As a skilled mix engineer, I use equalization, volume leveling of individual tracks and balancing to create a mix, similar in ways to mastering.
Mixing also includes creative processes to shape the overall mix. This may include distortion plugins, reverbs, flangers, phasers…anything I feel is necessary to achieve the creative vision of the producer or band!
As with mastering, each genre of music requires a different kind of mix; a hard-hitting dance track requires a different kind of mix to an acoustic jazz recording. As a skilled mix engineer, I’m familiar with the nuances of a variety of different genres to create professional sounding mixes.
Mixing is a crucial part of the production of a piece of music. Once a band has recorded all of the parts for a song or a producer has composed and arranged a song, the elements of the song must then be mixed together to create the final, coherent mix or premaster file. Mixing is as much a creative process as it is a necessary, technical one. Because it is such an involved and complex process, different mix engineers will have different results based on their skills, equipment and vision. The process of creating a mix calls for creative and artistic decision making and is the time when a basic recording or production comes alive as a piece of music.
Once a track is mixed, it is ready to be rendered into a premaster file or files, ready for stereo or stem mastering.