Which studios are best for outsourcing mixing work?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Calgary, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I realize that "best" is subjective. I'm curious if anyone has some good leads on reasonably priced studios with exceptional quality service which I can outsource mixing work too? FWIW I'm recording in Nuendo as 32bit/96kHz.

    Thanks for any advice. :)
  2. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Is there a particular reason you don't want to do it yourself? (And yes, we do quite a bit of mixing for other people....)
  3. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    My lack of skills. I can do very good basic mixes but I don't have the gear or experience to do "incredible" mixes. :)

    I guess the "ideal" situation would be to develop a relationship with someone who has a lot of experience, great gear, and great ears so that we can get high quality stuff done quickly and consistently. The local studios here are fairly average, I'm hoping to find someone who offers exceptional mix quality on par with top CDs.

  4. Then you're also going to want to outsource some of your tracking work as well as that can have a big effect on how your mix turns out. $*^t in = $*^t out, in other words.

    Do you want someone in your area that you can watch work and learn from, or just someone you can send work to and receive a finished product? If you're looking for option A, are you actually in Calgary? I know some fairly talented Canadians, but none of them in Alberta. If you don't care where the place is, lots and lots of people would do the work, it all depends on what you consider a "reasonable" price.

  5. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I don't mind about location. I may get some stuff tracked in a local studio (http://www.night-deposit.com/main_site/body_studio_a.html) but I'm not impressed with the finished demo reels from the locals so I'd like to outsource mixing even for the stuff which is tracked in the studio. That's not to say I'm criticizing the locals, just that their demo reels are average. Here's the audio sample page from the most expensive local studio, it's OK but not exceptional. The bass in their mixes seems a bit unruly at times although not being an expert I hesitate to level any specific criticisms other than the fact that their productions consistently don't make me go, "WOW! That sound's incredible!"

    Other than that my tracking room here is OK and I know my gear well so I'm able to get clean tracks with decent levels. I'm upgrading as I can afford it, the goal being to own a really high quality tracking setup complete by the end of 2006. I have a dedicated tracking room where I installed a floating tongue and groove floor, slanted walls/ceiling, absorption all around, some bass traps, and am currently adding diffusion tiles to the celiing.

    In the meantime I have full access to rental gear as needed for stuff, so I can certainly make sure to track according to spec if the engineer has a specific requirement in order to achieve a certain sound.

    Reasonable cost to me is relative, I'm open to anything which is inline with the quality offered for sure. Definitely not looking to get something for nothing, just want to make sure that I have access to some high level mixing talent for projects which justify it. I have no problem with paying a genius what a genius deserves as long as it's within the realm of feasibility vis-a-vis recouping.

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice, I appreciate it. :D
  6. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    I strongly recommend Doug at http://www.animix.com...He's somewhat of a wizard, and should do you a much better job than you would suspect...

    Tell him I referred you....

    For mastering, I recommend OTR Mastering...Jeff has done some miracles in the past, and is one heck of a great guy to work with as well....
  7. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Thanks. I think the link is leading to the wrong site.
  8. animix

    animix Guest


    My e-mail address is animix@animas.net



  9. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    sorry for the confusion....glad DJ jumped in to correct the error of my ways (in several aspects...)

  10. Calgary:
    I can't send Private Messages here because I'm not about to pay for the privlege. However, if you give me a way to send you some information I can send you some names and numbers. Perhaps a hotmail account I could mail you at or something.

  11. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sure that would be fantastic:
    randomrandom @ cheerful . com
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I could send you to the best but I'm kinda busy.... :lol:

    Really...what style is the music? Can it be converted to files that can be opened in protools?

    Can you afford me and a protools expert?

    HD3/ Command D...ALL plugs ...really.

    Latency? We don need no stinkin latency....
  13. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I'm currently using Nuendo 2 but I'm going to be going to Cubase SX 3 in February. Should be some way to share files I'm sure. I'm doing a range of stuff, mainly acoustic and world music type stuff but also with a smattering of Satriani/Vai type stuff and a bit of alternative rock.

    My budget varies from project to project. Next time I have something specific in the chute maybe I'll drop you a line. :cool:

    Right now I decided to install a diffuse ceiling in the tracking room so I'm awaiting a few boxes of metrofusors and additionally I've decided to take 20 bales of pink fiberglass (in the bag) and squeeze them in place to cover the two walls of my tracking room which are exterior walls in order to block out any residual sound of dogs barking, etc. A solid foot and a half of compressed pink should make it a nice quiet room and keep drums from getting out.

    Now I just have to figure out whether to build a wall inside that and add absorption to that or merely just hang material over the bales. I'll post about that in the acoustics forum I guess. Anyhow i digressed but my point was that it looks like it's going to take me longer than I thought to get everything up to snuff in the tracking room. Each time I fix one problem another arises. :roll:
  14. ShoeBoxDude

    ShoeBoxDude Guest


    out of curiosity, does anyone know what the household name kind of mixers charge, not that i ever plan on affording one... but i am curious.. how much does say.. one of the lord-alge brothers, or andy wallace make when mixing a track?
  15. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I think most top name studio guys want a block fee in addition to studio fees. That fee can range from a couple thousand to over a million depending on the project and the name. But that's for production, not engineering. They generally charge separately for the engineer anywhere from $25/hr to $250/hr depending on the studio.

    I've read that bands pay Eddie Kramer a couple hundred thousand per album. It seems like it was worth it in many cases though since he usually managed to deliver albums which were superior to "the competition". I'm sure Bob Katz and guys like that are somewhere in that range but you can never get them, those guys are all hired up well in advance doing big name projects. For example when they needed someone to digitize Woodstsock they got Katz. To attract those guys to a mixing project would not only take money but some other compelling reason, i.e. an exceptional talent. And you'd have to squeeze into whatever tiny block of time they can set aside, there's definitely no luxury in scheduling. :D

    If you're really curious email Peter Gabriel's studio (and some other top studios) for rates:

    All those guys like Wyclef Jean, Daniel Lanois, etc. generally have studios which you can contact for rates. Those sorts of rates are aimed at record companies, not individuals, so they're pretty high. Top rappers like Puff Daddy and Snoop Dogg generally only lend their production services to projects which they have a piece of.

    My experience is that you are better off investing in top quality production than not. I think the guys which produce the most successful albums are the ones who have a vision, not neccesarily those with the most expensive gear. An inspired engineer can transform a project and enhance the product dramatically. Peter Gabriel is a perfect example. Love him or hate him but you have to respect the quality of those productions. Even simple pop hits like Sledgehammer are magnificently executed but that sort of high quality simplicity comes at a premium price. The bottom line is your goals. If you are in pursuit of musical excellence then probably you really only have two choices, learn to be a master of audio or hire someone who is... :cool:
  16. lucypickle

    lucypickle Guest

    I'm looking for the same type of deal.
    I'm from the chicago area.

    Looking for help mixing/mastering and maybe even studio set up help.

    Recordings will be released commercially.

    I produce a wide range of stuff-but mainly hip-hop/techno and some rock.
    I put out a white label of remixes but now I've got some OG stuff that I need help on.

    Not looking for top name studio guys-but will pay for quality work.
    Think of a indie type of set up. DFA/Playhouse/Stones Throw type of label

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