Looking back at what I’ve learned from working hundreds of different producers along the years, I wrote a few quick DOs and DON’Ts for working with a mixing/mastering engineer.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but considering these will mean way fewer headaches in my job.
• Know how your music should sound; words often fail here, so 1–3 reference songs from your favorite artists/labels is an excellent starting point. We all have those songs, so just spend a bit of time finding those that you think represent your style somewhat close. Remember, a good song does not necessarily equal a good-sounding song. It’s happened to me many times that I get to hear, “Yeah, actually, it doesn’t sound good, but I thought it’s just a good song”…and then we start all over again. This will cost you the price of two masters in the worst case.
I’m amazed by this Gullfoss EQ plugin by Soundtheoryltd.
It’s an automatic corrective EQ that can tame and boost things.
Working on a 20-song album today where some songs need a little bit of clarity but where EQing isn’t breathing what I want to the sound.
I’ve been using it here and there recently; I’ve mostly used it Continue reading Plugin recommendation: Gullfoss EQ→
Maintaining close, tight communication with the client is key to me – to ensure ideal end results. I want no less, and I don’t want to get paid before we’re there (I’m often suggested pre-payment, but I always say, let me make it right for you first, and then you can pay me…and my clients always pay me, even though the option of not doing so in case they didn’t like it is there).
What’s very common with most mastering services (especially big, expensive ones) is that you send them your mix/premaster, they do their job…and even if there’s some glaring issues in it, the mastering engineer won’t make a point about it…then you’ll get the master back and hear all the shortcomings emphasized – but the mastering engineer won’t point it out to you (I do; I always feel we’re in it together).
Then, normally you’ll send your new mix to them, and they’ll run it thru the chain Continue reading My strengths as an audio engineer→
• mastering: €45 per song
• mixing + mastering from tracks: €45 hourly rate
• mix + master+ document: €50 hourly rate (The song is mixed and mastered from tracks, and an explanatory video documenting the whole process is made).
Tools of the trade from a mixing + mastering project from tracks for a client tackled (drum and bass).
Some trusted plugins here:
• Massey Tapehead is my favorite “beef-it-up-izer”…use it on wimpy drumsounds every time to give them a bit of girth. Also great in reducing excessive highs.
• iZotope Neutron transient designer is unbeatable in shaping the “shape” and tone of a drumsound…make it snappier or less so, brighter, longer, etc…love it.
• Oeksound Soothe is my number one tool in taming harsh resonances. And it makes it so dang easy for you. Use it on vox, harsh drums, sax, guitars…everything. Love the Delta mode, so you can hear exactly what you’re taking out.
• Slate Digital LLC goodies are all honey Continue reading Tools of the trade part 1→
This is from an electronic project done for a good vocalist.
• The Universal Audio SSL strip is working as a gate, eliminating plosives from the vocal tracks.
• The two compressors below it, LA-3A and LA2A, are my trusted vocal track levelers. If you need it, you can also introduce some lively distortion to the vocal and even go towards “radio voice” if you really push them.
• Soundradix Surfer EQ is Continue reading Tools of the trade part 2→