January 21, 2020
Online mixing is the process of mixing, editing, and treating tracks in order to arrive at a finished record over the internet. Individual tracks are sent to a professional sound engineer via the internet, before they are modified and combined using industry-leading software and a customised recording environment. The end result is a record that sounds like it’s fresh out of the studio – even if you’ve never stepped into one. What exactly happens to your track between sending it off and getting it back though? Here are some of the processes it undergoes to come out crystal clear and ready to share.
We listen to music these days mostly through stereo or multi-channel sound fields – think about your headphones, tv, computer, or the cinema. This means each element of a record has a sense of space and direction. Sounds can be placed to the left, right, or centre of your aural field. Panning is the process of spreading the position of each instrument within this field to achieve balance, and make the listener feel as though they’re sitting right in front of the music.
EQ is essentially the process of altering the frequencies of different instruments to avoid muddy sound and emphasise certain parts of the track. By altering the frequencies in a drum section, for example, you can make it sound more sharp and aggressive, or give the impression of a larger room. Whilst there’s a lot of free online software that deals with EQ, studios like Kore will have a range of equaliser hardware to use – choosing which one works best for you depends on your music’s genre, or what sound you’re aiming for.
There are a number of effects that can be used to enhance your track or create a certain tone. Here are some of the main ones:
Vocal Tuning – This involves analysing the ‘shape’ of a singer, and subtly adjusting the frequency at points to hit the right notes at the right time.
Drum Editing – Isolating and strengthening specific drum sections, and possibly replacing them if necessary. This ensures the kick drum, snare, and cymbals all sound right together and carry the beat forward.
Compression – A fundamental part of mixing, compression is reducing the dynamic range between the loudest and quietest elements of a record. There are various factors to take into account with compression, and different compressors are better than others for specific styles. As with EQ, using a professional studio for online mixing gives you access to a wide range of compressors, ensuring the right one is used for your music.
Apart from having access to industry-standard hardware and the expertise of an experienced sound engineer, having your music mixed online also brings the possibility of professional re-amping.
Re-amping is running the DI feed – this is a direct-inject ‘clean’ signal taken from the guitar/bass before it hits the pedalboard or amplifier – through another set of amps, and recording the sound. Why would you do this? Well, it’s likely the amps of a professional studio are better than the ones you recorded with, and putting the original track through them will instantly improve the sound.
It also means that you can concentrate on the performance rather than the sound on the original recording. Whilst the core elements of the track will be in place, re-amping gives more space to explore other sounds organically before going into mixing and effects.
Quality from afar
Online mixing is a cost-effective, flexible way to get your record sounding like it’s come straight from the studio. And in a way, it has. By sending your tracks to a professional sound engineer online, you’ll benefit not only from years of experience with established musicians, but also from access to industry-leading software and hardware, as well as the studio itself.
Kore Studios is one of the UK’s only recording studios to offer a fully-customisable online mixing service. Our seasoned sound engineers have access to industry-leading recording technologies, as well as rare vintage hardware, to ensure your tracks achieve the sound you want. Get in contact with us to see how we can make your record ready for release using online mixing.