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Creating Music? Connect With A Mixing Engineer To Sound Your Best

By Author: Bob Smith
Total Articles: 265

For the independent artist, sounding good isn't a rarity only available to big time artists anymore - it is a must. 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 listeners 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. Let's face it, there is no excuse for an artist to release sub-par recordings.
To many, audio engineers are still mysterious. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of music, creating phony, auto-tuned, drones out of untalented artists. This, however, is far from fact. Every record, no matter the type, 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 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 correct levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds special effects where possible to complement the musician's vision. Finally, the mastering engineer uses specialized 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 playback systems. "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. The big dough currently is in converts, publishing, film and TV placements, and merchandising. When a fan connects with a band's music, they'll listen to their records, comment, and share the music with their friends. The fans want to support the artist and buy tickets to their concerts, purchase apparel, and follow and interact with the group through social media. As the musician 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 starts with well written song and quality recording.
The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more musicians releasing music than ever before. With a powerful laptop, some microphones, a DAW, and a little knowledge, anyone can create and release music. One area where many musicians fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in audio engineering. An experienced engineer has the right tools, but most importantly the skills 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 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 the proper time in pre-production, ensuring your composition and arrangement are as solid as possible. Then and only then, book time in the best studio you can afford to record your tracks. Connect with a local or online mix engineer within your budget whose work and personality you gel with, 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 venues and into the ears of your listeners and fans. Scott Horton is the definition of today's contemporary mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. He has collaborated with an endless number of artists and labels 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 musicians with great sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Visit Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com

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