Making a song sound incredible is something that I always wondered before studying sound, how do the artists on radio have such a great sounding record, when they have the same guitar as the guitar I recorded, a bass, a drum, etc? The same number of instruments yet their songs sound huge and mine in the past as a beginner producer would not sound as cool
So the answer is various details and I will outline a few.
The greatness of a song is not how loud it sounds in comparison with other songs, nowadays people believe that volume is equivalent to great sound but that is not the case, great sound can be accomplished with the right critical ear towards what is comfortable to listen to based on your personal taste. But certain factors will help and improve the sound quality of a specific recording
Yes its a expensive truth because this requires budget, one of the main factors in sound recording is capturing a good quality sound in the first place and I will explain, Its not the same recording the sound of a normal acoustic guitar vs a Martin D28 (taking the human element away and considering its a great musician in both cases) The instrument sound will change the quality of the sound recording and it does not stop there.
The line of sound that captures the instrument will also affect the final result. The Microphone, the cables that connect to the microphone, the console, preamp, compressors, etc and determining the ultimate song sound
The quality of these elements will have an important role to play in your ultimate result. Thats why pro recording engineers are in many cases recording in top notch consoles, where the line of capturing sound is of a high quality.
But there are some solutions that are not as expensive and I will mention some equipment I know will work well for you without having to spend crazy amounts of money
A Mic that I recommend is the TLM 103 Neumann, connected with good monster cables to a great preamp like an Avalon and the console well, the sky is the limit but this is just an example of the line of capturing sound.
Every instrument will have its tricks but with this you will have a general idea that the equipment you use affects sound quality and that does affect final result, and in most cases the equipment used by recording artists is expensive, but don’t worry, you can create a good sound with the Mic and preamp I mentioned. (and a sound controlled room which I will not go into in this article)
Once you have your song recorded awesomely, to improve your song sound it will be essential to consider the next step? MIXING, but I always wanted to find those mixing engineers that work for the great artists, so I will mention some of the best, mixing with them will cost anywhere between $5500 and up per track, but thats why all the record labels send their artist tracks to be mixed by them. On the more accesible side you can get a great mix for $600 to $1000 dollars it all depends on your engineers fee.
Some of the Top Mixing engineers
Serban Ghanea: When you go to the charts in US and UK Serban name appears in many of the top songs on the charts, so if you can afford to mix with him your song is going to sound like a hit
Boris Milan: Artists like Chino y Nacho, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Fonseca have worked with this awesome mixing engineer.
Phil Tan: Mixing engineer for songs like “diamonds” from Rihanna, he’s worked with so many artists like coldplay, Beyonce, etc
Manny Marroquin: Mixing Engineer for songs like Rihanna’s Umbrella, one of the most on demand mixing engineer in the industry
Andres Bermudez: Lead Engineer for the Latin producer of the decade Rudy Perez, Andres is definitely an engineer that can get your mix sounding incredible
Gustavo Celis: Mix engineer of songs like Waka Waka of Shakira a world known hit he can take your song to the next level
Andrew Scheps: Adele, Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Hozier, the list goes on and on.
Michael Brauer: Mixing Engineer for artists like James Bay, Coldplay, a engineer many artists would dream of working with
Chris Lorde Alge: A great Mixing Engineer specially for the alternative Pop Rock he’s worked on artists like Nickelback and Chris Daughtry
Jaycen Joshua: Mixing albums for Miley Cyrus, and many of the top acts on the Radio today, he is one of the hottest engineers artists are working with.
Dave Pensado: with mix credits including Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, AfroJack, Beyonce, Elton John, Christina Aguilera and Jill Scott, Dave is acknowledged as one of the leading online educators for all things audio. And he has an awesome website and show called Pensados place, anyone looking to learn more on sound should check it out
Bob Clairmountain: A music legend known for hits of artists like Bryan Adams, he’s one of the top mixing legends, to work with him is a great honor
Some points to take from this article
– The equipment and instrument Quality will affect and differentiate your song from a pro sound to an amateur sound
– How well you know and use your equipment is also a key factor in capturing sound
– It is important to have a budget for mixing when you have your song finished, having a top mixing engineer for your tracks can make a big difference
– Mixing Engineers have a certain style to how they do things, find the one that best adjusts to your desired outcome and budget
There are so many awesome and talented Mixing engineers, I would not hesitate to try to work with the one that has the sound that I am looking for in a particular mix. So the best way is to shoot them an e-mail and make a quote, that is, once you are ready to mix and have the budget.
I am and have been an independent artist for many years, I dreamed of getting signed someday but I guess my path was another one, what experience has taught me is that every effort you make to work and have your music mixed by a great engineer will be well worth the time and investment. Instead of rushing to release your music, be patient and make it sound the best you can, it will give you a chance to stand out amongst the millions of artist also looking to come out from the crowd.