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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MIX ENGINEER

Greetings Friends!  I hope you are all staying safe and well during these uncertain times.  Today, the topic is mixing engineers and specifically some tips on how you can find the right one for your musical project.

With the multitude of choices available online currently, it can be difficult to find the right audio professional to work with.  The following are a few areas that I think are important to consider when deciding on the right mix engineer to work with:

SOUND & STYLE

So, you’re an artist/musician/producer and you’ve just completed recording your next masterpiece.  Now, you’re looking for a mix engineer to add that professional edge to your music.  One of the first things to look for in your initial research, is to seek some evidence of the engineer’s sound and style.  A professional engineer will have a showreel/playlist or discography to give you a broad overview of their approach to audio mixing.  Once you have listened to a wide range of the engineer’s mixing, you should start observing some commonalities through their work and identifying sounds and styles that you find appealing.

PROFILE

A professional mix engineer should have some sort of online presence or profile.  That could extend from having a website with clear information on how to make a booking, evidence of client reviews and feedback.  If an engineer does not have evidence of a decent online profile, in 2020 that would potentially be cause for concern.  This could raise questions of what it might be like working with them if they haven’t put any effort into building their business and profile.

PROFESSIONALISM

This goes hand in hand with the profile. The way in which an audio professional interacts with their current and potential clients speaks volumes of their character and professionalism.   Communication is a key component here and a professional mix engineer should be able to guide you through the entire process of working with them.  Including providing advice on how to prepare your audio for mixing and guidance on how to improve your recordings in future.  Just because an engineer has a prominent discography, it doesn’t always mean that the experience the client received was a positive one.

RELIABILITY

When it comes to releasing music commercially, you want a mix engineer you can rely on.  Also, you want an engineer that is experienced in the pressures of meeting important deadlines.   If there is any question around the reliability of the mix engineer, you could potentially put yourself (and a record label) in a position where you have a deadline and that engineer is unable to deliver for you.  In your early discussions, it’s recommended to chat about expectations regarding turnaround times for delivery.  This will help you gauge whether the particular engineer is indeed capable of meeting your needs appropriately for the project.

RELATIONSHIP

Working alongside reliability, comes the type of relationship you can develop with a mix engineer over time.  Like any professional serviced based industry, people will often align themselves with people they enjoy working with and whom has consistently delivered a high quality service over a period of time.  The value of having a quality working relationship with a mix engineer can really speed up and improve your future productions.  Having an engineer that you can rely and who has your back when the pressure is on is worth it’s weight in gold over the long term!

VERSATILITY

Finally, it’s important to consider a mix engineer’s versatility.  It’s not always necessary to align yourself with a genre specific engineer.  You will find that most of the top audio engineers around the world have evidence of working in a wide varieties of genre.  The fundamentals of audio production and the principals that need to be applied are essentially the same across all genres.  Yes, there are always variations and when it comes to creative recording, there really are no rules, but there are some definite non-negotiables when aiming for a commercially viable end product.  An experienced mix engineer will understand the requirements of how to get to that finished product.

Until next time,

Mike

 

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