For the independent recording artist, sounding amazing isn’t a luxury only available to well-funded 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 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 poor recordings./p>
For many, audio engineers are still a mystery. To others, they are -evil’ manipulators of sound, creating phony, auto-tuned, robots out of untalented artists. This, however, is far from the truth. Every record, no matter the type, gets touched by a tracking engineer, mixing 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 occurs in the recording studio. The mixing engineer takes all of the separate music tracks and crafts the music to sound great and convey the song’s emotion. He sets the right levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds special effects where possible to enhance the artist’s vision. Lastly, the mastering engineer uses specialized 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 these days is in live shows, publishing, film and TV placements, and merchandising. When a listener connects with an artist’s music, they’ll listen to their records, tweet, and share the music with their friends. The fans want to support 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 quite well. To make it to this stage however, it all starts with a great song and quality recording.
The rise of DIY recording has led to more artists releasing music than ever before. With a powerful PC, some mics, a DAW, and a little knowledge, anyone can create and release music. One area where many artists fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in mixing. An experienced mixer has the right equipment, 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 mixer will take your productions to the next level and help you stand out from the masses. 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 strong as possible. Then and only then, book time in the best studio you can afford to record your tracks. Hire a local or online mix engineer within your budget whose work and personality you gel with, and tweak the mix until you’re satisfied. 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 outlets and into the ears of your listeners and fans.
Scott Horton is the epitome of today’s cutting-edge mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. He has worked with a myriad of artists world-wide 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 artists and record labels with superb sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Come say hi to Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com