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THE PROCESS

Anchor 5

The process of mixing songs varies with every project and depends on the number and quality of the tracks, and the level of production required.

Like everything in this moment of history, I am working completely remote. Generally, the process will include these steps.

Initial Discussion: We start the process off by getting a clear understanding of what your plans and goals are. Do you have professionally recorded tracks that are ready to be mixed into radio-ready songs? Or, do you have tracks that have been recorded in your home studio that you want to bring up to the highest level possible to help get your music out there? Whatever the situation, discussing this up front and understanding what the goals and expectations are is critical to a successful project.

 

Send Files: Once we are all in agreement, the music files are sent electronically (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). If needed, I will provide detailed instructions on which files and how to send them. Generally, it is best to send the originally recorded tracks exported from the recording session project with any effects or processing removed. And please, make sure the tracks are named to be easily identified. ("Snare_Top" is much more meaningful and easy to work with compared to"Mic1") If there are some tracks that have effects that are integral to the sound of the song, include them with the effects, but also include the original un-effected track as well (I have some pretty special effects too!). In addition to the raw tracks, a rough mix is also recommended to help understand the artist and/or producers intentions for the track.

 

Rough Mix: The first rough mix is done after importing all of the files into my DAW, getting a balance of the instruments, and doing any basic editing. The first rough mix is provided as MP3 format to be used in production discussions where we will get agreement on the general feel of the song, any production ideas, and an estimate of the time it will take to create a final mix. During the mixing phase of the project, several additional rough mixes are provided for discussion and artistic direction to further the mixing process. 

 

First Mix: The First mix is the first complete mix provided in MP3 format to be used as review and acceptance. You should listen to this mix in multiple listening environments that you are very familiar with (the car, headphones, HiFi, etc.) over several days so that you can understand how it will translate. Take notes, and listen for anything that you may want changed.

 

Recall Mix(es): After listening to the mix you may want to make some minor changes to the final mix, and that's OK. These changes can include making certain elements louder, quieter, or changes in tone or character. This doesn't include major changes such as changes in the song arrangement, re-recording of parts, or other changes that dramatically change the song from the first final mix. For most projects there will be a limit of two recall mixes.

Final Mix: This is the final mix that is ready for mastering and will be provided as a 24-bit WAV file. 

 

Distribution Master: This is the final mix provided in 320kbps MP3 format and 48kHz, 24-bit, WAV formats, ready for distribution as a downloadable file. This will be mastered at a loudness level between -6 and -8 LUFS. This is typically provided one week after the Final Mix to allow everyone the opportunity to review in detail the final mix in a variety of environments.

 

Streaming Master: The is the final mix provided in 320kbps MP3 format and 48kHz, 24-bit, WAV formats, mastered for uploading to streaming sites, Streaming sites like Spotify and YouTube use algorithms to ensure that all music is streamed to the users at the same level so they don't have to turn the volume up or down between songs. To ensure the quality of the sound is maintained while also being at the highest loudness level the streaming services will support, a streaming master will be supplied at a loudness level optimized for streaming at around -14 LUFS.

 

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