How To Choose A Producer
And Mix Engineer
This isn’t really that complicated.
The only issue is that everyone calls them self a producer and mix engineer now a days.
I still recommend you just cop beats from SoundClick.com and as you build a fan base you will have 20 beat makers a day sending you beats hoping you buy them from them. I still get 100 beats a day. There are SO many beat makers. There are just as many beat makers as their are rappers.
You DO need someone to mix your music though so you don’t have to spend 5 years learning how to do the best job you can mixing your own music. Let someone else spend 5 years of their life learning how to mix and produce. You need to focus on writing, recording, building your style, image, building relationships with fans, staying healthy and mastering your marketing techniques!
Lucky for me, my mix engineer FOUND ME. This was BEFORE I blew up. One guy who was coming up saw me, then told another guy about me and that guy was the best mix engineer in the world (in my opinion). He has studied under the greats who have done ANYONE you can name from Jay Z to Michael Jackson and he is one of the coolest smartest people I know. We have been best friends since we met in 2011.
I actually moved to South Carolina where he lived at the time in order to learn any knowledge I could from him. It was a long process to get over ME being hard headed and be able to finally work with another person. But we did it. It took about 6 months before I started trusting him with my music.
At first It was VERY VERY hard for me to let anyone else do anything for me. I had done everything else myself my entire career and it was hard to let someone else even have my files or mix my stuff. To this day though, nothing of mine gets mixed by him unless I am in the room though. I record/track everything myself from my own studio, then I bring my stuff to him and we mix it together. So I am still an assistant engineer on any song you have heard from me.
I have a vision in mind, I tell him and he makes it come to life.
One thing I have to say that I want you to learn from this entire Level Part is that it is OKAY to let someone else have your music files and mix your stuff. It isn’t going to hurt you in any way. I was so afraid to let anyone even help me it held me back for YEARS. Don’t be that guy.
Let a mix engineer have the opportunity to mix your stuff.
When you get used to how mixing and mastering works, at first you are going to be completely confused and wonder why it sounds SO different than it did when you first pre mixed it and recorded it at your house.
You get so used to hearing adlibs and voice overs at a certain Db that you tweak out about it being TOO different when someone else mixes it. DON’T TRIP! I was like this FOREVER, I still kinda get like this since I pre mix my own stuff. They mix it from their personal perspective and ears liking. As you work with that person more and more they will learn what you LIKE and they will adapt!
So find an Engineer.
Mixing Versus Mastering
The first time I got something mastered I was fucking clueless. I damn near flipped out and was asking the guy why the song sounded the way it did. Looking back I was just uninformed and didn’t even understand WHAT mastering was.
To put it basically for you, mastering is bringing up the levels on the ENTIRE mix so that it is as loud as it can be. To put it very simply.
So when someone masters something, it is going to sound massively different than you expected.
So you have a MIX ENGINEER, then you have a person who MASTERS the song. In the lower levels these are usually the same person.
IN THE HIGHER LEVELS your mixed track gets sent off to someone like Vlado Meller who masters it. Vlado works at the studio that my guy assembled and ran along with the owner in South Carolina for years.
If you are in Charleston, South Carolina and want to book Truphonic where A LOT of my songs were mixed and mastered hit up ELLIOTT[at]TRUPHONIC.COM
To wrap up, start looking for someone who can engineer you music for cheap or for free for the credits! 😀
The better you are, the cheaper it will be for them to work with you.