Simi, who is a singer/ songwriter and also a sound engineer recently conducted an interview with “The ITK Extra” where she discussed her music, as well as being a professional sound engineer.
Most music listeners, often do not stop to consider the various intricate processes and professionals involved in making the music we listen to so enjoyable, often attributing all the hard work to the artiste.
One such professional is a sound engineer. One of the major processes in music production, mixing and mastering is carried out by a sound engineer. Simi learned how to mix and master records by watching various tutorials on YouTube, and recently single-handedly mixed and mastered Adekunle Gold’s entire “Gold” album (a job she did so well that even Adekunle Gold himself was impressed with it).
But what’s the difference between mixing and mastering?
Mixing may be seen as a process aimed at making an artist’s vocals sound as clear and as good as possible, while attempting to balance and blend the vocals with the instruments of a song, in order to make the various sounds on a song sound well put together.
Mastering on the other hand is a bit more ambiguous, in that it means different things to different sound engineers, however Simi sees mastering, as a final finishing which makes a record “pop”, and involves processes such as fixing the frequency of songs. Mastering can be seen as making an entire musical project sound cohesive so that you that you do not have one song sounding louder than the other, and making sure it plays the same on any device.
A recent remix of Drake’s “Controlla” by Simi, illustrates her skill as a sound engineer, as the song seems like a legitimate duet between the pair, with one easily assuming they recorded this song in the same studio.
Simi explains that while listening to Views, “Controlla” stood out to her as she particularly enjoyed the song’s melody. However she was unable to find an instrumental of the song, and fearing that a remake might not sound as good as the original, she decided to use the iTunes version of the song, singing in the parts where Drake was not, and also pasting the instrumental over Drake’s vocals in parts where she wanted to sing.
Combining her vocal skills, along with her dexterous mixing abilities, she was able to create a great remix. Simi’s mixing talent has not gone unnoticed, as Simi has gotten a lot of requests from artists to mix their songs.
While maintaining a balance between her singing and sound engineering careers maybe tedious, She notes that she remains the main priority, and does not let her other engagements eat into “Simi’s time”. Simi says she mostly does her engineering work at night, and has long sessions at the studio that often stretch into the early morning.
Sound engineering is not an easy job, as engineers have to listen to songs hundreds of times to make sure that nothing is over looked. Simi’s friends are often in awe at the fact that she can listen to a song 500 times, and not be sick of it, and recalls having finished mixing the Gold album, only to listen to it, and have to re-mix it all over again (Simi’s feature on Adekunle Gold’s album, “No Forget” was mixed 6 times). Simi also says that a lot of the time she listens to music differently than others, and often hearing what others do not.
You can listen to Simi’s full “The ITK Extra” interview below.