If there's anything that you're unsure about that is not is covered here on the FAQ page, then please don't hesitate to contact me anytime via email using the following address - firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll come back to you as soon as I can.
There isn't any real difference between 'Online Mixing' and 'Normal Mixing' per se – in fact the process of Mixing doesn't change at all whether you book a studio close to where you live or whether you send your files to a Mix Engineer on the other side of the world ! - I suppose the main differences and key benefits of getting your tracks mixed by www.themixbasement.com over the traditional method of hunting down a suitable local studio, are those of Flexibility, Versatility and Deliverability.
Flexibility – In the sense that I will do my utmost to realise the full potential of your mixing project to suit your preferred timescale, deadline and budget.
Versatility – In the fact that I can accommodate and deliver professional high quality mixes for almost any genre.
Deliverability – Where delivering your mixes is both quick and convenient – from initially receiving and downloading your multi-tracks and sessions to sending through all of your final hi-res mixes and versions via a secure dropbox link.
My DAW of choice is Pro Tools – So if you're also using Pro Tools you can simply upload a copy of your session folder to the secure dropbox folder link that I will provide once we have signed off our working terms and conditions agreed in our initial consultation. Alternatively, just follow the process laid out below :
Go through and name each Track in your session with a relevant name (e.g. - Kick In, Kick Out, Snare Top, Snare Bottom, Bass Gtr Mic, Bass Gtr DI, Rhythm Gtr 1, Rhythm Gtr 2, Lead Gtr, Keys, Lead Vox, Backing Vox etc etc)
Consolidate (or Bounce To Disk) each Track so that every audio file starts at Bar 1 and plays as one continuous audio file from Bar 1 until the very end of the song (Tip – its a good idea to ensure all of the audio files are exactly the same length – running from Bar 1 or 00:00:00:00 to the very end of the song). This simply ensures that all audio tracks start and finish at exactly the same time in the DAW Arrange Page and that all audio files stay bang in 'sync' with no timecode or timeline issues !
Once all the tracks are named and consolidated (bounced to disk) – Simply save the files in their original file format and at their original sample frequency and bit depth – For example : 48KHz 24bit WAV files or 96KHz 24bit AIFF files etc. Also try and make sure that all files are exported or saved as Multiple Mono Files and Not Stereo Interleaved. I would also strongly advise that you leave all of the audio 'unprocessed' – i.e. without any effects printed to the respective tracks. So for example – The Lead Vocal file should be completely dry with no delay or reverb on the vocal stem itself. Also please ensure that you avoid adding any unnecessary level adjustments, normalisation, fades, limiting, noise shaping or dithering to any of the audio. However, if you really love an effect that you have created – then please by all means 'PRINT' the effects to a separate audio track and send that for me to include in the mix. Please submit any relevant 'key signature' information and details of each songs tempo / bpm if recorded to a click or any other timing reference. If you have recorded a (pre-pedal board) DI signal for either a Bass Guitar or any of your Electric Guitars – then please include that 'CLEAN DI' signal – especially if you have used any Amp Sims or Plugins to get the initial guitar sound in your DAW. This just gives me the option to 'Re-amp' the DI signal to enhance the original Bass and Guitar tones if needs be. Finally – If at all possible - Please include a 'rough mix' as a stereo file for me to listen to – This will give me an idea of what you've been trying to achieve at the production and recording stages.
I use a 'Secure' DropBox Business Account here at The Mix Basement – So I will send you a link to your own 'Upload Folder' and all you have to do then is follow the link and drag and drop your session folder, tracks and / or audio files to that folder ... It really is that simple ! Alternatively, you can send me a flash drive with your tracks on and once the project is complete – I will send you the mixes digitally, before backing up all of your files to the drive provided and 'securely' sending / returning the drive back to you.
A Unique Selling Point of The Mix Basement is the pricing structure, which centres on a bespoke customer focussed 'Price Per Project' policy. This is why contacting me here and requesting a 'Free Consultation' is so essential, as this is where we can discuss and outline all of your project needs and requirements, including your budget, how many tracks you need mixing, timescale and deadline date, influences, style and listening references etc. This also allows us to agree on a price for the whole project before we start – eliminating the chance of any unnecessary hidden extras or additional costs arising later down the line. A price for the entire project is agreed and thats it !
All I ask once you are set to 'go ahead', is that you pay 50% of the agreed project price in advance to firmly commit the session to the diary and secure the booking. The remaining 50% of the balance will then need to be paid when all of the mixes have been completed and you're completely happy with the results. At this point, I will send you a final invoice to conclude proceedings and as soon as the balance is received I will immediately deliver all of the 'Hi-Res' mixes, versions and stems to you via a secure dropbox link – job done !
