Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Nowadays, there is a widespread perception amongst musicians who are beginning out that mixing and mastering is a craft that is easy to pick up and will help them churn out radio-ready tracks if they do it by themselves. So is this true? Well, let’s take it this way: While it is possible to mix & master by yourself, there is plenty of effort and time involved in song mixing and mastering. Many musicians do not have enough time on their hands to learn how to mix and master songs. Learning how to professionally mix and master songs takes years of trial and testing to eventually be able to produce professional quality mixed tracks. There are three major reasons why musicians who use online mixing and mastering services choose to use professionals for perfecting their tracks:
When you start off with learning how to mix and master, there is a high chance of damaging the overall mix by making edits based on limited knowledge of the DAW that you are using. This could be difficult to fix during later stages of the mixing process.
Professional mixing and mastering professionals have been doing the same processes repetitively for years. They understand every aspect of the digital audio interface that they are working on. Most of them have acquired professional audio engineering licenses and have an intense level of learning on both technical and practical aspects of music.
It can take a beginner multiple hours more to perfect a track when compared to getting it done using a professional mix and mastering service. If you use a professional mixing service, the hours dedicated by a professional would probably be about one-tenth of what time it would take anyone else.
Now, there are plenty of websites which provide online mastering and mixing services. There are a whole variety of services ranging from Free Artificial intelligence based mixing and mastering services (such as E-mastered and Landr) to more professional level services that are higher up on the cost spectrum. It can take a great deal of research to find the best service for your needs for creating the best online music mixing experience. What is important here is to understand certain elements of their service such as the cost per track, turnaround time to get the job done, the difference brought into the track (by analysing before and after soundtracks of the service), and the ease of sharing tracks through the website.
So, does that mean that you should only depend on online mixing and mastering services to get your track radio ready? Well, it depends. For one, it will depend on how much time you have on your hands. Secondly, it will also depend on the level of musician that you are. If you are a musician who produces music as a part time hobby, getting professional quality might not be your biggest priority. However, if you create music as a serious passion or profession, you might want to get the best version of your music out.