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Music Production Services
Audio Mixing - Audio Mastering 

We offer professional high quality audio mixing services and audio mastering services.

You can listen to the projects that Vicious Antelope have been part of in our projects page here

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Audio Mixing Services

Audio mixing is the process of combining multiple audio signals to produce a final stereo sound mix. The art and science of audio mixing has evolved over decades through technological advances in sound recording and reproduction equipment as well as changes in musical styles. While audio mixing may be a simple concept at its core, there are many different techniques and tools that can be used to create a final mix. These tools can include equalizers, compressors, limiting devices, and other effects hardware or software.

I am a sound engineer and I have been working in this field for over 5 years. I have been through many sound mixing processes, including analog, digital and software-based mixing.

Whatever the method for mixing or whichever tools a sound engineer uses has no importance - the only important thing is the final result. In my core of mixing procedure I mostly mix ITB to get the precision I need and I combine it with some analog hardware goodies to add coloration and interesting sonic characteristics to the mix. My main genres are rock, progressive rock, metal, cinematic, electronic music, folk and pop. 

The most important aspects for a great mix

Balance In Audio Mixing

Volume balance is a crucial element of any audio mix, as it is one of the aspects that dictates the quality of the final sound. Volume balance refers to how different instruments volumes are distributed in relation to one another.

Typically this is the first step I take for every mix I work on after cleaning my tracks from unwanted noises and artifacts. Each different genre has its own peculiarities in this field. This derives from the main instruments that are deeply tied with the particular genre.

A second thing to consider is the very needs of the musician(s) and composers of the track. It is a major element to my mixing final goals. 

Stereo Placement In Audio Mixing

Within this step I also take some decisions of the panning of each different record. Here there are some rules to be considered. The whole thing about the placement in the stereo field or the vertical and horizontal axis as I prefer to call, is to create a nice panorama where each different instrument finds its own place in those 2 dimensions of the sound field.

Frequency Balance

It is crucial for a professional mix to give each instrument the color it deserves. All the instruments have their own characteristics within the frequency domain so they need their unique manipulation. The most important tool for this step is the equailizer - there are many types of EQ. Digital clean ones, emulation of hardware units with extra coloration and of course the hardware units.

While recording through console each instrument carries the coloration that the console gives with its electronic components. Today within the digital domain it could be very ease to record neutral without extra character of hardware stuff. Although we could also add some coloration coming from software even while recording.

Also the microphones are coloring the incoming signal with their own way that is different for each one.

Using equalizer while mixing is a different approach. We have to be more precise and now we have to take our decisions always in relation with all the other instruments. Eqing one instrument individually, may sound great for it as its own but in the whole project it may not sound proper.

So equing is a very dynamical aspect and also it has a vast field of artistic touch and experimentation - always within some rules that exist.

Dynamics In Audio Mixing

Dynamics in audio is the way that sound changes over time. Dynamic range is the difference between the loudest and softest sounds, or the difference between the highest and lowest volume levels. 

The higher the difference the more dynamic the song is while the lower the difference the less dynamic ( aka flat dynamics) the song is. There are also rules here regarding to the genre we mix. Also while overcompressing stuff and the sound is flat - something with negative impact and fatiguing result - the same goes when the mix has a vast amout of dynamic range in dB. The latter leads to a track that while we can listen to the parts with the highest amplitude when it goes lower in volume it is hard to listen to anything so we have to turn the volume knob up - then when the higher volume comes again we have to turn the volume down now.

So the whole thing about the dynamic balance of the track is to find the sweet spot where it will not be flat and in the same moment we will not have to play with the volume know while listening to the track. The last years there is a trend to less and less dynamics and this is something to consider as well. There are a lot of parameters to check like the genre also. Jazz music has different needs in this field from electronic music and progressive rock needs more dynamics than a heavy metal song. Of course those are the typical genre-based occasions, sometimes breaking the rules could lead to something great.

The main tools for crafting the dynamics are compressors and limiters. There are many different types of compressors like optical, FET, VCA and VariMu while the most digital software compressors that are not emulating a specific hardware unit are cleaner and offers more precise. Beside compressors and limiters there are other tools to craft the dynamics like dynamic EQs, transient shapers (they focus on the start point of each soundwave) , de-essers (focused on the higher frequencies and they are a specific tool for vocals and sometimes hats and drum overheads) and also the saturation / distortion devices affects the dynamic range.

