CHECK YOUR LIST TWICE
Once you’ve narrowed down your search for the right engineer, here are some suggestions as to what kind of questions you should put on your list of questions to ask;
Reputation: How reliable are they? Did someone you know recommend them to you? What has their success been like?
Fee: How much do they cost? Do they have rates for indie artists that differ from their standard pricing? What forms of payment do they accept? Do they charge hourly or is it a flat rate? Will they accept points on your record in order to lower their rates?... I say lower, because they will still expect to get paid for their work.
Availability: When are they available to mix? If you’re on a time constraint, are they able to provide their services to you before your deadline?
Location: How far are they from you? If they are in your city, can you sit in on the mixing sessions? How important is it for you to partake in the mixing process? If they aren’t local, do you feel comfortable with the idea of an engineer potentially on the other side of the world mixing your album? Do they provide access to some sort of online delivery service for the delivering of your files, such as DropBox?
Customer Service: How attentive are they? Do they get back to you in a reasonable amount of time? Are they helpful in answering any questions you may have with the mixing process? Are they amicable?... This last one doesn’t determine how good the mixes will turn out, but it’s always better to work with someone you get along with because this could be an ongoing relationship.
It’s important to understand what it is you are looking to achieve in terms of the artistic direction of your music. Finding someone that can make your vision a reality is very important. For some, money is a major factor when deciding who they work with. For others, it’s geographical location. Sometimes, there’s a deadline and the person you want to work with isn’t available at that very moment and you have to find someone else that is. There are very few instances in which everything just perfectly lines up. Sometimes you just have to make it work. Just take it one step at a time and get it done. In the words of Nietzche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Don’t make that mistake.
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