If you follow these steps you will be sure to have a happy mixing engineer making your music sound awesome.
1. Gain stagingWe often get tracks sent to us way to hot. As a rule of thumb you should aim for audio peaks at about -10dB. Transient heavy instruments (snare, tambourine, cowbell) might peak a bit higher, like -6dB.
Any louder than that and we have to start with gaining down the tracks before start mixing.
Learn more about Gain staging from Graham at the Recording Revolution: https://youtu.be/Enhcve9Lblc?t=19s
2. Turn off all effectsAlways send tracks without processing. No eq or compressor and for the love of good music: ABSOLUTELY NO REVERB!
Only plugins or processing that should go on the track is anything that sets the overall character. Examples are:
- Amp simulations (always include the raw track)
- Auto tune (or similar)
- Virtual instruments
- Very special effects that you are 100% sure about.
3. Labeling your tracks
|Labeling your tracks|
4. Editing is not mixing
|Audio clip cross fade|
5. Only send what's actually going on the songIf you have several takes on some instruments, or if you have a piano part you are not sure about. That decision is not ment for the mixing engineer to make. If you need help choosing what takes and parts are going to be on the song we can provide that service. But it's not included in the mixing price.
6. All tracks start at zero
|All tracks start at zero|
|Wav export settings|
7. Exporting settingsWe like to work with 48kHz 24bit files. For some reason many record their music in 44,1kHz. If so, send your files in 44,1kHz. Never under any circumstances record or export your music in 16bit. At least 24bit or 32bit floating point. There are just no reasons not to. And if you don't have an extremely good reason to record in 44,1kHz, Always record in at least 48kHz, more is fine too.
And of course always export in WAV format.
Export mono tracks to mono files. Only thing that really should be stereo tracks is keyboards and ... no, just keyboards.
8. Raw mixIt's often helpful to get a raw mix of the track. That way it's easier for us to know in what direction to go. Include a raw mix as a stereo file along with the other tracks. Label it "Raw mix".
9. Reference musicIf you have any particular song you think would be great as a reference track, include it with the rest of the tracks and label it "Reference".
- Always record a dry guitar/bass track. That way we have the option to re-amp if needed.
- Always record your music in at least 48kHz 24bit wav.
- Include the click track as a midi file with the tempo setting and markers.
I'll be happy to clear things up. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.