Dec 5, 2015

How to send your music files for mixing

This article is aimed for people sending wav tracks for mixing. If you are sending Pro Tools sessions, look at the article How to send Pro Tools sessions for mixing.
If you follow these steps you will be sure to have a happy mixing engineer making your music sound awesome.


1. Gain staging

We 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:

2. Turn off all effects

Always 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
All files should be named so it makes sense. A track called "Audio_05-03" does not make sense. There is no way for us to tell what the track contains. Label your track starting with a track number, followed by what instrument is represented on the track (and not the name of the person playing it).

03-OH L

4. Editing is not mixing

Audio clip cross fade
If you have not payed extra for editing, all tracks should already been edited. Meaning everything is in the right place and have cross fades to all audio clips where needed.

5. Only send what's actually going on the song

If 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
All tracks should be consolidated and start at zero.  Even if the track only contains one single tambourine hit in the middle it should start at zero. This way it's very easy to import all tracks and know for sure everything is at the right place.

Wav export settings

7. Exporting settings

We 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 mix

It'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 music

If 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.
Any questions? 
I'll be happy to clear things up. Contact me at or facebook.