Why should I choose another engineer for mixing my music?
Well, there a different reasons for that. You, or your recording engineer, spent a lot of time with the song during the recording process. This means that you’ve listened to it over and over again. Naturally, you get very involved with the song and tend to spent a lot of time on some details while other things, which might be obvious to an “outsider”, don’t get the attention they might need. An external person always means a fresh set of ears and a new sight on things. A second (or third) opinion is always worth listening to.
Mixing is a very creative process which requires a totally different skill set than recording. Although the recording engineer is probably very good at what he does that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s good at mixing too. While he might deliver a good mix, he might not be able to deliver the best mix possible. Since mixing is so different from recording, it’s a good idea to involve a specialized engineer for mixing. Not only might he have fresh, interesting and valuable ideas, he might also have different tools and a workflow that is designed to deliver awesome mixes.
Think of your song as a house. You wouldn’t want one construction worker to build it all by himself, would you? In order to build a house you need specialists for different tasks, and your song requires different people for different steps as well.
Can I hear some of your previous work?
Sure you can. Please e-mail me and request my show reel.
Can we have several mix revisions?
Normally, when starting a mix, I will know pretty quickly how long it will take to finish the mix. Once I know that I will let you know when a first version is available. This initial version will not be the final mix but will resemble most of my ideas and will have rough leveling, usually without any automation. I will then send you this version so you can give comments, and let me know what you like and what is not working for you. This can be done either via phone, e-mail or in person (kind of depends where you live). To ensure a quick turn around time the feedback should be giving within 24 hours after receiving the version. From there on I will usually finish the mix on my own. The second version you will receive will be the version I personally think is final. Once again, comments are exchanged and I will change whatever you want to have changed which will then result in the final version. Usually that is enough. So bottom line here is that there are usually 2 revisions. Everything else needs to be discussed separately.
What will I receive after you mixed the song?
I will send you the final stereo mix in a non-compressed format (typically 24bit 44.1/88.2 kHz linear Wave). I will also include a vocal-up and vocal-down version (the overall vocal level will be up/down by ~1dB) as this is often requested from the mastering house that will do the mastering. Upon request (= before finishing the mix) I can include other versions (No drums, no vocal, etc) too. Please let me know if you need other versions, too.
How long does a mix usually take?
That’s a tough one. Highly depends on the song and the number of tracks I get, as well as the overall quality of the recording. Sometimes only one day, sometimes a week and more. Also depends on my backlog, so it’s best to discuss it individually. Just make sure to let me know if you need it super quick!
Do you have K-metering? And what about the new loudness standard?
Yes I have. In fact I usually work on my mixes with K-14 metering engaged.
Upon request I can deliver EBU R-128 compliant mixes too.
If you have special requirements in terms of final leveling, please let me know and I will be able to adapt them easily.
Can you make special mix versions for different platforms (MySpace, Facebook, radio)?
Typically, a good mix translates well in all sorts of situations. Therefore, special versions are typically not needed. Nonetheless, different versions are possible and sometimes also desired (e.g. Karaoke versions, etc.), just let me know.
Can you deliver a professionally converted low-res format like MP3, Flac or AAC, too?
Of course, other formats are possible and I typically also deliver high bitrate MP3, too.
How should I prepare my recording before sending it to you?
All the tracks of your recording should be send individually. Usually any DAW offers a export function that allows you to export each track to a single file. The files should be in the highest quality possible which is your native recording format (e.g. WAV/AIFF 24bit ; 44100Hz). Mono-tracks should be sent as mono files and stereo-tracks (such a stereo synths, samples, etc) should be sent as stereo files. If you recorded a signal with multiple microphones at the same time, you can either mix them together yourself if you want a certain blend of these two microphones, or you can send them both individually. If you choose the latter, please label the tracks accordingly: GIT_Lead1_Mic1 and GIT_Lead1_MIc2.
Please label all your tracks in a professional manner. It is no good to receive Audio1-84.wav with no indication of what is what.
Generally I follow a naming scheme that uses abbreviations for each instrument:
DRM = Drums
BSS = Bass
GIT = Guitar
VOX = Vocals
BVOX = Backing vocals
FX = anything unusual
SYNTH = synthesizer
PIA = Piano
and so on.
A few examples:
and so on.
Following these simple rules will help me save a lot of time during the initial setup of the song. Thanks in advance for following these rules.