Preparing Your Audio For Mixing

These instructions are also available for download from my downloads page.

General Guidelines:

• Make sure to deliver all files relevant to the mix session at least 48 hours in advance.
• Files need to be 16 or 24 bit at one of the following sample rates: 44.1 khz, 48 khz, 88.2 khz, 96 khz,
or 192 khz.
• All Protools sessions must be Version 9 or lower. For sessions in any other DAW format please provide WAV or AIFF files at the original session sample rate with all file/tracks having the same start time.
• Make sure to include the most up to date rough mix on a stereo track, on either the first or last track or as a separate stereo file (clearly named as “song name_rough mix”).
• Note the song's tempo in folder name, in a file name, on the rough mix file name or in a Read Me file.


Protools:

• Delete all tracks that are not going to be used (send only the files that are needed).

• Delete any unused playlists that aren’t needed for the mix.

• Delete any unused audio files.

• Clearly name all tracks and files.
(example: Kick, Snare, Synth 1, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Lead Vocal, Backup Vocal, Backup Vocal 2, etc.)

• Group similar tracks together (guitars together, vocals together, etc).

• Remove all Plug-ins from session but be sure to "print" or "process" VERY specific sounds/FX you wish to keep. Make sure to bounce any tracks with sound design or instrument/keyboard/drum plugins to new audio tracks.

• Remove all automation from the session. The only exception being if you have VERY specific panning, volume of FX moves on particular tracks that you want to keep.

• Auto-tune vocals - bounce down any vocal tracks with autotune on them to new tracks.

• Clean up your audio/tracks. Make sure that all your regions and edits have cross fades on them and the beginning and end of each file has the proper fade on it so there are no clicks and pops in the audio.

• Delete all muted or deactivated audio from tracks.

• Double check for any missing audio files.

• Verify that all your tracks/files are in sync.

• After you have completed all the above steps save a new version of your session in the following manner:
With your prepped and cleaned up session open in Protools go to "File" ----> "Save Copy In..."
This will open a new window. Make sure to select:

a. Session Format - choose Protools 9.

b. Your session's current sample rate, bit depth and file format (usually WAV).

c. Select "All Audio Files" in the "Items To Copy" section.

• Save this version of the session to a new location. THIS will be the session you will now Zip and send to me. I suggest using wetransfer.com.


From Other DAWs:

All of your audio tracks need to be continuous individual files, which means there should be no edits in any audio files. Each track needs to be one single file (or stereo file if that is the format your DAW uses). But before you bounce down, buss record (also called: 'bounce to disk', 'render', 'join' or 'make continuous') your individual tracks, you’ll need to prepare the multi-track session:

• Remove all plugins from each track, but be sure to "print" or "process" VERY specific sounds/FX you wish to keep. Make sure to bounce/render any tracks with sound design or instrument/keyboard/drum plugins to new audio tracks.

Stylized FX – Remember, if you have sound design effects that rely on specific plugins, render those as separate sound files. There's no point in me recreating specific effects you’ve created. Put those on their own track and I'll work with that.

• All tracks/files need to begin at the same start-time or same time-stamp. Even if you have something on one track that only plays at the very end of the song, the bounce or render needs to begin at the same time - the very beginning beginning of your song - at the same start-point as all the other tracks/files.

When exporting/bouncing audio from certain DAW’s (ex: Export All Tracks To Audio) the DAW may name each track with the song name/session name and the track name (example: Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag:Keyboards_001).  Do not send files in this manner as they will be rejected.  Please rename all files and tracks as outlined above.

• Don’t slam the audio levels when recording/rendering/bouncing to disk. Please leave me a couple of db head room.

• Either WAV or AIF files are required. Bit depth must be 16 or 24 bits. Sample rates can be: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 176.4 kHz or 192 kHz. Don’t change or up-sample before your render; just stay at the same bit depth and sample rate you’ve been using in your project.

If you have any questions regarding preparation please contact us through our contact page. Send your phone number or Skype name as real human dialog is much better than email.


Billy Hume Mixing