We recently shared a report on how radio is still the most dominant medium for music listening. A lot of people still here and discover a majority of the music they listen to through the radio. Unfortunately, it’s not the best in terms of sound quality.
Because of this, some producers are apt to create remixed versions of their music that are optimized for radio playback. While you don’t always have control over what version of your music a radio station plays, it can be useful to have a radio-optimized mix available for the times when you can control it.
Essentially, all radio stations use a multiband compressor on the music they play. This often results in a very flat dynamic range. You may have noticed this if you’ve ever heard a song on the radio and then listened to it on CD. The radio version sounds squashed .
Expand Your Dynamic Range
The way to counteract this is by creating a version of your mix that has an exaggerated dynamic range. You may want to consider reducing the compression on vocals and then raising their volume. This will maintain the expressiveness of the vocal track while still keeping it from getting lost in the mix.
Focus On The Mids
With radio playback, you’re going to want to make sure the mids of your track are shining through. You do this by making them more present in your mix, almost sounding too forward. You don’t need to worry about the bass as much because it will still be heard (and many car stereos–where people listen most to the radio–tend to be bass heavy).
Automate the Lead Parts
Even if you do a great job of expanding the dynamic range, keeping your midrange in the forefront of things, and allowing the vocals to maintain more musicality and presence; you may still end up losing certain important parts of your mix to the radio station’s compressors. This is where automation comes in.
Automate the parts of your mix that you want to shine at certain points. If you’ve got a guitar solo, you may want to boost its level a bit when it’s time. If there’s a drum fill that keeps the pace moving, you may want to drop some of the other instuments a touch to allow it to take prominence.
You can better your chances of having your track sound good over the radio by creating an alternate mix of your music. Stick with these basic three tips and you’ll be on the right track for creating a solid radio mix.
Make Pro Songs
Welcome to Sage Audio — where we’ve been providing top-tier studio mastering services and audio education for over two decades now. We understand the challenges of achieving that elusive "professional" sound and are committed to helping you attain it in your own mixes and masters.
That’s why we created the Sage Audio Membership™.
Just for signing up, you receive 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated mastering engineer, unlimited mixing feedback, and access to Sage Audio University™ mixing and mastering courses - which include start-to-finish walkthrough sessions for various genres and 35 multitrack sessions for hands-on practice.
This platform is supported by our thriving community and tight-knit network of audio engineers. Every day, we see and hear great wins in the membership from both new and seasoned engineers, noticing a huge improvement in their mixes and masters after joining.
There are 6 unique value-points inside the Sage Audio membership, so let’s go over each one so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
1. 10 Free Mastered Songs Per Month
- Get 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated professional mastering engineer so you can get all your mixes sounding like professional songs.
- All 10 free mastered songs per month will accumulate in your account and will not expire as for as long as you remain a member.
- You’ll get your own dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer to discuss all your project needs 1:1 so they can create custom masters that are specific to you and sound exactly how you want.
- Unlimited revisions with your dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer. As a standard of our service, we are not happy until you are happy with the sound of your masters.
- All masters are delivered as commercial, industry-standard high-resolution 24-bit HD WAV masters so they will sound clean and clear on every platform.
2. Unlimited Mixing Feedback
- Get unlimited mixing feedback from Sage Audio engineers and community members so you can quickly improve your mixes.
- This is highly valuable - giving you access to a thriving community of mixing engineers who can provide you with feedback about what you can improve first before sending your mix to be professionally mastered.
3. Sage Audio University™ (SAU) — (Mixing and Mastering Education Platform)
- SAU is a modern audio engineering education platform that includes in-depth mixing and mastering course curriculums that match the new music industry.
- SAU is designed for every experience level, ranging from first-time mixing engineers to advanced engineers. The techniques and concepts taught can be applied to any DAW to create industry-leading mixes without expensive software or plugins - and free plugin alternatives are suggested throughout every course curriculum.
- SAU course curriculums include Start-to-Finish session walkthrough lessons for multiple genres so you can follow along with your preferred genre.
- SAU Membership Degree Certification, which can be downloaded and showcased on your website, social channels, and portfolio for as long as you remain a member.
- Get first access to all future SAU course curriculums to continually build and refine your mixing and mastering skills as the industry evolves.
4. Sage Audio Community
- The Sage Audio community is a tight-knit community of passionate audio engineers that can provide you with real-world mixing feedback, discussions, mix competitions, networking, collaborations, and more.
5. 700+ In-depth Sage Audio Mixing and Mastering Videos
- Access 700+ in-depth Sage Audio mixing and mastering videos - curated and organized into playlists so you can take a deep-dive into all aspects of audio engineering with thousands of hours of concise, expertly crafted Sage Audio videos to continually improve your mixing and mastering skills at your own pace.
6. 70+ GB of Curated Sage Audio Downloadable Content, Including:
- 36 multitrack sessions spanning multiple genres for mixing practice.
- 57 un-mastered mixes spanning multiple genres for mastering practice.
- 62 Recommended Free Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 39 Recommended Paid Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 58 Sage Audio custom plugin presets to improve your mixes and masters.
- Sage Audio Membership Badge to showcase on your website, social channels, and portfolio.