Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Picture says 1000 Words

As audio artists, we tend to rely on our hearing to determine how well a mix is coming out. This may work, if you understand the basics of mixing and mastering, but whilst you´re still learning, seeing if a track looks right can help you more. Below is a picture of one of my earlier recordings...

It looks alright, it has what one expects, a few sharp drum peaks with lower hanging notes. But when you compare this to a professional recording like the pictrue below, taken from AFI´s Love Like Winter, my recording is like taking a pocket knife into a sword fight.

In this recording, the track has been mastered loudly, with a large percentage of the song between -2 to 0 dB. Note however, that there is no clipping of the bulgy melodic parts, only the drum peaks have been hard limited.

So, I encourage you to plug your favourite band´s best song into Audacity and see what it looks like. What remains is how to get your songs looking more like the ones you like. For this and more...tune in next time!

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