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20 Best Mixing/Mastering
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Giovanni Whelan's avatar

Giovanni Whelan

Vancouver, Canada

Audio crafted with precision and passion.

Rochelle  Waxton's avatar

Rochelle Waxton

Atlanta, United States

Remote Records | Mixing & Recording TV Commercials

Thomas Hesry's avatar

Thomas Hesry

Nantes, France

Creating emotional music for your visual content

Henoc Mavinga's avatar

Henoc Mavinga

Berlin, Germany

High Quality, Low Price

Jason Sayada's avatar

Jason Sayada

Los Angeles, United States

Dynamic Audio Engineer & Brand Developer

Ruhee Ahamed's avatar

Ruhee Ahamed

United Kingdom

Professional Multi-Genre Singer

Mateja Seneši's avatar

Mateja Seneši

Pancevo, Serbia

Audio Wizard: Engineering & Design 🔊

Walkingjay -.-'s avatar

Walkingjay -.-

Cheektowaga, United States

Need New Sounds?

Ricardo  Mineiro's avatar

Ricardo Mineiro

Lisbon, Portugal

Creative Video and Sound Pro for Hire

Keith Danielson's avatar

Keith Danielson

Boulder, United States

Passionate, Exclusive, Custom Music

Erkut Kaymaz's avatar

Erkut Kaymaz

İstanbul, Turkey

Audio Wizard, Sound Designer, Podcast Editor

Nate | Headbreak's avatar

Nate | Headbreak

London, United Kingdom

Music driven editing, graphics & post-production

Marton Pinter's avatar

Marton Pinter

Denmark

3D Design & Animation Specialist 🌟

Beatriz Silva's avatar

Beatriz Silva

Almada, Portugal

The soundtrack for your everyday epic journey

Nuno Bento's avatar

Nuno Bento

Portugal

Sonic wizard crafting captivating sounds

Diogo Silva's avatar

Diogo Silva

Brazil

Powering processes with Power Platform solutions

Shawn Silva-Cosgrove's avatar

Shawn Silva-Cosgrove

New Hampshire, United States

Certfied and experienced Program Manager

Kostas NIKOLOPOULOS's avatar

Kostas NIKOLOPOULOS

Greece

3d design with Blender

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Platform for Async Collaboration

The talent I find on Contra has been excellent. But aside from that, Contra’s community differentiates Contra from other freelancing platforms. I love the responsiveness of the Contra team, and how invested they are in your success. I actually pay freelancers I’ve found outside of Contra through Contra because I love the platform so much, especially that they don’t take a cut of your payment.


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UX Research Consulting Firm

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Frequently asked
questions

Mixing is the process of combining multiple audio tracks into a final stereo or surround sound mix where each individual track has been balanced, equalized and processed to create a cohesive and dynamic audio mix. The goal of mixing is to ensure that every element of the song or project can be heard clearly and blends well together.

Mastering, on the other hand, is the final step in the process of preparing audio for distribution. It involves creating a final polished and cohesive audio mix by adjusting the levels, equalization, compression, and stereo width of the mix. Mastering is done to ensure that the final audio production sounds consistent across different playback systems and conforms to industry standards.

Mixing is the process of combining multiple audio tracks into a final stereo or surround sound mix where each individual track has been balanced, equalized and processed to create a cohesive and dynamic audio mix. The goal of mixing is to ensure that every element of the song or project can be heard clearly and blends well together.

Mastering, on the other hand, is the final step in the process of preparing audio for distribution. It involves creating a final polished and cohesive audio mix by adjusting the levels, equalization, compression, and stereo width of the mix. Mastering is done to ensure that the final audio production sounds consistent across different playback systems and conforms to industry standards.

A mixing/mastering engineer is responsible for the technical and creative process of combining and refining multiple audio tracks to achieve an optimal sound quality. Their job includes:

  1. Mixing: This involves adjusting the levels, panning, EQ, compression, and effects on each instrument or vocal track to create a well-balanced mix. The mixing engineer's goal is to make sure that every element of the song is heard clearly, and that the overall sound is cohesive and dynamic.
  2. Mastering: This involves processing the final mix with a series of specialized tools to optimize its sound quality for distribution. The mastering engineer's job is to ensure that the final mix sounds good on a wide range of playback systems, is free of errors and distortion, and meets industry standards.
  3. Communication: A mixing/mastering engineer works closely with the artist or producer to understand their vision and goals for the project. They listen to feedback, offer suggestions, and make adjustments until the desired outcome is achieved.

