Typical questions when sending files for mixing
If you are an artist who already has some recorded material, but needs a professional to mix it together, these questions may be helpful.
Is there a specific way to organize files?
- One of the most important steps is labeling the audio file. Example: "guitar1" or "GTR1". This ensures tracks can be identified quickly, and without mistake. Organizing files into folders with name and date is also important. Example: "band_song_MM-DD-YY_version1" or "YY-MM-DD_band_song_version1"
Is there a specific file type that works best?
- Any audio should be created using .WAV or .AIFF formats. Sampling rates can be anywhere above 44.1 KHz (this is what I usually work with). Bit Depth can be either 16 or 24 bit, but 24 is preferable.
Can the song arrangement be completed in the mix?
- Of course! But it is not part of the mixing phase, and any vocal correction, drum sampling, transition edits, overdubs, amp modeling, etc. is part of a separate process that will require more time.
- When it comes to mixing songs it is always a good idea to include a an example song that conveys a sonic goal. This can help to express certain details about the sound that are hard to put into words. A reference track may have a specific instrumental balance, amount of bass, tone, or effects to name a few.
Tips about reference tracks
- Reference tracks are mastered therefor louder.
- Every composition is different and won't sound just like a reference track. The goal is to sound like You.
- Things to look for in reference tracks: an idea, a tone, an effect, or style.
About previewing mixes
- Listen to mixes on a good stereo system that you are familiar with (car, headphones)
- Try not to listen to a mix on a laptop, or a phone. It will sound weak and the volume output will be low. It won't sound as loud as a mastered track.
- Depending on the sound system, it may be important to listen to a mix with flat EQ. The key here is instrumental balance. After hearing a mix on flat setting, try it on a typical setting to review changes.
- It is important to take time listening to a mix. Something that you heard yesterday may sound different today. Try the mix on multiple speaker systems.
How many mix revisions?
- 3 revisions per song.