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Producing Music? Make Sure You're Using A Mix Engineer To Release Better Sounding Music

By Author: Bob Smith
Total Articles: 161

For the independent recording artist, sounding great isn't a luxury only available to major label artists anymore - it is a necessity. Music sales may have diminished, 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. Simply put, there is no excuse for an artist to release sub-par recordings.
For many, audio engineers are still an enigma. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of sound, creating false, auto-tuned, machines out of unskilled artists. This, however, is far from fact. Every recording, no matter the genre, gets handled by a recording engineer, mix engineer, and mastering engineer. The recording engineer uses a plethora 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 audio tracks and crafts the music to sound great and convey the song's emotion. He sets correct levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds special effects where needed to complement the musician's vision. Finally, the mastering engineer uses specialized gear and highly trained ears in an acoustically accurate room to subtly polish and prepare the song for final release and ensure the recording 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 big dough these days is in touring, publishing, film and TV placements, and merchandise. When a listener connects with an artist's music, they'll listen to their music, 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 band 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 well. To make it to this stage however, it all starts with well written song and quality recording.
The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more artists releasing music than ever before. With a powerful PC, some mics, a DAW, and a little knowledge, anyone can create and distribute music. One area where many artists fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in audio engineering. An experienced mixer has the right gear, but most importantly the skills to make a production reach its full potential. Though it can be difficult for an artist, letting go and trusting your 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, get into the best studio you can afford to record your basic tracks. Connect with a local or online mix engineer within your budget whose work and personality you connect with, and tweak the mix until you're happy. Finally, send the songs off to the mastering engineer for that final touch. Once your record is completed, you can get the music into multiple stores and into the phones and computers of your listeners and fans. Scott Horton is the definition of today's contemporary mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. He 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 musicians with industry standard sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Get in touch with Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com

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