The Difference Between Mixing and Mastering

by | Apr 22, 2024

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If you hang around enough industry professionals, you’ll hear the phrase “mixed and mastered” often. But, you maybe be wondering, what is the difference between mixing and mastering? And why do these two processes matter


If you’re unfamiliar with the work of an audio engineer in the music world, you may think mixing and mastering are the same thing. While these processes are two peas in a pod, their purposes are different. When an artist is done tracking all parts of a record, the engineer will take the final recording and mix it. Mixing is an essential part of the music-making process.

It’s the stage when all the moving parts of a record are adjusted to complete the perfect sonic mix. The engineer will tune down parts of the record that should remain subtle, and enhance the parts that should POP!

Getting the mix just right will take a record from good to great! 


Mastering usually takes place after the mix is completed. While mixing is necessary, mastering isn’t always required. It’s a subtle process that refines the sonics of a record so that the flow of an album is seamless. Most times there is no need to have a single mastered. The process is typically reserved for bodies of work such as albums and mixtapes.

Mastering takes experience, time, and concentration.  To the untrained ear, a mastered track may simply seem louder. While the process is not quite so simple, this is one way to simply the difference mastering makes. 


In conclusion, mixing is bringing the individual parts of a song together to work as one. Mastering is bringing the individual records of an album or body of work together to work as one. Each process is a science and choosing the right engineer to handle the mix and master on your records will save you headaches down the line.

Fixed Pricing for Online Mix & Mastering Service by Bay Eight Studios

If you’re looking to have a project mixed and mastered, we offer multiples ways to go so at Bay Eight! You can come into the studio and have us take care of every step of the recording process for you. Or you can send your recorded projects to us virtually, and we’ll get them mixed and mastered for you at an affordable price, and you’ll have your music release ready in a matter of days. Learn more about our online mixing and mastering services here

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