Thank you for hiring me. These guidelines are in place because I prefer to spend your session time being creative instead of cleaning up a mess. Please understand these guidelines were written not to scold but to aid in client communication, production streamlining, proper data archival and ultimately, your enjoyment.
We have seen countless projects snafued by poor labeling and improper file management. By following these instructions, you will give me the ability to deliver the most exciting mixes possible under the tightest of timelines. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be part of your project.
Scott Eric Olivier
Los Angeles CA
General Guidelines: to ensure the best experience, these instructions should be followed exactly.
- I mix in Pro Tools 24bit sessions in .wav format only – do not send 16bit .wavs, mp3’s, .m4a or .aiff files. Any common sample rate between 44.1kHz and 192kHz is possible but be mindful of the voice count limits of each sampling rate listed below. For clarity, a single MONO track requires one voice and a single STEREO track requires two voices; e.g. 12 mono tracks and 7 stereo tracks = 26 voices.
44.1kHz & 48kHz = 192 voices max
88.2kHz & 96kHz = 96 voices max
176.4kHz & 192kHz = 48 voices max
- Sessions will be accepted via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Gobbler, USB 2/3.0 or FireWire 800 hard drives only. Zip Drives, DVD’s, CD-R’s, SCSI, SATA, eSATA, SAN, FIberDrive or detachable NAS drives are not acceptable without prior email verification. Thank you for understanding.
DISCLAIMER: Neither Scott Eric Olivier nor Casa Distortion, Inc is responsible for the longevity or reliability ofclient supplied media or hard drives.
- To help insure there are no delays on the scheduled mix day, it is essential that the Pro Tools files be received 48 hours prior to the session. If all files are not at Casa Distortion in Los Angeles, CA, 24 hours in advance, the song(s) will not be mixed and you will be charged for that day. If I am mixing your entire project, please indicate the order in which the songs are to be mixed. This gives me time to prepare the files and call you with questions. Remember, I’m here to give you the mixes you want; please help me help you.
- A rough mix must be sent along with the Pro Tools files. If the Rough Mix and the PT files don’t match exactly, please make a new Rough Mix. If for some reason you cannot make a current rough, a brief note should be included explaining the difference (i.e. “The song was re-sung” or “We re-recorded the drums”). If the arrangement is different and no explanation is given, I start to question whether or not you sent me the correct session.
*Please give the following instructions to your Pro Tools engineer*
Managing a session: Only one session should be sent for each title. It should be labeled “(Song Title) for SEO” No other sessions should be included. It should be notated clearly and correctly so there are no misunderstandings.
- All tracks and clips must be consolidated from BAR 1|1|000 or SMPTE 00:00:00.000 and All fades and crossfades MUST BE RENDERED – do not send any tracks with fade files. PARTS, TRACKS AND PLAYLISTS THAT ARE NOT TO BE USED MUST BE DELETED. Not hidden, not disabled, but deleted.
- When your tracks are consolidated (e.g. every single track starts at bar 1 or 00:00:00.000) select “Save Session Copy In” from the [FILE] menu and you will be prompted with a pop-up window that asks for instructions. When you see this window, select [Version PT 7-9] from the [session format] drop-down menu and tick the “All Audio Files” box to save a new session with audio files somewhere else in your local machine.
- Be sure to select “Delete All Unused Files” in this new session BEFORE giving it to me so I don’t have to sort through unwanted data.
- Open this new session to verify there are nomissing audio files. If audio files are missing, I will question the integrity of the entire session.
- Save an extra copy of the EXACT session you are giving me somewhere else in your computer so if I have any questions, you will be able to see EXACTLY what I am seeing if we discuss it over the phone. This session can also be used for record company archives.
Automation & Plug-Ins:
- Record any effects that are part of the song’s integrity; i.e. a guitar going through “NI Guitar Rig” or a vocal with an effect from an outboard hardware device.
- Save the unaffected original audio and be sure to CLEARLY LABEL that it was the unaffected audio in the Comments region AND on the waveform by labeling it [File Name] Before FX.
- Failure to do this may result in confusion and exclusion of the sound altogether.
- PLEASE NOTE: ALL automation must be removed from the session. This doesn’t mean disable the master automation preference, it means DELETE all volume moves, mutes, pans, plug-ins, busses and aux sends from the individual track channels. Building a song from raw tracks gives me a clear vision of what I need to do to give you the best possible mix.
ONCE AGAIN, PRINT ALL DESIRED EFFECTS, AMP SIMULATOR TONES, AUDIO FROM MIDI AND SOFTWARE SYNTHESIZER SOUNDS. IF YOU WANT A SPECIFIC EFFECT FROM A PLUGIN, AUX SEND OR HARDWARE DEVICE TO BE INCLUDED IN YOUR MIX, YOU MUST RECORD IT.
Track Labeling: Since there is no standard for this, I ask that you spend some time labeling the tracks so I don’t have to guess what they are. Following these suggestions will result better mixes at an overall lower rate.
- Vocal Tracks should be preceded by a “V”.
- Lead vocals should be labeled as “VLEAD VOX” not “Sara Vocal 5”.
- The same goes for doubles; label them “VLD VOX 2” not “Sara Vocal 6” or “SaraBkVx”
- Instrument Tracks should be preceded by a
- “B” for Bass,
- “G” for guitar,
- “K” for keyboards, etc…
- Notate the main instruments as such: i.e. “GMAIN_GTR” not “AlexStrat3”.
- Please include the suffix “L” or “R” if there is a pair of them.
- Including a description in the Comments is very helpful; i.e. “This part only happens in the bridge” or “These 3 tracks are different microphones on the same guitar cabinet and the same performance, please blend them to taste.”
- Drums: *These tracks should be preceded by a “D”
- If you double mic drums, please label them accordingly to avoid confusion; i.e. “DSnareTop” and “DSnareBot” not “Snare 1” and “Snare 2”.
- Alternate Instrumentation: I know it is impossible to make all the decisions before the mix, so if there are any questionable parts that you may or may not want to use, please place a “?” in front of them; i.e. “?MonoDrumRoom” I will use discretion as to whether or not these will be included in the final mix.
NOTE: *The reason for the “V,B,G,K,D,?” prefixes is so the Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Drums, etc show up in alphabetical order in the Audio Regions list of your Pro Tools Session. This eliminates confusion if I need to find something in your session’s Audio Files folder.
If I may answer any questions regarding rates, fees or scheduling please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.