What is an Audio Engineer?
An audio engineer can be the person placing microphones in front of the vocalist’s mouth or twiddling knobs behind a mixing desk. Audio engineering is a broad field covering the vast technical aspects of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. In a mixing or mastering context, we’ll probably refer to them as the mixer, or mix/mastering engineer, and they are responsible for implementing the musical vision of the artist and/or producer’s vision for the song.
Who needs an mix engineer?
A mix engineer will take your individual audio files (e.g. vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synth, saxophone, etc.) and mix them together to create a balanced stereo mix of your song. Anyone who has recorded multiple instrumental or vocal audio tracks for a song will need their tracks mixed.
Who needs a mastering engineer?
A mastering engineer will take your final stereo mix and create a master recording. This typically involves achieving the target loudness for the recording, and making sure that the recording will translate well on to other playback systems (on your car stereo, or on streaming media services for example). Mastering is often referred to as the ‘polish’. If you want your mix to be competitive when compared to other recordings and to sound its very best, you’ll need a mastering engineer.
Should I tune the vocals? Isn't that cheating?
Only you can answer that question! But if your vocals aren’t 99% on point, the results you’ll be able to achieve in mixing and mastering will be seriously hindered. In practice, it is the vocal performance that is most important and even the best vocalists are off pitch here and there. Tuning can help to touch up those amazing vocals and push them over the edge for the best results.
How much will it cost?
This will be entirely dependent on the scope of the project. For editing, this type of work is normally charged on an hourly basis, so it depends how much editing is needed in preparation for mixing. For mixing, assuming the recordings are of a high standard and without any major issues, it generally depends on the vision, genre, and number of tracks provided, but this step will likely be in the range of $400 – $1000. For mastering, I typically charge $100 per track. These are just guidelines. Please contact me to get a more accurate estimate for your project.
Hi. I’m Lee, a British born songwriter, musician, producer, and audio engineer currently based between Sweden and Dubai. As the son of a talented classical guitar teacher and nephew of a wild rock drummer, my passion and journey in music began early.
My teenage years were spent writing songs, and performing in local bands. By the age of 18 I was fortunate enough to produce my first full album in a professional recording studio in the UK.
Over the past 30+ years, I have continued to develop my musical knowledge, skills, and experience. I have collaborated with many talented artists to write and produce music for album releases as well as for artists seeking film, television, and advertising placements. I’ve also continued my professional studies with the online branch of the Berklee College of Music in subjects such profession music and vocal production, songwriting, arranging, and guitar performance.
Today, I enjoy working with artists from all genres and musical backgrounds and look forward to having the chance to work with you on your next project!
Make music, not war.