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After you have finished the recording, editing, mixing, automation, and tweaking stages, comes the final mixdown stage. If you are not familiar with creating a final mixdown, make a CD and have your friends listen to what you have done and ask them if they have any comments on the sonic content of your music. When you have collected enough comments to safely assume that everything you have done up until now is how you want it, you can start distributing the music you call your own. On the other hand, if you don't feel you need comments from others to know whether what you did sounds great, you can go straight from mixdown to mastering within Cubase.
This chapter describes different possibilities involved in mixing down these arrangements into a stereo mix. Let's take a look at the last steps after you have finished working on the arrangements. For now, just remember the following steps as you read how to do them later in the chapter.
Here's a summary of what you will learn in this chapter:
Create an audio version of your external MIDI instrument.
Touch up your mix to include the newly converted MIDI tracks into audio tracks.
Export a mixdown of this in a format to create a first draft CD.
Listen to this CD in different environments, collect comments, and go back to your project to make changes.
Generate a new audio mixdown of your material.
Export files in a format compatible with your audio mastering tool.
Create a second draft CD and listen to it again in different environments.
Burn the master copy of your CD.
Distribute your project.
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