Mixing is the next to last step in all professional recordings, the three steps being 1) Recording 2) Mixing and 3) Mastering. The goal of mixing is to take a song and make it reach its greatest potential. Getting the best sound out of your newly recorded songs requires the help of a trained mixing engineer. Sometimes a recording engineer or recording studio may not be appropriately equipped or does not feel compelled to mix the recorded works of their clients. In the last scenario, a recordist who has been immersed in the process of tracking may feel "burnt out" after the many long hours of tracking. So in either case, they (the client and recordist) would then leave mixing and/or mastering to a third party, like us, to complete these steps.
Many recording studios do not specialize in mixing, in effect they do not posses the proper mixing enviroment, mixing gear, or monitoring signal path, which also creates a need for a proper mixing studio or mixing engineer.
The Mixing Studio
Any really great mix will have a common recipe:
Superb monitoring and Digital to Analog conversion -- mastering quality mid-field speakers that translate well on other sources and speakers. D/A converters that are non-colored, provide clarity and accuracy in conjunction with accurate monitors.
Analog Mixing. Rather than mixing "in the box" (exclusively digital mixing), analog mixing has more depth, width, and dimensionality than any digital mix. High-end analog gear is of higher quality than any digital gear. When mixing analog, with an analog console (not tape in this case, although mixing to analog tape is additionally beneficial), it is easy to integrate analog gear in conjunction with the analog console, hence double benefit - analog high-end gear through analog high-end console yields the ultimate in analog mixing.
Analog Tape -- 2 Track Mixdown
After the engineer is finished with the mix, putting it onto analog 2 track mixdown also adds additional warmth and depth to the mix. This is one more essential step to creating the ultimate analog mix, something no digital mix can offer. Any attempts made through plug-ins to simulate this analog process will never come close to the real thing.
The Engineer. The mixing engineer is adept at using and obtaining the most out what he has at his disposal. This includes mastering the art of mixing, knowing the equipment, the speakers, the gear, the fundamental art of manipulating sound to his will. Altering tones, sounds, sound replacing, compression, eq, dynamics, reverb, analog tape, are just a few of the things a mixing engineer must master.
The process of mixing is about achieveing balance through objective listening. Each seperate recorded track must be scrutinized and manipulated to fit into the "mix". Adding a third party to the table also adds another way of thinking about the big picture. The mixing engineer works directly with your producer during the mix process. Fresh ears and high-quality tools are needed of the mixing engineer. This includes an accurate well-tuned room (listening enviroment), an extremely high quality monitoring path including extremely accurate Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog converters, and high fidelity mastering quality monitors (speakers). Also needed are the appropriate tools of the trade -- outboard gear. Professional mixing often employs EQ, Compression, and other processing. During mixing, we utilize an analog summing surface and analog tape for the 2 bus mix. In general, we prefer to use analog mixing tools instead of their digital counterparts. The mix engineer creates the complete sonic landscape of a song, piece by piece, instrument by instrument. Layering and tweeking each to fit perfectly in harmony with every other aspect of the song. Each recorded instrument must be blended into a cohesive stereo mix. Editing and sampling can be done during mixing as well.
Mixing can take as much time as the recording of any project, it a crucial part of making an album. The whole goal of mixing, is for your music to sound exactly like you think it should sound when finished. Mixing is extremely important, it can not be undone when finished. If something is not right, it must be redone from scratch. The end result of our mixing will add a theme of continuity in the entire project and from one song to the next.
Mixing and Mastering Engineer - Nathan Eldred is well known and respected nationally among audio engineers for his knowledge and expertise in the field. Nathan Eldred has over 10 years commercial mixing experience.
We can not give exact estimates because it is dependent on the needs of the individual project, and your level of specificity before and/or during the mixing process. Every person and project has different needs and requirements. Call for free over the phone consultation about your mixing needs. Toll Free 1.866.235.0953.