While the most important decisions over the dynamics of a track are taken in mastering step it is more than important to have a mix with great dynamics. Only in this way we can have a nice sounding professional result.

Space and Depth in Audio Mixing

This is what I like to say the sonic dimenstion that lies on the depth axis. The deeper the track the richer the listening experience. In this step we decide how far or how close will the sound be placed in relation to our ears. Different frequencies take different placement in this axis by themselves. Higher frequencies tend to be placed closer to our ears while lowe ones are going deeper.

For crafting the depth of a track we have plenty tools. The main are reverbs and delays but I also use all the time the equalizer to add or reduce depth of an individual aspect. Here are also some rules to considered - the most extreme is that we cannot add reverb to a bass sounding record, this will ruin our mix.

The are many different types of reverbs and delays that give a vast toolset to help us create the desired depth in a mix.


This is maybe the most artistic part of a mixing procedure. Excitement for a mix is a very important benefit that could draw the attention of a listener. I personally try to add excitement with many many ways.

One of my favorites is to change the volume intensity in different sections of a track. A typical kind of this is to add 0.5 to 1.5 dB to the chorus part to make it stand over the other parts. While this amount of gain is small it makes a difference.

Other ways to add excitement is to add richer harmonics within the sound - my favorite tools for that are saturators, distortions, waveshapers, colored compressors or equalizers and analog consoles modelled plugins.

I also rely a lot on modulation plugins to add an extra dimension to my mixes, Chorus, flanger, phaser, vocal doubplers, ring modulation, amplitude modulation are important weapons when it comes to create a diverse sonic result.

Coherence In Audio Mixing

All of the above have to result on a coherent sonic stereo output. If not then the mix will sound very ugly and amateur.

It is common to add a glueish compressor to the final bus of the mix to tighten up things and color them in a way they sound as one. 

Although this is not my typical method - I prefer to craft the mix throughout the whole procedure in a way that in the end will sound as one. I all the time take notes, writing some goals I have, always in combination of the artist needs, and recall them while mixing. I want to craft the character of the mix in my mind from the very first steps.

Final Thoughts About Audio Mixing

The steps above are not the rule. Audio mixing is a dynamic procedure. Making a change in a eq setting of the bass to sound better may lead to the need to also change some aspects of the Drum Kick's equalizing settings.


Being organized from the beginning is my only way to walk on the line I created for the mix I work for.  

As final thoughts for mixing is that it is a very artistic and complex procedure which needs knowledge of the tools software or hardware, which needs to stay organized throughout and craft the desired goal from the start and which needs to have some great sonic elements in quality to be professional. Also having in mind that this is not the final part of the production of a track is very important.

My Typical Mixing Process

  • Speak with the artist/band to understand his/their goals

  • Organize all indinvidual records

  • Learn the structure of a track

  • Clear unwanted stuff from recorded tracks

  • Volume balancing among all individual elements

  • Stereo Imaging of all instruments and vocals

  • Frequency balancing (EQ) of each channel

  • Dynamics (Compressors, Limiters, Dynamic EQ) in macro and micro dimenstion

  • Add Space and Depth (Reverb, Delay, Eq) that works well

  • Add excitement with subtle intensity variations of the different sections, saturation and modulation effects among others

  • Glue in one coherent result 

  • Each step may affect previous steps

  • Print stereo ready for the mastering engineer

Our equipment for Audio Mixing 

DAW : Pro Tools, Harrison Mixbus, Ableton Live

Monitors: Genelec

Interface: UAD Apollo

Hardware units

We could use the harware units below for audio mixing

  • 1176 Compressor

  • LA2A Compressor

  • Bettermaker Buss Compressor

  • 1084 CA

  • Elysia Nvelope

  • Elysia Karacter

  • Elysia Xpressor

  • Gyraf Compressor

  • Elysia Museq

  • Distopik EQP-1A

  • SSL 4000 type  VCA compressor

  • Precision Series FET Limiter

  • Elysia Xfilter

  • Studer A812

  • Gravity VCA Bus Compressor

Software Equipment

  • RX by Izotope for cleaning records when needed

  • Izotope plugins (Neutron, Nectar, insight, Excalibur, Nimbus, R4, Trash 2, Ozone - actually Ozone is a mastering tool but it includes some great individual effects for mixing puproses)

