Preparing Your Song(s) for Professional Mixing or Mastering

Discussion in '2488 and DP-24/32 Digital Portastudios' started by Mark Richards, Jan 3, 2022.

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  1. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2017
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    From:
    Somewhere Near Nashville
    Gear:
    DP-24, 40-4 MTR, M3 Mixer
    Generally recognized considerations when sending tracks or a final stereo mix for processing.

    CONSIDERATIONS COMMON TO BOTH MIXING AND MASTERING
    Discuss with your audio engineer:
    • The sample rate, bit rate, dBFS level, and file format that the audio engineer requires to work with your song.
    • Any other information the audio engineer requires to work with your song (or album) for final stereo mixdown or for mastering.
    • Your song's music genre, the type of “sound” that you’re hoping to achieve, etc.
    • Your target audience (audiophiles, casual listeners, etc.) and distribution method (CD; MP3; download/streaming service; indy label; etc.).
    When you send your tracks or final stereo mix, also provide the audio engineer with a document file containing:
    • Your contact info
    • Song title and basic production information, e.g., track sheets, notes, etc.
    • Tempo, key, timecode settings, etc.
    • The song lyrics
    • If making an album, the album's song order, desired cross-fades, transition time between songs, etc.
    • Anything else you think it's important for the audio engineer to know, e.g., important metadata (artist, producer, etc.)
    FOR TRACKS GOING TO AN AUDIO ENGINEER FOR MIXING
    • Record your tracks dry. Only exception: FX gear essential to the initial sound of your instrument(s)
    • Fix your song's technical problems and issues prior to sending it out for mixdown.
    • Use EQ, compression, and limiting very sparingly, if at all. Leave those decisions to the audio engineer doing your mix
    • Consolidate your tracks by exporting them to Audio Depot (see last section of this post)
    • Number and name your exported tracks, e.g., 01-Bass; 02-Lead Vox, etc.
    FOR A FINAL STEREO MIX GOING TO AN AUDIO ENGINEER FOR MASTERING
    • Fix your mix's technical problems and issues prior to sending it out for mastering.
    • Use track FX, EQ, compression, and limiting in moderation during the mixdown process
    • Don't apply EQ, compression, limiting, normalization or dithering to the final 2-track stereo mix going to the mastering engineer (e.g., on a DP-24/32/SD, don’t use the Mastering tools)
    • Ask the mastering engineer if you should provide individual tracks - e.g. the vocals; a specific instrument - for use by the audio engineer if needed during mastering
    HOW TO EXPORT TRACKS ON A DP-24/32/SD

    ON YOUR DP-24/32/SD:
    • Place your DP-24/32/SD in Multitrack Mode
    • Press MENU, highlight AUDIO DEPOT
    • Press the F4 button to open the DP-24/32/SD Audio Depot folder
    • Press the F2 button to enter Export mode
    • Use the F2 button and the Cursor Down Button to select tracks for export
    • Press the F4 button, then the F2(YES) button to initiate the file export process
    • When the export is completed, press the F1 button to return to the Audio Depot folder
    • Confirm the Audio Depot Folder contains the exported files
    • Press the Home button to return to multiteack mode
    • Turn off your DP-24/32/SD
    CONNECT YOUR DP-24/32/SD AND YOUR COMPUTER:
    • With your DP-24/32/SD OFF, connect your DP24/32/SD to your computer using the supplied USB cable.
    • Turn on your DP-24/32/SD
    • Press Menu/USB/F4/F2(Yes) to connect the DP-24/32/SD and the computer
    ON YOUR COMPUTER:
    • OPEN the root folder of the removable DP-24/32/SD drive (if not already open)
    • OPEN the Audio Depot Folder
    • CREATE a folder on your computer using your ‘songname’ as the title
    • OPEN the ‘songname’ folder on your computer
    • COPY(or MOVE) the exported files from the DP-24/32/SD Audio Depot Folder to the ‘songname’ folder on your computer
    • Follow your computer’s required procedure to disconnect it from your DP-24/32/SD
    ON YOUR DP-24/32/SD:
    • After disconnecting from the computer, Press the F2(YES) button to close the link between your DP-24/32/SD and your computer
    • Turn off your DP-24/32/SD
    • Disconnect the USB cable from your computer
    • Disconnect the USB cable from your DP24/32/SD
    ON YOUR COMPUTER:
    • RENAME the individual exported audio files so your audio engineer can easily identify the content (e.g., 01-Bass; 02-Lead Vox; etc.)
    • Provide the renamed audio files (and your documentation file) to your audio engineer in the manner required (e.g., via upload to a cloud account)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
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