FAQs

Below are answers to some of the more common questions people have regarding the mix process, and what to expect. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please feel free to ask me using the form at the bottom of the page.

Technical Questions.

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY FILES FOR THE MIX?

I use Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Nuendo to mix. If you have created your project in any of these DAW’s you can just send me a copy of your project session and I will import it into my system.

It’s worth checking first for compatibility between systems.

When creating a copy of the session to send on please make sure it includes all the audio including any software instruments.

Even if the session loads correctly on your computer, it might be missing files when you send it to me. Obviously, if you send a session to be mixed but it is missing some or all the audio files, it will cause the mix session to grind to a halt.

This is a common problem when sending sessions, because many DAW’s can references files outside of the session folder. For example, if you imported audio from another session, your DAW might be referencing the original files, instead of copying them into your session folder.

If you are using any other DAW, then you will need to bounce out your individual tracks as .wav or .aiff files. I prefer 24bit .wav files, but if you are already using another format, that’s fine. Consult the user documentation for your DAW for explicit instructions for bouncing tracks.

When you bounce your tracks, please bring the faders to unity gain (0). If your faders are very low, the resulting bounced files will also have a very low volume. Also, please remove all effects such as eq, compression, reverbs or delays. The only exception to this is if it is an effect that is an integral part of the sound. When in question, just bounce two copies of the sound, one with the effect and one without.

If you are using any software instruments please bounce these down as .wav files as in the instructions above.

Most importantly, make sure each audio file is bounced from the beginning of the session, even if that means there is blank space. This way, everything will line up correctly when I import the files.

If you bounce your .wav files from Logic, Cubase, or any other DAW, you might want to convert stereo files to mono whenever they contain mono sounds. This will save time and bandwidth in the transfer, and make sure all the files are in the correct format.

HOW SHOULD I SEND YOU MY FILES?

You can send me your files using a file share company, such as dropbox or we transfer. You can use this to easily send me your project files via the internet. I recommend compressing the files into a single zip file.

Procedure Questions.

DO YOU OFFER MASTERING?

Yes, I do for any Digital release but not for Vinyl release. I can supply any digital format you may require.

DO YOU OFFER PITCH CORRECTION, VOCAL EDITING, DRUM TIMING, ETC.?

The short answer to this is, I do anything and everything that the mix requires to make it the best it can be. If I must spend a considerable amount of time correcting things then that would have an impact on my costing to you. Many online mixing studios have different mix packages that range from simple level and panning all the way up to a full-service professional mix. With me, the only thing I offer is a top-of-the-line, full mix package that includes any technique that is required to make your mix sound the best it can be.

The only exception to this is if musical parts need to be added. That is more of a production job, rather than mixing. So, if you want an additional guitar part, or a keyboard line, etc., then please work that out and have it done before you send it to me or in some cases I could accommodate the recording at my own studio at an extra cost.

DO YOU OFFER REVISIONS?

The short answer is, to a point.

Revisions, usually a couple, are included in the price. Once the final mixes are printed and the session is backed up, the project is completed. After that, if you discover anything that you want to change or revise, this is charged at a nominal hourly rate. I keep backups of all sessions indefinitely.

Because of this, please review your mixes carefully and make sure everything is perfect before you sign off and approve the mixes.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE MY MIX?

Obviously, every project has a lot of variables, such as number of songs, complexity of each mix, and many others. Also, my schedule varies greatly, depending on my workload, so I can’t give a definite timeframe. But I will say that people are usually surprised at how quickly they receive their first draft of the mix. For one song, most times you are looking at a 2-3 day turnaround time, at other times it might take 7-10 days due to backlog of other work.

We will discuss your deadline when you book the mix, and if you need it quicker, I will always try to accommodate you, but please let me know up front.

WHAT MIXES WILL I RECEIVE?

The standard mix packages consist of the following:

For music clients, my basic mix package consists of the following mixes:

  • Main Mix (mastered – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Main Mix (not mastered – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Instrumental Mix (no vocals – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Acapella Mix (vocal mix only – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Backing Track Mix (no lead vocals – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)

For post-production clients, my basic mix package consists of the following mixes:

  • Main Mix (mastered – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Main Mix (not mastered – any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Music and Effects Only Mix (any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Music Only Mix (any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Sound Effects Only Mix (any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)
  • Dialogue Mix (any sample rate / 24bit or 16bit / .wav file)

Of course, every song or project is different, some mixes might not be necessary, or you may have other requirements. Feel free to discuss these needs with me when booking your mix, so I can arrange to deliver any additional mixes you may need.

WILL MY MIX BE PERFECT THE FIRST TIME OUT?

Sometimes that does happen, but other times it requires a couple revisions before it is everything you want it to be. That’s one of the reasons why I offer revisions, because I want you to be comfortable knowing that I will make sure you are 100% happy with your mix before we consider it finished.

The great Bruce Swedien famously tells a story about mixing Billie Jean for Michael Jackson. He says that he did 91 mixes of the song, and finally Quincy Jones asked to listen to the earliest mixes. They ended up using mix number 2 on the album, because it was more spontaneous, had more energy, and blew away the later mixes, gut reaction means a lot.

The important thing is, if you get your first mix back and it’s not exactly what you want, fear not. While I love it when a client tells me that the first mix is perfect and exactly what they wanted, I understand that sometimes there are things that need to be changed. It’s all a part of the process, and it is all included in my mix package.

Payment Questions.

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY UP FRONT?

People are generally nervous about sending money over the internet to someone they don’t know, and this is perfectly understandable. I have many clients who know that I am trustworthy, and gladly pay at the same time they send the session files. I can’t expect everyone to be comfortable doing this on the first session, so I have a very simple procedure to make sure everyone is ok with the transaction.

If you prefer, you can pay half up front, at the time your files are transferred. If you choose this method, then when I send your reference mix, it will simply have a few short dropouts throughout the song. This simply ensures that the mix is not suitable for distribution, and can’t be used for any purpose other than referencing the mix. The dropouts will be short enough that you will still get a sense of the quality of the mix, and be able to make any suggestions for adjustments to the mix.

Once you are satisfied that the mix is 100% perfect, simply make the remaining payment. I will then bounce full required mixes, without the dropouts.

WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?

I know this isn’t really an answer, but I can’t advertise my prices online as each project will differ. I will say my rates are what would be considered “mid-range” for professional mixes. Although I have mixed for major label artists with major label budgets, I have created this website to bring that same quality and experience to artists who are working with a more realistic budget.

Please Request a Quote by filling out the form, giving me as much information as possible about your project. I will then contact you ASAP and we can work together to devise a plan that meets your needs and budget.

At the end of the day, I’m willing to help any way I can. If you have questions but aren’t ready to start your project yet, feel free to contact me. If I can help steer you in the right direction now, it could help save you time and money in the long run.

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

When I begin your project, I will generate an invoice and email it to you. You can do a bank transfer, or if you are in the London area, and you wish to come and meet me, you can pay via cash.

 

Miscellaneous questions.

WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO LOCATED?

My studio is in Thames Ditton, Surrey. U.K. but through the wonder of the Internet, I can work with clients and artists all over the world.

 

Not found your answer?

I try my best to be as clear and straightforward when dealing with your questions. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please feel free to ask using the form below.

 

…….Bill transcends the job description. He gives life to sound and genuinely adds another dimension to whatever he commits to working on. Unique…….

Kevin Hewitt – Director/Writer at Freelance.