I would like to understand what the difference is between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Could someone explain?

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    if you have scene with music and truck explosion and explosion sound like fire cracker - then bad sound editing... if explosion is correct sound but volume too less and music too loud - then bad sound mixing
    – Gomes
    Mar 8, 2017 at 8:40

2 Answers 2


I've edited and mixed music recordings. Editing is first, mixing is last.

With music, editing is done when creating master tracks. Say I have five takes or versions of a singer singing a song. I'll take the best parts of the various tracks / versions and edit them down to one master vocal track. I've even taken multiple keyboard tracks and note by note created a completely different master keyboard track from what was played on the original. A simplistic description is that it's cutting and pasting, and how much you have to do is dependent on what the musical pallet of the song is, how many takes you have on each instrument, and what you have been able to capture of the performances during recording.

Master tracks are like individual ingredients in a recipe.

Mixing takes all the ingredients and blends them together to create the dish.

Mixing is when you balance the volume levels; correct EQ - treble, mids and bass; use panning for sound / instrument placement; and add effects like reverb and echo.

Sometimes, especially in music, you may also edit during mixing, repeating certain sections, deleting sections, rearranging them, dropping instruments in and out, you don't know what the song is calling for until you hit this point in production. This is where you might realize you need to record additional harmonies or instrumentation to really get what you're looking for, or if you can only work with the tracks you have, you need to get really creative and make it work. This, for me, is the most fun, creative, and demanding part of it.

In film then, for example, you have the edited master sound tracks of music, dialogue, foley, and other sound effects, even ambient sound, along with the master film track. These seperate edited master sound tracks then get blended together using volume, panning, eq, effects, etc., and matched with the film, during the mix.


This is only peripherally my area of expertise in a previous occupation; that said, let's use film as an example:

Film editing is taking already-shot footage and cutting some out, cutting some together, etc. This is clearly an oversimplification but just as an analogy.

With sound editing it's a similar process in that the sound has been recorded and the editor matches it to other media in all the right places.

Sound Mixing is the process of engineering the recorded sounds; e.g., the dynamics, compression, signal-to-noise ratio, etc.

Both jobs are difficult because they require technical savvy AND artistic talent. This is a very simple description of the differences between the two jobs. I expect an industry professional will post a more detailed answer at some point.

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