How does audio mixdown and track mastering work?
If I take on your project, you send me your project files via a cloud service or by regular mail attachment, along with any mixing notes, reference songs, demo mixes/masters, or anything else that may be helpful. I will then load your tracks into my system, and check everything out to make sure the files are not corrupted in any way, and for the overall quality of the recorded tracks. We then discuss your project to make sure I understand the type of sound you are going for, and to go over any questions I may have about what you sent.
When I have completed my “first pass” of the mix, I’ll upload a reference file for your review and notify you via e-mail. You then review the mix and send me any change requests you may have. We could go back and forth that way until you are completely satisfied with the mix (all within the stipulated revision window; the quicker you respond, the higher your advantage). I will then send you the final high quality file for you to download.
What are the charges?
What is the turn-around time?
Turn-around time is the time from file collection/approval, till first output of the high quality file. The best way to figure out the turn-around time pertaining to you is to refer to the respective pricing section. When settled on a pricing selection within a section, look at the bottom of the pricing card for the turnaround time in smaller fonts.
What is a revision window?
This is the period (in time) that the artist and myself will have to go back and forth regarding revisions and modifications to the first output. This window commences at the conclusion of turn-around time. Refer to the respective pricing section, take note of the revision window period in smaller fonts at the bottom of the pricing card after settling upon a pricing selection.
What formats are accepted?
I accept WAV or AIFF formats for audio mixing and track mastering. It is not necessary for me to have the same software that you used to record your project, since most of the time the easiest way to transfer a project for audio mixing is to render all the audio tracks and virtual instruments to individual audio files that all start at the same time. Then, I just import all those files, line them up, and I’m ready to mix.
However, I own several of the most popular software DAWs, including Ableton Live, Cubase, Reaper, Reason, Fruity Loops, and more. If you are using one of the programs that I also own, you can send me the project files and all associated audio files, and I will most likely be able to open your project directly. I’m always adding more software, so contact me for a current list.
Even if I do own the same software that you do, we still will need to go over the file preparation and transfer process in more detail. If you are using virtual instruments or other plug-ins to create a sound, those will need to be rendered to regular audio tracks first before you send the project files, even if I own the same plug-ins.
How should raw files be prepared?
Render each track and virtual instrument to individual contiguous audio files that all start at the exact same time so that I can simply import those audio files into my software, snap them all to time zero, and everything will play back exactly the way it should. You should test this yourself in a new blank project to make sure it works before sending me the files. Also, unless you are using pre-recorded drum loops, I need each drum sound as a separate file (e.g., kick drum, snare, hi-hat, toms, cymbals or overheads, etc.), this is called a tracked-out export. I can’t change the sound or balance of individual drum kit elements if they are all pre-mixed to a single audio file.
DISABLE ALL EFFECTS AND PROCESSING (EQ, compression, reverb, delay, chorus, etc.) on all tracks BEFORE you render and export them, unless that effect is an integral part of the sound. There is only so much processing i can apply to your track(s) if your track(s) are already effected and/or processed in any way. If you aren’t sure if you should turn off an effect or not, render the effects return to a separate track, rename the tracks accordingly and give me that in addition to a totally raw(dry) track.
CLEAN UP YOUR TRACKS. Do NOT send me anything you don’t want in the final mix. Solo each track and listen to it from start to finish. If there is any noise that should not supposed to be there, edit that out before you render the files you will send to me. If I need to clean up your tracks for you, there will be an extra charge depending on the extent of cleaning i have to perform, while still sticking to output delivery within the conceived turn-around time.
CLEARLY LABEL YOUR FILES. If I can’t figure out what each track is by looking at a meaningful name, it will waste a good bit of time that could be better spent actually mixing.
Render each track at the same bit depth and sample rate that you recorded the project at. If you recorded at 16 bits, then you don’t gain anything by sending me 24 bit files, and it will just make the files bigger and take longer to upload and download. If you recorded at 24 bits, please keep the rendered tracks at 24 bits. Do not render the tracks to a different sample rate than you recorded at. Doing sample rate conversions on every track will sound much worse than one high quality sample rate conversion in the mastering stage.
Stereo tracks should be rendered as interleaved stereo files (NOT split left and right mono files). Mono tracks should be rendered as mono files.
DO NOT RENDER YOUR TRACKS AS MP3 FILES, they should be rendered as uncompressed WAV or AIFF files.
Once again, DO NOT SEND FILES THAT SHOULD NOT BE USED IN THE PROJECT. When you consolidate/render/export your tracks, do it to a new folder on your hard drive so you don’t send files that aren’t actually being used in the project. Extra files will just cause confusion, wasting time and possibly costing you extra.
How should raw files be sent?
You upload your files on a cloud storage service e.g. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive, pCloud to name a few. You can also use FTP client software, I strongly suggest using the free FileZilla FTP client software (runs on Mac or PC). Contact me if you need instructions on how to upload your files to these storage services.
If you are uploading just one song, you can upload all the files into one properly named folder. To reduce file size and save upload time, you may also use lossless file compression to put all the files into one archive file. I can open ZIP, RAR, and 7zip archives.
If you are uploading files for multiple songs, put the files into folders by song, then store in one whole archive, or create a separate archive file for each song.
What format will the rendered mix be in, and how will I get it?
After my first pass at the mix, I will send you a high quality MP3 file for your review. As we work on revisions together, I will continue to send you high quality MP3 files until you are completely satisfied with the mix.
The final mix files will be delivered in WAV file format at 24 bits, and at the same sample rate that the project was recorded at. These files will be ready to send to mastering.
If you also hire me to do the final mastering of your mixes, you will get the mastered files at 320kbps, MP3.
Can I request for instrumental, A Capella or other alternate mixes?
Yes, I gladly serve such requests. If you need special radio edits, or other special mixes that require extra time to set up, there will be an additional fee.
What is included in the price?
Included in the fee is an initial high quality output file at turn-around conclusion and sets of revisions within the revision window period (If required). If we need additional revisions outside of the revision window to get the mix where you want, there will be an additional fee (although if it’s just one additional minor change, I will often do that for no additional charge). You will get the final high resolution WAV file of your full mix, as well as any agreed upon alternate mixes (instrumentals, a capella, etc.), delivered via electronic mail. If any of your tracks need cleaning up, auto tuning, or editing of any kind to make them ready to mix, there may be an additional charge for that. The cleaning-up process should be taken upon by your recording producer, this could be time-consuming.
What payment routes are accept?
What other services are offered?
If you desire to work with me, reach out. Track Engineering (mixing and mastering) is a composition of my artistry. The moment i connect with your art piece, i will be glad to accept your request, we can work in whatever form the energy takes hold from there. I have produced, composed, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered music from a variety of artists. I am not looking to keep this list static, this is the growth process, i will not cease any time soon.
Can I hear product samples?
Are any kind of free, discounted or trial mixes offered?
Not usually, but I will go out of my way to make sure you are completely satisfied with the mixing I do for you. In special circumstances, I may offer a discount, especially if you are having me engineer your entire music project.
Help, i exported my tracks as prescribed. The file(s) are too large, internet service is costly!
If you happen to be situated in Ibadan, this is my residential city. Contact me directly and have your files stored on portable media. We might be able to meet up in physical and exchange data manually.
I also happen to move in and out of Lagos state, contact me to inquire my present location. If the response is not in your favour, we will have to operate with remote internet file-sharing services. Hey! you have to spend money to make money.
I have other questions!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you may have.