Every day, there are:
- Over 20,000 new songs uploaded to Spotify
- 432,000 hours of video added to YouTube
- And 5 billion pieces of content shared across Facebook
Which means if you’re an artist or producer who’s struggling to break through in today’s crowded music marketplace, you’re not alone.
The world is literally bursting at the seams with new music. And thanks to streaming services, we have it all at our fingertips.
Listeners used to stick around to hear a great song, even if a production or mix wasn’t stellar. But millions of other songs are now just a click away. If a record doesn’t immediately move someone, they’ll hit “skip.”
A great song is no longer enough. If you want your music to succeed in today's world, you must nail every part of the music-making process. This includes recording, production, and mixing too.
The Right Mix Can Transform Your Tracks
As a professional mixer and the founder of Behind The Speakers, I’ve spent the last decade studying, practicing, and teaching the art of mixing. Every part of the music-making process matters. But time and time again, I’ve seen that the right mix can transform a track.
To illustrate this point, I wanted to share a mix I recently worked on.
This track had already been mixed by a pro and released on the band’s album. The band’s publishing company reached out to me because they weren’t happy with the sound of the track. Take a listen (preferably on studio monitors or good headphones):
Not terrible, but there’s definitely room for improvement. They sent me the multitracks and I remixed the song from scratch. Here’s what I came up with:
And to make it easier to compare the two, here’s a clip where I flip back and forth between them:
What a difference, right? Same song, but more clarity, depth, and punch. And more importantly, the track feels completely different. It’s more impactful and emotional.
Keep in mind this song was already mixed by a pro before it was sent to me. So if you’ve worked with a professional mixer before but weren’t happy with the results, I encourage you to explore your other options. The right mix (and the right mixer) can make the difference between the success or failure of your tracks. It’s essential that you find the right fit.
The Myth Of The DIY Music-Maker
I was lucky enough to attend one of the best recording schools in the country (NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music) and study with Grammy-winning mixers like Andrew Scheps, Bob Power, and Jim Anderson. But I believe knowledge should be freely accessible to everyone. That’s why I’ve spent the last three years sharing everything I know about mixing through Behind The Speakers. My courses and YouTube tutorials have helped hundreds of thousands of DIY music-makers around the world elevate their tracks.
But here’s the truth — the music-making process is broad and complex, and you can’t become an expert in all of it. It took me a decade just to learn how to mix like a pro, and I’m still getting better every day. So if you’re an artist or producer who’s trying to do it all yourself — songwriting, performing, recording, producing, mixing, and mastering — you’re probably getting in your own way.
Look at the credits on every chart-topping hit and you’ll see that dozens of people were involved in making it happen. These people were each experts in a different slice of the music-making process. By joining forces, they were able to create something far better than what any of them could have achieved on their own.
The credits for Travis Scott's hit song "SICKO MODE" (nominated for a GRAMMY in 2019)
Pay attention to where your own expertise lies. You might find yourself in an effortless, creative flow while writing, performing, or producing. If so, that’s your “genius” area, and you should stick to it. But if mixing bogs you down, if it feels overly technical or frustrating, or if you feel like there’s something missing when you compare your mixes to your favorite records — you need to delegate this part of the music-making process to someone else so you can focus on what you do best. This is how all world-class records are made.
The Power Of Building A Team
You are the CEO of your own music empire. And just like any great business leader, the most important thing you can do is surround yourself with a team of A-players that can help you get to where you want to be. With these people around you, you dramatically increase your chances of success.
The right mixer is an essential part of this team. They’ll give your records the shine and polish they need to stand out in today’s crowded music marketplace. And with tracks that sound radio-ready and professional, your music has the best possible shot at breaking through the noise. You maximize your chances of moving and inspiring every listener who encounters your music. And once you start making connections like these, everything else could start to change too.
If you’re an artist, your fan base could start growing larger and faster. More opportunities to promote and share your music might start coming your way. And you’ll be more likely to attract the attention of A-players in the industry who can pour jet fuel over the fire you’ve already started and elevate your music to greater and greater levels of success.
If you’re a producer, your mixes are your calling card. If they sound radio-ready and professional, you’ll have an easier time attracting clients who make better music and can pay you more. This can send you into an upward spiral of success — because working with better clients will help you attract more of these clients in the future. As a result, you could find yourself spending more time working on music you love, building a bigger platform for your productions to be heard, and gaining the credibility that comes from working with artists who are making a bigger impact.
This all may sound like a pipe dream, but I’ve watched it happen with many of my clients. Sabrina Carpenter hit the Billboard Top 40 last year with her track “Almost Love.” Madilyn Bailey racked up over 6 million YouTube subscribers. A handful of Dylan Owen fans were so moved by the music we worked on together that they tattooed his lyrics on their bodies (this still blows me away).
My client Dylan Owen, with a fan who got a tattoo of his lyrics
My clients Madilyn Bailey and Sabrina Carpenter are breaking through and experiencing success (note that I did not mix "Almost Love")
These are the kinds of things that could happen if you put the sound of your music first. And I’m committed to helping you achieve these things — because I believe in you and your limitless potential.
It all starts with the sound of your records. And with the right mixer, you can ensure that your music sounds the best it can possibly be.