Overall, a mixing/mastering engineer is responsible for bringing out the best in a recording, making it sound polished, cohesive, and professional.

Hiring a mixing/mastering engineer has a number of advantages, including:

  1. Professional Sound Quality: Mixing/mastering engineers have the technical skills and experience needed to create a polished, professional-sounding mix. They use advanced software and hardware tools to optimize the sound and create a high-quality output that is consistent with industry standards.
  2. Fresh Perspective: An engineer brings a fresh set of ears to the project, who can spot issues and offer creative solutions that may not have been noticed by the artist or producer.
  3. Time-Saving: Mixing/mastering can be time-consuming, and it requires specialized knowledge and equipment. By hiring an engineer, the artist or producer can focus on their strengths – creating music – while leaving the technical work to the expert.
  4. Better Distribution: A properly mixed and mastered track will sound better on various playback systems and will be ready for distribution across different platforms, increasing its chances of success.
  5. Increased Credibility: When an artist or producer works with an experienced mixing/mastering engineer, it shows a level of professionalism and dedication to quality that can help increase their credibility in the music industry.

Overall, hiring a mixing/mastering engineer ensures that the final product is the best it can be, both in terms of quality and marketability.

Here are steps to follow when hiring a mixing/mastering engineer:

  1. Research: Look online or ask for referrals from other artists/producers to identify some well-regarded mixing/mastering engineers. Check out their credentials and listen to some of their previous work.
  2. Contact: Reach out to the mixing/mastering engineer and ask them for their availability, rates, and any other relevant information.
  3. Provide files: Once you agree to work together, provide the mixing/mastering engineer with the necessary audio files, including the individual tracks which will make up to the mix.
  4. Collaboration: Discuss your vision, goals, and expectations for the project with the mixing/mastering engineer. Also, provide any reference tracks, notes, and feedback that you may have. Ensure that you agree on the scope of work, timelines, and costs.
  5. Mix review and feedback: The mixing/mastering engineer will provide you with a draft mix for review. Carefully listen to the mix and give feedback for any changes or adjustments required.
  6. Final product: Once all changes have been made and approved, the mixing/mastering engineer will provide you with the final product.
  7. Payment: Payment is made for the agreed costs per the agreed payment plan.

By following these steps, you can find the right mixing/mastering engineer for your project and ensure that the final product is of high quality.

Mixing/mastering engineers use a wide range of software for their work, depending on their preferences, budget, and the requirements of the project. Here are some types of software commonly used by mixing/mastering engineers:

  1. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs): These are software applications used for recording, editing, and mixing audio. Some popular DAWs include Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, LANDR and Cubase.
  2. Plugins: These are software-based audio effects and processors that are used within a DAW. Some popular plugins used by mixing/mastering engineers include EQs, compressors, reverb, delay, saturation, and many others from manufacturers such as Waves, FabFilter, Izotope, UAD, and many more.
  3. Metering: Plugin tools for measuring and monitoring loudness levels to ensure the final product meets the right deliverables requirements.
  4. Audio Analysis Tools: These are software tools that can help identify issues with the audio mix, and consist of tools such as frequency analyzers, spectral analyzers and phase and stereo image analysis tools like Nugen Audio, Voxengo, and Izotope.
  5. Mastering-specific tools: These include software tools specifically made for mastering, such as Ozone, T-racks, and FabFilter Pro-L.

Overall, mixing/mastering engineers use a combination of software tools and techniques to ensure the best audio quality for the project.

Freelance mixing/mastering engineers can get paid in several ways:

  1. Hourly: Some mixing/mastering engineers may charge per hour for their services, in which case they track their time and invoice clients accordingly.
  2. Per project: For larger projects, freelance mixing/mastering engineers may charge a flat rate for the entire project or album based on its scope and complexity.
  3. Per song: For musicians and artists with smaller projects such as individual songs or demos, a mixing/mastering engineer may charge a per-song rate.
  4. Royalties: Sometimes, freelance mixing/mastering engineers may share in royalties for a project or song in exchange for their services. This is more common in cases where a mixing/mastering engineer provides additional production or songwriting services.
  5. Revisions: Many mixing/mastering engineers charge additional fees for increased change requests beyond any previously agreed elements of work.
  6. Deposit: Mixing/mastering engineers may require a deposit or upfront payment before beginning work on the project.

