HOW TO PREP YOUR SONG(S) FOR THE MIX

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The following guidelines may help in making you certain that the mix session will start on time, run smoothly, and will be right and complete the first time I open it.

1) I always mix in-the-box using almost exclusively Pro Tools software here in my Venice home studio. Any eventual tape based format must be converted before I can begin (please contact me if you need help to handle the conversion). If your sessions are in any other digital system or DAW (with the exceptions of Logic and Ableton Live - you can send me complete session file for those softwares too) you'll need to export and, if necessary, consolidate each file making certain that they all have the same starting point (That’s very important in order to maintain the correct structure!). Please check all edits and cross fades before bouncing/consolidating files. Also, make certain to by-pass any processing (eq, compressor, reverb, etc.) before bouncing. I need the raw audio files (see No. 5 for important exceptions).

 

 

2)  I can receive your files on a hard drive, DVD, internet, etc. However, there are a few things to note:

 

    • Internet: Various options exist, you can choose the one that you prefer according to your necessities and the dimension of your files. Contact me if you need any further information or suggestion on how to properly send me everything. Sessions/files should be zipped before uploading. Please let me know as soon as you send me anything and specify how you sent it and then wait for my confirmation.

 

    • Physical Media (not suggested as the Internet is way more practical, but again, go with whatever works best for you): please label your drives or discs clearly with any relevant artist, producer, titles, sample rate, bit depth info. If numerous other projects or titles are also on the drive, make certain that the one(s) I am to work on are clearly labeled. Before sending a hard drive, please make certain that a backup exists elsewhere and again, if you don’t receive any confirmation from me it probably means I still haven’t received it, so please contact me if a long time passes without hearing from here.   

 

 

3)  Before sending me your Pro Tools sessions, please make sure that all audio files are actually inside the "Audio Files" folder for that session. It's not uncommon to get sessions where some of the files were being written to or accessed from a different hard drive (usually the DAW's system drive or an external drive) and are now missing. A quick and easy way to check is by opening the drop-down menu inside the regions bin and selecting "show full path".  All files paths/names should begin with the name of the same hard drive you are working from. 

 

 

4) Within Pro Tools, getting clearly named consolidated audio files definitely gets the mix up and running quicker. It is important though that all crossfades are checked before consolidating. If there are any questionable punches, leave the un-consolidated track in a playlist (and please tell me about it in the track comments section or in separate mix notes, we can discuss if it needs any more production steps and how to improve it in order to obtain a track that you completely like)

 

 

5)  While I have a huge selection of plug-ins available, it's impossible to get them all. If you are using a particular plug-in for a vital sound or special effect, print it and give me both the original and affected versions. Please label them accordingly (example: Keys FX and Keys No FX).

 

 

6)  If there has been any sub-mixing of instrument groups to lower track counts, please make certain that all the pre-mixed individual tracks are included as well.

 

 

7)  Key/tempo info, lyric sheets, track sheets, chord/number charts are always helpful. 

 

 

8) Include a labeled copy of any working or rough mix that exists. Additionally, if there are any particular reference mixes from other artists that you want me to hear or even emulate, those can be included as well.

 

 

9)  I typically remove any existing Pro Tools automation before beginning the mix, so footnote any vital automation (i.e. mutes, auto panning, etc.) in the track comments section or in separate mix notes. If you know for certain that there are vocal lines or inst. fills you don't want in the mix, but you don't want to delete them forever, the most effective way is either the "mute regions" command or by playlisting.

 

 

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

ILLBAC.