Do you have a song ready to be mixed? Are you ready to send it off to an engineer? Well, there are some steps you need to take before you can send your recordings to your engineer, but luckily they’re pretty simple! Read on to learn 5 simple steps to take before sending your song to be mixed by a professional engineer.
Organize your audio files
This is easily one of the more important steps of preparing your tracks for mixing and it’s often overlooked. Proper organization and labeling of audio files can lead to less confusion and a faster workflow for the engineer when they are importing your files to be mixed.
This involves labeling files, grouping them by section, even color coding! All of which will help create a faster process for the engineer and quicker results!
Clean/ trim audio files
Cleaning up audio files can easily make a major change to the overall sound of your mix and helps keep audio files clean, tight, and free of excess noise.
This involves cutting out sections of recordings that are not filled with audio and/or cutting out unused tracks all together, ridding extra background noise and white noise from your track.
Edit audio files for mistakes/ timing
Now that you’ve cleaned your audio files you might notice some problems in your mix keeping it from reaching its full potential. Oftentimes, these problems are as simple as small pops or snaps that made it into the microphones during recording.
Sometimes, they are a bit more tricky and involve slight or major timing mistakes made by the performing artists in certain sections. Regardless, these have no place in a professional mix and will need to be edited and repaired to fit the rest of the song.
Create a dummy mix
A dummy mix or reference mix can be incredibly useful for an engineer as it can help them get the “vibe” of what you are looking for in your final mix and master.
While it is always useful to learn more skills and enhance the sound of your reference mixes, don’t fret if you can’t get it sounding exactly how you want, afterall, that’s what the engineer is for.
Export audio files for mixing
This step can be rather tricky as you want to make sure you keep the files as raw as possible without removing anything that is absolutely essential to their sound. The only processing one might keep on a stem (as they’re affectionately known) would be any digital instrument modeling software or MIDI instruments.
These types of plugins are what make the track what it is and give the instrument its sound. Once all the essential processing is established, you will export all of the “dry” (without processing, E.Q./compression/etc.) stems to a folder.
Make sure your sample rate and bit depth are correct according to the engineer’s preference and begin exporting. Afterwards, compress the folder to a zip file and send via a file sharing program.
Overall, these 5 steps can help improve the sound of your mix as well as erase any confusion that could occur when sending stems to be mixed by an engineer. These tips outline basic steps preceding a mix in the professional world of audio production. Make sure to have your tracks ready to speed up the process.
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