As an artist or singer, you might want to consider hiring a mixing engineer for your next projects. But what are the benefits of hiring a professional mixing engineer? Is it really worth it? In this article, I will give you the 8 benefits of hiring a mixing engineer to work on your music.
Here are the 8 benefits of hiring a professional mixing engineer:
- Ensuring professional quality
- Saving time
- Enjoying fresh ears
- Diving into the pro music industry
- Objectivity and lucidity
- Credibility boost in the music business
- Potential increase in streams and audience
This article is not intended to force you to hire a mixing engineer. Because for some people, it’s not really worth it. But it will simply give you an overall idea of all the positive things a professional mixing engineer can do for you and your music.
ℹ️ Oh and… by the way, is it safe to hire a mixing engineer online? I give you all the information you need in this article: Are Online Mixing Services Trustworthy ? 5 Things To Look At
This article will also help you to eliminate some prejudices that some artists and singers have about sound engineers. And especially about the prices. Yes, some pro mixing engineers can have quite high prices. But it is often a much more viable investment than investing your time and money in an affordable mixing engineer.
If you’re on the fence about hiring a sound engineer to mix your music, you’ll be able to find one who can help you. This article might make you decide one way … or the other!
Mixing music is far from being easy and accessible. And especially mixing music like a pro! It requires training, a lot of practice and especially trial and error over many years.
And by hiring a good mixing engineer, you decide to work with someone who has been through all this on a daily basis for many years. And this forges the key point of a professional mixing engineer: experience.
Experience is, in my opinion, the biggest advantage of a pro mixing engineer. Because in music, no project is the same as another, and a good adaptation is essential to be able to mix properly.
Whether it’s about compression, EQ, reverbs and other effects… There’s no “magic trick” that works every time. And the one who would claim that is wrong.
Music mixing is above all about being able to listen to and analyze with precision several sound sources. Then being able to use the right tools to make a product more exciting, deep and powerful.
With his/her experience, the professional mixing engineer will be able to give you this feeling of unity and depth without any difficulty. Which is priceless!
Besides the artistic side, the pro mixing engineer, by his experience, knows well the industry in which he works. Since it is… his job!
And that brings something more, which is also priceless: adapting your mixes to the industry.
Mixing music correctly is already a good thing! But being able to adapt your mixes to the genre codes and the trends of the music industry is another step! This is something that only professional sound engineers can offer you.
And if you’re an independent artist, keep in mind that this is something that labels often look at in their selection criteria. For them, an artist who doesn’t know how to adapt to his industry is an artist destined to disappear. This little extra from the mixing engineer could potentially change the game.
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2. Ensuring professional quality
Let’s talk about music! If we talk about pure mixing quality, a professional sound engineer scores a lot of points. Because by hiring him/her, you make sure you get a pro quality at the end of the process.
Good balance, well chosen effects, good overall dynamics, right frequencies cut or enhanced,… With a professional mixing engineer, you’re 100% sure to get it all.
And despite many misconceptions, the first to hear the quality of a mix are those who know… nothing about music! Yes, the most common and least trained ear is the one that will be able to hear flaws in a mix that producers, musicians and artists wouldn’t hear. The only difference is that the person who doesn’t know anything about music is not able to express the flaws he feels.
A mixing engineer is also this: to be able to adapt to the tastes and ears of the general public.
ℹ️ Do you actually know what differentiates an amateur mix from a pro mix? Let me show you that in this article that talks about the 5 Things That Differentiate An Amateur Mix From a Pro Mix
3. Saving time
In the music industry, time is precious, very precious. And this is especially true in the music mixing business. Because by hiring a professional mixing engineer for your music, the time you don’t spend mixing, you can take it to produce, create, rethink and reimagine your music.
In fact, you win twice by taking a mixing engineer to work on your music. First of all, you free up time for areas of your business where you can be really productive. And secondly because while you’re doing something else, a professional mixer is working on your music. Double advantage!
If we look at it the other way around. You can also waste a lot of time trying to work on mixing your projects. Because if you are an independent artist, producer or musician, chances are that you are not always sure of what you’re doing during the mixing phase.
And all those moments of hesitation, indecision, and constant back and forth can eat up hours or even days of work. And that work may not even be of high quality in the end.
What you can do in several days of hard work, a professional sound engineer will most likely be able to do in a few hours, with ease and with an assurance of a quality product. That’s not insignificant!
