Getting There--How to become a Mixing/Mastering Engineer

Discussion in 'Mastering Engineers Forum' started by aaronwaudio, May 25, 2011.

  1. aaronwaudio

    aaronwaudio

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    It has been my goal for some time to be a full time mixing and mastering engineer. First, is this possible? Second, how do I get there? Besides the obvious job of getting really great at mixing and mastering, what should I do to get my name out there? How do I build business? I would love to hear how other proffessional mixing and mastering engineers have gotten there.
     
  2. SASman

    SASman

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    Hi there, well firstly mixing is not the same mastering, they are 2 distinctively different audio production procedures.

    In any Event you should be looking into some training (audio school) or an intership these are complex skillsets that usually take 3-5 years to get even a decent basic professional grounding in.

    The best thing I can suggest right now is put your enthusiasm to good use by trying to get as much experience as you possibly can and be prepared to put 10-14 hours a day in reading books, practicing, learning kit, studying. This will set you up of the 14 hour working days you will be doing when you start.

    cheers

    Barry
     
  3. aaronwaudio

    aaronwaudio

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    I understand that mixing and mastering are different, and I did go to UW Oshkosh for recording, and I am also currently interning at/opening a studio with a couple other more experienced engineer friends of mine. I was more interested on what people have done to get their name out there, or what kinds of jobs they started on, etc. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. SASman

    SASman

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    Well I started in broadcast. I suggest doing ANY audio engineering job as it will all feed in to what you do in the future.

    cheers
     
  5. aaronwaudio

    aaronwaudio

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    Good point. Thanks for the input.
     
  6. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta

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    I certainly think that it's possible. Many mix engineers go on to become mastering engineers (sometimes much later on in their career) probably for the reason that the two - despite being different procedures - go hand in hand in relay. I think you would be hard pressed to find a competent mastering engineer who didn't have SOME sort of mixing chops. If a mastering engineer sent a mix back to me and then said, "I dunno, just make it sound better", after being asked what was wrong, I'd think him a bit suspect.

    Just for the record, I have been known to do both. Truth be told, I'm in a bit of a maverick market over here at the tip of Africa, but after 12 years of experience I think I do alright. But it hasn't all been studio experience. It's been hard-knocks all the way. Live sound reinforcement, live mixing and recording, broadcast, film score mixing, TV final mix, voiceovers...you name it. Diversify is the name of the game. Eventually you come to a point where the fundamentals of audio come together in an elegance that reveals the ubiquity of it's principles across the board. They all add up to to give you an idea of what you're actually dealing with from start to finish in all sectors.

    And that's just the fundamentals. Never mind the details.

    Cheers :)
     
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering

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    On the other hand, I get the occasional recording where I really just don't know what to say.
     
  8. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta

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    Fair enough, Massive!

    I suppose it depends on who your client is and whether or not they'll understand your criticisms. Some mixes are just too far gone but to just surrender yourself to the suckiness!

    Cheers :)
     
  9. aaronwaudio

    aaronwaudio

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    That makes a lot of sense. There aren't too many things in life that are not this way I think. I have found the same thing in my study of percussion. Learning the technique of each percussion instrument helps you immensely when learning other ones, or at least somehow applies to other techniques even though they seem to be totally different. Thanks for the input.
     
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