How to prepare your session for online mixing in 5 steps
Start by bypassing any non-essential effects and processors on each track of your session. Most notably, this includes any EQ, Compression, Limiting, Reverbs etc… If an effect is integral to the unique sound of a track (such as many virtual instruments), please feel free to leave the effect ON or send an effect and clean version of the track. For guitar tracks, it is usually best for the artist to decide on an amp setting and tone as the guitarist knows the sound they are after; however, you are welcome to send DI tracks as well. DI tracks are especially encouraged for bass guitar tracks. I ask to receive tracks this way to give us the most flexibility in processing the tracks. It can be difficult to undo a pre-effected track which will ultimately limit possibilities later on.
Clearly name each track something meaningful. Here are some examples:
- Kick Out
- Background Vocal High Harmony
- Bass Amp
- Lead Guitar Double
- Snr Btm (phase flipped)
- Audio 32
- Vocal 3
- Instrument_003 Render
Consolidate and export files
Consolidate and export your files. You may need to perform a google search how to accomplish this within your specific DAW. Some DAWs have the function built-in, while others require a few steps.
At the end of the process, you should the following:
- A new folder with the newly created contiguous audio files. Each audio file should start from 0:00 and go until the end of the song. There should be no separate regions and each file size should be the same.
- Track names should match the audio file name.
- There should be no unnecessary audio files such as partial/alternate takes, midi, session files etc… This will reduce confusion, clutter, and file size drastically.
- An easy way to check if everything exported correctly is to create a new session yourself and import your new files. If everything lines up and plays as it should, then you are good to send.
- File format should be at least 16-bit/44.1k but preferably higher. WAV or AIFF.
Pack it up
Place all files in a folder for each song labeled Artist Name – Song Title – Tempo
Separate song folders should be placed in a folder titled Artist Name – Album/EP Title
Compress the file to .zip or .rar formats so you’ll only be uploading a single file which contains everything I’ll need.