Getting ready to have your tracks mixed by a professional sound engineer? Here are some simple but important steps that you should take before you send them off that will save you both time and money:
1. Get the timing right
Make sure that every synth part, vocal line and guitar piece are played exactly on time. It sounds obvious, but it’s not something you should rely on your engineer to sort out for you. Unless you’re happy to pay, do the leg work.
2. Select only the best quality recordings
Tempting as it is, don’t send 10 takes of a vocal for your producer to select from. This will take a long time, unless you’re really stuck and need the advice, be brutal.
Make sure none of your tracks are distorted, any vocal recordings or instrument parts should be the best you can get, with very little background noise. There are several stages in recording and creating a track where you can risk getting the gain levels wrong – and just the slightest amount of clipping can ruin the final result. If you need to, learn more about getting the gain right here.
3. Remove any unnecessary processing
Talk to the engineer about this. Most will request your processed tracks, and alongside them the unprocessed, dry channels. Hopefully you’ll have chosen someone on the strength of the sound you’ve heard them produce before, or have some reference tracks that give them an idea of the kind of mix you’re going for.
4. Label each track correctly
This saves a lot of time and makes it easier when it comes to communicating what you need.
5. Bounce everything down
Bounce each of your tracks down. They need to be 24 bit .wav or .aiff files at 44.1 kHz unless otherwise specified by the engineer.
(images courtesy of GIPHY)