We’ll just go ahead and let Cam explain it. Also, check out this great interview DGB did with him.
“Mixing and Mastering a song is completely different. Like the easiest way I can explain it visually is if you have a painting, the blank canvas is the recording of the song. The painting would be the mixing and the framing would be the mastering. I master songs, but I am a mixing engineer. If I am working for a label with a budget, the song will come to me to mix and then I will send it off to a mastering engineer to finish it. If I had my way, this is how all of the songs I mix would go, but some artists don’t have the budget for a mastering engineer so I will do it.
Mixing is the process of taking recorded tracks and blending them together. Tracks are blended using various processes such as Fine-tuning the sound of each instrument or voice using EQ, Compression and Reverb, Delays, Automation, etc. The end goal of mixing is to bring out the best in your multi-track recording by adjusting levels, panning to give a stereo image, and time-based audio effects (chorus, reverb, delay) to enhance the recording. Also adding emotion to the track and effects such as drops, auto-tune, stutters. Mixing is basically making the recorded song pleasant to the ears. When I’m mixing a song I try my best to convey what the artist is trying to say through my mix. This is where the sauce is added.
Mastering is the polishing process. Adding the final touches to the 2 track