1.) Nowadays any one can call themselves an mixing engineer. But if you use just a bit of common sense, you can quickly differentiate between a novice and a professional mixing engineer. Let’s start with the obvious, reputation and experience. Just a simple check with Google is the simplest way to instantly determine who is the mixing engineer you are dealing with. When you google a professional, their name should produce a lot of results. Because google does not show many result for a mixing engineer, does not mean that they’re not competent but it does show he or she is fairly new to the industry. The opposite is also true if a search results in lots of pages and plenty of credible work for that mixing engineer. In some cases Google will include that persons wiki page and other notables on the side bar of Google, In which case you are likely dealing with a true professional with plenty of history and experience.
2.) Another thing people don’t take notice of, is the credits of a particular engineer. The obvious Artist, Album or Song is noticed but what did this person actually do? They will include songs they worked on in their credit list, but under what capacity. For example if this person played the bass on a song, that does not matter to a individual looking to hire a mixing engineer. If they were not the recording engineer, the mix engineer or at least the assistant engineer of a particular song, it really shouldn’t be included in their engineering credits. Take your time and read the fine print of any mixing engineer’s credits that you are considering.
3.) Finally “You get what you pay for” Specially when trying to hire one of the most important audio engineers concerning your project, the mix engineer. Unfortunately nowadays anyone with a pro tools rig can call themselves a mix engineer. But as most professionals know, that does not mean they should be hired to mix a project. It is simple really when you think about it. For example, if one mix engineer charges $300.00 and another charges $1,500.00, then there has to be some serious differences between these two engineers. Of course, it is obvious most people would go with the cheaper option, Right? You could literally mix 4 songs for the price of one mix of the other engineer. So you have to ask yourself, why does that other mixing engineer charge so much more? Unfortunately what tragically happens in too many cases is people hire the cheaper engineer to mix their album, and soon after they send their project of to mastering, they get feedback from their mastering engineer and its usually not good. Their music doesn’t quite have that sound that other songs on the radio have, and what inevitably happens is they try to fix the mixes with their mastering engineer and end up unhappy and over budget. We can’t tell you how many projects come to us that have already been mixed. We hear everyone’s cries about how much money they wasted trying to get their music sounding right. So literally these people end up paying twice as much to have their project mixed. Many of these people could of just hired the more experienced mixing engineer and saved themselves a whole lot of money, frustration and time. Look, major artist don’t hire these more expensive mixing engineers because they like to spend more money, they spend the money because they know after all the hard work they put into their projects, they want the best mix engineer possible to finish their project off right the first time.