As much as we love lo-fi beats and the grit of a vinyl record, we fully appreciate the craft of mixing and mastering. Madvillainy, Champion Sound, Knxwledge’s releases for Stones Throw (at the very least) – they’ve all been mixed and mastered. Most beatmakers loathe this task and just don’t bother. If you’re lucky enough to get someone to do it for you, kudos! It’s not going to be free though, and why should it be? Mixing and mastering is equally as important as composition and shouldn’t be overlooked.
But what if you want to do it yourself? It takes years to hone your craft in this department but that’s not practical unless you want to make a career out of it. We need some quick but enriching advice here. Thank goodness for the generosity of the internet. Reddit user thedawnsound put together two quick mastering guides for our perusal. The first one looks at how to make a “5 minute master” for those who “don’t want to pay the $5 for LANDR“. The second guide looks at the difference in sound quality between Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and Spotify with regards to your final masters. The latter is especially important as the lo-fi community rely heavily on these services so a reduction in quality past the point you were going for will leave your music sounding poor.
As I’m sure thedawnsound would agree, a professional mix/master will always sound better but this isn’t available to everyone. Simple ideas like these can help produce decent sound quality and expand your knowledge as a producer or aspiring engineer.