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Creating Music? Hire A Mixing Engineer To Sound Your Best

By Author: Bob Smith
Total Articles: 221

For the independent recording artist, sounding good isn't a rarity only available to well-funded artists anymore - it is essential. Music sales may have tapered, 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! 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.
For many, audio engineers are still an enigma. To others, they are ‘evil' manipulators of sound, creating fake, auto-tuned, machines out of unskilled artists. This, however, is far from the truth. Every record, no matter the type, gets handled by a tracking engineer, mix engineer, and mastering engineer. The recording engineer uses many 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 correct and convey the song's emotion. He sets correct levels, panning, EQ, compression, and adds creative effects where possible to complement the artist's vision. Finally, the mastering engineer uses special tools and highly trained ears in an acoustically accurate room to subtly polish and prepare the track for final release and ensure the recording 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 big dough currently is in live shows, publishing, sync placements, and merchandising. When a fan 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 t-shirts, and follow and interact with the group through social media. As the artist 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 begins with well written song and convincing recording.
The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more bands releasing music than ever before. With a powerful computer, some microphones, a digital audio workstation, and a little know-how, 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 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 mix engineer will take your productions to the next level and help you stand out from the others. 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 song and arrangement are as strong as possible. Then and only then, book time in the best studio you can afford to record your basic tracks. Connect with a local or online mixing engineer within your budget whose work and personality you gel with, and tweak the mix until you're satisfied. Lastly, send the songs off to mastering for that final touch. Once your production is completed, you can get the music into multiple venues and into the phones and computers of your listeners and fans. Scott Horton is the definition of today's cutting-edge mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. Scott has worked with a myriad of 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 recording artists with superb sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Visit Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com

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