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A recording desk with a microphone and headphones. A recording desk with a microphone and headphones.

What is mixing?

3 min read

This process is carried out by a mixing engineer.

Mixing blends together different sounds captured during the recording process.

What is mixing?

Mixing is the process where a mixes all the separate recorded tracks and blends them together to create a cohesive and balanced . Recorded tracks can include drums, guitars, strings, synths, and any other vocal or instrumental contributions by .

To read more about recording roles, you can explore our Recording topic.

During the mixing process, final decisions are made concerning which contributions make it into the sound recording. The will often work closely with the mixing engineer to select which recorded tracks to use. For example, if there were multiple and multiple recording sessions involved in the making of a single sound recording, it’s possible that one creator played guitar in the first recording session and another played guitar in the second session. If the music producer selects the second creator’s guitar performances for the final mix, the mixing engineer must ensure the correct guitar tracks are used.

The mixing engineer will adjust various recorded tracks levels, the audio, and adding effects like and levels, , and to create a balanced mix. When completed, this mix is sometimes referred to as the final mix.

The music producer will instruct the mixing engineer on which contributions to use and to provide all contributor names of all those involved. The music producer is also responsible for that information being included in the when delivering the sound recording to the and it with the relevant . The mixing engineer is usually responsible for making sure the right contributions make it onto the final mix.

We have more information about metadata, registering, and responsibilities in our Getting Credited and Paid topic.

How does mixing affect rights?

Mixing engineers usually receive compensation for their work from the recording studio, record label, or other sound recording owner and, therefore, don’t have any in the sound recording. In some cases, mixing engineers may manage to negotiate a share, also known as , of the rights and .

Since mixing implies selecting the contributions to the final sound recording, this can determine which performers are entitled to credits and rights in the sound recording and, in some cases, also affect the on the .

To learn more about contributor roles, rights, and royalty splits, visit our Songwriting and Recording topics.

Image credit: Tiffany Orvet