This is something I do at least 10 times a day. As a mixing and mastering engineer I am the best person to ask if the mix is correct and I will happily help each and every person who gets in touch to ask about this free service we provide. Before continuing with this articles I just want to talk briefly about our free mix evaluation service.
Firstly why is it free? We offer this service free because our mentality regarding music is that we always want to hear the best results possible from every artist. Even if we aren't the engineers working on the song. The music industry needs people like us who will go out their way to help others achieve a better sound.
The service in a nutshell is simple. You will send us your song, either the full song or a minute long clip of the song. We will then carefully analyse the mix and tell you if there are any major issues that should be resolved before you think about having it mastered. This service helps both us and the client. If the client gives us a mix without any errors our job as mastering engineers is made a hell of a lot easier.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is why are you sending your song out to certain people? Is it for validation? Do you even want feedback or do you just want someone to tell you how amazing your music is. If that is the case then stop what you are doing. This isn't going to achieve anything positive and you'll gain a false representation of how good your music actually is.
What you want to do is openly seek out honest critics of your music. Preferably people who actually know what they are talking about. A lot of people you will find are jealous or don't want you to progress and will churn out the same buzz words every time. Ever had a conversation like this?
YOU: Hey, would you be able to take a listen to my new track and give me feedback?
THEM: Yeah sure fire it over.
YOU: Thanks it's sent
THEM (30 seconds after you've sent it): Yeah it lacks bass, no stereo image, there's no warmth, have you used ozone it's distorted.
These comments are pointless. They do not help in any way shape or form. They are vague on purpose so that they do not help. These people will never tell the truth. The reason being is that they don't want to help you. They will never say a nice thing about your track nor will they give you any kind of accurate feedback. Try to avoid these kinds of people at all costs.
Now something I was explaining to someone during a session a couple of weeks ago, was that you'll find the higher up the ladder you get the more humble the people become. I met him whilst doing his first song at the age of 16. Now he's in his early 20's living in London mixing with professionals and he has come to realise this to be true. You will find at the bottom rung of the ladder everyone is out for themselves and what this results in is a lot of back stabbing and putting down because they fear you'll take their place of the next step of the ladder.
As you progress up this ladder and get to the top you'll see that the people there are highly grateful to be there and are enjoying it. They'll help you out, they'll point you in the right direction and introduce you to the right people. These are the people you want to be gaining advice from when it comes to anything musical. Be it an evaluation of your mix or that you have hit a brick wall in the writing and production phase and need advice on where to go next. But hey this is a luxury the people at the top have that the people at the bottom don't. Well that's not entirely true, we're always here to answer any questions or offer any advice. And whilst 99 out of 100 studios or companies won't give you the time of day there are companies out there like us who just love music and want to help musicians even if they aren't directly working with them.
Do you actually need advice on your song or mix?
Yes and No. I mean lets look at a mix. Your song is finished and it's in it's final stage of mixing ready to be mastered. Do you really need to send it out to anyone other than your mastering engineer. If you are intending on mastering the song yourself. 100% yes. Part of the great thing about giving your music to a professional mastering engineer to master is that they haven't been sat there listening to the same loop over and over and do not have an obscured view of the track. Fresh ears are always a good thing. And professional ears are worth their weight in gold.
A mix is subjective. You could send your mix to 20 different mixing engineers and all 20 will have something different to say about it. Unless there is something ridiculously wrong with it that every engineer hears and agrees on. What I always say to people who send a track to me for a mix evaluation is that the mix is subjective to the listener and how the listener thinks it should sound. But is it the listeners song? No it is your song. How do you intend it to sound? Get it to sound the way you want it. It is your song after all. Take feedback with a pinch of salt and not 100% fact you have to change or your mix will flop.
Production on the other hand. It can be great to get a second opinion of production and songwriting. Especially if that advice is from a songwriter who is a professional or doing well in his or her field. If you have hit a wall with the production then it's really quite essential to get some advice. Advice isn't cheating. Every person in every industry requires advice at some point. Don't be afraid to ask.
If you wish to use our free mix evaluation service simply fill out the form below and request a mix evaluation of your song. In the subject field type Mix Evaluation Request, in the message section you can paste your download link along with any information you feel we should know. We look forward to hearing from you.