All of you heard of such a profession as a sound mixer. But do you know what exactly these people do in a recording studio? Let’s watch the curious process of song recording.
The process of creating an audio track consists of four stages:
– editing and montage;
It is the process of recording the instruments and vocal. This is the most important stage. A sound mixer’s aim is to convey the sound of the instruments in a record as accurately as possible. To achieve this he must know all characteristics of each instrument, as well as what microphone is better to be used for them and in what position it should be.
Musicians may be recorded either separately or together. In any case, the task of a sound mixer is to get the record of each instrument clean and separated from the other sounds.
That’s why musicians use headphones in the studio. In this way they can hear their colleagues and a metronome.
The higher quality of the parties they perform the less work a sound mixer will have to do on the next steps and the better result will be in the end.
After accumulation there are a lot of separate audio tracks on the computer. They must be laid into one track.
2. Editing and montage
On the stage of accumulation several doubles of each instrument and vocal are usually recorded. On the stage of editing a sound mixer chooses the best ones.
However, it often happens that there is no perfectly played or sung piece. In this case a sound mixer has to edit the already existing ones. The drums are always edited in the program as no drummer can play perfectly – he always accelerates or slows down a little bit. Many singers too often take false notes which are corrected by a sound mixer.
In the end of this stage he has a fully edited session where each instrument plays smoothly and without errors.
Joining is the process in which each instrument takes its position in a musical composition. It can be compared with cooking. You should focus not on the recipe but on your own taste.
Imagine that you are given a certain set of products (you did not choose them) and you need to make a tasty dish of them. You decide in what proportions you should combine certain products, what spices and how much of them you should put into the dish. Here everything’s almost the same.
You should mix all the components into one dish with the help the mixing console.
Often musicians themselves know in what proportions they want to hear the instruments.
It is the final stage of recording. The signal that a sound mixer receives after joining don’t still correspond to today’s standards. It is not loud enough and its frequency characteristic isn’t smooth enough. That’s when the special devices of mastering procession are used. They customize the joined tracks to a single standard of volume and tone that are pleasant to our ears.
On the screen you can see a chart of the frequency characteristic of the track. Ideally these columns should be approximately of the same height.
That’s how the tracks which everybody got so used to are recorded by professionals.