BACK


How to prepare your songs and deliver them to me to Mix

 

When preparing songs for a mix please follow these guidelines There are specific instructions for Pro Tools and Logic below these general instructions:

#0: DO NOT EXPORT FILES AS "32-bit Float":

WHAT..!?!? WHY NOT?

There is no difference in “resolution” between 8/16/24 or "32" bit PCM audio, the only difference is in the (theoretical) noise floor.
Each additional bit that is added to word width is added to the LSB (least significant bit), each LSB is equal to 1/2 the value of the next highest bit.

This means that a longer word length only represents *smaller* numbers more accurately.
The (theoretical) noise floor is lower, but the bits above the noise floor are identical whether the word width is 8, 16, 24, 32 bits.
If the “audible” part of the signal (the part above the noise floor) changed depending on whether the signal was represented as a 32 or 24 or 16 or 8 bit word,
this change in the waveshape would produce harmonics not present in the original signal, (aka "aliases”).

But it doesn't.

If your recording was made using microphones, preamps, softsynths or samples,
the inherent noise floor is already 100 times higher than the noise floor of dithered 16 bit audio,
and properly dithered digital audio has infinite resolution.

So relax and enjoy the much faster upload time... you're not "missing" anything by truncating and dithering to 16 bits.


#1: CHECK ALL EDITS:

Make sure that all edits are good, take the time before you consolidate the files to really listen to the edit points to check for clicks, weird transitions, anything that might cause attention to be drawn to the edit.


#2: REMOVE ALL PLUGINS and AUTOMATION:

If you use any plugins please make sure that they are removed or bypassed before exporting your files.
If you are using any automation, please remove or bypass it before exporting.
If the automation or plugin is vital to the track, please export the automated / effected track in addition to the unprocessed file.


#3: CONSOLIDATE ALL TRACKS FROM ZERO:

Consolidate each track so that all of the audio files start at the same point (i.e. Bar zero...).
This will allow them to be imported in the proper time relationship.
Make sure that there is at least one bar before the song begins, do not trim the export to the first beat.

I can accept files in any combination of WAV, AIFF, or SDII format, and any combination of bit depths but all tracks need to be at the same sample rate..


#4: RENAME and CLEARLY LABEL ALL TRACKS:

Please make sure that each track is clearly labeled, simple labels are best.
I need to know at a glance if "Jimi Outro" is a vocal, guitar or kazoo track...
Please remove all unintentional track name suffixes. For example: "Lead Guitar_03_01.wav" should be renamed "Lead Guitar.wav".

Do not add the song title to the beginning of each file name, but be certain to place the tracks in a folder which is named  for the song, including tempo and artist name.

Please make sure that all stereo files are named identically with a "dot R" and "dot L" designation. For example "OH.L.wav " and "OH.R.wav" NOT "OH.L.wav and "OH_01.R.wav" Count the spaces. 

If you are creating files on a Mac using OSX, make sure that the file permissions are set to "read/write"

As a last resort alternative to sending audio consolidated from bar zero, you can provide small audio files with the correct placement indicated in the file name (for example,"Guitar 2 bar 84"). For this method to work correctly, you must provide the exact tempo.

VOCALS:

Make sure that the lead vocal is comped and CLEARLY labeled.
If you have any ad-lib tracks which are separate from the lead vocal, be sure that they are properly labeled.
In general, you can reduce confusion by making sure that any track which is intended to be included in the final mix is specifically labeled in a unique way.


#5 ORGANIZE

Create sub-folders for common instrument groupings such as DRUMS, PERCUSSION, BASS, ELECTRIC GUITARS, ACOUSTIC GUITARS, KEYBOARDS, LEAD VOCALS, BGVs, etc


Organize the song by placing the tracks in their relevant folders and place those folders in the main song folder.


#6: INCLUDE FULL INFORMATION:

Please include with each song: tempo information, time signature, key signature, and any other applicable information. 

This information should be documented in a text file and placed in the song folder with the audio files.


#7: ZIP EACH SONG FOLDER:

Please place all of the tracks and notes in a new folder for each song, clearly labeled, and include the tempo information in the folder name, then ZIP the folder (on OSX hold the "control" key while clicking the mouse pointer on the folder and select "Create Archive of.." from the drop down menu. Please do not use any other archive method without checking to see if I can open the file...!


