Is there a mixing app that works with Spotify?

Spotify is the most popular music streaming service, holding over 30% of the global streaming market share according to Statista. It features over 80 million songs and allows users to stream music on demand. Spotify is known for its personalized playlists and discovery features. However, one area where Spotify falls short is audio mixing capabilities.

Mixing refers to balancing and adjusting different elements of a song like vocals, instruments, bass, etc. Proper mixing improves the overall audio quality and creates a richer listening experience. With digital music streaming becoming ubiquitous, there is a growing demand for high-quality audio and more control over how music sounds.

This raises the question – are there any good third-party apps that can help mix and enhance Spotify’s audio output? This article explores mixing options and compatibility with Spotify across desktop, mobile, and web platforms. We’ll examine specialized mixing services, workarounds, and alternatives to improve your Spotify listening experience.

Spotify’s Audio Playback Features

Spotify offers various audio settings and playback options to customize your listening experience, but lacks any true built-in mixing capabilities. Users can adjust settings like audio quality and equalizer presets through the Spotify app’s settings menu. The equalizer allows you to boost or reduce frequency bands and shape the overall sound profile (1). There are several presets like Bass Booster and Classical that tweak the EQ curve. You can also create a custom EQ setting and save it as a preset. On mobile, you can enable options like Normalize Volume to maintain a consistent loudness between tracks and shows.

However, Spotify does not provide any advanced mixing tools for crossfading, beatmatching, or applying audio effects. Unlike traditional DJ software, there is no waveform or DJ deck interface. The focus is purely on music playback rather than active remixing or blending. While the equalizer provides some basic tuning, there are no utilities for song transitioning, tempo alignment, gain control, or automated mixing. Essentially, Spotify is designed for music listening rather than music mixing (1).

Why Mixing is Important

Mixing is a critical part of the audio production process. It involves adjusting the volume levels and frequency content of individual tracks to achieve a balanced, polished sound.1 The goal of mixing is to bring out the best in each instrument and vocal while ensuring all elements blend together into a cohesive final product.

A proper mix improves the overall audio quality in several key ways. First, adjusting relative volume levels allows the most important parts like lead vocals or solos to be clearly heard and prevents any one track from overpowering the others. Applying equalization shapes the frequency content of tracks, removing muddiness and allowing each part to have space to shine in the sonic spectrum. Effects like reverb can provide a sense of space and depth. Compression helps control dynamic range so that the sound is consistent. Panning positions the tracks left to right across the stereo field to prevent cluttering the center and provide immersion. Careful level balancing and EQ can minimize frequencies masking each other.

Without mixing, tracks can sound disconnected, cluttered, harsh, muddy, or thin. Vocals may be drowned out by louder instruments. Important melodic parts might get obscured. The drums, bass, and rhythm section can be indistinct. There may be chaotic clashing of frequencies, overall lack of blend and polish, and fatiguing jumps in volume. Mixing solves these problems, tying all the elements together into a professional listening experience. It is what allows listeners to clearly discern delicate details even in loud or dense sections. In short, mixing polishes the raw tracks into a radio-ready, compelling sound.

Challenges of Mixing Spotify Audio

There are a few key challenges when it comes to mixing audio from Spotify:

Spotify uses lossy compression formats like Ogg Vorbis to stream music. This means some audio quality is lost in order to deliver music efficiently over the internet. The compressed formats make mixing and editing more difficult compared to lossless formats like WAV or FLAC.

Additionally, Spotify streams audio rather than allowing users to download songs. This means any mixing or editing has to happen in real-time as the audio is playing. There is no original source file to manipulate.

Finally, Spotify employs digital rights management (DRM) protections on their audio streams. This prevents users from easily capturing or manipulating the audio, since Spotify retains control over how their content is used.

Together, these factors introduce challenges for DJs, audio engineers, or casual users who want to mix and edit Spotify tracks. The compression, streaming delivery, and DRM reduce options for manipulating the audio. While various workarounds exist, Spotify’s setup is fundamentally designed for listening rather than mixing.

Desktop Mixing Options

There are a few desktop apps that allow mixing Spotify audio, with varying features and limitations. Some popular options include:

  • Equilab (Source) – An advanced DJ mixing app that works with Spotify and other streaming services. It allows beatmatching, crossfading, looping, and adding effects.
  • Volumio (Source) – An open-source music player system that can mix Spotify audio when using PulseAudio module virtual audio cables.
  • SoX (Source) – A command-line audio processing tool that can be used for basic mixing when paired with virtual audio cables.

