The relief of a finished track is felt when an artist completes the lyrics to a song, finalises the recording process and sends it off for the final touches. The creation process has always been the most important and exciting part of writing a song as without a good song, there is only so far a track will go publicity wise. Although still relevant, the post production stages, more relatively the mixing and mastering aspect has played a new role in bringing about newer opportunities for artists and their music.
The goal of a decent sounding record is by fixing balance issues and enhancing characteristics that will give the record it’s own unique identity. This can vary from adding equalisation, applying compression and adjusting sound levels all the way to to creating warm effects over certain vocals.
Mastering is a post production process of preparing and transferring the recorded track to the final stage of the data storage, known as “The Master”. This varies depending on your aims for the track but examples include adding warmth, depth, clarity and punch in the volumes. Whereas mixing is blending all the individual tracks together to create something that works together seamlessly and sounds like it was meant to be put together.
How do I know who to choose?
When it comes to choosing someone to mix/master your music it’s important you consider three important aspects; past client testimonials, quality of their music and how well they communicate. Listening to previous work will help you decide how well they mix with your desired genre of music. For example, if you’re recording a folk album you’ll want to know whether they can mix great folk music, this will help narrow down your search. Paying attention to past client testimonials can strengthen the mixer/masters brand and paint a picture of reliability as you and I both know you wouldn't want to do business with an individual you don’t trust or find credible. Finally, good communication is ideal in this stage as so much is going on. Although expecting someone who will be at your every command isn't realistic, you’d want someone who’ll update you frequently and keep you in the loop whilst also asking for your input and advice.
Therefore as a creative, here are 3 top reasons why you should invest in mixing and mastering and what this can do for the development of your career.
Sync has helped many new or established artists by creating an awareness of their music. If something is being attached to a product, TV or film, it automatically opens the door for you to be exposed to a wider audience. When Music Supervisors listen to music to fit their briefs, the better it sounds, the easier the process will be and the more likely your track is to stand out amongst the ones that surround it.
2) Work opportunities
If you’ve ever featured on a mixer/master’s demo, you can provide opportunities to sell your services through previous/recent client testimonials of when you worked in the studio with that particular producer. This can open the door to more work opportunities. As you may be approached to be a session singer for a producer looking to record someone for a demo to display the quality of their work because they’ve heard you perform on a previous demo that sounded great.
If you want to try a different approach you can even learn the ins and outs of what a mixer/master’ does (If you don’t already have this experience). Learning to perfect the craft of mixing can get you more live gigs. Although studio mixing is vastly different from mixing live, for example you can take your time in the studio whereas in a live venue you have one shot to get it tight. Live music mixing can be an exciting adrenaline that your music career needs, if you’re passionate about it, why not go for it. Although time is more available in a recording studio for creativity, being at a live gig can provide opportunities to connect with like minded individuals and perfect your skill. There is a certain uniqueness to each situation which requires it’s own skill.
If you’re an artist and need someone to mix/master your music to get it up to the standards of sync, I’d recommend hiring a producer or someone for mastering services by creating a project.
Equally, you can easily find gigs/bookings for mixing and mastering engineers for both studio and live events on Music Gateway. There’s plenty of options out there, hopefully this article has been some help, and you can take a few steps closer to landing that all important placement.