#8: VERIFY EACH SONG:

VERIFY each song by unzipping the archive and loading the tracks into a new session, so that you are aware of any missing tracks or misalignment issues.


#9: UPLOAD YOUR .ZIP file to my FTP site:

CLICK HERE TO UPLOAD YOUR FILES

This will open the upload page in a new window. Log in using the following user name and password:

Username: zmixguest

Password: zmixguest

 

How to Consolidate in Pro Tools

Simple directions:

Select each track all the way from the end back to a time index of zero.

Consolidate this selection. This will create a new continuous track.

Export that track as a WAV or AIF file to a new folder named "Consolidated (song name) audio xx bpm for zmix"

RENAME the consolidated tracks as described in item 4 above.

 

More thorough directions:

There are two ways to convert a single track within Pro Tools to AIF,WAV, SDll etc..

Use the CONSOLIDATE REGION function in the Edit menu. 

CONSOLIDATE the audio regions of each track so they are displayed as one region, without edits.
Highlight all of the regions on each track and select CONSOLIDATE REGION function in the Edit menu. 

Once that is done and the selected track now appears as one continuous
audio region, you can go to the audio region list to the right hand of
the edit screen. Under this menu heading is an item called "export
region as file". If the region is highlighted and you select this
item, you will be prompted to select various audio file types (AIF,
WAV, SDll etc..).  

Make sure you select "multiple mono files" so you
don't create a "false stereo file". Even though it says "multiple" if
the file is a single mono file, it will stay single.

 

The other way to do it is to "bounce" the file as a converted file
type. In this case it is not necessary to CONSOLIDATE the regions
first. In this technique, you are using the Pro Tools I/O to mix the
audio files into one new file. In real time.

Select all the regions in that track by holding down the shift key and
touching each region with the selector tool. Then go to File and
select BOUNCE. In this sub menu you will see dialog that will prompt
you to select the file type (.wav) also to name the file, the
resolution of the file (24bit, for example) and where you wish to save the
file.

This will play back the track in real time and thus create a new file
in your desired format.

Points to consider:

1. Using the first technique is faster. The track will convert quickly.

2. Using the first technique, the file will be named the same thing as
the audio region, so you will need to rename the track as descrbed above.

3. In the BOUNCE technique, you must solo the track that you are
bouncing or the entire session will bounce to the new file.

4. Make sure that all tracks that you are BOUNCING are outputting
through channels 1 and 2 of the I/O. or they will not record to the
new file format (unless you select different output channels)


EXPORTING FILES FROM LOGIC PRO

Look at the begining of an audio region to determine if the source track  is mono or stereo:  mono (single circle) or stereo (linked circles).  

Use the button at the bottom of each mixer channel to set it's mono/stereo state to match the source track.

If there is a "mono->stereo" Plug-In on a mono track, the channel output mode will show as "stereo" (linked circles), 

though the source track is "mono". In this case press the symbol to make the output "mono" again.


Go to the "FILE" menu and select "Export..." and then "All Tracks as Audio Files"

When the export window opens, do not change the name in the "Save As"  field,  

It should  automatically read something like "48 (or however many) tracks to be bounced" 

The initial destination folder will be set to "Bounces" but feel free to change this to a location that you can easily find later.

In the lower left corner of this window, press the "New Folder" button and create a folder for the song you are exporting,  

additionally you can create a sub folder for  the instrument group (i.e. DRUMS) you are exporting if you like.

In the "Save Format" drop down menu, select "WAV" as the file type.

In the "Bit Depth" drop down, select 16 bit with normal "POW-r #1 (Dithering)" dither (no noise shaped dither please!) (or optionally 24bit but this is not required - it's not likely that any audio source you're using has a noise floor lower than -96dBfs and the ONLY difference between 8, 16, and 24 bit audio is the noise floor - NOT the "resolution"). 

Be certain that you have selected "Bypass Effect Plug-ins", but do not select "Include Volume/Pan Automation".  

If a Plug-In or Automation is important to the production, please include a second pass of the selected track and include the Plug-ins and Automation.

Leave the "Normalize" selection to "Overload Protection Only".

Press "Save" in the lower right corner.


ZIP the resulting folder by selecting it, "ctrl-click" and select the "Compress (folder name)" option.



 

©2112 Chuck Zwicky