Mobile phones are here to stay. Nearly everyone in the modern world has a mobile phone and they’re not just using it to take selfies or text their friends, they’re also using it to listen to, and buy music.
Why is this important to you? Beat sales, of course. No longer will it cut it for you to just have your beats prepared for a plain ‘ol website. Now you have to make sure that your beats are mixed properly so that they will sound good on a mobile device.
Mobile Phones Have Small Speakers
It’s true that the speakers are very tiny and not that good, but hey, you can’t expect much from such a tiny device. On the other hand, users will be listening with their earbuds or even larger headphones, so it’s crucial that your mixes sound great.
From my experience, I always hear beats that are mixed way too hot. Normally you would want your mix to be about -6dB or even lower, that way you’re nowhere near the red zone, which can easily lead to distortion and just a terrible sounding mix. Not only can it get distorted, your high levels will tire out the ears of listeners and leave them feeling frustrated, and not wanting to hear more of your beats.
Once you have completed your mix, it’s at the mastering stage where you can bump up the mix closer to the zero point, but still stay around -2dB.
I’m not saying that you should be mixing solely for mobile devices, of course not, but you must make sure that your mixes sound great on all mediums: studio monitors, home speakers, car stereos, and mobile devices.
In some 2013 statistics, 7.4 billion songs were streamed in the UK, much more than the 3.7 billion from 2012. What is interesting about those stats is that it more or less represents regular music streaming, not taking into account the beats that can be streamed and purchased with the myFlashStore website.
Your Entire Music Package Needs To Be Mobile Friendly
This is why it’s very important to consider mobile devices not only for your music, but for promotion and networking as well. Consider Twitter and how powerful it can truly be. You can quickly send and receive messages right from your phone, so what does that tell you? Your beats can be streamed just as quickly.
I know of plenty of beat makers that have sold beats using Twitter and Facebook, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit.
Picture this scene: a potential buyer is browsing the myFlashStore Marketplace and finds your beats. He clicks on one of the beats, listening through his phone’s speakers. What will he hear? He definitely won’t hear your fancy bassline, that’s for sure.
So what are you to do?
Perfect your mixing skills. With a plethora of plug-ins to choose from, you can have an entire recording studio right inside your laptop. A lot of those plug-ins have presets that can get you started in the right direction, something like iZotope Ozone. That program alone is enough to satisfy your needs, and it does a phenomenal job at mixing for you. You still need to have a good ear, of course, but at least it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
The main thing you will want to do though, is to focus on what you’re putting into your mix to begin with. I have made plenty of beats that sound great to me, but once I get to the mixing stage, I’m utterly disappointed because it just doesn’t sound right at all. That is because the sounds I used weren’t that great.
For example, I sampled an 80’s song and used part of it as my bassline. It sounded great, but the problem was that it made the whole beat sound muffled. So once I was ready to mix, I had no choice but to lighten the bass track, which greatly changed how everything sounded. I wanted to have that really heavy bassline sound, the type of bassline that will make the Pope punch a kitten, but it wasn’t going to happen.
I know it can be tough to find out that your mix doesn’t sound good on a mobile device, or on someone’s car stereo, but there is only so much you can do. I completely understand that it can be frustrating at times because just when you think you have the mix down right, here comes another reason or new technology as to why your mix is no good.
Your best bet is to keep your mix simple and then slowly test it out on as many mediums as possible. You can try your best, but just remember that you are trying to do this yourself. If you had the money to get your beats mixed and mastered by some of the professionals in the industry, then your beats would sound amazing.
But then again, if you had the money for all of that, then why are you wasting time making beats!!?