Mixing Sessions
Preparation Tips For Mixing At Digital Services

Getting The Best Mix For Your Project

Mixing can be defined in many ways, but for music it is defined as combining two or more separate recordings or microphone signals to make a single recording or composite signal. Today this can be done in many ways thanks to the advances in digital technology. At Digital Services we are capable of mixing in both the digital and analogue realms depending on the customer’s needs and budget. Often we will actually do a hybrid of the two to keep the major audio quality benefits of analogue while benefiting from the speed and ease of digital editing for the best of both worlds.

Mixing starts after the recording process and normally also includes the editing process. If your music was recorded with us, than you have nothing more to be prepared for other than bringing your (or your producers) artistic vision for how you would like your music to sound beyond our engineers interpretation. If you are bringing a session in to us that was prepared at another studio than we do have some tips to make sure we don’t have any problems. We run Pro-Tools 10 HD on a Mac Pro which can pretty much read any other pro-tools session. Make sure when you are copying your session to a DVD or External Hard Drive, you include the Audio Files folder and any other folders that your session may be pulling information from. If you are running any other audio program, please consolidate each track into its own audio file so that each audio file starts at the beginning of the session. With those files we can import your music into our computer. Before you leave, double check your DVD or Hard Drive to be sure your session will work when we put it in our computer.

A lot of times artists will obtain tracks from producers and record their own vocals on top of it. For the best possible mix-down from us, please try to get the tracked out version of song. This means that each instrument or part of an instrument has its own audio file (or track in a recording program such as Pro-Tools). Drums will usually be split up by Kick, Snare, Toms, Hi-Hat, Cymbals, Room Mics, Shakers, Bongos, and any other various types of percussive instruments that would be too long to list here. Guitars, Bass, Piano should also all have their own tracks. If you are given a song that is just one track (a single stereo file) this will not be sufficient for mixing, unless you are just doing a mix-tape project.

After the session is imported and pulled up into our computer we will begin to output tracks to our 48 channel SSL Mixing Console where each instrument might go under compression, gating, equalization, and various effects to make it sit in the mix properly. It will only take a couple hours at the most to get a general mix pulled up and then the creative mixing and editing process comes into account where the mix will be adjusted and tightened up for the final product before mastering. Mixing can create some pretty amazing results if done properly!

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