Mix critiques & advices - reach your mixing goals!

Thomas Kumar

Hey guys so yesterday I was on a subreddit for mixing and mastering trying to learn about a specific topic. Anyway this guy messages me personally and starts telling me how hard it is to learn mixing mastering and how I should outsource to an engineer to do all this for me. (Mind you I knew he was just trying to sell me something) but the way he came off kind off broke my spirit he made it seem like this whole thing wasn’t accessible. I want to be a self sustainable music producer and be able to mix master my own music because I believe is part of the story your trying to tell with your music it comes down to every single detail. What is your guys opinion on this matter should you get your stuff mastered mixed by a engineer (self taught) which where all trying to do or work on your mix master to the best of your ability’s and grow with each project ?
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Sin Nias
Jan 11
its nice to inherit a million dollars its even nicer to make it on your own (also harder)
its also a question of product or progress
If you just care about your music sounding good give it to an engineer
If you enjoy the progress of mix and mastering and getting creative not only at producing do it on your own
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Rogue Violin
Jan 11
Hey! Thanks for this post, I related to it a lot - two things I thought about - the first is that regardless of whether you mix and master your own music yourself, I think it's really important to understand and build knowledge of what goes into those processes. And I would argue that that knowledge has never been as accessible as it is now, especially with this kind of platform and all our online resources. But perhaps what's harder to learn than these technical skills is good taste and musical decision making...that being said, I'd like to get to a point to be able to hire different mixing/mastering engineers for my own personal songs, mostly because I find when I'm working on my own productions I can loose perspective and lack the conviction to make broader stroke decisions because I'm so entrenched in a sound or expectation I set up in the arranging and production process. Similarly, I prefer mixing other artists work than my own because I have a certain distance from it, if that makes sense.
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Hey, don't let it get to you. I got into sound engineering and production because of my love for composition. As a mixer you can have fun adding creative flourishes to a track, too. This person was just trying to sell you their product and their strategy was to make it seem as though your only option was outsourcing (to them).

Frank Ocean's engineer Jeff Ellis said in an interview engineering is like climbing a mountain. It's not overnight and a lot of days you will feel like you suck at it (I've felt like that before), but having other projects not related to it on the side that also take a long time to get good at are important for you to stay passionate, grounded and not burn out. I hope this helps. Don't let the words of a salesperson get you down. They may not even believe in them in the first place
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Tobias Lütge
Jan 11
I guess booth (mixing & mastering) is an craft and art of itself. So i would not bother about learning mastering before reaching a certein standart of composing, arranging & mixing, . I bet even mixing alone takes a lifetime to master (at least for a talentless guy like me^^).

Even then i would send my stuff to a professional mastering engineer with a well treated room and fancy outboard gear.
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Anne Schutte
Jan 11
Hi Daniel, I'm only just entering the world of music production so I can't speak from years of experience.
What I do think is that it might be a good idea to focus on one thing at a time and become proficient in one thing (for example music production/arranging) first. Depending on the genre, it might take time to arrive at a level that can compete with the industries standards. But that shouldn't discourage you, as long as you also enjoy the process of getting there (cliché :))
I guess that when you're growing in production-skills you may find yourself mixing en shaping sound on the fly and learning all about that as well.
But working with other people (mixing/mastering-engineers) might be a good choice in the beginning. I don't think it has to be very expensive and you can learn a thing or two from them as well. It may also help to not get stuck in a project and eventually not finishing anything. (speaking from experience)

Of course it also depends on the skills you already have, the willingness to keep on pushing and the discipline to do stuff like training your ears and learning new things. But you have golden ears so I think that's not going to be a problem..

So yeah, I do recommend working with others, to get inspired and help you through some of the times that might be tough on your own. It can also be a lot of fun to work with others! But I think in time it will be possible to do entire projects on your own.
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thank you guys for all the encouraging words. i do understand everyones point. everyone has there own goals they will like to achieve.lately I've been super laser focused on learning,reading,exercising my ears just trying to do everything in my power to understand what im doing. we are all musicians and we all know how hard it is to reach even the most novice level of any aspect of music. this thing its so important to me because i would love to help others when i get to a place where im self sufficient. without having to do put people down or keep "secrets" to myself just to try to get you to sign up for _______ what ever mixing producing mastering corse in 12 days or something along those lines. i don't know when music stop being something that you do to express to motivate to just getting a quick dollar. don't get me wrong i understand that money its important and that making money of music would be amazing but not in such shady practices. I've been there. i live in NYC and i took a corse with one of the first founders of Dubspot (witch i also attended) and i got charged 3,000-4,000 to learn the most basic entry level things but the cool part its that you got to do this "lessons" in very prestiges studios in New York. wasn't worth it wasted so much money. and I've always though about going too SAE for engineering. but im so afraid of getting scammed again. i know its a credited school but there's a lot of reviews that aren't so good since they are a for profit school.. idk. anyway and then we are left with everyone and there mother trying to teach you online. or learn yourself. i enjoy the learning process no matter how hard it is. and its thanks to community's like this or even threads on reddit gearsluts youtube etc. tim able to be in the learning place that i am in. lol when on tangent there but anyways thank you guys!
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Tobias Lütge
Jan 11
I think the best way then would be to become friend with some experienced producer/s in your area, and just keep on producing.

If your into (audio) books, "Mastery" from Robert Greene is good on this topic, especially when he talks about how important it is, to have a mentor...and how hard it is if you dont have one.

Also "the war of art" from Steven Pressfield is very good.
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Silve Stra
Jan 11
Hello, thanks for sharing your experience, I also want to become independent in music making and I had a very similar experience. I paid for a course of mix&master (and it was not cheap) and the teacher told me not to try mastering, because it is too difficult..shame if you pay for a course and then they tell you - don't think of learning mastering... How should one learn if the teacher discourage you? ...Anyways, it cheers me up to see that someone with similar experience didn't get discouraged, let's not give up, we just need to search for people who really want to help us learn :) Best of luck!