Mixing down/mastering. Advice/questions.
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So, I've been making beats for nearly 3 years now on/off. I've finally gotten to the stage where I'm comfortable with creating a beat in FL studio (8) but there's one thing which really baffles me, how to mix down and master.
It's like a science or something with a different language I just can't seem to grasp, so I've shunned it which means my beats don't sound as good as they could. For instance, they somehow sound worse when played through soundcloud, compared to within FL studio.
So, does anyone have some good advice, videos or whatever. I remember people saying "It can't go over XX db or it clips"...wtf does all of that mean for instance?
And most of all how do I know if a beat is finally done. It all seems really subjective which I don't like. One analogy I heard was mixing down is like putting all your sounds into a nice fit, but isn't it like that anyway? Then, what's the point of mastering after a good mixdown? I heard Soulja Boy's crank that (multi platinum hit) wasn't mastered, nor was Dizzee's bidc. So is mastering a bit pointless when compared to mixdown, and should I learn the mixdown first?
I am too tired to google, key videos etc would be helpful, or simple explanations. thanks.
EDIT: How different is sampling with this, e.g. vocals and noises.
Last edited by Star2D2; 3rd August '12 at 12:46 AM.