Paul Dubrovsky

How to Choose the Right Mixing Engineer

choose mixing engineer

The profession of a mixing engineer is highly demanded in the music industry. Why is it happening today? Music production in general and the mixing process, in particular, have a tremendous impact on the way your song will sound.

Mixing itself is not only a technical but also a creative process of transforming a multi-track recording into a standard stereo track. In fact, the mixing stage can either make or break your music.

So, how can you identify a professional worth cooperating with? Of course, you can choose one of the top-ranked world-famous audio experts that work with award-winning musicians, yet their services usually come at a cost. On the other hand, numerous recording engineers will provide a basic mix asking for a far lower price. The trick is to choose a mix engineer who approaches the job diligently, creatively, and affordably.

Let’s have a closer look at the profession and discover how to find a mixing engineer that would breathe a new life into your music.

What is a Mixing Engineer?

After realizing the significance of the sound mixing job, you may want to delve deeper into what a mixing engineer really is.

Basically, this person combines the different sonic elements of a recorded music piece into a final version and balances its specific parts to reach a desired effect. A professional mix engineer boasts impressive experience in tracking and mixing various kinds of music as well as managing the entire recording and mixing process.

By applying proper gain staging, balancing the instruments and frequency ranges, and adding panning, reverb, and tonal color, a mixing engineer achieves a clear and polished sound and may even provide your recording with a signature style.

What does a Mix Engineer Do?

That’s being said, let’s find out what exactly mix engineers do to attain all those magic effects? Moreover, a deeper understanding of the job will help you answer the main question – how to choose mixing engineer for your music.

Talented and experienced professionals uniquely combine their technical skills and musicality to craft sound, so that your recording turns into a feast for ears.

  • Balancing tracks. Mixing engineers take a multi-track recording and balance tracks so that each element has its own space and can be heard.
  • Sound enhancing. Such tools as EQ and compression allow them to sonically enhance the sound of the tracks. This way, mixers improve the sound to make it deeper and more impactful.
  • Adding effects. This is what distinguishes a good mixing engineer from an ordinary one. Tastefully and creatively added effects can add spice and flavor to your song.

However, you should not overestimate the level of magic an audio specialist could do. Regardless of their expertise, these professionals won’t turn a poor recording into a hit. Therefore, to enjoy the amazing mixing effect, you should make sure to provide excellent performance and recording.

Where to Find a Mix Engineer?

In order to choose a mixing engineer properly, you should start with obtaining a pool of options. There are two basic opportunities to begin with: local and online. Both paths have their advantages and disadvantages, so you should determine which one suits you best.

  • Local studio. This is a good choice if you live in an area where the music industry is flourishing. Then, the cooperation will be convenient for you and grant some useful contacts in the local music scene. However, if the decent options are unavailable in the neighborhood, you’ll have to proceed to option 2.
  • Online services. Now, when entire industries are moving online, finding a mix engineer on the internet becomes a breeze. However, the quality may vary drastically. You should look for reliable websites that offer indexes of professional services and carefully study engineers’ portfolios.

Whether you choose to go online or offline, the following checkpoints will help you make an informed decision.

How to Choose a Mix Engineer?

1. Determine your budget

This pragmatic point is however quite obvious. Prices vary greatly across the industry; so, the knowledge of your budget constraints will help you narrow down the list of available options. How to determine the right price range? – you may ask. Well, the prices start at about $200 per song if you work with a beginner professional. For around $500, you can expect a brilliant mix from a credited engineer. A renowned, award-winning mixer may cost up to $1,500 per song. Finally, the top-ranked engineers usually get from $5,000 to $10,000 per song.\

These price segments should help you understand what you can expect for what money. Still, you should not neglect the other criteria when looking for a mixing engineer.

2. Consider the reputation

Reputation is a bit harder to gauge than budget, however, there are means to assess it as well. After all, you should understand how reliable your potential partner is.

Start with looking for the clients’ and other musicians’ reviews. The feedback from colleagues will reveal professional qualities, while the clients’ reviews will aid in assessing the projected result and the satisfaction level.

Next, check the mixer’s profile and overall online presence. In the modern era of digitalization, there are numerous ways how a person can establish their expertise in the network.

3. Study portfolios

One of the first things to look for in your research is the evidence of the mixer’s successful works. Apart from using your eyes to read credits and reviews, you should also use your ears to evaluate whether you like the produced tracks.

Apart from the quality, you will also get an idea of the mixer’s sound and style. After going through a wide range of mixing, you will determine the style that you find appealing or that matches the music of your band. You will also get an idea of the engineer’s versatility and whether or not this professional is suitable for your genre.

5. Focus on the results

You should not get tempted by the abundance of cool gear. On the one hand, advanced equipment speaks of a certain quality level. On the other hand, the results you wish to achieve are primarily based on the audio expert’s skills and talent, not the technical means they are using.

Therefore, you may please your eyes with the shiny gears, but use your ears to evaluate the work results.

6. Interact with a mix engineer

It is no secret that fruitful cooperation starts with quality working relationships. If you enjoy communication with a mixing engineer from the earliest stages and feel that you are praised and diligently treated, you are likely to get a smooth production process and a brilliant result. Furthermore, building a solid relationship with an audio professional will benefit you in the long term.

7. Assess the overall professionalism

This is an essential point that goes hand in hand with most of the previous ones. Reputation, successful projects, song credits, positive reviews, and the way a mixing engineer interacts with customers – all these characteristics speak loudly about the overall engineer’s professionalism. What you would also love as a customer is proper guidance throughout the whole production process.
Are you getting all the information and support as soon as you need them? Are you offered professional advice and recommendations for the future? Does an audio expert initiate the improvements that were not requested in the beginning?

A professional mixing engineer will do everything to enhance your recording at each stage to attain extraordinary results.


As you can see, the profession of a mixing engineer combines both technical and creative skills. The points above are aimed to help you find a mix engineer to succeed in your specific project. However, if you are seeking to add that professional edge and a signature style to your music, you should hire not just an expert, but also an artist.

Paul Dubrovsky music studio perfectly combines all facets of music production and design. A talented musician, Paul Dubrovsky can create your sound from scratch as well as turn your existing recording into a masterpiece. Thorough knowledge of the entire production process helps him reach excellence on every stage. So, you can be sure that your project is in reliable hands!

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