About | Sara Carter: Online Mixing And Mastering

About

Sara Carter

Mixing & Mastering Engineer

I’m an audio engineer and audiophile totalling 18 years experience recording and mixing music.

Mixing and mastering services that give you the radio-ready result you’ve been searching for.

mixing and mastering engineer sara carter for music mix pro

Featured On

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production expert
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working class audio

Are we both on the same page?

I believe that all independent bands and artists should have the same broadcast quality releases as major label artists. You deserve a genuine, professional record-making experience, with releases that sound expensive A.F. My job is to give you just that.

01

BBC Trained

It was a fantastic experience mixing music at the BBC in London for nearly 7 years.  I worked with artists across all genres although now, my expertise is rock, post-punk, indie and alternative music.  At the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, I worked on hundreds of sessions for Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra, and 6 Music, developing my skills by assisting the best audio engineers in the business. 

My work is included on releases from major artists and indie label artists.  Check out my Allmusic.com and Discogs discography pages to learn more.

In total, I’ve accumulated nearly 18 years recording and mixing experience and I’m exhausted…no just kidding!  I love what I do and want to help you get to the next stage in your career.  You need kick-arse professional mixes that get you noticed by the people who matter and I have the experience to give that to you.

02

My Story (grab a coffee...)

In The Beginning, There Was Disco

The 1970’s

I grew up in a pub in West Yorkshire in the north of England. My Mum was a popular cabaret singer in the 60’s and music featured big in my life because of her. Dad was an electrical engineer and set up and maintained her PA and drove her to gigs.

A jukebox is a popular thing to have in a pub, and I loved ours. We had 7″singles spilling out of every cupboard at home all with the centres missing.

Because of the jukebox and it being the 1970’s, I had no choice but to end up loving funk bass and disco, my guilty pleasure!

The 1980’s

My teenage years were during the early to mid 80’s listening to the post punk, new romantic and electronic music of the day. That along with the pub jukebox, shaped my eclectic musical tastes and fuelled my desire to play guitar.  I taught myself to play guitar by borrowing the Burt Weedon’s Play In A Day song book from the local library and buying an Adam & The Ants songbook!

Hi-Fidelity

I’ve always loved to hear the small musical details in a recording and I love to be able to imagine the artists actually performing, to picture the room they recorded their music in – I love hearing the room!

If I listen to music on a great hi-fi, I can get deeper into the emotion and really feel the music.

I discovered this in the 80’s so, I saved up the wages from my first ever job (£25 a week!) so I could buy my first separates hi-fi system. I thought it was awesome!!

After that, there was no going back and I have to have the best in headphones and hi-fi (well, the best I can afford anyway because it’s a never ending money pit of a hobby!).

Season highlights:

In The Middle, There Was Grunge

The 1990’s

Progressing through my 20’s meant a couple of promotions in my motor trade job and… better hi-fi (Yay!) and a move from Yorkshire to Leicestershire in the Midlands UK. 

Music was still my foundation for fun and a renewed interest in the guitar saw me join a couple of bands and play some gigs.

Home Studio

I was ok on guitar but I was keen and wanted to get better. This prompted me to buy a 4 track cassette (look it up kids) portastudio to allow me to play along to tutorial CD’s whilst recording myself playing at the same time. Well my friend, that was the just the start.

Bitten by the bug of recording, my transition from an average musician to budding audio engineer began and I couldn’t learn fast enough!

My studio equipment slowly grew and I even bought a detached house so I could record at home without upsetting the neighbours! I learned to solder and built my own patchbay and wiring looms (thanks Dad!)

I learned all I could from books and Sound on Sound magazine (there was no internet then) but I needed to know more.

Not even home brewing or riding sporty motorcycles could stop my brain thinking about my little home studio!

Music

Indie rock and alternative rock ruled my hi-fi through this period (and still does TBH). Skunk Anansie, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine and a bit of Brit pop with a smidge of Oasis and Blur for a change of pace.

Season highlights:

The noughties and now

Without getting too woo woo, I think if something is meant be, it’ll happen.

Education

Through a set of circumstances and meeting new people, it became possible for me to move near to London, and go to the SAE Institute and gain an audio engineering diploma. I was 34 years old.

After working in the motor trade from the age of 16, I’d become bored with it and totally distracted by my audio hobby. So I started to dream, could I change career? Had I left it too late?

Shortly after leaving SAE, I tried to get a job in a few recording studios but found that I was too old. They wanted fresh, young people that could be trained to their way of working and pay them very little money. I was willing but I needed to earn a living wage because I had responsibilities.

The BBC

Then, I saw the BBC advertising for Trainee Studio Managers in their radio operations headquarters at Broadcasting House in London. This was my chance and I went all out to make it happen. I never researched so hard for a job interview because I knew this was, probably, my only chance to get stable work as an audio engineer and get the best training and experience.

Out of nearly 700 applicants, and a three part interview process, I was offered a place with the BBC in June 2003.

I was pretty chuffed to say the least. I’d trained and worked hard and met some amazing people, it was truly one of the best experiences of my life. 

All good things must come to an end, so, after some serious soul searching, I decided to leave the BBC in 2009. In fact, to be honest, I needed a complete break from music and audio. I guess, looking back now, you’d call it “burn out” but I didn’t realise that at the time.

Breweries

I took a little career detour and brewed award winning beer for a local microbrewery for a few years but audio engineering was still on my mind and I tried to find a way to get it back into my life without the painful reminders of what I’d given up.

Music Mix Pro

Again, through some unlikely circumstances (was it meant to be?..) I was able find my way back to music.

This is where you find me today, with renewed vigour and passion for mixing music and feeling grateful to be working with some amazingly talented people and mentors, and soon, maybe you!

Season highlights:

sara carter mix engineer working class audio podcast number 194

Listen to my podcast interviews...

Working Class Audio Podcast

I was honoured and humbled to be asked to guest on the Working Class Audio podcast by Matt Boudreau. He has interviewed some of the greatest audio engineers to have walked the planet, people I admire greatly, so you can imagine how I felt to be asked to take part.

In the interview I go into detail about my journey and career change to where I am today (2018) and you can take a listen yourself to get a feel for the type of person I am and get an idea if i’d be a good fit for your project and if you’d like to work with me on your music.

Recording Studio Rockstars Podcast

A more recent (2019) and longer interview by Lij Shaw from the very popular Recording Studio Rockstars podcast. We talk about the BBC, acoustic treatment and monitoring for a home studio, the power of polarity, mixing on faders, building the perfect website, and even brewing beer!

03

Skills

Making coffee
100%
Playing bass
47%
Tidying up
100%
PHotography
65%
Brewing beer
95%
80's pop trivia
97%
Riding motorbikes
85%
Speaking Spanish
13%

Finally, If you're still here, I'll leave you with some fun facts >>>

Favourite sweets

Lion brand Midget Gems. Not Maynards, it's got to be Lion - made in Yorkshire!

Top 3 favourite films

1. Calamity Jane 2. Grease 3. Aliens

Things I love

Fireworks, staying home, cats, gadgets, real fires, TV crime dramas, my Honda S2000 convertible.

Things I hate

Injustice, mess, cleaning up after people, pink for girls, sound of people chewing.

I still sound like a Northerner

I left Yorkshire 34 years ago but I haven't lost my accent tha' knows.

Most famous people I met at the BBC

Beyonce, Yoko Ono, Lady Gaga, Dave Grohl, Adele.

Most interesting people I met at the BBC

Pattie Smith, Robin Gibb

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