My mixing and mastering music audio Blog - News, info, upgrades and tips.
5 reasons your Productions/Mixes do not sound professional - Dec 2018
1. The Room you are mixing in ? If your room/studio has no acoustic treatment (bass trapping or side/ceiling reflection treatment) then there is a strong chance
your room will affect how your speaker/monitors will sound. Certain bass frequencies clash and build up and some will null with each other and be reduced. This makes mixing the low-end very tricky.
What can you do? - Pre made acoustic treatment from companies like Auralex or GIK is expensive. Search for 'DIY acoustic treatment' and check forums. You can get the raw materials yourself and make up
traps for a much lower price. Acoustic treatment will smooth out the frequency response of your room (It's a no brainer). You also need to think about monitor placement, are they set up in a symmetrical way?, 38% rule, etc, this website covers this -
2. How long have you been mixing your own productions ? There is a lot more to mixing than just adjusting levels. The world of audio mixing is huge! The amount of different techniques is mind-boggling. Here's a
few - do you understand these fully? Compression (Stereo/mono/Multiband/Sidechain/Bus and stereo bus), EQ (stereo/mono/sides), Adding distortion in a good way, Spatial (Width) (panning), Depth (pushing sounds back/forward in the mix),
and Reverb. To just get you head around these can take a lot of time and practice. Don't expect too much too soon.
What can you do? - Again the internet is your friend here, search YouTube for tutorials and audio forums like Gearslutz.com. Check out Dave Pensado, there are hundreds of 'Into the layer' videos with many mixing techniques -
3.Monitoring ! Are you using near field monitors? Try to get monitors that have the biggest range for low-end. Larger speakers will extend more and be able to reach lower frequencies. This could be detrimental if you go for large monitors in a really small room.
This is also all relevent to point 1. which I made earlier in this post. In my opinion investing in a pair of high-end monitors along with acoustically treating your studio is a must.
What can you do? - Push your budget here and get the best monitors you can. Beg, borrow, sell old gear and upgrade to high-end near field monitors. I highly recommend Focal and PSI brands.
4. Recording! Your recordings need to be top-notch. You will not match commercial tracks recording vocals with a cheap mic in an echoey room. If you're recording many instruments and vocalists visit a decent local studio. They will have many premium mics for you to
choose from and try out. Along with superb pre amps, mic pre's, converters and spaces to record in!
What can you do? - Study your local area for studios - Does any studio suit you? Recording at home, invest in a quality mic and mic pre. In an echoey space think how you could stop this, maybe a portable vocal booth would help.
5. Production! Ignore all the above if your actual production is not up to scratch. Uninspiring sounds, chords, melodies, will just not cut it.
What can you do? - Ask your friends for advice, upload for feedback. Go back to the drawing board if needs be. Hone your craft carefully.
I hope this has got you thinking - and I hope you can implement some of these things to your studio and work flow.
While you're here have a look around my website, you might find other cool tips. Have you ever thought about using a separate dedicated mixing engineer?
Someone with an unbiased ear and someone who hasn't listened to the production in mind many many times.
I can't help with a superb production or recording but I can help with stellar mixing and mastering. Maybe take the pressure off yourself and let me try, this way you can concentrate on producing.
All the best Clive Knightley
Nov 2018 - Free mix anyone?
Want to try out my mix services?, no problem! New clients, I provide a completely free mix and master preview. Send over them files. Like and share if this could help a friend of yours :) Thank you.
Oct 2018 - Intro video - check it out!
Professional Mixed and Mastered Audio, Try my Affordadle Online Mixing and Mastering Services today.
August 2018 - Why hire me as your next mixing and mastering engineer?
Well, why do the all top artist teams hire mix engineers? To produce these top tier
hi-end productions you hear on the radio that top the charts usually consists of
large teams. These's teams comprise of songwriters and music production writers and of course
the recording artist. There could be many song writers (lyrics and melody) writing to a
produced instrumental. Or a producer writing music to a lyric and melody already written.
There would probably be an overall producer and record label Execs who have a say as well.
Once they have a fully produced backing track and vocal recorded these files will be
sent to a separate mixing engineer to create that balanced final mixdown.
The mixing engineer will listen with a fresh set of ears in their own mix room
with hi-end monitors and equipment and have many years of experience. They won't have
listened to the mix a million of times like the song writers/producers. I think this
is key in getting a great sounding track!
I hope you also think these points are
valid and prehaps I could be your dedicated mix engineer for your next project.
Remember, I have:
1. A great sounding fully acoustically treated mix room.
2. World class monitoring.
3. Some really nice analog tools.
4. Some of the best digital tools.
5. Expert and experienced.
Cheers Clive Knightley
May 2018 - Why in hell are people using these automated mastering services?
You have spent many hours/days on your production, fine tuning it and making it sound the best you can. So why send your beloved mix to a automated service that spends a
few seconds analyzing and a few more processing it?
