Ready to Mix?

Follow these steps to save time and budget and get great results. Any questions, we are here for you.

I. A GREAT MIX STARTS WITH A GREAT RECORDING.
RECORD all tracks at 24bit, 48k or 96k for theatrical release (or 44.1k or 88.2k for CD release). Aim for AVERAGE recording levels no higher than -22dBFS to -18dBFS. Be sure no track peaks higher than -3dBFS at any point.

STORE all tracks as WAV or AIFF files – no MP3s or other compressed formats. Avoid sample rate conversions at all cost!

LISTEN FOR NOISE AND DISTORTION and avoid compression! Keep your levels MODEST with tons of headroom so we can get you the mix you want.

II. PREPARE YOUR AUDIO TRACKS
Remember, MIXING is not PRODUCTION. Your tracks should be clean, tight, and organized before we get them.

DISABLE ALL STANDARD PLUG-INS (EQ, COMP, GATE, VERB, DEL, CHORUS, etc.). KEEP ANY PLUG-INS USED FOR SPECIAL EFFECT. If there is an effect you like (like an amp sim or reverb), we don’t need the dry track, just your version. Not sure? Give us both dry and effected tracks.

ZERO OUT ALL AUX/SEND ROUTING LEVELS. Or just delete typical AUX/SEND channels for now.

ALL TRACKS MUST BEGIN AT THE SAME START TIME. Set your LEFT LOCATOR to zero on the timeline. Set your RIGHT LOCATOR to the end point of the longest track.

These are rough guidelines. When you become a STELLAR CLIENT, we provide an exact step-by-step for the best possible mixing experience!

III. EXPORT YOUR TRACKS.
OUTPUT ALL TRACKS as mono or stereo, at 24- or 32-bit, at the session’s actual sample rate (e.g. 44.1kHz). Upsampling at this stage will NOT help the mix! However, upsampling CAN improve some virtual instruments & guitar amp simulators; if you are using these, contact us about exporting these tracks.

Use a FILE NAMING structure that is CONSISTENT and MAKES SENSE to someone seeing the tracks for the first time. Rename any auto-generated filenames.

Be EXTRA CLEAR in labeling tracks and getting the session ORGANIZED. YOU are familiar with your sequence, but WE are seeing it for the first time. Missing or wrong tracks, or extra time trying to decipher unorganized sessions will incur extra costs, billed hourly.

POST FILES TO A CLOUD SERVICE (Gdrive, icloud, yousendit.com) and send us a link. Or you can send us a thumbdrive or DATA CD/DVD (not audio cd!). Contact us.

IV. AND FINALLY.
Please provide us with your BEST ROUGH MIX of each tune.

Also provide us 2-3 commercial songs as REFERENCES and tell us what you like about them.

You can upload single files on our website here. For mixing jobs and larger files, please post your tracks to any cloud service (e.g. yousendit.com) and have it send us a link at [email protected] Or if you really want to, you can send us a thumbdrive or DATA CD/DVD (not audio cd!) with your files, contact us for details.

V. WE CAN ALSO MIX FROM STEMS.
If you prefer to keep your own instrument balances, you can choose to give us stems (group track exports) instead of individual tracks. It’s the same fee for us to mix from stems, but it allows you to retain control over your balances. Just know that mixing from stems gives us less control over the finished mix. Typically we get 10-20 stem files. Each should be 24-bit or 32-bit STEREO tracks. SEND AS MANY STEREO STEMS AS YOU LIKE. Examples:

SUB (urban/EDM only)
KICK
SNARE
REST OF ACOUSTIC DRUMS
CYMBALS / OVERHEADS / ROOM
PERCUSSION LOW FREQ
PERCUSSION HIGH FREQ
ELECTRONIC DRUMS LOW FREQ
ELECTRONIC DRUMS MID FREQ
ELECTRONIC DRUMS HIGH FREQ
BASS
GUITAR TRACKS DRY
GUITAR EFFECTS
KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTS
HORNS
STRINGS
SYNTHS DRY
SYNTH EFFECTS
OTHER INSTRUMENTS
SOUND FX
BKGD VOCALS
LEAD VOCALS

V. EXAMPLE OF A PERFECT SESSION
A Gdrive folder full of ZIPs or individual stereo 24-bit WAV files, of your first song only. These files all begin at the same point on the timeline, most of them are around -18dBFS RMS and they would never dream of peaking above 3dBFS. All guitar, drum, etc. tones are dialed in and there aren’t any alternate track versions. You’ve triple-checked that all tracks are present and none are missing.

IF YOUR TRACKS NEED PRODUCTION HELP, things like session organization, tuning, time stretching, arrangement, etc. are “EXTRA SERVICES” and are billed hourly.

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