The internet has made almost everything in this world accessible.
You can research any career or skill that you wish to get into and you’ll find hundreds of search results related to your query.
Therefore most artists have made the process of mixing and mastering part of their process,
most interviews of musical artists have them telling the interviewer that they are able to record themselves in their home studio.
Therefore, “Should I mix and master my own music?”
As a musician, knowing how to mix and master your own music is very important because it can be very difficult to convey all the details that you want for your song to an engineer. Therefore mixing and mastering your own music is good because it allows you to take your record to a level that you want.
so rather than having somebody else work on your music,
and possibly fail to execute your ideas to the full extent to which you want them to be executed.
This is the reason why a lot of musicians are now choosing to purchase their own gear and a studio stationed in their own home where they have full control.
This comes with a number of advantages and is rather a cost saving approach.
I chose specific areas of content to include in this post because I want it to be as helpful as possible,
and i want it to be part of the basis that you form when deciding on whether to go the self-recording and self-producing route or not.
The prices of studio equipment have dropped over the years and you can basically get the necessary gear you need at a rate that won’t crack your piggy bank wide open.
when I got started in music production years ago,
I basically invested a thousand dollars and i had my studio up and running,
I was able to compose, make beats, record, mix and master tracks in my own home.
That’s a studio that I own to this day.
Granted I’ve made a lot of changes to it but you see the point I’m driving at.
The rise of the commercial “big” studio
The fancy “big studio” has been around long before almost all of us were born.
They are the perfect environment to make your music
because of the atmosphere of these spaces, their acoustically treated rooms, dedicated machine rooms, and all sorts of equipment.
This high end expensive gear is great and all but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want to get.
Technology has advanced to the point where it is not even a necessity anymore to have some hardware gear.
With a few hundred bucks, a computer, a microphone, an interface,
you could have a hit song in a matter of minutes, possibly even sounding better than most commercial music out there.
I’m not trying to put down the idea of seeking out qualified professionals to handle your music needs,
but you should know that it doesn’t take a lot to have a good little studio going.
The comfort of your own home
Anyone that makes their music in their home will testify to the level of ease in the production process.
Having the ability to work whenever you want to, will give you better chance to work on your music in phases while you work on other things,
rather than having to sit down with an engineer that you have to pay to edit and work on your music on their schedule,
a good break from mixing can be a good thing and can make a huge difference in the way that your music ends up sounding.
The freedom to work and record at your own time is so rewarding,
because you can get the best takes since you’re not on any studio clock,
and you don’t have to worry about your studio time running out and having to book another appointment.
I know I work best when I’m inspired and fueled to be the best at what I do,
often times that inspiration may slip from under you and make it difficult to work on any music,
therefore being in total control of my mixing allows me to unplug and leave my home studio,
take a break, have some coffee, find inspiration and get back into the studio lock in, and make the best music I can make.
That sort of control comes with so many advantages,
but remember that you have to put in the work and strive to be better at what you do.
The hard truth
I’ve gone through a number of ways as to how being in charge of your own music production process can be great and all.
but let’s now get into the hard truth.
Don’t let the frank heading scare you, what I’ll discuss here is purely factual and not unattainable.
Mixing is editing your recording takes, applying the necessary effects and having it ready for release after the mastering process.
The fact here is that you just don’t wake up with this skill, and it takes practice.
A LOT OF PRACTICE!
it takes a person an average of 10,000 hours to learn a new skill right?
I don’t know how they came up with that number but I agree with it.
you’ll need to learn how to mix and master, theres no shortcut.
if you want to be in charge of your own production,
you have to put in the time to work on your craft and get better and better until other artists and producers start asking you for your production advice,
that may not always be the case, but that’s atleast where your aim should be at.
You can’t expect to be a great producer overnight,
there’s a reason why even the most talented people in this earth hire super engineers to work on their music.
The reason is simply because they don’t want anything that is less than industry standard,
they want a hit record that can compete with other records.
mixing is just as important as the song writing process,
therefore you have to take the time to understand the process and start to apply it in your own mixing sessions.
In other situations, you may be making music only for fun and not professionally,
in which case you would probably get away with an average mix.
a situation like this may not require you to do alot of professional processing.
If you have a great song recorded and are planning to release it on various digital platforms and stores and have no idea what mixing is all about,
then I’d advise you to seek out an engineer that can work on your music.
The fact is,
if you want to sell your music to an audience that has been primed with industry standard music then you better pull off industry standard mixes.
looking for an industry professional may have a drawback in that
the most skilled and famous producers will probably be hard to get to because either their schedule or their reservations of working with an independent artist will make it difficult for you to work with them.
and lets face it,
these guys might be too expensive for your budget.
but then again you can’t just go online and hire any “guru” to mix and master your track.
you need to take your time and research the best engineers and their work and see if they are somebody that you can work with,
most people on platforms like fiver will offer average services for a low rate.
They might induce you with their loud and bright sounding music, but it is basic mixes in most cases.
You need to ignore those types of guys,
find somebody that is better suited to handle your music.
one of the platforms best for a good research is youtube,
because you can atleast see the engineer in action and have access to their work.
The final process
Mastering is the last process after mixing,
it involves making a few adjustments in order to make the track ready to be released on platforms like Apple Music.
you’ll need to scout a great mastering engineer or learn how to master.
Be reminded that just because a person can mix a song well,
doesnt mean they master just aswell.
It is a great idea to mix and master your own music and it will come with a lot of advantages but
If you have no idea how to mix or master music then you’re better off hiring someone to do it for you.
with that said,
it doesn’t mean you can’t learn the art of mixing and mastering,
you can learn and become good at it and work on your own music.
in as much as it might take a long time to grasp everything,
know that you’d be doing your self a huge favor.
I have a full comprehensive list of the best DAWs that you can use in your mixing and mastering here.
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Should You Master Your Own Mixes? – Behind The Speakers
Should You Mix And Master Your Own Music? – Pick Yourself
Why is it important to professionally mix and master your tracks? – Anara