Professional Mixing – How To Prepare Your Tracks For Professional Mixing
How to prepare your tracks for profesional mixing.
Do you have a song, instrumental, or maybe some project that you think is good but can’t get the sound you want out of it? Well, you shouldn’t be worried, beacuse there are a lot of people struggling with this issue.
This is the main reason why you should send your project to mixing engineer to get that professional mix. A lot of people do that, and that’s completely normal. You can do it by yourself sure, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you can make it even worse than it was. If you are uncertain about this, the smartest solution would be to send it to professionals. But before you send your project to professional mixing engineer, you should know what things you should avoid to prevent any additional costs.
As a professional mixing engineer myself, these are the things that I consider outside the range of normal mixing duties, and I will charge extra for mixing if these few steps aren’t done before the files are sent to me.
This article is divided in 6 crucial steps on “How To Prepare Your Tracks For Professional Mixing”.
1.Make sure you send only the audio you want in the mix:
So, let’s say you have a couple vocal takes for a song. I’ts okay to send up to three different vocal takes. You should choose your best takes and send those. That means three for the verse, three for the chorus etc.. If you are uncertain about this you can send more than three takes. Just remember that it will take more time for mixing engineer to decide and will cost you more. This also stands for other instruments in your mix.
2. Make sure you don’t have any effects or processing:
You should turn off all your effects, especially if you have something on your master bus. All eq, compression, limiting or other effects should be turned off ( in your DAW ), when you render the tracks for mixing. You can leave effects if it is an essential part of the sound. If you had any analog processing you went through when recording that’s ok, as long as it’s not to compressed ( vocals…) . A professional mixing engineer will usually have MUCH better sounding reverbs and digital effects at their disposal and can pick the right type and amounts that will work well in the context of that particular mix.
3.Label your tracks properly:
A lot of times we get mixes with 20 and more individual tracks, now imagine you try to mix something with names like take1, take 2, take2, or audio 1, audio 2… That’s sloppy and unprofessional and takes a lot of time to figure out what is what. Use proper names for each one and if you have multiple layers make sure you name it like that.
For example Lead vocal, back vocals, lead chorus vocal.
Example for drums: Main Kick, High kick, low kick, however you want just make sure there is an obvius distinction.
4. Be as specific as you can about the mix:
This is an common issue when artists hire us to mix their materials. They send us the materials but don’t really explain what they want us to do. Surely we know what we need to do, but most of the times artists want something specific with their mix. If you want your mix to sound bright and clear make sure you point that out as much as you can. If you want your mix to be clean but some part of your mix not, then you should mention that. All these things can be managed and certain parts of the mix can be treated differently, but you need to mention that when you send us your project. Any additional requests will cost you more.
5. Sending your materials:
Once you decided to render your material, make sure you export it as a WAV file. Each channel ( or instrument ) individually. Unless you’re sending your project only for mastering, and you want to get more louder and wider track then you don’t need to send each channel individually. Most engineers will tell you in advance which format they need. . Sometimes people would send us their project files from Fruity Loops, or Pro Tools or whatever. Not all engineers have the same DAW as you. And also remember to turn off your effects and processing as mentioned above.
6. Pricing and other terms:
For professional mixing inquiries we charge anywhere from $50-299 US Dollars. We have more then 6 years of experience in mixing and mastering in Hip Hop, Trap and R&B genre. We worked with a lot of artist and musicians all over the world. You can rely on us to do the job.
If you still have any questions about this topic or anything else feel free to contact us.