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How to be a pro mix engineer?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 

How to be a pro mix engineer?

Hi guys, I love mixing, it is my favourite part of the production process, after years and years recording, producing, mixing and teaching I really want to focus just on mixing online, any tips on how to become better, faster and more creative?

Any full time mixer here? tips on how to get new clients, rates, online promo, etc??

Be great to talk about international online rates, I see totally different numbers out there... from $20 to $850... per song, from 3 revisions to unlimited, etc...

Cheers!

Last edited by MADA; 2 weeks ago at 07:40 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Hellooooo anyone out there?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Hopefully a mixer will chime in soon.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Another question I got...I really want to focus on just mixing but I keep getting mastering gigs every week..I probably master about 120 songs a year...sounds silly but I dont wanna do it in theory but in reality I dont know how to say no and close that door, I really believe in all that energy, law of attraction, etc... stuff and I dont know if you really have to close a door in order to open another one? I dont actually put the word mastering on my site or any of my social media...but keeps coming...I remember this Michael White video talking about this, the market never lies, I get the point but even more confusing.
Another one is basically the same problem but with selecting artists, I so some produciton/beats for some terrible latin artists cause they pay good, I dont want to do it and I told them few times but they keep coming cause Im the only beat maker they know who is a real musician so I can make decent beats with real music not cheap loops on top of each other, anyway, there are some decent kids out there who can make it too and really cheap but sometimes the problem is that those kids take ages to do it, terrible cocky attitude and dont take any criticism so dont really understand the work revisions... what can I do if I dont want to be a jack of all trades all my life??
Old 1 week ago
  #5
I'll chime in.

Speed, creativity etc is down to you - who do you look up to? Do you trawl the internet and magazines for interviews of how these great techniques were created? Do you just go into the the studio and play? see what happens by just doing stuff?
Pricing etc - well again, that's a business decision: pick what you want and stick to it. The only other trick is to look at competitors in the same market as you (which ties into your other posting question).

How to get out of Mastering? say you don't do it anymore. BUT speak to a fellow mastering guy and see if you can set up a referral deal (say 10% for any referrals to their mastering business)
As for your mixing the wrong bands, I just tell people I'm too busy at the moment - I booked up for the next 6 months..... then after that time, say you've had some higher-rate work from various places and your rates now reflect that work?
As a self-employed mixer, you can always just say "No". (Hopefully) nobody's holding a gun to your head.....
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for your reply mate, unfortunately I have tried few ME with no luck, we are talking in the $50 range, normally they do it a lot worse than me LOL

Let´s talk rates, I normally charge $70-100 for a hip hop mix, meaning, the beat comes already mixed down and maybe about 10 vocal tracks max, normally about six, something you can easily do in about 45 min or less. I work 100% ITB and I got a template for that type of mix.

Then it really gets funny, normally about $200ish for a regular mix but again if they come with less than 24 tracks... I can go $150...if they come with more than 60 tracks, needs some vocal tuning, maybe some drum replacement....I go nuts

What about you guys? I know there are different rates for different markets, unsigned artist, indie label or major label, do you actually charge more when they come with a decent label? I have heard Tchad Blake, recently, saying that he had no gigs coming at all for a month, Andrew Scheps said that last years he was actually about 3 months with no mixing work...some of them say that they got indie rates and low budget...but what do you think that really means? I have heard few times on facebook groups that there are top mixers charging $100 per mix...I don´t believe it at all

