jrmasteringsmall

prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

Surprisingly, many clients don't know what mixing is.  I will address that first. 

Mixing is individual tracks (vocals, bass, guitar, etc.) mixed together to make a complete song (single stereo interleaved file).   Mastering involves working with a complete song (single stereo interleaved file).  

 

{article 253}[layout]{/article}

 

Here are a few tips on how to prepare your songs for mixing:

1. We do not work with pro tools or cubase sx session files, only .wav or .aiff files.

2. You have to export each channel as a .wav file or .aiff, 44.1 or 48kHz and preferably 24bit, starting at the beginning of the song all the way to the end.

3. Do not go over 0 level and clip any of your tracks.

 

Your stereo tracks should look something like this.

wav3

 

NOT like this, over level and DISTORTED.

wav5

 

4. When recording vocals, use minimal compression, and bass roll off (Hi pass @ 100hz).  We don't want them smashed or super bright.

5. Vocal control is probably more important than compression.  If the vocalist mumbles through the verses and then screams +10db louder in the choruses, with their mouth 1/2 inch from the mic, no compressor can fix that.

6. If your vocal tracks are all over the map from a volume level standpoint, they need to be smoothed out.  Do a visual of the vocal tracks, highlight the offending areas, and then gain (or cut) as necessary.  Compression will also help.

7. Should you export your tracks with effects?  If you have a favorite guitar distortion effect, a unique flange or chorus you really like that you KNOW you must have in the song, export the track with the effect on it.  These effects don't take up that much space in the mix.  If it's a huge reverb or delay, leave that to us.  Once you put these space eating effects in, we're stuck with them and it limits what we can do. 

8.  EQing and hi-low pass filtering tracks are fine, but not to extremes.  If you were to high pass filter your vocals @500hz, they'll all be too bright and useless.  Also, you eliminate the bass so it can't be boosted if needed.

9. Stereo tracks, like synths, should be uploaded as stereo interleaved files, not L & R mono files.  We can split them if needed.  Note: If we split the track, it still counts as one track when it comes to pricing.

10. Listen closely to every track for noise.  If there's a hiss, something could be boosted too high.

11. If any tracks are too noisy and you can't eliminate it, noise gate the track.  Make sure to add a little extra release time so you don't cut off the audio tails.

12. You do not need to fade out each track.  We will fade the entire song at the end.

13. Limit your instrumentation with space in mind.  If your song has five guitars and three synths, all playing different melodies at the same time, its not going to work.  It may be correct melodically, but it will sound like a train-wreck when all playing together, leaving no room for the vocals either.  This is why no one ever does this!  

14. Most important, make sure when your tracks are exported and start at 0:00, they're all in sync.  If even one track is early or late, its a time consuming process moving it up and back.

15. Make sure you check out my low mastering prices and AMAZING results!!

The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing
prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

Read more ...
Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

Read more ...
The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

Read more ...
Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

Read more ...
Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

Read more ...
John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

Read more ...
Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

Read more ...
Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

12 why need audio mastering

Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

Read more ...
Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

Read more ...
What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

Read more ...
Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?

 

Read more ...
Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.  Read more....
 
Read more ...
My First Music Video!

Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

Read more ...
Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

Read more ...
What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

2 software for audio mastering

If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.  Read more....

 

Read more ...
Mastering Compression Techniques

This video shows one of the more imptotant compression techniques I use in audio mastering.  In my audio Mastering Secrets Video Series, I explain everything you need to know about audio mastering.

 

Read more ...
#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

Read more ...
What's The Vibrato And Tremolo Definition In Music | Differences Between Tremolo And Vibrato

The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences.  But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.

 

Read more ...
Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music

Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music.  When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!

 

Read more ...
How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

 

Read more ...
Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

Read more ...
What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

Read more ...
Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

6 best room size for audio mastering

So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio?  Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.  But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.  I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.  It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.

 

Read more ...
Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

Read more ...
Go to top