Phase 8: Mix down and mastering (Spring 2017)
After editing and settling the arrangements of the songs, the final stage of the process took place – the mix. Sound technician Roald Råsberg had followed the project since its beginning, and has recorded the sources and several of the responses. This was subsequent to all the arrangements and edits being completed and a rough mix created.
The process for each tune involved Roald spending time fine-tuning the volume and working on panning, reverbs, compressors and a number of other technical details which we cannot go into now. After this, the project leaders listened to the mix and made our final comments, which Roald adjusted accordingly. This phase took eight days.
After mixing the last thing to do was the mastering. This can be seen as polishing, in order to make the music sound good on any speaker. Of course there is a lot more to it than this alone – for example securing levels between each song, and applying an overall equalisation, compressors and so on. The mastering was completed by multi-award winning Björn Engelmann at Cutting Room Studios in Stockholm, Sweden.
We, as project leaders, were present to give directions and input, and we listened through each song before approval. The main producer (Rasch) then commented on anything he wanted to be done differently. When brushing the mix, some levels may peak, and sometimes minor adjustments have to be redone and remastered. If it is a good mix, these tend just to be minor details, easily fixed by sending the various files back and forth digitally. Being present at the mastering stage speeds up this process, since you are then able to discuss the extent to which it is possible to master before remixing a song.