What is mixing?
Mixing is the one of the final steps in the record production process. After the tracks have been recorded, mixing is where all the raw tracks for each song are blended together with processing and effects into a single stereo mix that is ready for playback through any medium.
What is Mastering?
Mastering is the final step in the production process. It is a necessary step to prepare the song for final distribution. After mixing, it further sonically balances the stereo mix and enhances playback across various platforms. Furthermore, it adds cohesiveness to the songs that will be included together in an EP or album.
Why do you need mastering?
The goal of mastering is to make sure that your song will sound consistent across all audio playback systems and adds consistency between all the tracks of an album. Another aspect is loudness, mastering will increase the level of your track to competitive level that is similar to other professional tracks heard on the radio.
Even if your song is recorded and mixed in an top-tier studio, or recording in your home, you still need the final quality check of mastering. This ensures that your sound will be heard the way you intended it to be. A good mastering job makes all of the tracks on an album sound balanced and consistent.
How do I start the process?
In order to start the process, you can go to the order form page and upload your zipped songs as instructed and input the information about how many songs need to be mixed and mastered. Once you complete the order and submit the information, you will be sent an email to confirming your details. You do not have to pay at this time.
Your order will then be processed and you will be sent an invoice within 24 hours. Half of the total amount on the invoice needs to be paid before work is started on your project.
How do I prepare my session for uploading
- Render all of the tracks from the beginning of the session. (Or consolidate depending on your DAW.) Make sure than each audio file has the same start and ending time. IMPORTANT.
- Bypass all of the corrective effects (compression, EQ, etc).
- Keep all of the creative effects such as delays, echos, unique reverbs, guitar amps. But printed on separate tracks!
- Render all of the files as .wav at 24bit/ 44.1k or higher.
- Name each track a meaningful name. A number and instrument name works the best (1Kick, 2Snare, 3Bass, etc).
- The drum kit should be on individual tracks so that we can have better control in the mixing phase.
- Compress all the tracks into a single .ZIP or .RAR file.
- If uploading more than 1 song, please put each one in its own individual compressed file type. 1 song = 1 .zip or .rar file
What is included in a mix? master?
- Uncompressed .wav file of your full mix
- Uncompressed .wav file of of the instrumental mix
- A listening copy for loudness comparison.
- Uncompressed .wav file of your master
- DDP image file for CD printing
How do I upload my project?
Please use one of the following file transfer sites to send us files! Each song should be delivered in its own zip file so I do not have to download 200 separate files.
If using the methods above, send it to CHRIS@CLFSOUND.COM
I can also send you a Dropbox file request link if you prefer that method.
Please make sure all the files are organized similar to the sample below. Then zipped into a single file per song.
You can download and use this template to get you started.
You can upload your tracks for Mastering: HERE
During this stage of the mixing process, I will be reviewing the “rough mix” and the reference mixes that you send me. I use the “rough mix” just to get a basic idea of the sound that you are going for. I listen to it only once or twice in order not to influence my creative mixing decisions.
After that, I review your notes and reference mixes. If there are some specific sounds or ideas that you like from those songs, I note down to implement those in your mix as well.
I start to familiarize myself with the song and tracks. I listen to each individual track in solo to check or any problems and find important musical sections that need to by highlighted.
In this stage, I also begin to organize my Pro Tools session according to my workflow.