The question of time remains of course a choice that each person must make according to its needs. But being able to realize the enormous time saving that a mixing engineer can bring is essential in your reflection.
4. Enjoying fresh ears
Writing, producing, recording,… When you have spent a long time hearing and listening to different stages of your project, your ears end up unconsciously distorting the signal. It’s not a matter of experience or level of music mixing, it’s simply human.
It’s scientific: the more times you listen or hear something, the more the ears will get used to it and ignore the potential flaws in your mixes. Even the best sound engineers go through this!
That’s why there are so many more and more specific steps in the modern production process. First of all, of course, because everyone is specialized in its field. But also because at each step, fresh ears come into play.
And that’s also why letting a professional sound engineer handle the mixing phase of your projects is so beneficial: it’s fresh ears that discover each project.
And “fresh” ears, whatever they are, are always much better at identifying the flaws in a track. But also to better judge the balance and the general frequency spectrum of a source.
I take this opportunity to give you a little advice! If you want to mix your music by yourself, but you don’t have much experience, take breaks. You’d be amazed at how much 10-15 minute breaks can completely reset your ears’ perception.
ℹ️ Want to mix your music by yourself? Don’t feel like hiring a pro mixing engineer? Here’s How To Start Mixing Music as a Beginner
5. Diving into the pro music industry
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably heard it before: in the music business, having good contacts is essential to growing in this industry as an artist.
Good contacts attract good contacts! At a certain point, this can become exponential, but for that to happen, you have to initiate the process! What better way to start than with a professional sound engineer?
It may sound surprising, but having a professional contact in the music business can get you a lot more than just a “song that works”.
Actually, in the case of a mixing engineer, the advantage is twofold.
Because in addition to potentially introducing your music to other professionals in the music industry, the mixing engineer will also be able to share his or her experience with you.
Trust me: you can learn a lot from a good mixing engineer. Don’t forget that his/her job is also to help you get a good sound. If he/she is a good sound engineer, he/she will definitely take time to answer all your questions about music mixing.
And I can swear that the advices of a professional can be 100 times more valuable than a course or training. Why is that? Because the sound engineer is first of all, very well placed to teach you about his/her own job. And secondly because he/she will give you tracks of evolution adapted to your music, your universe, your preferences. Which is really priceless, honestly.
6. Objectivity and lucidity
This is certainly not the biggest point on this list. And yet, it is very important in order to get a quality mix at the end of the process.
When you work on a project for a long time, you gradually lose your objectivity and your lucidity. Mixing decisions (or premix), artistic or creative decisions,… Without realizing it, your lucidity is less and less efficient as the project goes on.
And this loss of objectivity occurs both on an artistic and physiological level (as we mentioned in point 4). And this is where a professional mixing engineer can come in.
Because the mixing engineer who will take charge of your project will be able to re-evaluate the balance, the dynamics and the frequency spectrum of your track with total objectivity.
And honestly, this is more important than you think! Because having objectivity and lucidity allows you to make decisions that really serve the sound.
ℹ️ Feel like your mixes sound super amateurish? Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Your Mixes (Might) Sound Amateur
7. Credibility boost in the music business
Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), reputation has an essential place in the music business. Whether you’re a musician, singer, rapper, producer, or any other music-related activity, your reputation is your career.
While this sounds like a very blunt statement, it is true. In music, you can be the best, and never make it because your reputation couldn’t keep up. When people tell you that the art world is cruel, it is a reality!
So the idea is to work with real professionals in the music business. This will allow you to boost your reputation but also your credibility within the music industry.
And that’s exactly what a professional mixing engineer can do for you indirectly. Because, if he/she is a real professional, this person probably has a lot of collaborators and acquaintances in the music business. And you can be sure that all these other people will see your work from a near or far.
And… why not a good label! Music labels take a lot of criteria into account in their choice. And a certain credibility and reputation already established is part of it. If they see that you work with real professionals, a real professional mixing engineer, you will always be put forward more than other artists. No matter how talented they are.
Even if working with real professionals has a certain cost, don’t forget how much you can get in return for these collaborations. Believe me, if you work with amateurs (or do the mixing yourself), you’ll have a hard time getting into the professional music business. And you’ll have a hard time growing a solid audience.
As an artist with big ambitions, it’s always better to focus on the long term rather than the short term.
