Why Do I Need A Mixing Engineer?
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
It's a great question! Picture the scene, you've put together a recording rig, carefully recorded your single, then you hear about mixing engineers.... I mean why? Why Can't I mix it myself?
The simple answer is you certainly can! But hiring a mixing engineer is also worth some thought too... here's some thoughts:
The main reason for hiring a mixing engineer is experience! Having mixed many records they know how to lick tracks into shape to get the most out of them, how to gel the drums from 4-15 separate tracks into a single unit that works in the mix.
Simply put, they know what to listen for and how to get the best sounds out of a track. It takes a long time to properly learn what all the equipment in a recording studio does, eq's, compressors, reverbs, delays, modulation etc... A mixing engineer represents someone who knows what they do, but also how best to use them!
2. Good Judgement
The second reason relates to experience. A mixing engineer will know when to do nothing to a track! Having learnt a new mixing technique, it's often tempting to over-do it. For example feeling like you have to eq every single track in a song.
However, a mixing engineer will know when to not do anything to a particular part as well as when to do something. Generally they will get the most out of your tracks- even if that involves just leaving it as it is!
2. An Outside Ear
As a band, perspective can be really difficult to achieve. Having written, rehearsed and recorded a song, it's likely the band will know it absolutely inside out (how can't they!) but a mixing engineer when s/he gets to work has never heard it before! They will hear all those extra guitar/keys/vocal parts for the first time. They may ever have some helpful perspective to know when a part isn't working and should be removed!
A good mixing engineer can listen to a song, find the focus of the tune and mix with that in mind! It may seem counter-intuitive, but paying a mixing engineer to use their ears is one of the major reasons to hire them!
What are your thoughts? Have you used a mixing engineer before? Comment below to let me know!