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

By Author: Bob Smith
Total Articles: 241

For the independent recording artist, sounding amazing isn't a rarity only available to well-funded artists anymore - it is a necessity. Music sales may have diminished, but that doesn't mean that recorded music is on its way out. Far from it. More music is being consumed on more devices by more fans than ever before in history! Musicians 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 a mystery. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of music, creating false, auto-tuned, drones out of unskilled artists. This, however, is far from the truth. Every recording, no matter the type, gets touched by a tracking engineer, mix 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 convincing and convey the song's emotion. He sets the right levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds creative effects where needed to enhance the artist's vision. Lastly, the mastering engineer uses specialized gear and highly trained ears in an acoustically accurate room to subtly polish and prepare the track for final release and ensure the sound 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 tool for artists and labels. The most income currently is in touring, publishing, sync placements, and merchandise. When a fan connects with a band's music, they'll listen to their music, 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 group 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 quality recording.
The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more artists releasing music than ever before. With a powerful computer, some mics, a DAW, and a little know-how, anyone can create and release music. One area where many artists fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in audio engineering. An experienced engineer has the right tools, but most importantly the knowledge to make a recording reach its full potential. Though it can be hard for an artist, letting go and trusting your engineer will take your productions to the next level and help you stand out from the crowd. 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, book time in the best studio you can afford to lay down your basic tracks. Connect with a local or online mix engineer within your budget whose work and personality you gel with, and tweak the mixdown until you're happy. Lastly, send the songs off to a mastering house for that final polish. Once your record is complete, you can get the music into multiple sites and into the ears of your listeners and fans. Scott Horton is the definition of today's contemporary mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. He has worked with countless music groups from around the world 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 great sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Get in touch with Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com

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