Audio Mixing

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Source: Jonathan Benavente

What is Audio Mixing?

To put it simply, audio mixing is creating an audio (or a lot of the time, music) by putting tracks of sounds together to create a single stereo track. But that’s just a simple explanation. There’s a lot more than just tossing in a bunch of clips of audio together and calling it finished, for that wouldn’t sound good at all, especially in a song. No matter how good a song is, if you can’t get the levels of audio perfectly, it’s guaranteed that it will sound bad.

Have you ever noticed whenever you listen to music, or perhaps even a game, with how different sounds are closer to one ear than the other? It’s supposed to create a balance of sound, similar to how a band or orchestra is at concerts. If you’ve ever seen the seating arrangement at, say, an orchestra, you’ll notice how they’re organized in different sections. Instruments with similar sounds will sit opposite from each other, and the louder and lower instruments are in the back, with the smaller and higher instruments in the front. It’s the same with a band of drums, bass, guitars, and vocals. You’ll usually see them in certain spots, and that’s not random. Imagine if the vocals were in the far right, and the drums right up front, with the bass at the far left. That would sound pretty weird, right? This is an example of why audio levels are something that’s necessary to have a good track.

More important things in audio mixing are compression and EQ (equalization), alongside things like reverb and delay. Basically, these are the things that even out the tracks and make sure that everything can be heard. For example, if you have some soft sound, like a whisper, and a loud sound, like a snap, and you want both to be heard, then compression and EQ helps with this by being able to adjust the frequencies.

 

 

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