This blog post focuses on the mixing and mastering expertise of Ben Kramp from Earthshake Audio Productions. Below is an interview with the mulch-faceted engineer from Australia.
First and foremost, how long have you been mixing and mastering?
Became interested in the recording/mixing/mastering process of music around 2003 I think. But professionally since 2008.
Have you always been immersed in music?
Yes my whole life! Can't live with out it. From playing guitar to songs in my bedroom as a kid to being in bands and now behind the deck!
What projects have you mixed and mastered?
Some of the projects I have worked on recently include The Chase from Illy which I think will have a good chance at winning some Australian music awards, Illy along with M-Phazes have really done a good job on this one! Also Good Gracious from M-Phazes (2010 ARIA winning album), Something For Nothing from Stateovmind and more. Check out the website for more!
Most recently my work has been recording bands, groups and emcee's live, tracks will be up soon. The results so far have been really good!
What projects are you currently mixing and mastering?
I guess I pretty much answered this one already but at the moment I am working on a live recording of the band Fangs from Melbourne, OZ. And a studio recording of the band Lo-Fi Operatics also from Melbourne. I'm waiting on tracks from an emcee out of Melbourne named Rob Gzutek to be mixed, this guys a real talent and has potential to be really big I think!
What advice would you give to Do It Yourself (recording artists) in regards to mixing and mastering...
A quality recording at the beginning is most important, not everything can be fixed in the mixing process! Be sure to have a decent set of monitors and really "know" your room will really help your mixing. Also clipping is a big no-no! I'm happy to help out anyone with questions regarding recording, mixing and mastering in any way I can - Email me!
Is it fair to say that mixing and mastering is one of the most important factors of a finished pro...
Definitely. Mixing - getting the elements of the song combined so they sound and feel the way you have it in your head. Mastering - final compression, eq, limiting etc and making sure the song will sound good on any system.
Why is the prep stage important in regards to mixing and mastering?
Mixing - so things don't get confusing, I like to have things in order in the mix window (drums/beats, bass, rhythm, horns, vox etc.). A neat session leads to faster work. Mastering - it is important for best results to do all limiting processes after the mix ensuring the mix is not clipping.
The vocals should be void of compression, reverb, delay etc because...They don't need to be, but it is good for who ever is mixing to have the "dry" vocal track also.
How can musicians get in contact for you for mixing and mastering purposes?
Via the website or email
What is your typical turnaround time?
As long as it takes! I don't like to put time limits on things, a rushed job can often not turn out the way it could. But I will try as best as I can to fit in with deadlines. Also I don't charge by the hour just by the song.
Any final thoughts?
There is a lot of information all over the Internet in regards to mixing/mastering, research what you are doing and don't settle for second best!