In this interview, I had the opportunity to chat with Michael Cushion Jr., CEO of Mikes Mix Master. Mikes Mix Master is a musically innovative, mixing and mastering service. Check out our conversation to learn more about his success, along with one expert tip on what it takes to break into the music industry.
- Hi! Please tell us more about yourself and MikesMixMaster.com?
My name is Michael Cushion Jr, Better known as “Mike C” but you can call me Mike. I am a Entrepreneur and Professional Audio Mixing and Mastering engineer with 13 years experience Mixing and Mastering for Major and Indie recording artists and record labels in over 100+ Countries world wide. I am also a joint CEO at Audio Nucleus (www.audionucleus.com), a search engine for musicians, artists, producers and songwriters. Born in and growing up in New York my entire life has been surrounded by music, with my mother being a DJ and father playing in a band growing up, Its all I know and it was destined for me to make a living in the music industry. Launching Mikes Mix & Master in 2010 made it a reality. I consider myself a caring and compassionate individual who wants to help others succeed, my current titles allow me to happily do this. I have a big heart and love to make people smile, in and out of the studio =)
- What inspired you to want to start a business in the music industry?
Growing up with my mother being a DJ and my father being in a band I was highly influenced by music as a child, in that time I wanted to be a musician, which worked out for a while, I started recording my own songs, and during the process I became infatuated with handling behind the scenes work, specifically Mixing and Mastering, it became my focus and I knew I had to turn it into something. 5 years later here I am.
- For any one who may not know, what is the difference between mixing and mastering?
Mixing is putting everything you have recorded together to complete your song(s). This includes adding EQ and compression, volume adjustments, adding effects, editing flaws, pitch correction and so on. Think of mixing as putting the puzzle together, putting together the parts of what you have recorded, making sure everything hangs together right while also adding the finishing touches on things. When mixing is completed, you should be pleased with the way the song sounds and feel confident that you don’t need to add anything else musically.
Mastering is adding sparkle and shine to your music. In a very basic sense, when you master your album, you’re making sure that song one doesn’t blow out the speakers while song two is barely audible – in other words, you want the levels of the songs to be similar and you want a general sense of cohesiveness to your recording, It also add the finishing touches to the song to bring it to its highest poetntial, making as loud as possible without distorting and making the song sound big and strong while sounding wider and clearer to emerge you in its sound. No song should be without mastering!
- You’ve worked with many artists in the music industry (cool). Do have any favorite projects, if so, why?
I don’t have a specific list of favorite projects, but I do love working with foreign clients. It’s really cool to work on and learn about music created in foreign countries worldwide. I feel like it brings me closer to the people from all over. Sometimes I get lucky and receive gifts from these clients as a thank you for the work I provided. Which makes me feel good knowing someone across the world genuinely appreciates me and my work.
- Why is it important for music artists to fine tune and polish their sound?
If you are an artist trying to be noticed in the music industry it is extremely important to have a professional sounding demo, mixtape or EP. Bad quality audio and ruin your listeners experience and will interrupt them from focusing on the music. It also shows record labels that you truly care about your material and want nothing but the best. High quality tracks can also higher your chances of getting your music played in public places and on radio and if you are an indie artist it can help you increase your fanbase and sales. Having your music professionally Mixed and Mastered is mandatory in all situations in the music industry.
- One expert tip for anyone looking to break into The Music Industry?
The Music Industry can be a tricky place, the more you know the safer you are. If there is one thing I can say about this industry is network network network, everyone knows a guy who can ultimately help towards your success here.