The main limitation is needing virtual audio cables to route and mix the audio streams from Spotify. Apps like VB-Audio Voicemeeter or Cable Audio Driver can create virtual devices on Windows, while Soundflower provides similar functionality on Mac.

Advanced power users can leverage these virtual cables along with Equilab, Volumio, SoX or other apps to mix Spotify audio and crossfade between tracks. But it involves a complex setup process compared to dedicated DJ apps.

Mobile Mixing Options

Mobile options for mixing Spotify audio are more limited compared to desktop due to mobile operating system restrictions. Mobile platforms like iOS and Android have more controls and security limitations in place that restrict third-party apps from deeply integrating with and manipulating Spotify’s audio playback.

There are a few mobile apps that attempt to provide basic mixing functionality for Spotify, such as MixLive and Spotify Mixer. However, these apps have limited capabilities compared to full desktop DJ software. They may allow crossfading between tracks or basic EQ controls, but lack robust features for beatmatching, effects, looping, etc. Mobile OS limitations prevent these apps from tightly integrating at an audio level.

Overall, mobile apps provide only very basic mixing abilities for Spotify at best. Serious audio enthusiasts should look to desktop-based solutions for proper mixing functionality and control.

Web Browser Options

One way to mix audio from Spotify is by using web browser extensions and online mixing tools. Many browser add-ons exist that allow basic mixing functionality for Spotify’s web player. For example, Volume Control for Spotify is a Chrome extension that provides volume sliders for adjusting the levels of different audio tracks in Spotify’s web player.

There are also more advanced web-based mixing tools like Soundbounce which allow uploading audio tracks from Spotify to do mixing and mastering online. The advantage of web-based tools is you don’t need to download any software and can access advanced mixing capabilities directly in your browser. The downside is that most of these tools require uploading/downloading audio which can be time consuming compared to mixing natively within Spotify.

While limited compared to desktop applications, browser extensions and web mixing tools provide a way to do basic audio mixing entirely within a web browser for Spotify tracks.

Premium Mixing Services

Some paid mixing services provide more advanced audio mastering and processing capabilities compared to free options. Two popular premium services are LANDR and eMastered.

LANDR uses AI algorithms to process and master audio files by analyzing the audio spectrum and applying EQ, compression, limiting and stereo enhancement. It can help improve the loudness, clarity and polish of tracks. LANDR offers a free trial and paid subscription plans starting at $7 per month. The main downside is that it uses automated AI so may not provide the nuanced human touch of professional mastering engineers.

eMastered connects users to professional mastering engineers who can provide personalized adjustments and tweaking by ear. This human mastering can help bring out delicate nuances in the audio. eMastered has pricing plans starting at $25 per track. The main limitations are the higher cost compared to AI services, and longer turnaround times since each track is hand-mastered.

Overall, premium services like LANDR and eMastered provide more advanced mastering capabilities than free options, at the expense of pricing and human touch. They can be worthwhile for users seeking robust audio processing and improvements.

Workarounds and Alternatives

If you need more flexibility for mixing than what Spotify offers, there are some workarounds and alternative options to consider.

One option is to download the Spotify tracks you want to mix using a tool like DRmare Spotify Downloader. This allows you to save the songs as MP3 files that you can then import into a separate DJ mixing software.

The advantage of downloading is that you have the audio files stored locally, so you’re not dependent on an internet connection or Spotify app. This gives you more control and flexibility over mixing the tracks.

Alternatively, you could consider using a different music service altogether that is designed more for DJ mixing purposes. Services like Beatport LINK allow beatmatching and key detection options right within their apps. SoundCloud also offers some basic mixing capabilities.

So if the built-in Spotify mixing options don’t suit your needs, downloading tracks or switching to a service better optimized for DJs are a couple workarounds to achieve more flexible audio mixing.


In summary, there are a few main options for mixing Spotify audio. On desktop, apps like Soundflower and Audio Hijack allow you to route audio between applications and mix multiple sources. On mobile, options are more limited but some third-party apps like Preamp can mix audio playback. In web browsers, browser extensions can provide basic mixing but functionality is limited.

The best approaches for robust mixing of Spotify audio involve using desktop apps like Audio Hijack on Mac or VB-Audio Voicemeeter on Windows. These give you the most flexibility and control over mixing multiple sources and adding effects. However, they require more setup. For basic mixing on the go, mobile apps like Preamp offer a decent solution.

Overall, while Spotify does not offer built-in mixing capabilities, there are ways to achieve it through third-party software. The options range from simple mobile apps to more advanced desktop programs. With the right tools, you can customize and enhance your Spotify listening experience through audio mixing and get creative with playlists and playlists.

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