If you’re looking for someone to mix great music, make sure you choose carefully as the right mixing engineer can make the difference between a mediocre result and an incredible audio experience. By the way, don’t be put off by the terminology – mixing engineers can also be called sound engineers and audio engineers.
We’ve compiled a summary of three things to look out for to make the right choice below but first of all be aware of the work you need to engineer to do. For the music production process, often the mixing engineer will have a variety of duties e.g. they may plan the recording session with the talent, set up the equipment such as mikes and speakers, they may record the music, they will mix it to deliver a “master” track and they may document details of the recording.
So when you’re chatting to an engineer you’re thinking of hiring, ask them about their experience with each of these steps in the audio engineering process and what they may have done to learn and earn these skills. If you also have access to a studio manager, you may find they will cover many aspects of this work but make sure your recruit can deliver on the responsibilities that you need covered. Here’s some key considerations to consider when picking the right mixing engineer!
1. Preferred Style
Most mixers can cover a broad spectrum of music styles but you’ll find that many are passionate about particular genres and there is a certain amount of artistry in mixing specific styles. If you can find an engineer that is particularly experienced in the style you want, you’re likely to get a better result.
2. Results and Reputation
Ask to listen to some of the music he/she has mixed – do you like it, is the quality good, what exactly were they responsible for? Be aware however that they can only work with the raw materials they are given e.g. if the singer is very poor or the recording equipment is of a low quality, there is little a mixer can do to get a great result. Also the music community can be a very small place, especially in Ireland, so find out what their reputation is like – ask around, check out social media and find out whether the artists they have worked with were happy with their work.
There’s a huge range in the prices charged by different mixers; probably starting at around €200 a song through to the leaders in the market who might get away with charging thousands per song up-front plus take royalties on future sales.
It probably is true that to a large extent you get what you pay for but equally if you do the right research, you should be able to get good value for your money. If you’re hiring out a studio, it’s always worth asking who they recommend and what you can expect to pay.
Music Technology Courses at Pulse College
The Pulse College Music Technology and Music Production campus is based within the renowned Windmill Lane Recording Studios, the home of studio recording in Ireland for almost 40 years! As such our credentials in terms of music technology courses and music production are second to none. We offer a number of sound engineering courses that cover the full spectrum of skills required to be job ready for a career in new media.
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