1. Exporting your files:

  • If you recorded in Pro Tools:

I work in Pro Tools so if you recorded your project in Pro Tools, simply tidy up the session, name the channels & session files sensibly, bounce down any software instruments that I don’t also have on my system, zip into one folder and “wetransfer” it to alwynmix AT gmail DOT com. Don’t forget to include reference material so I know what kind of results you’re hoping for!

  • If you used a different DAW:

Please follow the instructions below: (it MAY be possible to export your project as an OMF file which I could open but it’s worth trying one first as it doesn’t always work) NOTE: Youtube is a great resource for advice on exporting your files from your DAW - but please read the instructions below first…

File Types & Resolution

I prefer to be sent WAV files at the same bit depth and sample rate that they were recorded at.

WAVS Starting together

Please ensure all the WAVs start at the same time. In Pro Tools the process of glueing silence to the start of some of the channels whose WAVS don’t begin at the very start is called consolidation. In most other DAWs you have to bounce or export each individual track. This all ensures that when imported into Pro Tools all the WAVS play their parts in the right places. Otherwise the screen looks like Tetris on its side.

Naming Tracks / WAVs

One pet hate of the mix engineer is for all the WAVS to be named “song name - channel name” as they all display identically in Pro Tools and all need to be renamed. Please ensure the channels are named basically (kick, snare, vox etc…) and/or descriptively (end solo, end solo harmony etc…). One thing that’s particularly nice is to name the overhead drum mics (commonly OHL, OHR) based on their proximity to hihat and other elements of the kit (giving you OHhats and OHride for example) Same with room mics.

Soft Synths / Plug-in Instruments

Whatever DAW you’re using please ensure you supply your MIDI tracks / Instrument tracks as Stereo Audio. Feel free to include the MIDI as well just in case that’s of use to the Mix Engineer.

Effects

For a hiphop album I was mixing I was given (for each song) a folder full of dry WAV files (with no fx) and another folder where each WAV had its fx printed into it. I was able to start with the WAVs that had the producer’s effects on but when necessary I was able replace that WAV with a cleaner/dryer one from the other folder. If this is too complicated for you, please at least supply tracks that have delays / distortion with a dry version as well as the effected version.

Youtube links for exporting stems:

I’m not saying these are the best videos to show you how to export stems from each DAW, I’d suggest watching several but these will get you started. PLEASE REMEMBER TO STICK TO MY GUIDES ABOVE.

Pro Tools: Just send me the session after making sure the tracks are properly named!

Logic X: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWM-zM1J8M

Cubase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5sDE-kCzRs

Reaper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJQxJBemmRE

FL Studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAq1WSpc1hg

Ableton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmpHjZ8A3Yw

Reason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfxm30PFtXw

Digital Performer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AfhUb9Ryhw

Bitwig Studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEEKmbUAnX4

Mixcraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nPeDg_2ugw

 2. I quote for the project

As explained on the “How I Mix” page, in order to establish the amount of work required for a mix I need to see a copy of the stems.

Obviously, the more tracks in a project, the lower the cost per track.

 3. CLIENT PAYS DEPOSIT

To engage my services a payment of 50% of the agreed total must be made, with the second payment of 50% before handover of the high resolution files.

On longer projects I may request 3 payments (50% deposit, 25% mid-project, 25% on completion)

 4. I do my first mix

I will send an mp3 of Mix 1 (bounced through basic mastering style limiting so I name it “mix 1 quickmaster mp3”) to the client’s email. This mix is for auditioning only and is not for commercial use.

 5. Client Sends Feedback

To avoiding time wasting and miscommunication, I will ONLY accept

  • One List of changes per mix

  • Each list to be agreed by all band members

  • by email

Please ensure the list is complete before sending to avoid wasting Alwyn’s time.

 6. REPEAT STEPS 4 & 5

With all my experience and equipment I’m confident in my ability to make you happy. As a result a theoretically unlimited number of mix changes is included in the quoted price.

I want you to be proud to release the mix(es), it’s your music after all.

NOTE: If a very specific part or effect is requested to be added it may be more appropriate for the artist/producer to create it and send it to me for inclusion.

 7. Client Pays Balance

Balance is due after approval of the final mixes which until full payment will be either limited MP3s or full resolution files with voxengo beeper throughout the tracks. I accept Bitcoin, Bank Transfers and Paypal. Paypal is my least favourite as it costs me 3% unless you mark the payment as a gift…)

Please include the artist name in the payment reference to help me know who the payment is from.

 8. i Send hi rez files

Once the total is paid, the files belong to the you the client.

The client is free to use the stems and pro tools sessions in any way they choose.

I’ll happily email Pro Tools Sessions and/or stems from my mix sessions. Don’t leave it too long after the job is completed to ask me for the files, I don’t promise to keep a copy of the project for longer than a month after it’s complete.

Note On Credits

  • Physical releases:

A “mixed by alwynthemixengineer.com” credit is perfect for the mixing

additional strings/percussion/guitar by Alwyn Walker” for additional parts if kept

  • Online (Youtube etc…)

A hyperlink in the credit to www.alwynthemixengineer.com would be really appreciated.

Like this: Mixed by Alwyn Walker

additional strings/percussion/guitar by Alwyn Walker” for additional parts if kept

Don’t forget to credit everyone else, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it as much as me!

Alwyn

NOTE ON MASTERING

I have always been of the opinion that it’s usually best to leave the mastering to a separate engineer.

In the same way that it’s a risky thing for artists to produce and/or mix themselves because they’re perhaps a bit too close to the music, I feel I would lack the objectivity that a fresh ear can bring to a project. I believe this so much in fact that I’m willing to potentially lose out on some business by suggesting that I don’t do the mastering myself. I’m technically able but I HIGHLY recommend MSB mastering. My brother Darrell and I have worked closely in this way for nearly 15 years and I not only value his technical abilities but also his feedback and judgement calls. Many mastering engineers who are otherwise perfectly competent seem to lack a musical ear when it comes to the final dynamic compression and limiting of the music. Darrell always seems to get it just right.