With the advent of home recording and the internet, recording is easier and cheaper than it's ever been. But that also means that there's more competition out there than ever before. I'm here to facilitate at every step in the process and give you the extra professional edge to deliver the best product of which your group is capable.
Mixing A Cappella is a niche science
It used to be that only the professionals were able to make good sounding albums, but as is evidenced by the modern day digital renaissance, this is no longer the case. With the advent of digital recording and self education online, lots of bedroom producers in the "regular music" sphere have entered the fray and can make polished, clean, professional sounding albums.
The same is not so true for A Cappella
If you hand a more standard mainstream engineer an A Cappella project, they'll have a really hard time mixing it to sound how you'd want. Mixing voices that are doing the job of instruments is much different than mixing chorus vocals like they're used to, and is much different from mixing ordinary instruments. The rules for compression, parametric EQ, and panning have to be completely rewritten. There aren't any articles online about "How to mix vocal percussion," or if there are any they're buried under the literally thousands of articles detailing how to mix conventional drums.
For A Cappella specifically, one must be specifically trained in the nuanced and finicky art of sound engineering and production. I have spent years working together with some of the biggest names in the business (namely Bill Hare and Danny Ozment) to hone my skills, and I have yet to encounter a project that left me unable to deliver.
Every exceptional record has to start with exceptional recording. I cannot overstate this: lackluster recording means a lackluster album, no matter who you hire to mix it. You'll save time, money, and ultimately have a better product if your performance is properly recorded. Beyond just equipment fidelity, what's really important is coaching the best performances out of your singers and knowing how to schedule and budget time for recording an entire group. I have extensive experience with this, but also recommend checking out recordingacappella.com if you want to do the recording yourself!
Every track needs at least some editing. Every song on the radio has extensive cleanup to remove coughs, plosives, and missed notes from the recordings, and A Cappella is no different. Editing is unique in A Cappella though, due to the need to properly tune all of the voices involved, without over-doing it and creating something that sounds "fake" or "autotuned." Editing is a nuanced but crucial step to making a recording that sounds professional and polished, that if done right achieves a group sound and solidity that no amount of special effects could ever create.
Mixing is what brings together all the different aspects of your recording and makes it sound like you always imagine it in your head. Making the basses rumble, making the beatboxer punchy and loud, adding some reverb and echo effects - these are all steps in the mixing process. In my opinion, a good mix accentuates the strong points of a groups' performance, but not so dramatically that a listener couldn't believe that this recording is an authentic performance. To achieve this, one must balance technical knowledge with a musical mindset, and understand the limits of modern hardware and listening environments to create educated compromises that deliver an excellent final mix.
Mastering is the last 5% of the production process for a recording, and is what takes a mix from good to great. It takes all of the recordings, effects, and automation and crunches it down into a tiny MP3 file that will sound good whether you're listening through earbuds on an airplane or in a quiet home theater in surround sound. This will allow the final mix to feel in line with things that play on the radio or compete with road noise in your car. This process requires a very refined ear and high fidelity mixing environment to be done well.