Mixing engineer

Mixing engineer

A mix engineer is the person responsible for incorporating all the different recorded elements of music (vocals, instruments, effects etc.)to make the final version of a song. These mixing professionals have many years of experience and training with audio equipment which has enabled them to master the art of audio mixing. Technology allows engineers to enhance the quality of songs to make them appealing.



Mix Engineers take the role of meshing pieces of recorded elements to achieve the optimal balance of instrumental and vocal volume, as well as frequency, to make it most appealing as possible. Once every instrument, voice, and sound, has been recorded, he or she fabricates what is known as the final version ("final mix" or "mixdown") of a song, hence the term 'mix engineer[1].A mixing engineer may be involved in music, radio, television, or motion picture industries, as well as live events such as concerts and Broadway shows. These engineers typically refine their skills through years of hands-on experience.[2]


Mixing engineers are an integral part of the recording process, and often consult directly with the artist aid in refining and improving a musical arrangement. At certain times during a recording session, an engineer must not only adjust the recording parameters, but must sometimes alter the actual performance of the recording artist in order to achieve a refined finished product[3]. Musicians often rely on a mixing engineer’s extensive knowledge and expertise to help them shape the sound of each track. Mixing audio is generally regarded as type of art form that typically requires myriads of hours to perfect, and thus a talented engineer is usually in great demand.


Mixing Engineers are often formally trained in a music background, and most get a degree in audio engineering or recording engineering*[4]. A degree in music can help and broaden the engineers credentials, though it is known that most experience comes from operating complex audio equipment. The mixing ear comes from years of observing all kinds of sounds, frequencies, and variations of effects and filters, and through the process of trial and error.


Mixing engineers rely on their intuition in the process of mixing, but all mixers generally follow certain fundamental procedures:

  • Hearing the final product
  • Finding the most important elements to emphasize
  • Figuring out how to arrange the elements
  • Determining out the direction of the song
  • Developing a groove or rhythm

Elements of a Mix

The elements of a mix and their arrangement are also crucial aspects to making the song fluid and unique.[5]

  • Balance - The volume level relationship between musical elements.
  • Frequency Range - Equalizing the frequencies to proper presentation.
  • Panorama - Placing a musical element in the sound field.
  • Dimensions - Adding ambiance to a musical element.
  • Dynamics Controlling the volumes on tracks and instruments.
  • Appeal - Making the song interesting.


The equipment mixing engineers work with are:

See also


  1. ^ Gogerly, Simon, "What Does it Take?", Pro Music. 2003
  2. ^ "Secrets of Mix Engineers", "Sound on Sound"
  3. ^ Hutcherson, Jai, “How to Prepare a Song to Send to a Mix Engineer”, I am Music Network. 2009
  4. ^ Tingen, Paul, "Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Tom Elmhirst", "Sound on Sound" magazine, August 2007
  5. ^ Peterson, Eric, “The Art & Science of Mix Engineering”, September 2010

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