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How to Choose a Good Mixer
By Cyrus Rhodes - 09/30/2009 - 12:14 PM EDT

It takes skill and engineering savvy to record, mix, and master a musical production to industry standards these days. I might add its 2009, so the bar is set rather high for independent artists out there who are trying to get their CDís mixed properly. As listeners we take good mixes for granted every day as we listen to song after song presented to us in this format. Mixing is where all the hard decisions get made. It can make the difference between an amateur recording and a legendary one, even starting with the same source material. This is why mixing is so critical.  Itís so true that you never notice a bad mix until you actually hear one. Iíve seen independent artists get this wrong year in and year out, regardless of how good their music is, and how much they paid into it. The most tragic part of this is when an artist puts their trust and money into the hands of someone who is nothing more than a high end amateur. Many of these individuals can talk a mad game and may even have a huge client listing, but regardless of ďhow many yearsĒ theyíve been in the business it doesnít always equate to industry standard. So how can you tell if your mixer is up to snuff. Below are just some of the few things you can do to verify your mixer is good enough to be called a professional.   

- Chose a mixer that has proven experience mixing within your musical genera.

- Chose a mixer with a vast MP3 library of previous work he has done posted online so you can listen to it.

- Personally contact one of the bands this mixer has worked with in the past and ask about prices, timeline, and their overall experience.  

- Ask around other local bands who they mixed with.

- Ask a potential mixer for a free copy of a CD they have mixed so you can sample the mix. job.

- Send the above CDís to a professional Mastering Engineer and ask him for an in-depth critique of the mix.

- Mix just one song with this mixer as a trial run. Send this finalized mix to the above Mastering Engineer and ask him for a critique of the mix.

If all of the above checks out, chances are you have a professional mixer on your hands.   

Remember there are thousands upon thousands of mixers out there, and a lot of them depend on you Ė the independent artists for their business. They also know most independent artists out there are not exactly rolling in cash so they are willing to work with you on a price. Iím here to tell you it is possible to find a mixer out there who will mix a 60 minute production for about $1,000 out the door. If you need further assistance in finding a mixer within you region donít be shy and shoot me an e-mail.  

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