as well as compression, equalization, work with dynamics (by the way, it’s really right when there is mutual understanding on these three points :).
Say, you do not need to do anything with the panorama, the mastering engineer himself will figure it out. I do not want to describe why this is not a very good approach.
I will say briefly: guys, here again the rule number one is true — Make the best mixes that are only possible for you. Firstly, there is more probability that they will like the client more (and me :). And secondly, you are professionals, are not you?
There is one more aspect that I have often encountered recently and which I would like to raise. There is an opinion that, after processing the mixes by mastering engineer, some places in the mixes lose their expressiveness (such as kick drum attack, snare drum), so some mixers engineers mix the mixes in such a way that they deliberately pick up the level of a small or barrel, and another and this option is sent to mastering. Yes, something like this sometimes happens.
But I would like that you would understand — such situations (the loss in the mix of one of the instruments, or part of it, for example a small drum) does not arise at all through the fault of the mastering procedure itself or the passage of the mix through the mastering path. (It’s not so easy to explain on the fingers what’s really going on with the mastering procedure, but somehow I’ll write about it.) At least to be more convincing 🙂
This is the result of the exceptionally inept work of the person who did the mastering procedure. And that’s all. Believe me, without options, nothing else is explained. And this is really important, because there is nothing good for mastering engineer, instead of really improving your mix, twisting the adjustments so that after such information you put the snare drum into a mix :).
So, which of the above can be deduced? That’s right, again, our essentially the only rule number one: Make the best mixes that are only possible for you. Send to the mastering engineer as much as possible, balanced and with the panorama, with which the work of the mix was conceived. In this case you will get a really excellent and fast result.