The Three Golden Rules for Recording & Production
1) If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
Cheap is not necessarily good. As an analogy, cooking with a cheap skillet may lead to burnt or unevenly cooked food. Now in the context of production, more often than not using cheaper hardware can and will contribute to unwanted noise or lower quality outputs.
So if you are looking for some extra mileage either invest in decent gear or work with people who do have access to better equipment. Also, if you are not willing to invest in yourself, you can't expect anyone else to invest in you. Think Shark Tank.
2) No such thing as a free lunch
Everybody likes free stuff right? Well the honest truth is, nothing is truly free. A free service or a favor would mean that you are probably obliged to return the favor some day. Kiss the don's ring if you know what I mean.
Secondly, if you get someone to do things for you for free, you cant expect quality, because there is no incentive to spend all the extra man hours in detailed work, so don't be surprised if you get garbage in return.
3) Garbage in, Garbage Out
Everything starts with a good quality recording. Sure you can get away with a handphone recording but there's a reason why studios are acoustically treated and quality microphones and interfaces are used.
You can't fix a noisy or poor quality recording during mixing and mastering, so get the input right if you want a good final product. Moral of the story is, don't skimp out on quality if you are serious about your work.
Raw vs Mixed vs Mastered
Mixing and mastering is like a cooking process, and each chef has their own style and uniqueness. Here is an example of what our mixing and mastering process sounds like from our producer and 2 engineers.