Mixing/Mastering EP/Album in one session or multiple?


Jan 8, 2013
So I'm probably gonna master one of my friend's EP, and I'm asking myself how I should set my session up. I rarely mix/master more than one song at a time. Should I just import all of the songs into one session and do a general master on all songs? Or master them all differently? I want it to feel consistent, but then again different songs might need different treatment. How do you guys usally do?

I'm also curious as to gow you guys do when you mix albums. It would be a shit-ton of tracks if you're gonna have all the songs in one session. But you want consistensy. Do you like, mix one song then create a template out of that and apply that to all the other songs and just finetune it?

Thankful for you thoughts!

I do every song in its own session. If I want the same settings on another song (for example the drum sound) I import session data (ProTools) and see/hear if it works. Most of the time there is some tweaking to do because the song is different.
That's one of the reasons why I don't mix the whole album in one session.


I import all the songs into one session on different tracks/channels. That's the best way for me to get a consistent sounding master done. I can tweak every song different, but always have the other songs to compare and create a consistent sound for the whole album.
+1 to what neonlight said.

with a little difference in the workflow: once the whole thing is tracked (that i do in one session btw) i spend a good amount of time mixing the whole project (without automation) to find if there is anything that will generally work for all the song, or if they are all different etc. as i progress there is a point when you just have to split them in seperat projects to improve them sonically.
Tracking all in one session sounds like a pain in the ass if tracking to a click. I'd rather have my tracking in separate sessions for that reason alone. I like to set up each song with all the time changes and everything in place first, I know you could do this all in one session but I don't see any advantage in this. Especially if you have the sessions setup before the band starts tracking. I really like the idea of mastering all in one project on different tracks, that way you can drag plugin chains from track to track for consistency and make small changes if the track requires it. Also great for sending each track out to an outboard chain one at a time. Great tip neonlight.
Tracking all in one session sounds like a pain in the ass if tracking to a click.

why ? i just copy&paste the tempomaps with about a minute or so pause after each other. takes about 10minutes for a full length album and works like a charm. when im done tracking/editing/etc. i just open the project, delete all songs except one, save it, repeat with the other songs. also takes about 10 minutes for everything.

i want a quick workflow when the band is there. i dont want to load another project if one wants to hear an other song or sth. i wanna be able to QUICKLY (meaning, less than 5 seconds) jump between songs/takes/etc. while tracking and not have changing sounds between songs.

i just cannot see any disadvantage
I actually mixed my first EP mixing all songs in one project. 19gig and 25min epos. Didn't noticed any difference at all contra mixing each song in its own folder. IT was in PT 9 btw.
I track and mix everything in one big session and couldn't see myself working in any other way.

Yeah i think im gonna start with that too. Its just so boring when you do small adjustments, like Bassguitar up +.4db and have to do that in all projects haha. Wish you could adjust/import settings without opening the actual project in PT.
Well, i´m working on a EP right now, and i´m dong all songs in one session. Works flawlessly, and so easy. No crashing, nothing. It makes it alot easier to copy setting, plus, opening them every time a bandmember says he wants to hear the "other" song would be a pain in the ass.
Is there an easy way to set a point (like a tempo marker) that resets all automation for your tracks?

I like to keep everything in the same session, but this would be extremely useful.
I think, for the mastering EP job, I'll do it all in a single session. Each song will have it's own track, and everything I feel can be applied to every song in there, I put on the master track. Everything I feel needs to appliead to specific songs I put on these songs. This seems to be the best way to do it, from what I read.

Later down the road when I'll be doing a mixing job on an album, I think I would prefer to do it all in one project, then when I feel 95% finished I'll split it up into different projects and add finishing touches. Then export al the songs and master them in the way I explained above. This seems to me the most flexible way to do it, at least. Even though I'm unsure if my CPU will allow me to mix so many songs in one session, but we'll see!

Thanks for all the answers guys. :)
One big session. Tried it the other way, never again. Too much trouble opening and closing, saving/loading templates etc.
One session seems to crazy, I dont even want to think if project crashes!lol
Because if one song session crashes, it´s just copying the shit but all the session?

Anyway, I am having hard time keeping the guitar tone consitency just because I changed from ernie ball to addario, the guitar is still in Drop C ,still the same string gauge but the settings from one to another are not working well.
Yeah i think im gonna start with that too. Its just so boring when you do small adjustments, like Bassguitar up +.4db and have to do that in all projects haha. Wish you could adjust/import settings without opening the actual project in PT.

Yep this!! Did it a few times as separate files then realized how much I hated it! One session is so much easier for me :)
One session +1

Less backups, easier to copy settings. I think is more confortable to work with
Any Reaper users here?

I'm currently doing each song in a separate session using the same template as a starting point. Though all in one seems like a legit thing to do to ensure the consistency of settings and sound throughout the record. What bothers me is that I have to do a lot of "track freezing" because my laptop can't handle all the processing, ampsims, VSTi's and such. Sadly, I haven't found a way to "freeze" track within time selection in Reaper that could be helpful in "all songs in one session" approach. There is an way to render track contents to WAV, put it on a new track and mute the original, but this would lead to a very cluttered workspace. How do you guys manage this kind of problems?