How to prepare tracks for a mixing engineer?

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OlScrapIron
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How to prepare tracks for a mixing engineer?

Post by OlScrapIron » Sun May 03, 2015 12:24 pm

Really hoping someone can give me a basic run through on how I should prepare some tracks for a mixing engineer. Obviously I have stripped all effects, the song is arranged properly and everything is cleaned up; no background sounds or metronome bleed.
This song has 16 tracks. I want to give him all the tracks seperately, but each one needs to start at the same time so he can just bring them into his DAW. i am on logic and he is on protools. Do I need to bounce every track to a new one so that the audio all starts at the same time? (even though some tracks contain about 6 seconds of actual audio).

kslight
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Post by kslight » Sun May 03, 2015 12:31 pm

Yes. Print every track starting at zero so all s/he has to do is import everything and have it all lineup, regardless of how silly it may seem for 6 second tracks, I am positive that they will appreciate your effort to make their job easier.

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Post by OlScrapIron » Sun May 03, 2015 1:43 pm

I got it figured out... I was confused by every track I exported not being the same length. Once I imported the tracks back into a project though, they still all lined up so I'm good! Thanks for the response!

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun May 03, 2015 5:17 pm

Yep. A common start time is essential. Beyond that, strip all eq & effects plug-ins except if the effect is an important part of the sound in which case you should print it as audio.
Delete any unused/ extraneous tracks - ie: if you recorded a extra room mic for every overdub but then decided they weren't needed. If there are multiple mics on every source (like a 4 mics on every guitar overdubs and 6 mics on that floor tom overdub - I'm not kidding, it's happened, a lot) maybe do him a favour and give him a track with those multiple mics mixed to your liking. He might go back to the raw tracks to rebalance things but he might also be happy to not have 100+ tracks to sort through before he starts mixing.

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Recycled_Brains
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon May 04, 2015 1:35 pm

kslight wrote:Yes. Print every track starting at zero so all s/he has to do is import everything and have it all lineup, regardless of how silly it may seem for 6 second tracks, I am positive that they will appreciate your effort to make their job easier.
Does Logic not have a consolidate function?

Bouncing every track in real time would make me want to throw myself out the window. :wink:
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kslight
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Post by kslight » Mon May 04, 2015 2:29 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:
kslight wrote:Yes. Print every track starting at zero so all s/he has to do is import everything and have it all lineup, regardless of how silly it may seem for 6 second tracks, I am positive that they will appreciate your effort to make their job easier.
Does Logic not have a consolidate function?

Bouncing every track in real time would make me want to throw myself out the window. :wink:
I'm not a Logic user so I chose not to go into precise detail on the step by step process over fear of stumbling over my lack of knowledge in what Apple calls its various menus and functions, but for people that can only take things literally, I will spell out what I mistakenly thought was dead obvious:

The intention of my previous post was to define what the end results should be, it does not matter to the mix engineer whether you choose to do it in real time or not.



:roll:

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Tue May 05, 2015 1:48 pm

Name all the tracks clearly, bounce them each down to mono .wav files and include any relevant notes (things like panning direction of toms to overheads are helpful). If you're concerned about your editing, save the project first as alternate ("Song01 bounced", etc.) and you can always go back to the original and change something if need be. Usually what I do is come up with a very clear naming scheme, so that I can easily pick those files out of the project folder and copy them to a new one by themselves.

I use Logic X and that's what I do just for archiving when I'm done tracking a project, in case the client wants to have someone else mix or wants the files for possible future remixing. It's also what I ask for from clients who are sending me tracks, regardless of their DAW. The last mix project I worked on the recording engineer used Logic, did that very simply and I had zero issues importing and lining up all the files.

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Wed May 06, 2015 8:38 am

Good advice so far.

A couple things I've done:

-stay organized. Artist file - song file sub-folders, plus additional sub folders for alternate takes.

-reset all volume levels to unity & pan levels to center. nothing like mixing a pre-mixed song.

-make sure you are exporting a mono track. it's a pain for them to import stereo tracks then have to split & delete everything that's unused

-make stems of elements you think would work the final mix. For example: you record a mid side guitar track....maybe help a brother out by setting it up proper with a m/s decoder for playback and print a stem. if he has those along with the the raw tracks, it's always good for reference.

-print your effects that are essential to the mix. re-amped tracks, etc. that way they have them...they can always decide not to use them.

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supafuzz
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of course

Post by supafuzz » Mon May 11, 2015 6:09 am

Of course the tracks will line up when going back into the host software, Your mixer is using another software. Length of tracks does not matter.
Start from zero does.
If you have a 1 minute solo that starts at 2:02 in the song there has to be 2:02 of silence connected to it so that particular track has to be 3:02 including the silence and the solo all connected and starting from zero.
I've put plenty of sound jigsaw puzzles together and it's not fun and costs the client lots of $$.
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Osumosan
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Post by Osumosan » Mon May 11, 2015 7:18 am

Recycled_Brains wrote: Does Logic not have a consolidate function?

Bouncing every track in real time would make me want to throw myself out the window. :wink:
Yes. Export All Tracks as Audio Files: Cmd Shift E. Of course this only works if you are not using any outboard processing, in which case, yes, you have to bounce in real time.

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tjcasey1
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Post by tjcasey1 » Mon May 11, 2015 8:49 am

If you're using Digital Performer, put a bit of blank audio at the beginning of each track, select everything, and choose "merge soundbites" (don't worry - it doesn't merge them all into one big file, it just merges all the little bits and pieces on each track into smooth continuous files).

DP will create new soundbites that all begin at zero. It won't change their recorded levels at all; it won't go through the mixer first, and it won't include any effects you've added while doing your own mix.

AND if you look in the audio files folder and sort by date, all the files you want to send to the engineer will be at the top of the list and named according to their track names.

DP will also "bounce" files, but those files will have locked in their levels on the mixing board as well as any effects you've added.

Hopefully all DAWs do something like this. It's cleaner and quicker than bouncing them one at a time.

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