What is a mix mentor?
A mix mentor is usually an experienced music producer who provides guidance, advice, and feedback to a mentee looking to improve their mixing skills. The mentor typically has significant experience and expertise in music production and is able to share valuable insights and techniques with the mentee to help them improve their mixing abilities. A mix mentor can provide constructive feedback on the mentee's work, help them develop a better understanding of the technical aspects of mixing, and provide guidance on how to navigate the music industry. Through this mentorship relationship, the mentee is able to develop their skills and build their network in the music industry, ultimately advancing their career as music producer.
Importance of having a mentor in music production
Having a mentor in music production can be incredibly valuable for aspiring producers and mixers, as it provides a range of benefits that are difficult to obtain through other means. Not so long ago, the recording world was very different and the only way to gain experience and the skills needed was to actually work in a professional recording studio. While the knowledge and tools are more easily available than ever, putting the puzzle together and elevating your game isn't as there is nobody to guide or push you. A good mentor can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in all levels of the music production process, sharing valuable insights and techniques that can help to improve the mentee's skills and abilities. Additionally, a mentor can provide constructive feedback on the mentee's work, pointing out areas for improvement and helping them to refine their craft. Beyond raw technical skills, a mentor can also provide guidance on the business side of music production, helping the mentee navigate the often tricky music industry and make connections with other professionals. Ultimately, having a mentor can be an invaluable resource for music producers looking to improve their skills, build their networks, and advance their careers in the music industry.
What makes a Good Mix Mentor
So, what makes a person suitable to be your mentor? First of all, ideally deep experience and knowledge in music production gained through professional work, good communication skills (not always a feature of a dedicated studio rat) , and the ability to provide constructive criticism. We’ve all asked our friends or other peers in music about something we have been working on and got back glowing feedback, or an “I dunno” - which isn’t really that useful if your goal is to truly improve. Lastly, the person needs patience and a desire to teach and help you grow.
Finding a Mix Mentor
Well, you're here on mixingcoach.com and I have to say congratulations - I am unsurprisingly a mix coach and mentor so feel free to reach out and I'd be more than happy to jump on a call with you or answer any questions you have via email. I only have very limited slots to be able to do that, however as I am a working professional engineer, and not everyone is a good fit. So, if that was the case and I wasn't the coach for you, I'd suggest attending music production events and workshops, networking with industry professionals, and searching online - which probably brought you here.
HOW DO I DO IT
The first thing I try to do is to understand the needs of the mentee as nobody needs the same thing. The people I've worked with range from home recording enthusiasts who want to make better-sounding music for fun to other working pro engineers who want to stay at the top of their game, to educators. Depending on what is needed, I try to provide specific feedback and advice, tasks and motivation to improve the areas in which the person wants to see growth. Encouraging and motivating the mentee is the next task, and that's not always easy. I'm not here to be a strict teacher or anything, but then again at the same time, I have to give you accountability to push you towards your goals. if it's costing you money, it may as well WORK for you! Lastly, I try to be available and responsive, via our one on one coaching calls, the coaching platform I use, and also a messaging app.
Why do I do it?
Honestly, most of us don't get into recording engineering for the money, and the same goes for coaching and mentoring. I didn't even WANT to do this, but at some point, it felt like almost an obligation to give back to the music community and provide value to people who loved recording and mixing. I discovered that it was massively rewarding to me as well, and has helped me be more responsible and practise what I preach in my role as an engineer, continue to learn and most of all continue my love for the art. I can't tell you how exciting it is when one of my mentees drops a new record for either themselves or a client and everyone involved is super excited, especially if it does well. Sometimes we stop and look back at their previous work, and it's always been a massive transformation that leaves me shocked and proud of their progress.
If you're at a place where you really feel that something like mentorship would be helpful, please reach out to me, and even if I personally am not the coach for you, I'd encourage you all the same - to find someone that is. It's the missing part of the educational puzzle that you won't be able to find in any video, book or course and will change your skill level and mindset for the better. On that note, thanks a lot for staying with me so far, and happy mixing! - Coach.
want more? here's a previous article on improving your mixing skills