  • Plugin Alliance plugins ( Acme, AMEK EQ200, Black Box Analog HG-2, BXbluechorus, BXcleanSweep Pro, BXboom, AMEK 9099 console, Focusrite SC console, Console N, rooMS, Subfilter, TownHouse Buss Compressor, BAX Eq, Elysia alpha, niveau filter, Lindell, Maag Eq4, De-Verb plus, EQ Ranger Plus, SPL Iron, SPL Passeq, SPL Vitalizer, Hawk Eye, Vertigo VSM3 among others)

  • Native Instruments Plugins (Driver, Enchanced EQ, Phasis, RAUM, RC24, RC48, Replica XT, Solid Bus, Solid Dynamics, Solid EQ, Supercharger GT, Transient Master, Vari Comp, Vc2A, VC 76, VC160 among others)

  • UAD Plugins (API Vicious Channel Collection, Manley Voxbox, Raw Distortion, UA 610A, UA 610B, Teletronix LA 2A, UA 1176 Limiter, Studer A800, Presicion Enhancer, LL IBP, Helios Type 69 EQ, UA1176LN , UA1176SE, Pulteq EQ, Fairchild 670, RealVerb Pro, Pulteq EPQ-1A and Precision Mix Rack Collection) 

  • Waves Plugins ( Abbey Road Chanbers, Abbey Road Plates, Aphex Vintage Exciter, API-2500, AR TG, Berzerk Distortion, Brauer Motion, Butch Vig Vocals, Echosphere, CLA Epic, dbx-160, Doppler, Doubler, GEQ classic and modern, H-Comp, H-Delay, H- Reverb, IR-L, J37, Kaleidoscopes, Kramer HLS, Kramer Tape, L3, Lofi Space, Magma lil tube, MannyM Toneshaper, Maserati ACg, MaxxVolume, MetaFlanger, MV2, NLS, NS1, OVox, PuigChild, PuigTec, RBass, RDesser, REDD17, REDD37, Reel ADT, S1, Scheps 73, Sibilance, Soundshifter, SSL Channel, SSL Comp, SSL G Channel, SubMarine, Supertap and Waves Tune Real Time). 

  • FabFilter Pro Q3

  • Soundtoys Decapitator, Deviloc, 

  • Hornet Plugins (Analog Stage, Sybilla Pro, Graffio and many other)

  • Klanghelm MJUC

  • Klevgrand Brusfri

  • MCDSP DE555 and Futzbox

  • Melda Production (MRing Modulator MB, MVintageRotary, MDynamicEq, MAutoAlign, MDynamics)  

  • Sonnox Inflator

  • TBProAudio DSEQ

  • Toneboosters Dual VCF

  • Sugarbytes complete bundle

  • Valhalla DSP Valhalla Room

  • Youlean Loudness Meter 2

  • NomadFactory DrumTools

  • SoniVox Vocalizer Pro

  • Arturia (Bus Force, Chorus Dimension D, Chorus JUN-6, Comp DIODE-609, Comp FET-76, Comb TUBE-STA, Comp VCA-65, Delay Brigade, Delay Eternity, Delay Tape-201, Dist OPAMP-21, Dist TUBE-CULTURE, EFX Fragments, EQ SITRAL-295, Filter M12, Filter MINI, Filter SEM, Flanger BL-20, Phase BI-TRON, PRE 1973, PRE TriDa, Pre V76, Rev Intensity, Rev Plate-140, Rev Spring-636, Tape Mello-Fi, Filter MS-20)

  • Metric Halo Dirty Delay

  • CableGyus (PanCake, ShaperBox time, drive and volume devices)

  • DADA Life (Sausage Fattener, Endless Smile)

  • SSL Native Drumstrip

  • SIR Audio Tools Standard Clip

  • AudioThing Wavebox

  • Unfiltered Audio ( Fault, instant Delay, NeedlePoint, Snadman Pro, Triad)

  • Output Movement

  • BEN/SCHULZ Spectrum2

  • Celemony Melodyne Assistant

  • Stock Plugins by Ableton , Cubase, Wavelab Pro and Pro Tools - some of them are really great and more than useful

*Reamping services through a Kemper Amp is also available. If you need any other amp please let us know.

