Mixing is the key to the personality of your sound. A good mixing is intended to get all elements in the track balanced correctly, to "seat" recorded material in the mix with emphasizing of the important musical accents and its readability or spatial localization.
Mixing at Plasmid Sound is so much more than the accuracy, convenience and clarity of audio environment synonymous with digital technology. When it comes to mixing musicians and producers worldwide continue to choose analog audio path and processing equipment. Its ability to deliver a sound with wonderful sonic detail and superior production quality keeps analog gear a firm favorite over DAW among audio engineering specialists.
Each project is one of a kind. The superior technical potential at my control room enables me to make the most out of your mix without compromising its authenticity: analog compression, high-end line drivers and EQ such as API, Chandler, Neve, Smart Research, Empirical Labs, TL Audio, Retro Instruments, Vintech Audio, TFPro, Sontec, Manley; a bunch of "must have" time-based and spatial processors like TC Electronic, Lexicon, Eventide, Yamaha, DBX, SPL, Moog and many more; outstanding monitoring chain through Dangerous - Mytek - Focal.
HOW DO I PREPARE MY MUSIC FOR MIXING?
You have to ensure the multi-tracks provided are ready for mixing. Please do not assume any tuning or timing issues will be automatically resolved. I accept WAV or AIFF files at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz, 16 or 24 bit. Please supply me with mono or stereo files, clearly named and without audio clipping. Stereo files will be counted as 2 tracks of audio, for example 'Strings L & R' will be counted as 2 tracks. You will need to provide multi-tracks that are consolidated or bounced from the start point of your song (bar 1 beat 1 or start time code). No effects on any of the individual tracks, (no compression, reverb, eq, delay etc). Only keep on plugins that are crucial to sound shaping or a special effect. I recommend to turn off any effects on your master stereo bus too. All files must be of the same duration, sample rate and bit depth. I can't accept DAW sessions (i.e Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase etc). Print any midi / virtual instruments – I can only accept WAV or AIFF audio files.
- MIXING - $270 — $980
- Price per song depending on the track count and the complexity and length of the song. Attended (preferably) and unattended (e-mixing) session available. Mix consultation and feedback is free of any charge.
If you decide to mix by yourself but after plan to use third-party mastering service, here are some useful tips and suggestions from Plasmid Sound:
Mastering Is Not Magic
The mastering process cannot turn a terrible mix into a golden one. Please make sure that you are 100% happy with your mix before submitting it for mastering. Do your best to get your mix sounding as nice as possible to allow the mastering process to bring out the best in it.
Your 24 bit mix should have its highest peak between -12 dBFS and -3 dBFS. This translates to between 12 and 3 dB of headroom before exceeding the digital ceiling of 0 dBFS.
Headroom is the amount of dB before your mix clips and the overload indicator lights up on your master output. If your mix is too loud then simply lower all faders until the highest peak is within the recommended range. Sound quality will not be affected when you lower the fader. With 24 bits you can go as low as -48 dBFS and still have full CD quality (16 bit). However, once you exceed the digital ceiling, distortion will occur, and it will not be possible to restore the original quality. There is no reason to maximize the volume during mixdown. I will make sure your song reaches its maximum loudness potential later in the mastering process. A mix that has been squashed can rarely be rescued and often in these situations mastering can do more harm than good. There are circumstances where I recommend to the client that we leave tracks alone. In addition you should know that internal headroom of all modern software sequencers without exception is negligible compared to inner headroom of analog high-end devices: +26 dBu is more than natural exponent for them and it is not available for the digital environment even based on today's 64 bit computers. And the peak-to-average ratio of an analog tape recording can be as much as 12-14dB, compared with as much as 20dB for an uncompressed digital recording.
If you are using plug-ins on the master output during mixing, then export two versions: A) one version with plug-ins enabled on the master output, and B) one version with plug-ins bypassed on the master output. Limiting or clipping should be avoided on mixdowns for mastering. Having two mix versions gives me a choice in case you over-processed the mix. Check that your mix does not exceed the headroom when bypassing the plug-ins. Also do not use any kind of normalizing on your mixdown. Normalizing raises the signal level in an unnecessary fashion, and it will change the amount of headroom left in the mix.
Loud or unnecessary sub frequencies (below 40 Hz) in individual tracks can cause problems with the sound quality and the final volume of the master. Make sure you low cut all tracks that do not contain meaningful sound in the sub frequencies. For instance, a vocal can be cut at around 80 Hz to avoid pops or rumble. Using a gentle 12 dB/Octave slope will sound more natural than a steep filter. Do not cut the entire mix though as this could lead to a thin sounding mix if you are not careful.
Do not fade out the end or begining of the mix. Instead, tell me where the fade should begin and end. Write down the fade times in absolute or relative terms, i.e. "fade out from 4:20 to 4:45" or "fade the last 25 seconds of the song".
Dithering and Noise Shaping
Do not use noise shaping or colored dither, e.g. UV22 or POW-r when exporting your mixdown for mastering. In very rare cases noise shaping can cause high frequency artifacts during the mastering process. You can use flat dither during the mixdown, referred to as TPDF. In all circumstances dithering and noise shaping on a 24 bit file has very little effect on the sound, so leave if off if you are uncertain. The final bit reduction to 16 bit (audio CD format) is performed by me as the last step of the mastering process.top