Any aspiring audio engineer who loves music is familiar with this situation: The latest mix is finally finished after days or weeks of hard work. It is presented to friends with joyful anticipation, and a bit of panic perspiration – but all you get as feedback are some encouraging phrases and well-meaning disinterest.
That is entirely different with the professional mix analyses which you receive as a student at the HOFA-College for your submitted mixes. These analyses are an essential and unique part of the audio engineering courses and provide you with competent feedback and helpful tips for your mix that you won’t get anywhere else.
Studio productions for you to mix
During your audio engineering course at HOFA-College, you will have access to multitracks of studio productions from a wide range of musical genres, which you can mix at home in your own studio. These practice mixes can then be uploaded for analysis by a team of experienced, professional audio engineers and tutors, after which you will receive detailed feedback on your mix in written form. Due to the diverse musical backgrounds, the well-trained team of tutors and audio engineers always has just the right specialist for every musical genre.
The practice mixes represent the final exercises of the learning units in the BASIC and PRO course, as well as the Short Courses. They are also part of the intermediate and final exams in the PRO course. In both BASIC and PRO, you have the option of submitting 6 of your mixes for analysis by the HOFA tutors. In the PRO course, 4 of these 6 mixes can even be your own productions, for which you will receive professional and objective feedback from someone who really knows the genre.
Professional feedback for your mix
A mix analysis by the tutors at the HOFA-College includes a detailed sound analysis of all relevant elements of the submitted mix (in written form). The tutors will also give you numerous tips and instructions on how you can further optimize the sound and the balance of the various elements. You can then implement these directly in your mix and compare whether you like the result better.
In addition, you will find a graph of the frequency spectrum of your mix using the HOFA IQ-Analyser. In comparison with the mix made by the HOFA audio engineers, frequency ranges with possible over- or underemphasis can be identified and explained.
This analysis also includes a detailed mix documentation that explains all the relevant processings. You will find screenshots of the various plug-ins and the mixer, showing in depth the effects and the level settings of the individual channels.
Together with the analysis of your mix, you will also receive the mix of the HOFA engineers, which you can use to compare the sound of individual elements or the overall mix. You will also receive specific instructions on how to adjust the level of the HOFA mix to the level of your mix for an ideal comparison.
Create the perfect mix with the help of the mix analysis
The mix analyses by the HOFA tutors (with their detailed analysis of the various elements and further substantial information) are primarily intended to help you identify and optimize inconsistencies in the mix.
But the regular submissions and feedbacks also give you and us the opportunity to check your progress in the course of the studies. If, for example, we notice that certain tendencies in the sound of the submitted mixes do not or only slightly change, we will try to find out the reasons for this – such as suboptimal monitoring options – together with you and, if possible, remedy them.
This way, you will receive all the important information you need to optimize your mix and get a lot closer to the goal of a perfect mix. At the same time, this learning method ensures maximum practical relevance to the everyday studio life of future audio engineers.
Your vote counts!
Mix analyses are not a one-way street with experts from the ivory tower giving you precious tips, without you having the opportunity to comment and exchange ideas.
A feedback system gives you the opportunity to rate and comment on your analysis and thus enter into a dialog with the tutors at the HOFA College. In addition, the tutors can of course also be reached by e-mail or telephone to provide further explanations on the mix analysis and tips on the respective practice mix.
Which aspects do we analyse?
In the BASIC course and the Short Courses, the assessment of the submitted practice mixes is mainly done referring to a specific task or a special mixing topic that was handled in the course. In the PRO course, we also give instructions and tips about what you should take care of when creating the mix. Here, however, the focus is on creating a balanced and coherent mix with the provided tracks – just as it would be when mixing for a client.
The analysis of the submitted mixes is mainly based on the following aspects:
- Balance of levels: Are the various elements of the practice mix – such as the different instrument groups and the vocals – arranged appropriately in the hierarchy of the mix?
- Balance of frequencies: Are the elements positioned in their suitable frequency range?
- Dynamics: Are the elements adequately controlled regarding their dynamics? How does the compression of the individual tracks and the overall mix sound? Are the different song parts levelled appropriately to each other?
- Depth: Are the individual elements placed in a well-sounding room, and are they purposefully arranged in depth? Do the different spaces complement each other to form a coherent overall picture?
- Frequency range of the entire mix: Are there any exaggerated or underemphasized frequency ranges?
After the analysis is completed, you will receive an email notification and can access your analysis in the online campus and rate or comment on it if you wish.
With the HOFA mix analysis, you get professional, comprehensive feedback in which all relevant elements of your mix are analysed regarding the aspects mentioned above.
Regularly creating practice mixes and the subsequent feedback in the mix analyses ensure an education with maximum reference to the professional practice of future audio engineers. Therefore, the mix analyses are an essential part of the courses in audio engineering at the HOFA College.
You can find more information about the audio engineering online courses from HOFA here.