8. Potential increase in streams and audience
The previous 7 points were very specific advantages of hiring a mixing engineer for your music. But they all come together to one main benefit: A potential increase of your audience and streams. And if you have big ambitions in music, this is a crucial element of your success.
I promise you, it can become a real snowball effect. Indeed, if you take all these advantages into account, you will quickly realize that, all together, it can form an extremely positive whole for your future in music.
Being perceived as a small artist is a step you have to take (if you haven’t already!). But if being successful in the music business is your goal, then working with professionals should be a priority. Because indirectly, they will grow your audience faster than you think!
A good mixing engineer will always provide you with that quality mix that is an open door to Spotify playlists, but also to a more loyal audience.
As an artist, never forget that people listen to music for their personal pleasure, not to please the artist. And if you want to grow your audience beyond friends, family and acquaintances, you absolutely must deliver pro quality.
Because the smallest flaw that would give a feeling of amateurism to an audience that discovers you and doesn’t know you can quickly put them off. Which is surely not what you want!
ℹ️ Want to improve quickly in vocal mixing? This article should help you a lot: Vocal Mixing : 9 Simple Tips To Improve Quickly
How to choose the right mixing engineer?
If, after reading this article, you think that hiring a mixing engineer is a good thing for your evolution in music. Then it’s time to take the next step: finding the right one for you. But how to find the right mixing engineer for your music?
There are actually a few important points to consider when choosing the right engineer for your music. Among them, there are:
- Musical genre. If you want to make sure that the mixing engineer you hire will be able to provide you with exactly what you have in mind in terms of universe, vibe and sound, you absolutely have to choose someone specialized in your musical genre. Don’t hire someone who claims to “mix all genres”. That would be shooting yourself in the foot.
- Portfolio. The mixing engineer’s portfolio (if he/she has one) is essential to say whether or not he/she is suited to your needs. Because a portfolio gives a lot of information about the quality of his/her mixes, but also about his identity as a sound engineer. Don’t hire anyone without a portfolio! And if he/she doesn’t have any, ask him to send you some mix samples.
- Reviews. Before committing to a mixing engineer, take the time to read the reviews as well. Because they can give a lot of information on the quality of services. Google is usually the most reliable place to look at reviews. Above 4.5 stars, you can trust this mixing engineer!
ℹ️ These are not the only criteria to take into account in your choice. Here are all the information on How To Choose The Right Mixing Engineer For Your Music
Benefits of hiring a pro mix engineer: Conclusion
Yes, hiring a professional mixing engineer can be expensive. But these 8 benefits show just how viable this investment can be for your further evolution in the music business. A professional mixing engineer, with his experience in music mixing, can give you a big boost of credibility that can get you into the very closed world of the music industry.
Hiring a professional mix engineer is about more than “just” professional sound quality. As you could see, you will also gain experience, you will have more time to work directly on your music, you will dive into the pro music industry, you will benefit from someone who works with lucidity, objectivity and with fresh ears, and you will indirectly gain streams and audience.
In short, if you have certain ambitions in music, hiring a professional mixing engineer will certainly be one of the best investments you can make for your future in music.
If you have any questions about mixing engineers or about anything in the field of music mixing, please contact me, I’ll be very happy to answer all your questions!
My favorite tools for mixing pop and hip-hop music:
In the field of auto-tune, I’m convinced that nothing’s better and more efficient than Antares Auto-Tune Pro. As for the EQ’s, FabFilter Pro-Q3 and Slate Digital Infinity EQ are, in my opinion, the best tools. For compression, I have 2 favorites plugins: Waves RComp and UAD EL8 Distressor.
As for reverb, I’m a big fan of the Soundtoys Little Plate, but generally, I go for the Valhalla VintageVerb for its versatility. I also love the Arturia Rev PLATE-140 and the UAD Pure Plate for its organic side.
The closed headphones I love and will always love using for mixing pop and hip-hop music are the Beyerdynamic DT-770. As for the best open-back headphones, I use the Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and I’m really happy of them!
Having a pair of Yamaha HS7 in its studio or home studio is always cool for more excitement while listening to your mixes. The Adam Audio T7V monitors are also super accurate. In my studio, I also have a pair of Genelec 8030 for their reliability.
For anyone who wants to start using hardware in their mixes, I always recommend these 2 units from Klark Teknik: the EQP-KT and the 76-KT. Don’t forget to use good converters, such as the Apollo interfaces. This is essential for a good rendering.