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What is a Mixing Engineer and Why?

January 6, 2015

 

Why would an artist or a band hire a mixing engineer to mix their album or ep? This is a good question. First, let’s define what it means to mix a song. Mixing is not the same thing as recording or tracking. Tracking is where a band and an engineer capture the sounds and performances for a song. Mixing, on the other hand, is that stage where an engineer takes the recorded tracks and blends them together. This may sound simple, but in reality there is quite a lot that goes into it, particularly if a person wants to achieve a major label or professional sound. Many times a good mix is the difference between a project sounding like a demo or a professional record.

 

The mixing engineer works with all the separate tracks individually and as a whole. Each track is treated specifically in order to make it sound as good as it can sound. To these tracks a number of things are added. For example, EQ, compression, reverb, delay, chorus, volume level, etc. A good mixing engineer knows which of these things are needed and in what quantity. Not only does a good mixing engineer know what to add to the tracks to make the individual parts sound good but also what makes all of the tracks sound good together as a whole.

 

Now, this may sound very technical, and it is, but it is much more than a technical exercise. There is a real art to mixing. Having a reputable and talented mixing engineer mix your project can add to it an additional level of artistic influence. Very often an artist has worked with a group of songs for many months in order to get them recorded. It can be quite helpful to allow an outside mixer, who is objective, take those songs and mix them in such a way that it helps the artist realize their dream for the project. Best of all, an artist is not restricted to only those mixers who live close to them. In today’s world, wav files and multitrack sessions can be sent anywhere in the world over the internet. As a result, an artist may send his project to a mixing engineer of their choice, no matter how far the distance between them.

 

If you have been thinking of having someone mix your latest project or this blog has caused you to consider it, contact me and let’s talk. Check out the other pages of my web-site for samples and recommendations. We strive to work with a variety of budgets. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Chad Mauldin

Mauldin Productions

Engineer, Mixer, Producer

mauldinprod@gmail.com

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