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Mastering is a form of audio post-production, is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device (the master); the source from which all copies will be produced (via methods such as pressing, duplication, replication or digital downloads). The format of choice these days is digital masters, although analog masters, such as audio tapes, are still being used by the manufacturing industry and a few engineers who specialize in analog mastering.
mastering gives your mix that "radio quality"
Audio Mixing is the process by which a multitude of recorded sounds are combined into one or more channels, most commonly two-channel stereo. In the process, the source signal level, frequency content, dynamics and panoramic position are commonly being manipulated and effects such as reverb might be added.
This practical, aesthetic or otherwise creative treatment is done in order to produce an elevated mix that is more appealing to listeners. Audio mixing is done in studios as part of an album or single. The mixing stage often follows the multi track recording stage and the final mixes are normally submitted to a mastering engineer.
The process is generally carried out by a mixing engineer (a mixer), though sometimes it is the musical producer who mixes the recorded material. Prior to the emergence of DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), the process of mixing used to be carried out on a device known as an audio mixer, sound board, desk, or mixing console.
Nowadays, more and more engineers and independent artists are using a personal computer for the process (commonly referred to as mixing in-the-box) but the standard is still mixing via mixing a board. In everyday hip hop terms mixing refers to taking the raw separated tracks adding EQ, leveling and effects to create a solid sounding track.
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