A large part of the productions I work on focus around post-production in sound and music. Because of this, mixing is a big part of what we do. Whether it's for a commercial, short film, youtube video, or an artist's song release there is a clear demand for the craft of mixing.
While there are a lot of technical details involved with the craft, it is still considered an art form all its own! As April 15th creeps up, Neologic is getting ready to launch online mixing and mastering services. However, part of navigating the business of music is understanding these critical, yet often misunderstood stages.
What exactly is mixing, and when is it best for you seek professional help? We at Neologic understand that many may not have the funds or access to the proper gear or knowledge, and that is why I'd like to share some great resources that I have personally found most helpful to not only boost my knowledge with production and mixing, but hopefully the exposure to new ideas and avenues may help you find or solidify your direction you are pursuing with your passions.
Pensado's Place - perhaps the greatest series of production and mixing resources, interviews, and candid demonstrations from the industry's top level producers, engineers, and artists.
Audio School Online - Founded by Ken Lewis - a top major label producer, songwriter, mix engineer, and musician; and geared toward online lessons for modern music production and mixing practices, these lessons are well worth the investment. The free section is packed with equally invaluable information!
Youtube - believe it or not, most of the major DAW developers have their own youtube channels and typically they'll have great workflow, tips & tricks and demonstration videos showing how to use their software.
The same goes for your favorite plugin developers like iZotope & Waves. Even just searching for tutorials others have put up can be pretty useful. A particular favorite reviewer of mine is Dan Worrall, who does excellent demonstrative tutorials for some of my favorite plugins.
Facebook - In in particular that I've been a part of for a while now (and have learned a great deal just by observing and joining in on conversations) is Pensado's Students.
Granted, with social networks comes the stigma of irrelevant information, etc. However, having connections to people who know the industry well will take you much further in the process. Whatever social networks you use, look for relevant groups, and you may even be surprised to find online versions of local scenes in your area that you can then work to be a part of.
Community College Recording Arts Programs - I received my degree in Recording Arts from a community college based out of Contra Costa County in California: Los Medanos College in fact.
There can be a lot of hype around marketing for media arts programs at college levels but for a community college program I received a well-rounded education that exposed me to some of the intricacies of marketing, business, legal, studio and live sound, and the varying roles of producers in the current industry landscape.
Being exposed to the picture at large: the business of music - has really opened my eyes and allowed me to pursue the paths I felt were most enjoyable for me to take. If you're passionate enough about music and want to pursue it as a career choice, going for some college degree will only help open doors to your future.
If you're delving into the world of mixing or producing, I've actually developed two cool little lesson variants I've adapted from Neil Blevins own CG Education blog. Neil is a renowned CG artist known for his Sci-fi style. If you're into CG and artwork, check out the original lesson here.
This is meant to be a fun self-discovery experiment. These can be done at any level whether you're an aspiring artist or engineer or seasoned professional - no matter what level you are in the industry. It was actually a lot harder to put together the engineering version as it's still somewhat vague to tell (unless you're really good at researching and correlating the research with what you hear in the album - such as knowing mic technique and mix techniques used). The bigger purpose of the latter is to get you researching some of your favorite works - the engineers behind them, and what other works you might recognize that they've touched, and reflecting on just how these influences show up on your own work. You'd be surprised what you find!