Are you a rock or metal musician /songwriter looking for a mixing engineer to help you create the perfect sound for your recordings? If so, you're not alone. Finding the right mix engineer can be a challenge, but it's an important step in ensuring that your music sounds the way you want it to.
At Modern Metal Songwriter, we understand the importance of finding the right mix engineer for your band, because in this genre (rock and metal) so much of how your music is perceived starts with the sound of your recording. Before you get started, here are some things to consider when choosing a mixing engineer.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mixing Engineer
When choosing a mixing engineer, there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the best possible result. Here's what to keep in mind:
Experience and Expertise
First and foremost, you want a mixing engineer who has experience in your genre of music. A metal or rock mixer will have a different set of skills and knowledge than an engineer who specializes in pop or electronic music. Look for someone who understands the nuances of your style and has experience working with similar artists. For example a band, is your band looking for a natural and raw feeling mix, or something super lively, and filled with electronics. Depending on your bands music, this will heavily affect your choice.
It's also important to check out their portfolio of work, and expect similar results of quality. Don't expect their work to instantly get better with your song. However, sometimes it’s great to expand and have someone from a completely different background work on your music. This can be a great way to create something unique.
It's important to have a clear understanding of your mixing engineer's pricing structure. Ask for a breakdown of the costs and what is included in the price. Make sure you understand any additional costs that may be incurred with your needs, such as additional revisions, editing or additional tracks. All of this should be discussed with every mixer you get quotes from as everyone has a different process.
Mix Engineer Pricing
Mix engineer pricing can vary widely depending on the experience and expertise of the engineer, the complexity of the project, and other factors. However, you can practically find someone to mix your song for free or upwards of $10,000 per song.
On average you can expect to pay around $400-$1000 a song to work a professional, and that rate can grow exponentially depending on where the person is in their career and how full their schedule is.
It's super important to keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best option. A higher-priced mixing engineer may have more experience and a better track record of creating the sound you're looking for. But, if your budget cannot handle the best, obviously do your best to get the best value and look around at all of your options!
MOST engineers do not post their prices publicly, to get in touch with them to find out their current rates for the services you need, you should reach out via the contact forms on their website.
How to Find a Mixing Engineer
So, how do you find a mixing engineer? There are a few different ways to go about it, depending on your preferences and needs.
One of the best ways to find a mixing engineer is through personal referrals. Ask other musicians or industry professionals for recommendations. If you hear a sound you like on another artist's album, ask who they used for mixing. This is the main way that mixing work happens - through the means of organic reach.
This is also our personal favorite as it allows you to get a feel for how working with someone was before you start. This helps you avoid any scenarios working with someone who seems great on the outside, but lacks communication, etc.
You can also search for mixing engineers online. Google is a good starting point, but you can also use online forums, album credits and more to find great mixers and get in contact. You also can use services such as Soundbetter, or Fiverr to search for engineers in your genre, although sometimes quality may vary on the cheapest options as these often have no barrier to entry to get an account.
Modern Metal Songwriter's Facebook Community
Another great resource for finding a mixing engineer is the Modern Metal Songwriter's Facebook community. Here, you can connect with other musicians and industry professionals and ask for recommendations or advice. You can also reach out to Isaiah or Johnny personally through their own studio websites, and hire them directly if you like the sounds from our videos.
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Personal referrals may be more reliable, but they may not always lead to a mix engineer who specializes in your genre. Online search and community groups may offer a wider range of options, but it may be more difficult to judge the quality of the work in a sea of engineers filling your messages after you make a post.
Hiring a Mixing Engineer
Hiring a mixing engineer can offer several benefits. It can help improve the quality of your recording and save you time and effort in the mixing process. However, it's important to carefully consider whether hiring a mixing engineer is the right choice for your project.
Pros of Hiring a Mixing Engineer
- Professional sound: A skilled mixing engineer can help you achieve a professional-quality sound that can be difficult to achieve on your own.
- Time-saving: Mixing can be a time-consuming process, and hiring an engineer can save you valuable time and effort.
- Fresh perspective: A mixing engineer can bring a fresh perspective to your music and help you achieve a sound you may not have thought of on your own.
Cons of Hiring a Mixing Engineer
- Cost: As we discussed earlier, hiring a mixing engineer can be expensive, and it may not be within your budget.
- Loss of control: When you hire a mixing engineer, you're giving up some control over the final sound of your music. While you can provide input and feedback, ultimately, the engineer will be the one making the final decisions.
Many mixers will offer a test mix if you are trying to decide whether or not you want to go with them or not, especially for an album worth of music. Often times this will mean around 30-90 seconds of the song so you can hear what they would do, although some mixers will just do a first pass of the whole song, and send it on a platform such as Filepass that allows you to hear the track without downloading.
Not every mixer will be willing to do this, though, so make sure to ask if that is something they offer. They may ask for a fee, but some are willing to take it on for free if they believe in the project and really want to work with the artist.
Finding the right mixing engineer can be a challenge, but it's an important step in ensuring that your music sounds the way you want it to. By considering factors like experience, communication skills, and pricing structure, you can find a mixing engineer to help you achieve your desired sound.
Remember to explore all of your options, from personal referrals to online searches to community groups like the Modern Metal Songwriter's Facebook community. And if hiring a mixing engineer isn't within your budget, consider using affordable audio plugins and free educational content from Modern Metal Songwriter to achieve the sound you want on your own at home!