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Thread: A topic of controversy : Artists doing their own mixing/mastering

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    Default A topic of controversy : Artists doing their own mixing/mastering

    After much thought and deliberation I've been feeling the need to breach a rather potentially controversial audio topic, namely one that involves the artists level of contribution to the final mixed-down product. During the next few weeks , I will be writing this little blog, but it really hit me after having watched a series of interviews by one of my favorite artists of all time, and after having done a LOT of listening to this artist throughout the years. I've gleaned as much as I can from his thoughts and ideas, and I thought this would give me a great chance to take on the opportunity to highlight another perspective that we don't necessarily get to hear on this board a lot. The intention of the upcoming "article" isn't really anything about bashing the respected field of sound engineering, but rather to gain insights from a "musical" or creative standpoint.

    I am hoping this is something that will be an asset to the 3db community. Myself, I am more musician than engineer, and will probably always be so. I just do happen to fall into that camp or category of people out there that are often referred to the "home-studio" demographic that is accounted for so much of the job loss that I hear about within the realm of audio recording.

    I am also hoping that this stirs some good conversation and dialogue as to where the best mixture between art and engineering occurs. Stay tuned, and blessings to all!
    "Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." --Henry Van Dyke

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    When it comes to artists wanting to do their own mixing / mastering, it all depends on the intended scope of their market. If they're looking to put out CDs for family and friends, have at it. But if you're looking to hit a big mass market, there's no way around using a crew of people with the necessary training, skills, and equipment. Of course there are a wide variety of situations in between. But artists need a reality check when it comes to the end quality of the product when their inexperience is involved. Owning computer software and a microphone doesn't make one a good engineer any more than owning a nice instrument makes on a great musician.

    I've been doing audio in various capacities for 20 years, but even still when I know that a client is needing a top shelf product, I send them to someone who can do a better job than I can.
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?

    Nathan

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    It doesn't matter what I think about artists recording and mixing themselves: if that's what they want to do then that's what they'll do. There are people who will do this and then expect you, as a now-former collaborator, to help them for free. How much you want to help them you have to gauge for yourself.

    philp

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    I'm not sure how this is controversial. I've heard artist mixes that I have trouble beating when they hire me to do the "real" mix.
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Perkins View Post
    It doesn't matter what I think about artists recording and mixing themselves: if that's what they want to do then that's what they'll do. There are people who will do this and then expect you, as a now-former collaborator, to help them for free. How much you want to help them you have to gauge for yourself.

    philp
    I know some very talented artists/players who decided to do all their own engineering. I mix for many of them. It really all boils down to skill. Some of them are great at it and soak up tricks like a sponge every time I work with them. Others just are no good at it and their stuff sounds terrible. Either way, if they're writing the checks, they get to decide.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    Scott Fraser is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Robbins View Post
    I'm not sure how this is controversial. I've heard artist mixes that I have trouble beating when they hire me to do the "real" mix.
    Beating? Was there a contest involved?

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    There's one aspect of this maybe being overlooked, that being that the "artist mixer dude" can quite literally take as long as he wants to get a thing exactly how he wants it. If it takes two months and 45 revisions, so be it, it's all free.

    I doubt if many artists could do a (for example) Lynn Fuston quality mix in 6-8 hours but give a talented and motivated guy a few weeks to hack at it (for free, while living with it and making notes along the way) and he'll get close enough considering it didn't cost anything but time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Fraser View Post
    Beating? Was there a contest involved?
    Yes, do you think they may use mix that does not beat the one they have? Or worse yet, pay you for more mixing if you are not improving on the rough mixes?
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

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    What artist does not have their own studio these days I their home. From Vince Gill, Paul McCartney, and many others
    revelationsoundstudio.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
    There's one aspect of this maybe being overlooked, that being that the "artist mixer dude" can quite literally take as long as he wants to get a thing exactly how he wants it. If it takes two months and 45 revisions, so be it, it's all free.

    I doubt if many artists could do a (for example) Lynn Fuston quality mix in 6-8 hours but give a talented and motivated guy a few weeks to hack at it (for free, while living with it and making notes along the way) and he'll get close enough considering it didn't cost anything but time.
    Bingo!
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

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