posts about sound mixing and audio mastering.
Boxtone it's sound engineering jargon that describes how some but not all analog gear or digital audio software plug-ins (e.g. equalizers, dynamic range compressors, and master buss processors) will add fairy dust by altering the program material in a pleasurable way (i.e. also referred to as coloring the sound) even though all dials, switches, and knobs are at their factory default settings (i.e. flat).

This boxtone often stems from vacuum tubes and transformers found in certain professional audio equipment signal paths that add harmonics, giving them a distinctive sound of their own.

Other contributing factors include age (i.e. wear and tear or degraded performance derived from how long the music equipment has been in use), the tolerance of analog circuit components (i.e. random variations or the amount a component's specification is off by—this can affect the balance of L/R channels) and temperature (i.e. how warm or hot the components are at the present moment especially vacuum tubes, transistors, resistors, and capacitors).

Modern digital audio plug-ins can also remarkably do quite the same depending on how talented the software developer is because there are lots and lots of snake oil plug-in emulations with a nice pretty-looking GUI (graphic user interface).

Should you use "Boxtone" in audio mastering?​

Well, if it sounds good why not? If it doesn't then don't. Isn't that memorable? I suppose so.

As always, the golden rule of audio post-production is less is more. You don't wanna deal with angry clients or ruin your mix assuming you are into self-mastering like everybody and their mama is doing these days in their bedrooms with nearfield studio monitors placed right close to the wall—probably with cheap noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones too. That's the DIY mastering starter pack right there mate.

Anyway, sound mixing engineers are the ones who mostly get to have a lot of fun with audio engineering techniques such as this one of utilizing the good ole trick of envigorating a mix with boxtone.

There are always several audio tracks in a mixing session to experiment on unlike the other side of the fence where it's only a printed stereo mix you've got to polish, add a little bit of sheen on, followed by your secret fairy dust, and slam it into a true peak brickwall mastering limiter... maybe, just maybe.
Mpumelelo von Mumhanzi
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