help me decide between two mixing engineers
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#1: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: yourmomsp PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:31 am
I'm in a situation where I'm trying to decide between two mixing engineers to mix an album I've recorded. The situation is as follows:

1) I have an opportunity to work with a "big named" mixing engineer. This person has mixed several records that I have liked in the past. The only issue I have ran into so far is that I have not interacted with this person directly. I have had to talk to him through his manager, which has been a little annoying (or something that is new to me) since it has taken me about 6 months to confirm dates with this person. Understandably, this person has probably been trying to schedule things out with more well known groups, and so I was probably on the lower end of the priority list. But the dates are confirmed.

2) While I was waiting around to confirm dates with the first engineer, I looked around for other options and came across another mixing engineer who is not as well known but has also worked some bands that I have listened to and admire. I've interacted with this person directly and he has shown more eagerness in wanting to work with me.

In comparing the two, the bigger name has a bigger studio setup than the smaller engineer. Their fees are comparable, but I would have only 4 days to work the bigger name and 6 days to work with the smaller name. I think both engineers could be appropriate for my music, but the end mixes will likely be different. The bigger name definitely has his unique sound which I dig. The smaller name was less of a distinct sound but I think would probably make a mix that I would be happy with.

For me, I want both an enjoyable experience making music with someone and a great sounding mix. I think working with the bigger name might result in a more special sounding mix, but I've only been dealing with his manager (not the greatest experience) so I have less of a sense of what the experience would be like. I have a better sense of having a good experience with the smaller name but it might be leave me wondering what would it have been like to have worked with the bigger name?

anyone have any thoughts or opinions?

#2: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: vvvLocation: Chi PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:38 am
Is this to be a commercial release?

"You get what you pay for" may apply, then, and the "big name" may have commercial value as such.

Which is not to say the lesser known won't blow up, eh?

But if it's not a "commercial release", then go with your gut - which would you rather hear?

And while your own vanity (in seeing the big name on your record) is a legitimate factor - will the 6 days vs. 4 make for better odds of greater end result? Or will the "unique sound" be more important?


#3: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: yourmomsp PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:51 am
thanks for the feedback. i'm less thinking about the commercial factor for the bigger name, but i do think working with him might be more of a unique experience and result in a mix that's more unique.

I guess I'm just wondering if I should let my lukewarm experience with his manager color my impression of what it would be like to work with him. By all accounts, he's a cool guy to work with. Do things just get more impersonal and difficult logistically when you "move up the totem pole" with producers/engineers?

#4: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: vvvLocation: Chi PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:44 pm
FWIW, I'm in a profession (non-music) and believe that would be a bit of an accurate description of some in most professions. Someone who is really good/successful tries to maximize their time in doing what they are good at, and mebbe neglects and certainly delegates things they feel are less important.

If he is sufficiently busy, he may feel that his unfriendly manager culls out the potentially whiney clients.

Not exactly "professional", but not unheard of ...

#5: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: JWLLocation: Maine PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:10 pm
Clearly you should just hire me to mix your project. Wink

In all seriousness, it's a tough call. If you have the budget and really believe in the project, then working with a world class mix engineer is an opportunity that doesn't come around all that often. It might be worth going that route; most likely, once the project is underway, you will get the engineer's full attention. He (or she) pays the manager so they CAN focus only on mixing.

On the other hand, there are a ton of really talented but not yet famous mix engineers out there. It's likely that one of them will give your project more attention in terms of time available. If you are really vibing with one, then that can be a quite fruitful relationship & experience as well.

#6: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: jonincLocation: canada PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:30 pm
get over the manager thing - you wanted this guy and you have dates booked. go for it!

#7: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: I'm Painting AgainLocation: New York, New York PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:41 pm
I feel that enthusiasm is very important and would speak to the "bigger name" personally for a brief phone call and see what they're like before making the decision. It is a dilemma..complicated..enthusiasm and mixing chops need to be compared and contrasted.

I'm sure with any you choose if you stay on top of a smooth work flow and work hard at communicating what you need done it will be amazing with either.

Could you use both? some songs here some there ?

#8: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: Nick SevillaLocation: Los Angeles California USA PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:37 am


Use the engineer which is THE BEST FIT for your project.

Names really mean nothing much at all. It really comes down to whether the engineer "GETS" what your project is about.


#9: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: markjazzbassistLocation: New Orleans, LA PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:27 am
easy for me, i'd rather 6 days in the studio than 4. If both will do a good job use the engineer that maximizes time and money. Big names don't mean anything, read around here on the forum to read umpteen big name letdown threads.

#10: Re: help me decide between two mixing engineers Author: vvvLocation: Chi PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:50 am
"Big Name Letdown" - my next band.

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