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It’s the final part of our ‘produce a track from start to finish’ feature and it’s the big one: how to give your final mix the pro sheen it deserves…

Part 5

01 Zoom out

In the mixing process, you will be considering the detail: the levels, the effects, the EQ, plus perhaps some automation, including fades and other parameters. With mixing, then, you are very much looking ‘inside’ at every aspect you can. With mastering, you need to forget that and step back, zoom out, rise above it, look down and consider everything as a large picture with everything you were working on in the mix all joined up as one whole. You need to consider the track – a stereo mix (usually!) – as a single entity and now start to think about it in the context of other tracks on an album or reference material you are trying to put it against and to perhaps sound like (in terms of its sonic character, anyway). If, during this process, you notice some glaring things wrong with the mix, then you’ll need to go back into the mix and process it again (or return it to whoever did it). Hopefully, this is something that can easily be done, either by you or the original mix engineer – so that you can consider the whole rather than having problems with the parts get in your way…

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About MusicTech

Make a track today! That's the focus of the May issue of MusicTech as top producers reveal their secrets and top tips to starting, arranging, mixing, finishing and mastering your music. If you've ever needed inspiration, had trouble taking a tune beyond its initial ideas, never known how or when to stop, or needed a pro mastered sound, this is the issue to get! On top of this massive set of features there's a huge studio interview with the legend that is Gary Numan, 1.22GB of free samples and all the latest modular synth and music production news.