Yes, you'll get it back quicker but why the rush? Surely you owe it to yourself and your music? The cost may be a little more and the
turnaround maybe longer with an actual mastering engineer.
Automated systems don't offer: Mix appraisals which could help the final master with a few changes, no analog processing , free
revisions and like me a free preview. So say no to Landr and emastered and treat your music! #Professionalmastering #Audiomastering #Onlinemastering
April 2018 - New Headphones
Even with the great designed studio here and high-end monitors the low end can sometimes catch me out. I highly recommend getting a decent set of headphones as a back-up, especially if you are using smaller near field monitors and your mix room is not acoustically treated.
I have recently upgraded my headphones to the Focal Professional Clear. Wow these things are superb :) If you haven't the budget currently then also check out the Audio-technica ATH-M50 which I also use, cheers. #Focal #Clear #Headphones
November 2017 - Some nice reviews!
Check out some nice reviews about my online mixing services from clients on my Facebook business page - Cheers Clive Knightley. #online #mixing #reviews
This was my favourite album I mastered last year. Ryan Anthony album - Barely see the beach. The video below was my favourite cut off the album. I've also just mastered his 2017 album which will be released soon :) #Hiphopmastering
Feb 2017 - Hope you're having a good year so far!
I've decided to treat myself to a new stereo compressor this year. I have a analog SSL comp so would like a analog vari-mu style comp to work along side.
The Manley Nu mu looks very interesting.
It is like a "clean" version of the Variable Mu, especially suited for modern digital and electronic music where you don't necessarily need to color or mask the sound like we did in the early days of digital. #Manley #NuMu
Sorry I haven't updated here much. Because of ease/quickness I tend to post on my dedicated music/mixing Facebook page. Please pop over, like and say hello thanks. Link :
This is my new choice of weapon for A/D - D/A conversion. Totally amazed how this unit works with windows via USB. Plug and play!
Sound quality is outstanding cannot believe how good these converters sound. With the amount of mastering I'm doing this is only fair for my clients, thank you!
New pictures coming soon. #PrismTitan
I love to produce when I get the time. Check out my productions on my Soundcloud page, thanks!
January 2015 - Happy New Year
Thanks for all the music sent over during the Xmas and New Year period! Bit of a back log but up together at last. All the best record labels, producers, and independent artists for 2015.
November 2014 - Intro video
Enjoying my new room, very lucky to be working in such a great room. Working again with Greg Lawson from LA and production duo BPM from London.
October 2014 - Khaoula El Moujahid - KANSHOUFK
Khaoula El Moujahid won the lebanese 'The Voice' singing competition. I recently mixed her new single - KANSHOUFK
August 2014 - New studio pic enjoy!
Testing room, sounds great!!!!
June 2014 - New studio coming soon!
Location found, currently designing layout and acoustics of new studio. I hope to post the build on my YouTube page. If you're interested please stop by!
April 2014 - Borgeous - Invincible remix
Enjoy this remix I produced for the latest Wavo.com remixing contest. Please share/support/vote thank you. Voting open until 5th May click here.
January 2014 - Happy New Year
Another busy year, so long 2013!! Made some great contacts and friends, thanks to all who sent over music for mixing and mastering, appreciated!
This year will bring a big change, drum roll a new studio !! Whoo hoo! Currently looking at new premises, exciting times. Been producing as well, even got a runner up position on a Indaba.com remix comp! Good luck with your music in 2014!
September 2013 - Indabamusic.com
I also love to produce music in between mixing. If you're new to producing and want some great practice and feedback. I suggest joining Indabamusic.com, a
great music production community. The site offers you a chance to get your hands on professionally recorded accappellas for you to remix and submit in various competitions. Here's my page on the site click here.
July 2013 - Track count!
The number of audio tracks within a song can vary a lot. Depending on the complexity, number of vocalists, and genre, will obviously affect the total amount.
The number of tracks has no impact to the final product generally. This week I'm mixing and mastering a hip hop track and a US pop / Rnb track.
Both tracks turned out great, clients were very happy!
The hip hop track had 25 stems in all. 2 vocal mono tracks and the rest music and drums! The
pop / rnb song had around 210 audio tracks! Yes 210 !! We had around 80 vocal tracks which included leads, ad-lib's, bridge x6, bridge harmonies stacks x6, chorus stacks x10, chorus harmonies x10, arhhs and ohhs x12. Rap lead, double, ad-libs, and a few stacks! For the music, bass x4, Guitars x8, strings x6, synth strings x4, synths x22, keys x 10, horns synth x4, live horns x14 , efx x20, drums x 30 and so on! Quite a difference !
June 2013 - Nice review for my mixing services!
My online mixing service have been reviewed by a US producer '5 corners'. Check out the very nice review here.
This new SSL 32 channel summing mixer (Sigma) has really caught my eye, looks amazing. Time to replace my trusty Neve 8816 maybe.
Check out the details here.