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How do you mix/master your albums?


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So I've got an EP in the works. Its 99% done. I'm in the mastering process and individually, the songs sound great. However, as a collective, there are some noticeable differences in each tracks mixing and mastering. However, if I change one track to fix with the others I'll lose something in the process that I like about that tracks mixing. My question to you guys is this - how do you go about mixing/mastering albums? As a collective? Or do you focus on the individual tracks and not worry about a consistant production sound?

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I would arrange the tracks so they flow well first musically. Maybe track 3 starts on the same key track 2 ends on, or it starts quietly like track 2 ends quietly, etc. Try deciding on a nice track order first that clicks musically, and then look more into the mixing. What exactly are you doing on the mixing end to make them more 'consistent'? How diverse are these tracks? If you want you could PM me for more specific feedback.

Generally, some things to look for for cohesion/consistency:

- dynamics

- a story?

- matching keys?

- other misc 'this flows well somehow' reasons

Edited by timaeus222
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I've already figured out the track order. Its simply a mixing/mastering question :)

As the album goes on, it actually gets more bass heavy, so the album does have a sense of gradual change in the production with its current order. I'm in a situation where I'm over thinking it honestly, and if I start changing tracklisting now, everything is going to go to pot XD

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I mix things separately when doing albums, but I am not above doing small tweaks to make sure there's not any HUGE inconsistencies.

Mastering definitely done all at once i typically have a single project file set up with each track having it's own mastering chain so I can adjust on the fly and A/B as I got on.

Mastering usually takes me a day or two just to make sure I'm hearing right.

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I've already figured out the track order. Its simply a mixing/mastering question :)

As the album goes on, it actually gets more bass heavy, so the album does have a sense of gradual change in the production with its current order. I'm in a situation where I'm over thinking it honestly, and if I start changing tracklisting now, everything is going to go to pot XD

Haha, alright then. Well, this suggestion is something I sometimes do if my music doesn't quite sound right but is also quite dynamically "clean": something you could try (if you don't already do this) is use light compression to "glue" your instruments together, and use similar settings for each album track. Sometimes I do that and it sounds more cohesive when I do it that way since it's the same compression plugin for each song or piece. I figure, you're the type of person that can hear that type of subtle adjustment to the levels in a mix. This guy talks about this. You already know this, but you should (of course) only use master compression of this sort when you're all done, and not do mixing edits while it's on. :-P

You may also want to just listen all the way through the tracklist, but this time, listen for the loudness differences. Depending on the piece/song, different dB's RMS still sound "right", but they might still actually feel the "same" simply because it's fitting for that genre. In your case it sounds especially true since you have that bass heaviness progression going on.

Edited by timaeus222
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