Tracking Engineers: Dee Brown, Verne Emmanuel, and Glenn Thomas
“Recording is building the car, mixing is painting the car, mastering is the final polish.” –Verne Emmanuel
Tracking engineers Verne Emmanuel, Dee Brown, and Glenn Thomas broke down the art of recording and how this step will determine the overall outcome of a song. Tracking engineers are responsible for recording and editing audio. Although a song is roughly 3-4 minutes long, the editing process can take hours to complete. When recording vocals, what goes in comes out meaning if your overall recording of vocals is bad then it will not be magically solved in the mixing and mastering process.
Many people are comfortable with doing all recording and editing in their home studios. The difference between a home studio and a professional one is the treatment of the room and it’s soundproofing. It’s hard for the engineers to edit your audio if they can hear the air conditioning unit blowing in the background. It is best to utilize your home studio for pre production of the instrumentals and lyrics. This also optimizes your session when paying for studio time.
Outside of the technical aspects of recording, it is the engineer’s job to make sure the artist is comfortable at all times. To capture the best vocal performance from an artist the vibes in the studio must be right. If the vibes are not right then the artist will struggle in the booth.
Mixing Engineers: Luther Banks, Kori Anders, and Mike Wilson (Co-Owner/Chief Mixing Engineer)
“Mixing is about creativity just as much as technical” –Kori Anders
Grammy Nominated mixing engineers Luther Banks, Kori Anders, and Mike Wilson discuss the next phase of the recording process, which is mixing. Mixing is the process of blending all the audio and instrumental tracks together so that the levels are all balanced and in place. The mix engineer is also responsible for adding creative effects to your song such as certain reverbs, auto tune, and other filter effects that bring life to your track. During the mixing process it is best for the artist to collaborate with the engineer to get the best possible sound.
For all those who are aspiring mix engineers there are a few things to be cautious of before a session. Bringing the correct files to the studio is very important. When bouncing out your files be sure you have multi-track wav files in 24bit 44.1hz. It is best to keep your levels even at 0.0db so that the engineer is able to manipulate the levels at will. You never want to have any distorted vocals so it is best to keep each track between 12-6db that way you never fall in danger of clipping.
When mixing a record it is best to play it back on several different audio platforms such as headphones, car speakers, and cell phone audio. This allows you to pinpoint what to change in the mix so that it is transparent on all mediums.
Mastering & Monetizing
Curtis Daniel III (Owner/Manager), Kenny Mixx (Chief Mastering Engineer), Lisa Carpenter (Sales Lead)
“The ultimate goal is owning your music and your masters.”- Kenny Mixx
In the last segment of the werkshop, Kenny Mixx, Lisa Carpenter, and Curtis Daniel III give details on how to protect and distribute your music. The last process in preparing a record for distribution is mastering. “Mastering is a science that revolves around 1s and 0s”, according to chief mastering engineer Kenny Mixx. There are two types of mastering, one being volume optimization which makes the song loud and bright. The other is phase and time alignment, which is the true side of the mastering process. Volume adjustment in the mastering process should be last along with embedding the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) and Universal Product Code (UPC) to track your music.
After the mastering process is completed it is time to protect and monetize your record. The first step in monetizing your music is to obtain copyrights for each track before promoting your music. People will use your music and make money off of it because of lack of knowledge. All videos or music on the Internet should be coded and copy written for your protection.
When your song is copy written you can now get your song digitally distributed to multiple music platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Pandora etc. With the help of Patchwerk’s paperwork services your song can be copy written and all codes registered with Nielsen Sound Scan, BDS, Mediabase and Sound Exchange in one payment package.
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