What you guys think? Lets talk serious business here
Old 1 week ago
  #7
This is really a lot of ground to cover and no real rights and wrongs except what works for you, your clients, and the potential ones you wanna attract. I am NOT a full time mixing engineer making my living exclusively with it, so I'm probably not the one to give real advice, but recording and mixing is what I love and pursue and I always try to get a paid gig, so it's more than just a hobby.
But I can tell you the following: The work I do freelancing on my own and the work I do for the (top shelf) studio I work for on a regular basis have little in common concerning rates and rules although the results are pretty similar. Freelancing my most important decision is: Do I want to work with a certain artist? If I like what they do and think it's a good match and believe it's also a welcome addition to my portfolio, I will be more inclined to lower my rates if they have not that much money to spend. In the studio, I get paid to mix whether I like the artist or not. But a band with a major deal definitely gets a different deal than a young unsigned band which is not up to me to decide. Bottom line is: I may enjoy the work more although I get less money because I like the artist. So you have to decide if you wanna go with a fixed rate per song/production (maybe one for unsigned and one for signed) and stick to that or if you wanna offer flexible rates depending on the artist and project. I know guys who work with either principle and both can work. And ask yourself if things like tuning and more editing are to be paid extra or included in your rate. In my experience the majority of clients expects those things as part of the mix. It should not be, but in reality it is. That's why most guys I know charge more from the start and do whatever has to be done. The client would ask you to do it anyway.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MADA View Post
Another question I got...I really want to focus on just mixing but I keep getting mastering gigs every week..I probably master about 120 songs a year...sounds silly but I dont wanna do it in theory but in reality I dont know how to say no and close that door, I really believe in all that energy, law of attraction, etc... stuff and I dont know if you really have to close a door in order to open another one? I dont actually put the word mastering on my site or any of my social media...but keeps coming...I remember this Michael White video talking about this, the market never lies, I get the point but even more confusing.
I understand that you want to focus on mixing instead of mastering, but do you feel the mastering part is a road block between you and being able to mix?
Does the mastering take up so much time that you don't have time/energy left to take on mix jobs or honing your mix skills and do networking/promote your mixing?

If that's the case, what about increasing your mastering prices substantially, like 50% up? You'll maybe loose some jobs, but you'll earn more on the ones you get. If they're really happy with your mastering they'll probably keep coming to you anyway, if not you free up time to pursuit mixing.

If it's just a case of not getting enough mixing gigs, I would try to continue to do mastering just to have some stable income and then slowly building up your reputation and skills as a mixer.

I would not stop mastering completely before you're confident you have enough mixing work. In my mind it would be worse if you would have to get a totally unrelated job outside music just to provide income while building your mixing reputation, if the [email protected] hit the fan.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Thanks JSchlomo, really smart and mature response mate

Thanks Zeppelin, I get your point, don´t get me wrong I get regular mixing work, at least few songs every month, I think I get more for mastering not only because I might be doing a good job but let´s be honest, it´s cheaper than mixing and most people that´s all they can afford plus I normally ask for stems, at least beat and vocals so I can fix some mixing problems, for me that´s stem mixing not stem mastering but anyway...a cheap and fast way to help a poor produced song.

My main concern is more like, I don´t wanna be a jack of plus I don´t wanna seem like one, I actually want to go all in with mixing cause that´s my main goal or dream, become a full time mixer, no more mastering, no more beat making or even producing, just mixing full time. I know it might sound a bit silly, specially considering how difficult it is to make a living off just online work but it´s more about just the concept of commitment, if you know what I mean?

Plus I think sometimes when you don´t really commit to something and keep some doors open...it might be some kind of fear that might block abundance.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MADA View Post
Thanks JSchlomo, really smart and mature response mate

Thanks Zeppelin, I get your point, don´t get me wrong I get regular mixing work, at least few songs every month, I think I get more for mastering not only because I might be doing a good job but let´s be honest, it´s cheaper than mixing and most people that´s all they can afford plus I normally ask for stems, at least beat and vocals so I can fix some mixing problems, for me that´s stem mixing not stem mastering but anyway...a cheap and fast way to help a poor produced song.

My main concern is more like, I don´t wanna be a jack of plus I don´t wanna seem like one, I actually want to go all in with mixing cause that´s my main goal or dream, become a full time mixer, no more mastering, no more beat making or even producing, just mixing full time. I know it might sound a bit silly, specially considering how difficult it is to make a living off just online work but it´s more about just the concept of commitment, if you know what I mean?

Plus I think sometimes when you don´t really commit to something and keep some doors open...it might be some kind of fear that might block abundance.
I think you can fully commit NOW to becoming a full time mixing engineer. If you decided right now that's what you're going to make your life's purpose, that's committing the way I see it. Even if it doesn't mean you'll be able to devote 100% of your attention to mixing from here on out. People might not necessarily see this commitment straight away on social media and on the outside and so forth. The important thing is that mixing is what you have chosen to center your universe around. And then go slowly from there with whatever means and opportunities you have available. But it's a long way and the competition is hard.