Freelance mixing/mastering engineers will typically invoice for their work with payment made via bank transfer, PayPal, or other digital payment platforms. It is important to clarify payment terms and expectations before starting the project.

The cost of hiring a mixing/mastering engineer can vary depending on several factors, such as their level of experience, the scope and complexity of the project, and the region in which they operate. It is worth noting that some mixing/mastering engineers may offer different pricing structures such as flat rates, hourly, or per song rates. Generally, mixing rates are separate from mastering and post-production services.

As a rough guide, mixing rates can range from $100 to $1,000 per song or per hour, while mastering rates can range from $50 to $500 per song. Prices for mixing/mastering are also higher in some larger cities, while freelance options, especially those working with less experienced artists, may be cheaper.

It is important to keep in mind that hiring an experienced mixing/mastering engineer can vastly improve the sound quality of your music, leading to greater success. Therefore, it's advisable to research on a mixing/mastering engineer’s previous work and reputation before agreeing to work together.

The salary or income of a mixing/mastering engineer can vary widely based on their level of experience, location, and specific role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the median annual salary for sound engineering technicians, which includes mixing and mastering engineers, is around $52,390 as of May 2020.

However, this number does not take into account freelancers and self-employed mixing/mastering engineers. As freelance, income can vary widely, depending on factors such as the number of clients, the type of projects worked on, and the level of demand for their services.

Experienced mixing/mastering engineers with a strong reputation and a consistent client base can often command higher rates than those who are just starting out, while those working in larger markets or on high-budget projects may earn more on average than those working on smaller local projects. Overall, it's essential to keep in mind that multiple factors and variables can influence the salary of a mixing/mastering engineer.

If you have a passion for music and an interest in audio engineering, becoming a mixing/mastering engineer is certainly achievable. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Get Educated: While a formal education is not required to become a mixing/mastering engineer, it can help to have a strong foundation in music theory and audio engineering. Look for schools and courses that offer sound engineering or music production degree or diploma programs.
  2. Intern/Assist: The best way to learn is to gain hands-on experience. A helpful start is to do an apprenticeship or internship with an established mixing/mastering engineer or a recording studio. This provides an opportunity to gain experience and learn the skills from an experienced mentor.
  3. Build a Portfolio: Start building a portfolio of your work. Record and mix tracks for friends or local musicians to create mix samples that showcase your skills and achievements as a mixing/mastering engineer.
  4. Networking: Attend industry events, shows, and conferences to build your network and make connections in the music industry. Also, create a professional online presence on sites like LinkedIn or join forums with groups of other audio professionals.
  5. Practice and Learn: Keep up-to-date with the latest technology, software trends, and industry best practices. Regular practice will help you master your craft, stay sharp and develop a strong reputation as a skilled mixing/mastering engineer.

It's important to remember that working as a mixing/mastering engineer is a competitive field, and while with the right approach, experience, and hard work one can achieve the desired goals.

Becoming a mixing/mastering engineer involves developing technical competency, understanding of music theory, and gaining practical experience, so the time it takes to achieve can vary widely.

Some audio engineering schools and certification programs offer intensive courses in mixing and mastering, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. However, acquiring more advanced knowledge and experience may take more time. Some may choose to get an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree while simultaneously interning or assisting in a recording studio to develop practical expertise.

An essential part of becoming a successful mixing and mastering engineer is continuous learning, practice, and staying up-to-date with emerging trends in the music industry. Overall, education in this field can take anywhere from several months to several years, but consistent effort and curiosity can bring about expertise and eventual success.

Yes, mixing/mastering can be a good career for those who are passionate about audio engineering, music, and sound quality. Advancements in recording technology and increasing numbers of independent musicians have grown the demand for experienced mixing/mastering engineers, making it an attractive option for individuals interested in pursuing this field.

Mixing/mastering engineers can work as employees for recording studios, television and film companies, streaming platforms or as freelance professionals to serve independent artists, bands, and record labels. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for audio engineers, including mixing/mastering engineers, are projected to increase by 5% between 2020 to 2030 which also shows its significant growth potential in the coming years.

The amount of money earned in mixing/mastering fields varies widely, but experienced professionals with a good reputation can command higher rates and opportunities to work on high-budget projects. However, it is essential to keep in mind that it is a competitive field, which requires dedication, hard work, and continuous growth in skills and knowledge.

Overall, if someone is passionate and dedicated, and enjoys music and sound, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding career path in audio engineering and mixing/mastering.

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