Joe Carrell

Mix / Recording Engineer

 

Preparing your song(s) for mix


The following guidelines will help make certain that your mix session starts on time, runs smoothly, and is right the first time.


1) I mix exclusively using Pro Tools software here at MoJoeMix studio.  Any tape based format must be converted before I can begin (contact me if you need references to handle this conversion).  If your sessions are in any other digital system or DAW (Nuendo, Logic, Radar, etc.) you'll need to export and, if necessary, consolidate each file making certain they all have the same starting point.  Please check all edits and cross fades before bouncing/consolidating files.  Also, make certain to by-pass any processing (eq, reverb, etc.) prior to bouncing.  I need the "raw" audio files (see No. 5 for important exceptions).


2)  I can receive your files on hard drive, dvd, internet, etc.  However, there are a few things to note:

  1. Physical Media - Please label your drives or discs clearly with any relevant artist, producer, titles, sample rate, bit depth info.  If numerous other projects or titles are also on the drive, make certain that the one(s) I am to work on are clearly labeled somehow (a "For Joe C" folder works great).  Before sending a hard drive, please make certain that a "backup" exists elsewhere.   

  2. Internet - Various options exist, but my personal FTP site is a good way to exchange large numbers of files over the internet.  It is easy to use and very secure requiring user names and passwords to gain access.  If you are unfamiliar with FTP and don't have the needed software client, inexpensive and even free options are readily available on the web.  My recommendations are listed under the FTP heading on my links page.  Lastly, it is preferable that sessions/files be "zipped" prior to uploading.


3)  Before sending me your Pro Tools sessions, please confirm that all audio files are actually inside the "Audio Files" folder for that session. It's not uncommon to get sessions where some of the files were being written to or accessed from a different hard drive (usually the DAW's system drive) and are now missing.  A quick easy way to check is by opening the drop down menu inside the regions bin and selecting "show full path".  All files paths/names should begin with the name of the same hard drive you are working from. 


4) Within Pro Tools, getting clearly named consolidated audio files definitely gets the mix up and running quicker.  It is important though that all cross fades are checked prior to consolidation.  If there are any questionable punches, leave the un-consolidated track in a playlist.


5)  While I have a huge selection of plug-ins available, it's impossible to get them all.  If you are using a particular plug-in for a vital sound or special effect, print it and give me both the original and "affected" versions.  Please label them accordingly (example: Keys FX and Keys No FX).


6)  If there has been any sub-mixing of instrument groups to lower track counts, please make certain that all the pre-mixed individual tracks are included as well.


7)  Any track sheets, chord/number charts, key/tempo info, lyric sheets are always helpful. 


8)  Please include a copy of any working or rough mix that exists.  Additionally, If there are any particular reference mixes from other artists that you want me to hear or even emulate, those could be included as well (it'll save $ on my itunes account!).


9)  I typically remove any existing Pro Tools automation before beginning the mix, so footnote any vital automation (i.e. mutes, "auto" panning)  in the track comments section or in separate mix notes.  If you know for certain there are vocal lines or inst. fills you don't want in the mix, but you don't want to delete them forever, the most effective way is either the "mute regions" command or by playlisting.