What is a mixing engineer?

A mixing engineer records, mixes and edits sound using audio and engineering equipment. They are responsible for adjusting volume levels, adding sound effects, manipulating the audio’s frequency and synchronizing the sound. Although no formal degree or training is required to mix music, mixing engineers need to have a solid foundation of understanding of the technical equipment and may be required to perform troubleshooting and repairs to that equipment when needed; postsecondary schooling and training programs to learn these skills are available.

Essential information about mixing engineers

Mixing engineers, known in the music industry as sound, audio mixing or recording technicians or engineers, use recording and sound editing equipment to mix sound and record audio. Mixing engineers typically have experience working with audio electronics and computers, and most have strong communication skills. There are no requirements for education to be a mixing engineer, but many in this field started by earning a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in recording technology or a related field. Professional certification is available, from many sources, to qualified mixing engineers.

What can you expect to earn as a qualified mixing engineer?

The median salary for a mixing and mastering engineer, 2019, in the United States was $54,777 per year. It must be noted, with emphasis, that only highly-professional, full-time mixing engineers earn that kind of money.  Many, starting out, can work years making considerably less.

Job duties

Responsibilities of professionals in the audio mixing field can include recording original content for others, editing that content and mixing the sound levels to produce a polished, professional, pleasing product. With the use of audio mixing and engineering equipment, mixing can include the manipulation of sound snippets, adjustment of sound volume, addition of special effects and frequency adjustment. They can also reproduce material and synchronize sound bits to ensure that timing is appropriate.

Mixing engineers can also help to repair and troubleshoot equipment that may be faulty or performing inadequately, but this is not their primary field of expertise.  Creatively, mixing engineers can work with, and be valuable collaborators with, musicians, vocalists, other sound technicians and music producers to lay out the structure of the finished product.

Training requirements

There are technically no requirements to work as a mixing engineer, though employers may prefer some postsecondary education, and sound engineers typically attend some sort of vocational program. Professionals working within sound technology and recording engineering can benefit from strong knowledge in audio equipment, mechanical work and electronic media, as well as experience working with computers and information technology.

In lieu of formal training, there are a number of excellent mixing engineers who learn “on the job,” serving as apprentices for professional mixing engineers, and earning their “stripes” in the trenches rather than in the classroom.

A word about Kip Allen

As a Drum Workshop artist based in Nashville, TN, Kip Allen spends the majority of his time behind the drum kit.

Alongside drumming, Allen produces music for his own project as well as for other artists (Trev Leigh, Emma Rowley). As a songwriter, he has been credited on songs such as “We Ain’t Going Anywhere” by The Wolfe Brothers, “In My Head” by Trev Leigh, and “Sanctuary” by Emma Rowley.

Call Kip Allen at 817-995-8093 the next time you are in need of a trusted, professional mixing engineer. Trust in one of Nashville’s finest, as many of the best musical artists have.