PLANNING YOUR PROJECT: MIXING
When you've finished tracking your project, the next step is to move into mixing your work. Mixing can be difficult for artists - especially if this is your first time recording - because it's the most hands-off part of the process. It requires you to put some trust into the team you've picked to do the work. People are also surprised to learn that your budget for mixing should often be equal to, if not more than, the budget for tracking. To give you an idea of the amount of time you should budget for mixing, here's a very general guideline.
ACOUSTIC / JAZZ / CLASSICAL / DEMO
Half day per song
COUNTRY / ROCK / POP / FULL PRODUCTION
Full day per song
So, the big question is always: what gets done in a day? When we're working, we break the 'day' up into three parts.
Editing is a long process that is usually broken up into two parts: comping and tuning. Really generally, comping is taking the best parts of multiple takes and piecing them together into one perfect take. If you remember from our last post, we talked about the important of pre-production and practicing to a click. When you've recorded the tracks to a click its a lot easier to take any part from any take and piece them together seamlessly. Vocal tuning is exactly what it sounds like. It's carefully done so that your vocal tracks sound the best they possibly can (and not like T-Pain circa 2008).
The Mix Prep work is done by one of our assistant engineers. This is exactly what it sounds like. It's the time our assistants take to prepare the mix for the engineer so that when he pulls it up everything is organized and all he needs to focus on is the artistry of his mix.
Once the engineer begins mixing your project, there's quite a bit of back and forth. They will mix, send the artist the current version, receive notes, and edit. This will continue until the final listen through and the final mix tweaks. Once everyone is happy with the mix, the engineer will print the song(s) and they are ready to be mastered.
Now, like with tracking, these are not rules, but very general guidelines. Specific projects will look different. Full records can go a little bit faster than the rule because once the engineer gets a feel for the project he's able to get the achieve the sound they're looking for quicker. A single with lots of production elements might take a little longer to get everything to sound the best it possibly can. As always, the best thing to do is to contact us for more project-specific rates.