Please contact us at:

Audio Mastering Services

Audio mastering is a process of adding the finishing touches to a recorded song. It includes adjusting the macro levels, equalizing and enhancing sound quality. Audio mastering is an important part of the production process for any recording artist. It helps to ensure that the sound quality is high enough for listeners and that songs are optimized for playback on different devices from mobile phones to high fidelity systems. In a few words it is a process of finalizing the sound of audio in order to meet the requirements of the medium it will be used for.

It is a very different thing from mixing so it needs a different approach. In this production step we craft the track at its whole rather than the individual instruments the track consist of.

The most important aspects for a great master

Overall Loudness In Audio Mastering

Overall loudness of a track is very important today in the era of the online music platforms. Different songs from different bands mastered by different mastering engineers are now in the same place for the listener. Listen to your favorite band and then skip to another band where the latter song is mastered in lower volume will disrupt the listening experience - we have to turn the volume up. Back in time when we were listening CDs or Vinyl and tapes the only reference was the album itself. Now the game has changed.

We have to find the perfect balance to make our track sound the same in volume with other artists and bands tracks. I say the perfect balance because this one is heavy related with the dynamic region of the whole song. Increasing the loudness tends to reduce the dynamics and make them flatter. The sweet spot stands where both perceived overall loudness and dynamics of the track serve the listening experience in today's standards.

Generraly the mastering step has a lot of rules to follow - it is less artistic by mixing and it depends more to technical rules. 

The Overall Perceived Loudness is counted in LUFS and there are some standards that Spotify, iTunes, Youtube and other platforms suggest for their own enviroment. 

Deciding for the desired loudness level is something that I do before start mastering!

Tonal Balance In Audio Mastering

This step includes the final touches in the frequency map in a macro way - every decision has now huge impact to the whole track as in mastering we work with whole track and not with individual parts of it. That's why a great mix with great frequency balance among all their parts is crucial to achieve a professional result. In audio mastering we mainly do some subtle corrections using EQ filters with round proportionals and not extreme shapes - as this could be possible if we use a reverse peak-like EQ filter to reduce in a deeper way and maybe with more than 4-5 dB reduction, a small range of frequencies. If we need to do the latter then we could say that the mix isn't proper in the first place, but generally this thing happens sometimes.

The main purpose of adjusting intensity in the frequency map is to give a subtle new character to the track, to make all different tracks in an album to sound more coherent or to fix some minor issues of the mix - if the issues are not minor then remixing the track is the only way. Mastering step doesn't do miracles, a great mix is crucial.

On of the most important tools for this step is mainly the EQ but also other effects like MultiBand compression or some saturation effects can influence the tonal balance.

Using 2 stages of EQ is also very usual - one for crafting the edges of the frequency map on the lower and higher parts of it and finally one for formulating the in between frequencies

Macro Dynamics In Audio Mastering

The Dynamics of a track in the mastering step can only be manipulated on its whole entity. The same principles like audio mixing section are applied here. The more the difference between louder and softer parts the more dynamic the song, the less the difference the less dynamic the song. The huge difference beside working on the song as a whole is the relation of the range with the loudness level. In mix we do not care for this aspect - this is a mastering work to be done and be crafted.

Overcompressing things could add more and more dB's but the song will sound so flat and fatiguing. 

The most common and useful tool for this step is the multiband compressor - separate 3-4 or more frequency bands and apply different compression to each individual region. Using a single compressor is also do the job but not with the precision we need - I all the time use Multiband Compressors for this task.

Stereo Imaging In Audio Mastering

In Mastering it is not common to work with the depth of the track - this should be done in the mixing section. Although we could add some touches on the Stereo Imaging, mainly in a corrective way. This step is frequency based - the lower the frequencies the best to place it in the center while the higher frequencies could be distributed to the left and right places of the stereo field.

A good mix most of the times doesn't need additional correction to stereo imaging - although in our days many mastering engineers adjust the imaging a bit according to their taste.

