Why Bands NEED a Great Mix Engineer






     For the independent artist, sounding good isn't a rarity only available to major label artists anymore - it is essential. Music sales may have went down, 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 fans 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 conundrum. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of music, creating phony, auto-tuned, robots out of terrible artists. This, however, is far from fact. Every recording, no matter the genre, gets handled by a tracking engineer, mixing engineer, and mastering engineer. The recording engineer utilizes a plethora of microphones and technique to accurately capture and record the artist's performance as it happens in the recording studio. The mix engineer takes all of the separate music tracks and crafts the music to sound great and convey the song's emotion. He sets the right levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds creative effects where needed to complement the artist's vision. Finally, the mastering engineer uses unique equipment and highly trained ears in an acoustically sound room to subtly polish and prepare the song for final release and ensure the music plays back well on 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.

Recorded music is more often used as promotional vessel for musicians. The big dough these days is in converts, publishing, sync placements, and merchandising. When a listener connects with an artist's music, they'll listen to their records, comment, and share the music with their friends. The fans want to help the artist and buy tickets to their concerts, purchase apparel, and follow and interact with the artist through social media. As the band grows in popularity, their music may be chosen for sync placements in movies and TV, which not only provides great exposure, it also pays quite well. To make it to this stage however, it all begins with well written song and convincing recording.

The rise of DIY recording has led to more musicians releasing music than ever before. With a powerful computer, some microphones, a digital audio workstation, and a little know-how, anyone can record and distribute music. One area where many artists fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in audio engineering. An experienced engineer has the right gear, 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 mix engineer will take your recordings to the next level and help you stand out from the others. Fans are instantly attracted to a well-written and performed song that sounds like a hit.

Spend the proper time in pre-production, ensuring your composition and arrangement are as solid 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 mixdown until you're satisfied. Finally, send the songs off to mastering for that final polish. Once your production is finished, 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 today's cutting-edge mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. Scott has mixed for a myriad 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, provides artists and record labels with great sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Come say hi to Scott at www.virtualmixengineer.com


Posted on 2015-05-04, By: *

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