Due to the high volume (pun intended) of mixes coming in remotely, I thought I would share some helpful information to those submitting material to be mixed by a professional recording engineer, such as myself. There are some things that are helpful, and other things that may take a lot of time to correct.
Here are some tips to avoid spending extra cash on studio mix sessions ahead of time:
1 – Talk to the engineer or studio manager ahead of time to make sure software versions are compatible. If the studio doesn’t offer a particular type of program or software, be sure they help you with the conversion process. Individual WAV or AIF files bounced in your session from bar 1, beat 1 is always a good backup, although the engineer won’t have access to your plug-in chains or effects.
2 – Label your tracks – we are not mind readers, and taking the time to figure out what is what only takes up time we could be spending on dialing in equalizers and compressors.
3 – Remove automation – In most cases it takes more time to move around or bypass the existing automation. Many engineers do things a certain way which keeps things moving quickly and sounding groovy. Engineers will always add their own automation anyway, so unless you have some specific effect you want, take it off.
4 – Don’t duplicate any tracks – believe it or not, but adding 14 copies of the same audio track does not make a “huge stereo image” and it takes longer for us to figure out which is the actual audio file, and which are duplicates.
5 – Make a note if you want something effected, duplicated, tuned or anything else. Most programs offer an area to make notes or comments on tracks or the project. Referencing this in email correspondence is helpful, too.
6 – Leave alone specific effects you have, and be sure to bounce them (or render them) so no plug-ins are needed to hear this effect. If you have something unique that you want, it may only take more time trying to replicate that unusual sound.
– Eric “YO.M.G!” Nelson Yoder