Creating Music? Make Sure You're Using a Mixing Engineer to Release Better Sounding Music






     For the independent artist, sounding good isn't a rarity only available to well-funded artists anymore - it is essential. Music sales may have wanted, but that doesn't mean that recorded music is going away any time soon. Far from it. More music is being consumed on more devices by more listeners than ever before in history! Artists are making their music available on internet and satellite radio, online music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, and YouTube, selling on direct-to-fan sites such as CD Baby, Bandcamp, and ReverbNation, and still pushing sales through ‘traditional' online retailers such as iTunes and Amazon MP3. Let's face it, there is no excuse for an artist to put out sub-par recordings.

To many, audio engineers are still mysterious. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of sound, creating fake, auto-tuned, drones out of terrible artists. This, however, is far from the truth. Every record, no matter the genre, gets touched by a recording engineer, mixing engineer, and mastering engineer. The recording engineer uses many of microphones and technique to accurately capture and record the artist's performance as it occurs in the recording studio. The mixing engineer takes all of the separate music tracks and crafts the music to sound convincing and convey the song's emotion. He sets proper levels, panning, EQ, compression, and adds special effects where possible to complement the musician's vision. Finally, the mastering engineer uses special tools and highly trained ears in an acoustically sound room to subtly polish and prepare the music for final release and ensure the music translates to a variety of speakers. "While many audio techniques can enhance the final production, we engineers are not magicians and can't replace a poor performance or terrible recording," says Scott of Virtual Mix Engineer.

Recordings are more often used as promotional vessel for artists. The real money these days is in live shows, publishing, film and TV placements, and merchandising. When a listener connects with an artist's music, they'll listen to their records, tweet, and share the music with their friends. The fans want to support the artist and buy tickets to their shows, purchase t-shirts, and follow and interact with the artist through social media. As the artist grows in popularity, their music may be chosen for sync placements in movies and TV, which not only provides great exposure, it also pays very well. To make it to this stage however, it all begins with a great song and convincing recording.

The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more musicians releasing music than ever before. With a powerful computer, some microphones, a digital audio workstation, and a little knowledge, anyone can create and distribute music. One area where many artists fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in mixing. An experienced engineer has the right equipment, but most importantly the knowledge to make a recording reach its full potential. Though it can be difficult for an artist, letting go and trusting your engineer will take your productions to the next level and help you stand out from the masses. Listeners are instantly attracted to a well-written and performed song that sounds like a hit.

Spend a good amount of time in pre-production, ensuring your song and arrangement are as strong as possible. Then and only then, go to the best studio you can afford to lay down your tracks. Connect with a local or online mixing engineer within your budget whose work and personality you like, and tweak the mix until you're happy. Finally, send the songs off to the mastering engineer for that final polish. Once your record is completed, you can get the music into multiple sites and into the ears of your listeners and fans.






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Scott Horton is the definition of the contemporary mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. Scott has collaborated with multitudes of recording artists the world over in all musical genres ranging from Pop, Pop-Rock, Hip-Hop,RnB, Urban and more. His online mixing and mastering service , Virtual Mix Engineer, delivers recording artists with superb sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Visit Scott at www.virtualmixengineer.com


Posted on 2014-12-05, By: *

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