Sending Material For Mixing
Please Carefully read the directions below to Correctly prepare and send your material for Mixing / Mixing & Mastering.
To Correctly Prepare and Send your Material for Mixing / Mixing & Mastering Please CAREFULLY follow ALL of the directions below. Failure to follow the directions may result in you having to re-send your material correctly.
Preparing Your Tracks for Mixing
Create a new folder on your desktop. The name of the folder should be your Full Name. Within that folder create another folder with the Song Title. Within that folder create two more folders, one with “Song title (Stems)” and the other “Song Title (Reference)”. The folder should now look like this.
Now you will need to export your stems from your DAW. To properly export the stems from your DAW please view this information below. Find your DAW and follow the easy instructions.
(WE WORK WITH STEMS ONLY, PLEASE DO NOT SEND PROJECT FILES, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO BACK AND RE-SEND STEMS ONLY)
Once your Stems, Reference Mix & Documents are placed in the folders you created, you can now Zip/Compress the main folder.
Once the folder is compressed please use the form below to send your material. Make sure to fill out all the requested information. If the material has been sent correctly, you will receive a confirmation email.
CAREFULLY SELECT THE TRACKS YOU WANT TO BE MIXED
Sorting through your takes is not considered part of the mixing process. Comping a final take is part of the production process and should not be left for the mixer to do, unless you are also hiring them to help you with these decisions. Make sure you make tracks that are not part of the final mix, inactive.
Organize your tracks before exporting
Firstly, go through your session and number your tracks. Most DAWs will import your files in alphabetical order. As a result if you don’t do this, the first job your engineer will be doing is ordering and grouping tracks together into their instruments. This can take quite a while especially if there are a large number of tracks.
By simply applying a number before the name of each track i.e. 01 Kick In, 02 Kick Out, 03 Snare Top etc. the tracks will import into the DAW the engineer is using in the correct order as you have them in your session. From experience if everyone did this, it would have saved me quite literally days of time across my career so far.
Next is making sure your tracks are named correctly. By which I mean that they all have what instrument is on each track. Chances are your engineer wont know who Barry, Steve or Bob is let alone what they play. Make sure they have appropriate naming.
Before exporting your project as stems, name all the tracks in a way that will help the mix engineer make sense of the session. Kick, Snare, HH, Tom 1, Floor Tom, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Moog Synth, Lead Vox, Back Vox, are all examples of good track naming.
TURN OFF ALL PROCESSING (PLUG-INS)
Remove or bypass any plugins you may have on your selected tracks. The reasoning behind not sending heavily processed tracks to your mixer is so they aren't inhibited by the compression and EQ or other effects you have "printed" or bounced to the track/stem you are sending.
FINISH THE EDITING AND CLEAN UP
Edit and align your drums if needed, and tune your vocal tracks as necessary. Consolidate all those different guitar takes into a single composite take. Check your tracks for pops, glitches, noise, and clean up those discrepancies.
Editing can take time, and you will save yourself a lot of money if you have this step done before handing it off to a mix engineer. Editing is not included in most of our packages. If you need this service, please note when placing your order, there will be an additional cost to your mixing and mastering package.
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR INDIVIDUAL TRACK LEVELS
Make sure that none of your individual track levels are clipping. The best levels to hand over to a mix engineer are generally tracks with an RMS or integrated LUFS of -16db to -18db, and a maximum peak of -5db to -8db. If you print tracks that are too hot with digital clipping, there is very little a mix engineer will be able to do for you, and most likely we will send the project back to you to fix.
DO YOUR OWN ROUGH MIX OF THE SONG
Put together a mix and export this for the mix engineer to listen to. This will give us an idea of the direction you are going with the song.
EXPORT YOUR TRACKS (STEMS)
Export or bounce all your individual tracks as files. Most mix engineers can accept either .wav or .aiff files, but .wav is always the safe bet. Print any effects that you are absolutely sure of, or are critical to the sound of the instrument, to the track as you export. Remember to bypass effects and plugins. A best practice is to make sure you exported your stems correctly before sending them to us, import the stems into your DAW to make sure everything is correct. Your song will be mixed in the exact arrangement that we receive it in.
NOTE YOUR CRITICAL SESSION INFORMATION
Take note of the sample rate, bit depth, and tempo of your project. You will have an opportunity and a place to document this information when you submit your order. Please feel free to include a text document with your session if you need more room than the form below offers.
ORGANIZE YOUR FILES AND INFO
Package up all the track files in a folder with the “Artist Name – Song Title – Date” as the folder name. Take a quick look at all the files inside and make sure that the naming is clear, and your mix engineer will be able to make sense of them. Once you are sure this is correct and all the stems are included in the folder. You will zip the folder to prepare it for delivery to us.
DEFINE YOUR VISION
Manage expectations with your mix engineer
Have a conversation over the phone, in email, or in person, about the direction of your song, what your expectations are, and if you have any specific “must have” needs as far as processing, or effects. Discuss and agree upon the deliverables that you will be expecting.