Coloration In Audio Mastering

Color furthermore the master is very common. Passing the master through a vintage tape is a common thing to add some warmth. Using some saturation units to add more harmonics is also a thing. 

Although the coloration of the mix can be great adding some richer timbres in a macro way may make a huge difference for better listening experience.

Peak Manipulation In Audio Mastering - Dithering

The peaks of the track should never be more than 0 dBfs in the digital domain - this adds awful digital distortion with ugly sonic results.

Using a brickwall limiter in the end of our mastering chain we protect our equipment and guarantee for a digital distortion-free result.


Well maybe Brickwall Limiter is not the last part sometimes. When we work in 24bits depth and we want to release the master in a cd we have to reduce the bitdepth to 16bits. For avoiding distortion by this reduction with dithering we add a small amount of noise to the signal itself to cover probable unwanted sonic artifacts.

Coherence In Audio Mastering

Each music album has it own identity, deriving by the sonic character of the tracks. One of the main obligations of mastering section is to craft a coherent result so the listener can tell that the songs are a real part of this album. Adding different soundcolors or achieving different loudness levels among songs result in a bad mastering - to an album that finally sounds disparate. 

Final Thoughts About Audio Mastering

Audio mastering is a crucial part of music production. It is the stage where our track is getting ready to be released to the out world, to our listeners.

As a step it has a lot of rules to follow fot creating a really great result but it also has some experimentation field. There are many aspects to be considered when mastering from balancing the frequencies to craft the best possible dynamics while keep the loudness level in today's profesional standards.

My Typical Mastering Process

  • Speak with the artist/band to understand his/their goals

  • Decide for the final Loudness Level

  • Balancing the tone of the track with subtle EQ adjustments

  • Crafting dynamics in relation with the wanted final loudness level

  • Correcting the stereo imaging when necessary

  • Subtle olorize the track running through a tape or maybe with some saturation

  • Ensure that peaks (I work with true peak most of the times) are never clipping digitally

  • Dither where necessary

  • Ensure that all tracks of one album have a distinctive sonic character for homogenity

  • Each step may affect previous steps

  • Print stereo master according to the medium of the release 

Our equipment for Audio Mastering 

DAW : Wavelab Pro

Monitors: Genelec

Interface: UAD Apollo

Hardware units

We could use the harware units below for audio mixing

  • 1176 Compressor

  • Bettermaker Mastering Limiter

  • Elysia Karacter

  • Elysia Xpressor

  • Distopik Precision Series Mastering EQ

  • Precision Series FET Limiter

  • Elysia Xfilter

  • Studer A812

Software Equipment

  • RX by Izotope for cleaning records when needed

  • Izotope Ozone 

  • Plugin Alliance plugins ( Acme, AMEK EQ200, Black Box Analog HG-2, BXcleanSweep Pro,  AMEK 9099 console, Focusrite SC console, Console N, TownHouse Buss Compressor, BAX Eq, SPL Iron, SPL Passeq, SPL Vitalizer, Hawk Eye, Vertigo VSM3)

  • UAD Plugins (API Vicious Channel Collection, UA 610A, UA 610B, UA 1176 Limiter, Studer A800, Presicion Enhancer, Helios Type 69 EQ, UA1176LN , UA1176SE, Pulteq EQ, Fairchild 670, Pulteq EPQ-1A ) 

  • Waves Plugins ( Aphex Vintage Exciter, API-2500, dbx-160,  GEQ classic and modern,  J37,  Kramer HLS, Kramer Tape, L3,  PuigTec, REDD17, REDD37, Reel ADT, S1, Scheps 73, SSL Channel, SSL Comp, SSL G Channel). 

  • FabFilter Pro Q3

  • Soundtoys Decapitator

  • Hornet Plugins (Analog Stage, Thirty-One, Tape, Harmonics Pro)

  • Klanghelm MJUC

  • Melda Production MDynamics  

  • Sonnox Inflator

  • TBProAudio DSEQ

  • Youlean Loudness Meter 2

  • SIR Audio Tools Standard Clip

  • BEN/SCHULZ Spectrum2

  • Stock Plugins by  Wavelab Pro

Please contact us at:

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