No, let’s not talk about mastering today, important as it is, I feel there’s too much focus on that aspect as a “fix-it-all” solution. The mixing process is where the foundations are being laid out for a good track, and a good master. Ofcourse, the song itself has to be good itself, that’s the first step, but let’s just focus on mixing today..
Taking a step back…
Since long I mixed the tracks myself, but recently (since the album “The Xenogamous Endeavour”) I outsourced the mixing process to others. People who have a good pair of ears, people who are fresh to the track and come in without knowing the whole history behind how the track came to be. For me personally that’s been a great help. Because apart from their obviously mindblowing mixing skills, it’s an extra person who can give you feedback, and a different perspective.
Songs from “The Xenogamous Endeavour” and the upcoming album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” have mainly been mixed by mr Mitia Wexler of wxlr.mx. – If you’re looking for a mixing engineer who knows his job, don’t hesitate to contact him, as I had and am having a great experience with him so far. Especially because he’s the kind of engineer who can deliver that extra beyond their expertise: give a different perspective, give you a second pair of ears, all in a good conversation.
Just hire a producer then…
Well, that’s a thin line. The way I worked with mixing engineers, they sometimes do overlap a bit with the role a producer would have. But there’s some differences. First of all, what is a producer.. Some producers are just people that give advice, while others are all involved in the creation of the track without you ever touching it. Here you’re still in charge of your own process, your own melodies, you essentially are still making your tracks – the mixing engineer, as I described above is for me sometimes a producer because he (or she) gives me a different perspective on the track if needed. But ultimately, they mix the track and make your track shine before it goes off to the mastering studio…
So why don’t I mix my tracks anymore… Because all of the points above. First of all, they know what they’re doing – they are experts in making your track shine and keep frequencies from clashing and all other sorts of magic. And they provide that fresh perspective, which you are free to take or neglect. I mixed my tracks, but always felt I couldn’t take them to their full potential due to the lack of knowledge of certain tools and technologies.
Yes, I could learn all of that, but it would distract me from the creative process of making a song – which is what I like doing, and what I got noticed for in the first place, which is my core business. DIY is great and all (even with art, mastering etc..) but at the end of the day, you need to write the song, and thanks to the mixing engineers out there now I have a lot more time focusing on the key part, making a good song and giving it my full attention.
If you want some references, here’s people I worked with that I really like. I’m sure there’s other great people out there, and I don’t want to offend anyone, but I can only refer to these people because I worked with them in the past.
- Mitia Wexler (Mixing): http://wxlr.mx/
I worked with him on the album “The Xenogamous Endeavour” and the upcoming “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”. Below is “On My Mind ft. Lisa Nascimento”, example of such a track mixed by Mitia Wexler.
- X-M-P / Noisuf-X (Mixing, Mastering): http://x-m-p.de/
He mixed “Before I Die ft. Diana S.” (listen below) and did masters of most of the albums starting from “Introspection / Extrospection”.
- I have to mention Geert de Wilde of IC 434 as well, as he helped (and still helps) me out a lot with certain questions and difficulties I have.