Most people would be thrilled if they were in your position and had paid mastering and producing gigs. You need something to sustain you financially while you build your mixing career(unless you're already filthy rich/inherited lots of money). And both mastering and producing will help you improve your mix and listening skills as well as you musical understanding. I stand by my suggestion of raising your mastering/producing prices. Because of this you will either just plainly earn more or work a bit less and earn the same. In the latter case freeing up time for getting better at mixing and getting your name out there.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

As far as getting fewer mastering gigs...I agree with the above, raise your rates. Naturally, that's what you do in any business...if the demand exceed the supply...you charge more. If you have 120 mastering gigs a year, I imagine that a nominal 10-15% rate increase wouldn't be enough to discourage your repeat clients, but may deter some people that are just shopping for a price, and may give you more time while having more or less the same amount of money in your pocket. If you are in fact doing a lot of mastering with stems...to me that's really more of a mixing task, and in which case I would be charging more for that type of work especially.

I personally think that in today's world, being in the trade is not at all about being 100% specialized (unless you have a really in demand specialty or tons of great cred that keeps steady work in)...a lot of folks are pretty flexible to other gigs. So while mastering may not be your preferred way to get paid, maybe its better than having to balance a more traditional job? Not saying it applies to you necessarily, but having say 10 ways of getting paid is a good way to keep yourself busy without finding yourself with down time. That doesn't mean commit to each of the 10 things equally, but you know maybe divide up that pie to say how much effort you commit to finding mixing gigs, versus mastering, versus recording, versus whatever...

And while online is one way to get gigs...I tend to feel that unless you have an established name, probably the people that find you online are just chasing a price...which is a no win for anybody. So if you want more mixing gigs, I think you probably look locally. The most logical way to find more mixing gigs is with...doing more recording gigs....its not a real big step to mix the projects that you also record... But there are probably two main types of bands that are looking for "just" a mix engineer...either bands looking to strap a big name mixer to their project, or bands that recorded at home and realized their mixes sound like dog ****. At least if you record it yourself...you can control the quality of the recording to where you don't get ****ed in the mixing stage.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Cheers guys, don´t you think that sometimes it is better to wash dishes in the most miserable bus station in the middle of nowhere and only take the best and most appropiate gigs that you actually desire in life than being a jack of doing music gigs that you don´t really like or are not in resonance with your true purpose in life, in my case just mixing, cause being a mercenary and take any gig, recording, mixing, mastering, making beats...and sometimes for the worst singers and most crazy delusional egos out there can at the end of the day be more a backfire or a bad karma let´s say than actually a good career path?

I believe in the power of NO, the market never lies...and all those things, actually MW has a nice playlist about those things, what you guys think?

YouTube
Old 1 week ago
  #13
I think there has already been great advice in here.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
I think there has already been great advice in here.
Agreed!

I will add that Michael White's messages doesn't go against any of the advice that's been given here in this thread. So I don't get what answer/solution the OP is looking for?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Do good work first and foremost.

Raise your rates as often as you can - quicker if you're busy - it's better to do fewer quality gigs for more money than be busy all the time working for peanuts.

There's no magic bullet to get to be a full time mix engineer - in reality, there's very few high end full time mix engineers (I mean, Manny and Serban are doing a massive percentage of the pop stuff, there's probably about 10 full time high end rock mixers and so on). Most people are mixing, engineering, producing etc. Few specialists. Most of the people claiming to be great engineers, offering to mix for $50 on facebook aren't getting any work.

$100/mix is very low end. No, there aren't any guys making a living mixing for $100/track. There might be the odd pro guy doing a favour for people for that sort of thing, but only if they want to!
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Yeah that´s what I think, people keep saying on facebook groups that top mixers, specially into hip hop, get $100 per song and when normally is about $800 if you are unsigned if not a lot more, we are talking mixers with some recent credits, which another discussion is if thats any fair or not. Recently Tony Maserati, one of my favourite ones said a couple of interesting things in one interview, first one is simple, if you are not getting enough calls and gigs its basically because you are not good enough, period, I think that´s kida true, even in most cases you might be a good engineer but you are terrible at networking, selling yourself, marketing, etc... the other one is that he remembers when he was kinda starting out and only getting $800-1200 for a mix... not bad at all, right?

All those cats offering mixing for $20 or $50... I see that everyday, even some of them reply to my post saying that they do it cheaper, that I´m a rip off, etc... I can not understand why someone who is charging peanuts don´t respect and even admire when someone is getting more, that supposed to be a good inspiration and motivation, at least it is for me, I don´t care if some other mixers get 2 grant per song or $600 or even 10 grant, you don´t attract what you want, you attract who you are.

Nice chatting with you guys about these things
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