Invariably, most other 'Online Mixing' service providers will charge a flat rate per mix and include 1-3 recalls or mix tweaks per song as standard. Unfortunately, if you're still not quite happy with the results after 3 recalls, then having to re-book the studio time and mix engineer at an hourly rate to action any further changes, could start to become quite costly. Also, obtaining all alternative mix 'versions' such as 'Lead Vox up', Acapella's, Instrumentals, TV Mixes and / or any 'detailed stems' such as Drums, Bass, Guitars, Lead Vocals & Backing Vocals for example, may well incur additional costs !
This is why agreeing a 'Per Project Price' before any work is done is such a cool way of completely avoiding any such annoying hidden costs or extras !
Consequently, at www.themixbasement.com we offer all of the following (listed below) as standard :
A Free Consultation to discuss fully your project 'needs and wants; in detail - including timescale & deadline, budget considerations, influences and reference materials etc.
A First Draft Mix as a 'Client Reference' for you to listen to, assess, gauge progress, and feedback to me on.
Up to as many as 10 tweaks / recalls per mix for free. At this stage I will be working from detailed stems entirely ITB (In the Box) – So everything is easily recallable and 'tweak-able'. I'm sure we will have nailed the finest of mix nuances after a couple or recalls / mix tweak exchanges, but if by some bizarre reason we're still 'tweaking' by the 10th recall, it's only then that I will have to charge a nominal fee of £20 per hour to make any further changes or amendments.
All 'printed mix versions' for your reference and / or mastering engineer – such as Lead Vocal up , Instrumental, Acapella and TV Mix (Track + Backing Vocals only).
Detailed Stems – such as Drums (Including separate stems for Cymbals and Room Mics), Bass, Guitars, Keys, Lead Vocals (Dry & Wet) & Backing Vocals etc.
Mixing is a both a creative and technical process and ultimately the results very subjective – So sometimes spending 12 hours on a mix and expecting to absolutely nail it first time is in reality a shade optimistic. Although I will always do my utmost to accommodate your preferred timescale and deadline – It's not in anyone's interest if I compromise on the quality of the final mix. I firmly believe that the difference between a 'good mix' and a 'great mix' is attention to detail, thus I will mix in a focussed and efficient way – but if it takes more that 12 hours to mix one song to get it absolutely right – then so be it ! I don't see any reason for the band or artist to pay anymore than the agreed price outlined in our initial consultation.
I will deliver each mix to you digitally via 'Dropbox'. All 'listening' reference mixes that I send through to you in the first instance will be 44.1K 16bit CD quality. These mixes will have a touch of processing on the Mix Bus to make them more comparable in volume to a commercially mastered mix. Subsequently, each recall will be in the same format. Again, I must stress that these files are for your listening pleasure and scrutiny only and are not the 'Hi-Res' files that you will need to send to your mastering engineer. The Hi-Res files including all of your Hi-Res Mixes, Versions & Stems, will only be sent once you are totally happy with all of the final mixes and you have settled the final invoice. The Hi-Res files will be delivered at the sample rate of the session (48K, 96K, 192K etc) and at a bit depth of 32 bit floating point. I will also include both Split Mono and Stereo Interleaved versions – so your mastering engineer has a choice of 'pre-master' files to work from based on his / her preference.
Simply write them all down in an orderly list and email them to me asap with any additional thoughts, feedback and comments.
For example – The Bass needs to be louder at the beginning of the 2nd chorus running from 2mins 10 secs to 2mins 22 secs ….. Or The Lead Vocal needs to drop down in volume a bit in the Middle 8 section running from 2 mins 40 secs to 2mins 50 secs. There needs to be less reverb on the snare drum and tom toms overall etc etc.... Just write down a list of all the changes you want making and on what instrument or vocal etc and try and included a 'timecode / timeline' reference so I know exactly where the change should be made and how long it should last for.
A Recall is where I 'Recall' the latest version of the mix and start to apply / action all of the recent changes you have sent me in your 'feedback email' containing your orderly list of changes as shown in the above example. A 'Recall' is simply the process of me updating the mix with the changes you as the client have instructed me to make. It could be that you love the mix straight off the bat, so absolutely no recalls need to be actioned. However, its quite likely that a few tweaks will need to be made to satisfy everyone in the band so just list them and send them over …. As soon as I've made all of the suggested changes you've sent through – I'll print off another mix and send it over for you to have a listen. This 'Mix Tennis' shouldn't go on too long before we 'nail' a mix that we're all 100% delighted with.
Unfortunately, I am not a 'Mastering Engineer' – Mastering is a very 'specialist' skill and thus I tend to leave this process to the true professionals. I can definitely put you in touch with various excellent Mastering Engineers though... Grammy nominated and Multi-Platinum Engineers that I have worked with over the years and who all come highly recommended.
There are absolutely no additional costs or hidden extras throughout the whole project process. We will agree a price in our initial consultation and that will be the price you will pay - PERIOD !
The only additional cost will be if we end up going past Recall Number 10 !!! (Which is highly unlikely) – But if we are still 'Tweaking' after the tenth Recall – I will charge an hourly rate of £20.00 per hour to continue working on the track until its done.