For those who want a high quality sounding, polished final product a Multi-Track recording is the only option
In short, Multi-Track recording is the term used to describe the layering or overdubbing of multiple, separately “tracked” instruments over one another. Through the process of Mixing & Mastering the different tracks are “Faded”, “Panned”, “EQ’d” and “Compressed” etc to produce a high quality recording, ready for release.
How Does A Multi-Track Recording Work?
Tracking: Each instrument is generally tracked separately and in complete isolation. The musicians/performers use either a “click track”, or the parts tracked prior to their turn, for reference.
Mixing: Once all the instruments, vocals and any synth parts have been tracked the important process of Mixing can begin. Please note, this process takes time and is an extremely important part of the overall production process. The Mixing process is how the majority of the production value and professional sound quality is applied to the recording. The mixing process is also another stage where the artist can advise the engineer of the sound there are looking for and through the implementation of mixing techniques, outboard equipment and plug-ins the engineer can strive to achieve it. The Mixing process must not be underestimated and should be considered by anyone looking to budget for a Multi-Track recording as it can catch people out.
Mastering: Once the song is mixed the final mix can then be Mastered. Mastering is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device (the master); the source from which all copies will be produced (via methods such as pressing, duplication or replication).