Canadian Musician - January / February - Page 59

RECORDING Dajaun Martineau is a producer/engineer/writer based out of Toronto who spent the better part of a decade as a senior staff engineer at Phase One Studios before going freelance. For his full discography and more information, visit Dajaun.com. By Dajaun Martineau Hiring a Mix Engineer W hether you’re an artist, pro- ducer, label rep, tracking engi- neer, or even a mix engineer, at some point, you’re going to have to hire someone to mix a project for you. There are times when you will be too close to a project and will require a second set of ears. Perhaps you’ve just spent the last three months in the trenches with the artist and need a different perspective, or you’re just looking for a certain je ne sais quoi for the final stage. Maybe the label, manager, or artist wants to attach a name to the project for more visibility in the industry. There are many different reasons why you might want to look outside of yourself to find someone new to collaborate with. Name vs. No Name There are many pros and cons here. A name engineer can bring a final professional polish to the project. You are guaranteed a certain level of quality but if you’re not paying top dollar, you might not be getting what you bargained for. Some name mix engineers will take gigs at a lower rate and let their assistant do the mix, allowing them to gain experience. As bad as the idea of passing off the work sounds, this could be a good thing. An assistant will know most of what their superior does and will work extra hard to move up in the world, but you aren’t nec- essarily getting the person you thought you were. Beware of great deals from high-end mix engineers and remember that you get what you pay for. If you want to make sure that it is the name engineer mixing your record, don’t go bargain hunting. If you’re not concerned with attaching a reputable name to your project, then you can open yourself up to the option of W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M non-celebrity engineers. There are a pleth- ora of amazing engineers in the world who for whatever reason may not have awards or plug-ins named after them. The main benefit with engineers in this category is that you can generally push your weight around as the client. No-name engineers are more like- ly to work with you to achieve your vision rather than applying what they’ve known to work on hit records in the past. The only real difference between a name engineer versus a no-name engineer, other than budget, is that you might already be a fan of their reference material. Test Mixes vs. Reference Material I personally cringe any time an artist asks me for reference material; regardless, I have an entire reel of work prepared that they can listen to and decide if they like my previous body of work or not. There are so many variables involved in reference material that it is difficult to tell where you stand at times. Many elements of the reference material don’t always present themselves and can influence the quality both positively and negatively. You can’t be sure of the circumstances during recording or the artists’ desires. I always welcome the opportunity to do a test mix for a new client and as someone that is hiring a mix engineer, don’t be afraid to ask for one. This gives both the artist and the engineer a chance to work toget W B6VRrFR&VF62vrF&RFR7B'fW2&VVfB2FBPvWBFV"FRVvVW.( 2֗7GRW FW&vW&RBv&R7B&VWfBFP6V6F'&VVfG266VFRFR&ƒЧGF&V6Rf֖Ɩ"vFFRVvVW.( 0v&frBW'7V7FfRGFVFVBg2VGFVFV@7B֗VvVW'2vrRFGFV@FR֗r6W762b&WVW7FVB( 2'WBF( BॖRvBW"֗VvVW"FFFP&W7B"76&RBFWvFFV"&W7@v&vVFW&R7B6f'F&RFWVVB&FG'Fw2BR֗7FW0W7BƖR'F7BvVBFRv'7BFpFB6VFVvVW"GW&r֗2fr6VR6V6BwVW72FV FV662vRFW&R&R7F&VrFRvVR&R֗VvVW"RfRFG'W7BFVFFFRv&R&VBFVЦf"bFWF( BƗfRWFW"7FF&G0gFW"^( fR6V&ǒ6V6FVBv@RvBg&FVFVB2FRF&PFffW&VB֗VvVW"6R֗26WFVBF&V6ЦVBGFVFr֗&Wf626W76'F2FRFRVvVW"2BFR66PF&VƗRFV"f6f"FR6rBv&R&RFVF6GFrvFR@7&gFrFRfFWF2FBRB6RЧFrR6&F&R&VBbFW&R&RBbFw2F66FW"vV"Цr֗VvVW"'WBBFRVBbFRFRW7BfRFBFRf&F৖RfRf&RBvvFW"wWB&P7W&RF6W'6VbbR66V6FP6f'F&ǒvFFRW'6^( &R&r6W'6Vbb^( &RvrF&R&RFvW@W"FV27&72FFV6V&ǒFW2FPVvVW"VFW'7FBW"vV&RBFPf6RfRf"W"&V7CvFP&V7B'VFvWBVvvRFRVvVW"FvfPBFV"gVGFVF"vFW&RpB"fR767FBFCBFRVBbFRFR&R&p6VRFF"f"R6&R7W&RFW&RFR&vBW'6f"RBW"W622BR22( "S