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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
So after you have all of your sounds recorded in, and you have done edits to line them up and get them cleaned up the way you want, it's time to start mixing. This is a crucial stage in the audio production process. So it merits talking about it, and in this chapter that's what we'll look at. So what is mixing? Well, it's determining the relationship between multiple sounds. It's that point where you kind of take all the different things you have there and figure out what their relationship is going to be to each other. You take all of the sounds that you have and everything that you are working with and you go in and you try and make each one sound as good as it can, but you also are thinking about what's the relationship of all these sounds together? You are working on setting up kind of the balance between all these sounds and creating kind of the sonic space that they are going to live in.
This is ultimately what kind of determines the final character of your audio production. You will go in and make the bass guitar sound a little bit bassier, you will turn the pan flute a little bit, make some EQ changes to things like the tambourine, maybe change the tonal character of the voice in the voiceover, make sure that the EQ and the music that you're writing up under your podcast is good and it's not too thumpy and it's even. You'll make a lot of tweaks, you will add some compression, use a lot of plug- ins to change or manipulate your sounds so that they blend well together.
So finally once we got this mix set up and we have kind of established all the levels and the relationship between everything, we are going to take all those tracks and bounce them down to a final mix down. We are going to generate either a mono or stereo file that is the product, or the sum of all the different tracks combined. So the mixing is the process of determining what that final file is going to sound like, and that's the file that will end up on the CD, or we'll take and put in your MP3 player, or go listen to in your living room. So the mix down is a crucial stage.
So let's start by taking a look at some of the objectives you want to keep in mind when you're mixing.
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