Making a Record, Album or Single
Making a record, single or album are old term from the vinyl days still used today. Regardless of whether it is a CD or a collection of MP3 files for digital distribution, making a record involves basically 4 steps.
This is the process of capturing your performance onto a physical medium. Today most recording is done on computers using DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. There are many ways to capture your performances. That is all recording is, capturing your performance.
Mixing is the process of putting all your recorded tracks of your performances together to create usually a stereo mix of your performances. After recording all performances (tracks) and tracks are edited as individual parts. The mixing process begins. The mixing-process consists of various processes but is not limited to setting levels, setting equalization, using stereo panning, and the addition of effects. The way the song is mixed has as much impact on the way it sounds as each of the individual parts that have been recorded. Dramatic impacts on how the song affects the listeners can be created by minor adjustments in the relationship among the various performances (tracks) within the song. Mixing is the glue to that holds your performances together.
Taking your mixed stereo or other recorded and mixed performances and polishing them so they sound good on any audio system. The mastering process makes your recorded and mixed performances commercial ready for distribution. Mastering is the glue bringing everything together.
Your recorded, mixed and mastered performances are now ready to be distributed. Distribution has many forms. Distribution can be electronic delivery through sites like iTunes and CDbaby or duplicating or replicating physical CD’s or records.