Tips for editing, mixing and mastering

, mixing and mastering are the three most important steps your audio goes through for that shining million dollar sound! Once a Podcast, radio ad or audio is recorded, it has to be cleaned up for mistakes, polished, leveled and balanced to sound professional.

In editing, various sections of the audio are removed, added or spliced together. The audio is cleaned up of mistakes and accidental noises.
1. While editing, the main focus should be on the natural flow of voice/music.

2. After cutting or splicing together, you should listen to the audio at least twice
to get it right. The important thing is to start listening to the audio 10 seconds
prior to the edit point. This will give you the correct perspective of the flow of
the audio. If the voice sounds hurried or slow, adjust the clips as required.

3. Cross fade should be applied to all overlapping clips. For Podcast or files with
only voice, make sure the beginning and end of each clip has a small fade in
and fade out, to make sure there is no clicking from the cuts. For background
music, game music, jingles etc, the trick is to have the overlapping clips on
two separate tracks, with fade in and out on both tracks.

Mixing is a broad term which covers various processes like equalizing, compression and leveling. Though the requirements of Podcast mixing would be different from game sound design or game music mixing, the ground rules are the same.
Here are the basic rules of mixing:
1. Loud levels cause ear fatigue. Always mix with the monitors turned low. This
will give a better perspective of the mix.
2. While applying eq, always try to cut frequencies instead of boosting.
3. Make sure you hear your mix on different audio systems to see how well
they translate. This is an absolute must.
4. Make sure the background music does not drown out or conflict with the main
vocals. Always mix the background music first, and introduce the vocals in the

This is the final step of audio production. Typically this should not be attempted unless you have very accurate monitoring system, an acoustically treated room and highly trained ears. It is recommended that you use a good audio production studio or online studio to get your tracks mastered. Still if you want to play around, here are some tips:
1. Use a good spectrum analyzer to find out which frequencies are low and
which are high in the mix. Eq accordingly.
2. Use at least 2 compressors before putting on the limiter.
3. If required, use stereo imaging to separate the mix. But after stereo imaging,
always check the mix in mono. the mix should never fall apart in in Mono.
4. Always compare the final sound with good commercially mixed tracks. This
will immediately tell you if some frequencies are missing.

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