So your songs are ready for the world! Wether they will make there way to iTunes, Spotify, Play Music, CD, Radio, live venues or the club, it is good idea to get them mixed. But how do we prep our music for mixing? While it may seem simple, sending files “wrong” could limit what and where your engineer can take your song. If at the very least it will slow the process down. Firstly you will want to be sure you are printing your parts in place! For maximum results from your mixing engineer try the following three things before you send your song’s for mixed.
1 – Turn Off your Dynamic Processing, EQ, Compressors, Limiters etc…
Get the most out of your mixing engineer
Remember we are giving our music to someone to mix it! Turn off your EQ’s and compressors to get what your paying for. Overly aggressive compression or excessive EQ can and will ultimately kill a mix and there is not much an engineer could do to fix it. These aspects of audio are at the core of a good mix and will likely be more beneficial to your song allowing a mixing engineer to execute.
2 – Print Your Reverbs, Delays, Echoes, Flanges, Chorus, EFX, etc…Seperately
Send your mixing engineer tracks of both dry and wet sources.
Time based effects are tools that can do some amazing things to help a song along and can potentially add an artistic imprint on the song. If you have these effects on your parts and wish to keep them in the song it is good advice to print both dry and wet versions. A dry version of the sound as well as wet gives your engineer control over both wet and dry signals as they blend in with the other sounds in your song.
3 – Clean Up Your Takes and Bounce in Place!
Mixing is different from Editing!
Recording and mixing are mostly two different things. Sure, those lines blur sometimes but when you are recording parts, editing should be something your engineer is managing. If this recording engineer just so happens to be you, take special care in how your takes sound. Is there weird noise in the dead spaces? Are there pop’s and clicks anywhere in the take? Is the microphone distorted? In most cases, these artifacts can never be corrected and will live on with your music! Additionally, your song’s arrangement is important! Be sure that your tracks are being printed in place. This will ensure your song sounds as it did when you created it and will eliminate your mixing engineer reaching out for a re print. You can find out how to bounce in place with your DAW here.
These are just a few things to consider before sending your music to be mixed. When these three and others are overlooked it will cause your mixing engineer to likely spend a good amount of time on heavy lifting and not on helping you perfect your creative vision. Remember mixing is mostly a creative process that your mixing engineer is passionate about.