How to Prepare Your Songs and Deliver Them to Us for Mixing
If you are interested in having us mix your project, here’s a step by step process for you to follow to prepare your tracks for mixing:
When preparing songs for a mix please follow these guidelines:
#1: CHECK ALL EDITS:
Make sure that all edits are good, take the time before you consolidate the files to really listen to the edit points to check for clicks, weird transitions, anything that might cause attention to be drawn to the edit.
#2: REMOVE ALL PLUGINS and AUTOMATION:
If you use any plugins, please make sure that they are removed or bypassed before exporting your files.
If you are using any automation, please remove or bypass it before exporting.
If the automation or plugin is vital to the track, please export the automated / effected track in addition to the unprocessed file.
#3: CONSOLIDATE ALL TRACKS FROM ZERO:
Consolidate each track so that all of the audio files start at the same point (i.e.. Bar zero...). This will allow them to be imported in the proper time relationship.
Make sure that there is at least one bar before the song begins, do not trim the export to the first beat.
We can accept files in any combination of WAV or AIFF format and any combination of bit depths but all tracks need to be at the same sample rate (We prefer 24 bit 44.1k. The minimum is 16 bit - 44.1k)
#4: RENAME and CLEARLY LABEL ALL TRACKS:
Please make sure that each track is clearly labelled, simple labels are best. We need to know at a glance if "Jim Outro" is a vocal, guitar or kazoo track.
Please remove all unintentional track name suffixes. For example: "Lead Guitar_03_01.wav" should be renamed "Lead Guitar.wav".
Do not add the song title to the beginning of each file name, but be certain to place the tracks in a folder which is named for the song, including tempo and artist name.
Please make sure that all stereo files are named identically with a "dot R" and "dot L" designation. For example, "OH.L.wav " and "OH.R.wav" NOT "OH.L.wav and "OH_01.R.wav" Count the spaces.
If you are creating files on a Mac using OSX, make sure that the file permissions are set to "read/write".
Make sure that the lead vocal is comped and CLEARLY labelled.
If you have any ad-lib tracks which are separate from the lead vocal, be sure that they are properly labelled.
In general, you can reduce confusion by making sure that any track which is intended to be included in the final mix is specifically labelled in a unique way.
Create sub-folders for common instrument groupings such as DRUMS, PERCUSSION, BASS, ELECTRIC GUITARS, ACOUSTIC GUITARS, KEYBOARDS, LEAD VOCALS, BGVs, etc.
Organise the song by placing the tracks in their relevant folders. Place these folders in the main song folder.
#6: INCLUDE FULL INFORMATION:
Please include with each song: tempo information, time signature, key signature, and any other applicable information.
This information should be documented in a text file and placed in the song folder with the audio files.
#7: ZIP EACH SONG FOLDER:
Please place all of the tracks and notes in a new folder for each song, clearly labelled, and include the tempo information in the folder name, then ZIP the folder.
#8: VERIFY EACH SONG:
VERIFY each song by unzipping the archive and loading the tracks into a new session, so that you are aware of any missing tracks or misalignment issues.
#9: UPLOAD YOUR .ZIP file to our Dropbox:
How to Consolidate in Pro Tools
Select each track all the way from the end, back to a time index of zero.
Consolidate this selection. This will create a new continuous track.
Export that track as a WAV or AIF file to a new folder named "Consolidated (song name) audio xx bpm for mix"
RENAME the consolidated tracks as described in item 4 above.
More thorough directions:
There are two ways to convert a single track within Pro Tools to .WAV files.
The first thing you have to do is CONSOLIDATE the audio regions so they are displayed as one region (if there are any edits on that track). The consolidate region function is in the Edit menu.
Highlight each region on that track and hit consolidate and they will merge to one big region.
Once that is done and the selected track now appears as one continuous audio region, you can go to the audio region list to the right hand of the edit screen. Under this menu heading is an item called "export region as file". If the region is highlighted and you select this item, you will be prompted to select various audio file types (AIF, WAV, SDll etc..) make sure you select "multiple mono files" so you don't create a "false stereo file". Even though it says "multiple" if the file is a single mono file; it will stay single.
The other way to do it is to "bounce" the file as a converted file type. In this case it is not necessary to CONSOLIDATE the regions first. In this technique, you are using the Pro Tools I/O to mix the audio files into one new file. In real time.
Select all the regions in that track by holding down the shift key and touching each region with the selector tool. Then go to File and select BOUNCE. In this sub menu you will see dialogue that will prompt you to select the file type (.WAV) also to name the file, the resolution of the file (24bit, for example) and where you wish to save the file.
This will play back the track in real time and thus create a new file in your desired format.
Points to consider:
- Using the first technique is faster. The track will convert quickly.
- Using the first technique, the file will be named the same thing as the audio region, so you will need to rename the track as described above.
- In the BOUNCE technique, you must solo the track that you are bouncing or the entire session will bounce to the new file.
- Make sure that all tracks that you are BOUNCING are outputting through channels 1 and 2 of the I/O. or they will not record to the new file format (unless you select different output channels)