Once you’re done with your recording, here are a few things you want to do before sending your tracks for mixing. Read them carefully and it will save you hours of studio time:
- Levels: check all your tracks, they should be somewhere in between -18db and -10db RMS, within this range you’ll be in the ballpark! Do not exceed -10db
- Clean up: remove all your effects/Eq/compressors from both your track and master bus
- Song start: make sure to export each tracks from the same starting point, called “snap 0”. It doesn’t necessarily mean the very beginning of the session, could be bar 1, 2 or whatever you will choose as starting point
- Name your files: make your files easily recognizable for everyone and ideally include the song name first, then a cue for the instruments, i.e.: Songname_SnareTop, Songname_BassDI, Songname_Guitar1_mic2
- Formats: .WAV and .AIFF formats works fine, make sure to export your files all at the same sample rate and bit depth
- Additional informations: on a pdf you can include some useful informations regarding the recording session, like microphone techniques involved, instruments’ and amplifiers’ brand, models, outboard gear that has been used and so on. You also want to provide infos about song’s details, like the tempo, meter, keys and their own possible variations; that will speed up the mixing process a lot! You can put them in the .pdf file or provide them exporting a tempo track / MIDI file that will include all the real-time properties of your session.
- Getting organized: put them all on a single folder (do not send single files) and name it! If you have a rough mix of your recording session and this can include eq, compression and effects, you can include it on this folder, be sure to name it. You can also include a reference song that represents the kind od sound and style that you would like your song to sound like.
- Time for delivery: as you will notice the folder you’ve just created will be pretty large, so you can compress it (.zip or .rar archives works fine) or split the folder in 2 ore more parts. Once you are done you can use one of the following services WeTransfer, GoogleDrive or Dropbox to send them over.
It might seem like a lot of stuff to do but at least now you know how to do it and it will be much easier next time around!