Mixing and Mastering - The Music Gateway Bible
17 January 2017 ·
Why is a fully mixed & mastered song important for sync?
When trying to get your song selected for sync it is incredibly important to present it in the best way possible. To do this you must ensure your mixing & mastering is of high quality.
Think of it just like first impressions, you don’t get another chance and done poorly, they won’t take the time to get to know your song.
Mixing is the process of panning the different tracks and adjusting the levels (EQ, Compressor and other plugins) so that everything is heard the way you want it to be.
Mastering is the final polish on a song, it’s adjusting the levels of the whole song rather than individual tracks. This is to battle some imbalances from the mix and to enhance certain characteristics fitting for the song.
Both Mixing and mastering are creative processes and there is not one right way of doing it,
it all depends on what the goal/story of the song is. When you are trying to land a sync deal, the mixing and mastering can truly make it or break it.
If you want to know more about what mixing and mastering is and how to utilise it, we previously
posted an article which you can read here.
Let’s get right into it.
How can mixing & mastering help you get a sync deal and why is it important?
To answer this question it is important to remember that music supervisors receive an amazing quantity of music everyday from talented artists, just like you!
Having a high quality, fully mixed & mastered song is not only needed to separate yourself from the rest, it is a requirement to compete.
Given this, a music supervisor is a very busy person, there is no time or resources allocated to curate an unpolished track into a finished product for their show/ad/movie.
Going back to the reference of first impressions, if a track is poor quality sonically, the supervisors will not give your song a chance. Sentric Music publishing’s Simon Pursehouse simply put it; “I’m sent an astonishing amount of music which simply sounds terrible”. He explains that it is not because of personal preference, in fact a publisher or music supervisor has to work with a lot of different projects including all kinds of different genres. It simply boils down to the level of songwriting and, equally important, the quality of the mix and master.
Midem, the leading music business event which attracts the crème de la crème industry professionals did a session on how to reach a music supervisors’ heart. Unsurprisingly one of the big takeaways was the production quality, “Supervisors might only have time to listen to 30 seconds of any song. It is important that you ensure that your song has a strong hook, unique vocals and is professionally mixed and mastered.”.
Sentric Music did a Q&A with various professionals working in UK TV and Movie Trailers and they, following a question on how important mastering is, said: “Mastering is vital. TV sound is a tightly regimented world & if you’re track is not mastered it’s not going to be used. The quality of the sound is as important as the content of the track.”
They also highlighted another point about mastering, it can make your track sound better, but it is not a tool to polish a turd. It is important to have the mix done correctly to ensure that the song sounds as good as it can.
Why does it matter for your song to have the right mixing & mastering?
Creative mixing and mastering can give you a sonic edge.
One of the more important aspects of sync is creating the right song, if you can demonstrate your understanding of the story and the message even further with the mix & master you can establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with!
Thinking about your sound visually can sometimes be the right thing to do, create a sonic landscape which enhances the story, make sure that the music supervisor knows straight away that you understand the vision.
By now you hopefully understand why mixing and mastering your songs matter. If you realise the importance but don’t have the facilities or knowledge to get a proper mix & master done, don’t despair!
Music Gateway has a big amount of fantastic members with different skills, such as post-production, who can help you with your track. Posting on the marketplace is a good way to form relationships and evolve your music together. You can start using it here:
The Music Gateway team have been working hard over the years to deliver opportunities to our members across a number of fields, including sync. We’re now expanding our range of services to include the newly launched Sync Portal.
We’re working with some of the best Music Supervisors across TV, Films, & Gaming, & have an exclusive channel into a large number of Advertising Agencies. The Sync Portal is a way for our members to have their music represented by Music Gateway, so we’re doing all the heavy lifting, trying to get your music placed!
Long story short, if you own 100% of your master & publishing rights, and you want to expand the opportunities your music is available to, then the sync portal may be right up your street.
There’s more information on the Sync Portal here.
To join the sync portal, create your free Music Gateway account here.