5 Steps To Prepare Your Songs For Professional Mixing

HHW Staff
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Mixing

Modern musicians occasionally have to deal with mix and mastering online. Its main task is to prepare the session correctly, without any shortcomings. An experienced mix engineer can significantly improve the sound and eliminate the shortcomings of your mix, but its possibilities are not unlimited and depend on the quality of the source material. The better your mix, the better the result will be after mastering. Modern mastering has long gone beyond a purely technical procedure, and it can be confidently considered a kind of independent art form. In this article, you can learn about five steps that will help you prepare your files for a mix-engineer.

1.Clear your session of ‘garbage’

This item can be attributed to “organizational” moments. When you submit your track for mixing and mastering, it’s best to put it in order. Delete clicks, make sure that the recording is well recorded, there are no extraneous noises.  Mix and mastering online involves independent work on these shortcomings and it is better for the musician to do it on his own, rather than shift it to a mix engineer. Why is it better? Firstly, only you know your track from and to, so it will be much clearer for you to remove something inappropriate than for a mix engineer. He will have to listen to your mix several times, understand it, sort it out and only then clean it, which will take more time than you do. Secondly, such work is not free and most often artists are engaged in such organizational moments without the help of anyone. In order to cut out clicks and empty spaces, take breaths to a separate track, make FADE IN / OUT, the musician will take about one hour, and he will not need to pay extra for this.

2. Organize your session correctly

A mix engineer will not be able to read your thoughts and understand you, so the best option for you will be to sign everything and structure it. For example, when creating vocals, it will be easier for you to sign lead vocals or back vocals yourself. Don’t forget about track numbering. What is it for? With mix and mastering online, the engineer imports the multitrack to his session, so everything will be in the same order as it was with you and will be able to get to work immediately. This is really important, because in this way nothing will distract the mix engineer from his tasks, and also his first impression of the mix will not spoil, and the work will become much faster and more efficient.

3. Write your wishes

When a musician sends his mix to work on mix and mastering online, he should attach a text file with all his wishes and requests. This should be done so that the specialist who undertakes the work of your track understands what approximate concept of the track the musician wants, where what needs to be reduced and what, on the contrary, increased, describe where he would like to reverb and delay. The whole idea and concept of the sound of the track can be described in a file, which at the final stage will help to get exactly the sound that the musician wanted. Without your wishes, the mix engineer will also cope with his work, but the final result may not fully satisfy you, and it will take time to fix.

4. Prepare a reference track

Reference tracks are songs that are, in a sense, reference tracks for you, which you can look up to with mix and mastering online. Of course, it is recommended to take references of famous performers and their hits, since most likely they were brought together by popular specialists, whose professionalism can not even be doubted. Of course, when choosing a reference, you can rely on lesser-known tracks, but then you should understand that their sound may not be the best. There will be no such problem with popular tracks. When you attach tracks that appeal to you to your mix, the mix-engineer listens to the text note, listens to the reference track and already roughly understands what the musician specifically wants. For the musician himself, this is a good practice, since he will be able to compare the mix with the references that he provided. A mix-engineer can handle his job easier and easier, thanks to the presence of references. If the session is structured, references are optionally written at the output, you get a perfect job, and in 99 percent of cases you will not need to make corrections. 

5.Render two multitrack sessions

A multitrack is a set of audio files, each of which is a track of one of the instruments. It is necessary to render the first version of the multitrack completely ‘dry’, so that there are no processing and equalizers on it. Next, you need to make sure that each track is no louder than -6 dB, then render this multitrack. We provide the second rendering version completely ‘’wet’. In order for everything to be processed, however, even here it is impossible to exceed the volume limit of -6 dB. Why do we need a second version of the multitrack? There are cases when a musician uses some specific processing in his demo version of a track, which is sometimes easier to just take this sound, and not repeat it wasting time.

In this article, we have reviewed the key rules, observing which, you are very likely not to encounter problems that will prevent you from doing mix and mastering online quickly and efficiently.

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