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Solo - BlaqueIce Productions

Each part of a song, pertaining to the individual instruments and vocals, is recorded independently and then combined later to create one album track. At the completion of the recording process, all of the separate tracks are delivered as a DVD or virtual files to the mix engineer and transferred to a mixing console for the final production. BlaqueIce Productions mix engineer is concerned with artfully assembling those tracks and adding effects for sound quality and aesthetic enhancement. Our Engineer also adds elements like fade and stereo pan.


Duties: On average, it may take our experienced engineer four to six hours to mix one song. Multiply that by twelve songs per album, and the engineer is looking at seventy-two hours of mix time. When hired by the producer or representative of the artist’s label, the contract will detail deadlines for completion. That established timeline would dictate the schedule by which the engineer will operate. A typical workday may be 10 hours, but schedules vary widely for each project.


The practice of designing the final “mixdown” tethers the engineer to a console in a solitary creative endeavor. He  repetitively listens to isolated tracks and combined arrangements, dialing up the low end, adding reverb to the lead vocals, and isolating the vibrato. Our engineer inserts audio effects and additional sounds that are meant to enhance the sound quality and provide emphasis for the creative theme intended in the song. One example of a mix engineer’s work would be the use of Auto-Tune on a T-Pain album or the obscure mechanical, grinding noises of Tool’s “Undertow.”

At predetermined intervals, our mix engineer will provide the producer with printed passes or examples of mixed songs. These checkpoints are necessary to monitor the production process and are an opportunity for the client to offer feedback before the finished product is published. When the mix engineer and client are both satisfied with the album, our engineer will print the stem session or master mix and deliver it to the producer.


Our engineer will take detailed notes on

his process, including console parameters and DAW specifications, so that the mix procedures can be duplicated, in the event that future work must be done to the master.


Skills & Education: College-level or technical school training in sound engineering, recording arts and audio design are particularly important. Additional courses in music appreciation and composition has helped to train our ears. Classes in computer technology and programming has prepared us for working with audio editing software like Cubase, Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, and Sony ACID. As  mix engineers we have a passion for both the creative and technical elements of music production and appreciate all genres and styles of music. This career requires a patient personality that enjoys carefully dissecting the project at hand to perfect each note and bridge. We are detailed-oriented and capable of concentrating intensely on one assignment for hours at a time.


There is no shortage of hopefuls who aspire to become successful beat producers, but far fewer actually understand the work of this individual in today’s popular music industry. A BlaqueIce Productions beat producer performs a greater function than pulling together synthesized drum hits, he  is a composer who crafts the original music, an alchemist that mixes sampled material with original content, over which rap and hip-hop artists lay their lyrics.


Duties: A recording artist or other producer can contract the services of our beat producer to compose music, or our beat producer may offer original material to an artist as work-for-hire. Under the former arrangement, our beat producer reaches an agreement concerning copyright and licenses that may give the producer partial or full ownership of the composition. Under those circumstances, the producer retains rights concerning compensation for sales of the track on an album, and future use of the track when licensed for separate purposes, such as radio play, use in a film or television show, or performance. As work-for-hire, our beat producer generally solicits an artist to use the track and receives a one-time fee for the full ownership of the composition. That means that the producer is not entitled to any further compensation for the use of the material, unless contractually stipulated.


The process of composing musical tracks varies for BlaqueIce Productions but entails the recording of live instruments or synthesized sounds. There are a number of software applications commercially available that allow our producer to compose such tracks on a personal computer. This requires the addition of a compatible synthesizer, keyboard, and one or more pieces of outboard gear. If BlaqueIce Productions creates original music for an artist under contract, he or she may work closely with that musician and producer to compose a tune that is distinct to that artist’s style. He or she will work cooperatively in a recording studio to compose the track, refine the song, and finally record the single or multiple tunes.


As work-for-hire, BlaqueIce Productions may choose to work independently to compose one or more beat tracks that we shop around to entice a buyer. Another process of BlaqueIce Productions is to create by digging through previously recorded tracks to sample beats and melodies from a wide variety of musical genres. In such cases, our beat producer creates an original track through the modification and manipulation of an existing tune. There are also digital libraries that are commercially available and widely used by our professionals. The license typically requires only a one-time fee, like purchasing a computer program.

Skills & Education:  Our aspiring beat producers greatly benefit from a formal education in music, with an emphasis on composition and musicianship. A degree in recording arts, coupled with study in musical composition is also applicable. BlaqueIce Productions demands an individual who is familiar with digital recording software, as well as the basic operation of studio recording consoles. Knowledge of Cubase, Pro Tools and similar applications such as Logic, Sonar, and Live is necessary. As the practice of our beat producer relates to rap and hip-hop, we are especially familiar with these genres and their musical qualities. Of course, an appreciation for multiple styles of music has enriched our work and further trained our artistic ear. What marks our great producers is the ability to be not only innovative but also diverse.


NOTE: “Before recording engineer Geoff Emerick was racking up acclaim and awards for his work with the Beatles, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, and Nellie McKay, he spent hours toiling away in the studio with the bands. Every note had to be shaped, mixed, and balanced together to achieve the artist’s intended vision.” With the advent of increasingly more sophisticated audio manipulation technology, the BlaqueIce recording engineer’s role in the production of a record is just as creative and vital as that of the vocalist, drummer, or guitarist. It is an art and a science, and a BlaqueIce recording engineer is both a technician and a composer.


Duties:  Our recording engineer is responsible to the artist and the producer for the mix and overall sound of the album. This involves preparing the studio for a recording session, operating the mixing console, and maintaining all additional electronic studio equipment and instruments, sometimes with the help of the recording assistant.

Individual components or tracks are recorded separately, and often repeatedly. Strings, drums, and vocals are isolated to perfect each one separately. The BlaqueIce recording engineer manipulates each track and weaves them together while tweaking tone, intensity, and tempo, applying effects, and editing through the console. It is a process of constant revision until the desired result is reached. 


Skills & Education:  Again, College-level or technical school training in sound engineering and audio design has been particularly important to our Producers, Engineers and Beat Makers. We have had additional courses in music appreciation and composition to which has help to train our ear. In depth classes in computer technology and programming has prepared us for working with audio editing software like Steinberg’s Cubase, Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, and Sony ACID. 


What to Expect:  Recording sessions begin early in the morning and usually run late through the night, or even to the following morning. When one session is over, you can expect to start preparing for the next session right away. The hours are long and irregular. At BlaqueIce Productions we are flexible, patient, and creative, even without sleep. Our Engineers will work side-by-side with other artists and producers whose careers and paychecks hinge on the quality of our work, so we must be cool under pressure. Most of all, we have to be a good listener. A keenly trained ear for sound and the people skills to collaborate in a creative endeavor are the key attributes of our BlaqueIce recording engineer.

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