For the independent musician, sounding good isn’t a luxury only available to well-funded artists anymore – it is a requirement. 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 listeners 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 â€˜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 â€˜evil’ manipulators of sound, creating fake, auto-tuned, machines out of terrible artists. This, however, is far from fact. Every record, no matter the genre, gets taken care of by a recording engineer, mix engineer, and mastering engineer. The recording engineer utilizes many 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 audio tracks and crafts the music to sound correct and convey the song’s emotion. He sets correct levels, panning, equalization, compression, and adds special effects where possible to enhance the artist’s vision. Lastly, the mastering engineer uses special gear and highly trained ears in an acoustically sound room to subtly polish and prepare the music for final release and ensure the recording translates to 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.
Recordings are more often used as promotional vessel for musicians. The real money currently is in converts, publishing, sync placements, and merchandise. When a fan connects with a band’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 shows, purchase apparel, and follow and interact with the artist through social media. As the band grows in popularity, their music may be chosen for sync placements in film and TV, which not only provides great exposure, it also pays quite well. To make it to this stage however, it all begins with a great song and polished recording.
The rise of do-it-yourself recording has led to more artists releasing music than ever before. With a powerful PC, some mics, a DAW, and a little know-how, anyone can create and distribute music. One area where many musicians fall short is failing to recognize their weaknesses in audio engineering. An experienced mixer 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 engineer will take your recordings to the next level and help you stand out from the crowd. Fans 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, go to the best studio you can afford to lay down your basic tracks. Connect with a local or online mix engineer within your budget whose work and personality you connect with, and tweak the mix until you’re happy. Finally, send the songs off to a mastering house for that final polish. Once your production is completed, you can get the music into multiple outlets and into the phones and computers of your listeners and fans.Scott Horton is the epitome of today’s contemporary mixing engineer/producer/songwriter. Scott has mixed for a myriad of artists and labels 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, provides artists and record labels with great sounding mixes which make impressions that count. Get in touch with Scott at http://www.virtualmixengineer.com This article is copyright protected.