Difference Between Mixed Music and Mastered Music

When it comes to music production, there really isn't a right way or a wrong way to do it. As long as the end result sounds good, it doesn't really matter how you got there. A lot of getting a "professional" sound is in adding up a bunch of little techniques which as a whole makes all the difference. It makes it kind of frustrating when you're trying to learn.

Some people will tell you it's in the gear. Others will tell you it's in the ears. Ultimately though the trick is matching the music you're working on with the sound you have in your mind. Part of doing that is learning the difference between what sounds good in a mix compared to how it will sound in a master.

This is normally a two part process. First step is getting all the instruments and sounds to work together in the mix. After that you balance the levels and work on the loudness and levels of the whole track in the master.

Below is an example of what a mixed track sounds like compared to a mastered track.

Musco Sound | End Times Coming (Mixed)

Musco Sound | End Times Coming (Master)

There is a big difference in the sound of the mixed version compared to the mastered version. I hope hearing the two side by side helps you when you're working on your next track. I guess the single best piece of advice I can give is make sure to give yourself enough headroom to master. If your mixed music needs a limiter to keep from peaking, turn down the volume.

Here is a good article on Headroom for Mastering: How Much Headroom is Needed Before Mastering?

For a more detailed article on Mastering check out: Mastering Plugins in FL Studio 12: A Guide to Using Them

I hope this helps! Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share, like, or comment below.

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