We're sure you have a lot of questions. Browse through this list, but if you want to know something specific, just let us know! The FAQ's below are based around mixing projects that were recorded at another studio or at an artist's home.
What is the turn around time? Is there a "quick mix" option?
Depending on our schedule, we guarantee the mix will be ready for review within three weeks. Sometimes we can do it within a day or two! If you need it completed faster than that, get in touch with us for other speedy delivery options.
How does it work?
It's free to upload your tracks- we'll even send you an upload link. Once we get it into our Pro Tools rig, we'll evaluate what the cost will be. You can also simply mail us your tracks on a thumb drive, hard drive, or CD ROM. Once we agree on a price, we send out a PayPal, credit card, or Square invoice. Once that is paid in full, we'll mix your track, upload your mixed song with comments, and send you an email link to download your music.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all the major credit cards, Paypal, Square, money order, or a check when it clears.
What if I want to point out a few things about my song to the engineer- is there any direct access to the mixing engineer?
Absolutely! We want you to be very clear and talk to the engineer in detail so you're on the same page about what the expectations are for your mix. You'll be supplied with the phone number and email address of the engineer, and your engineer will have your information as well in case a question comes up during a mix.
What about "album" credits?
Credits are sometimes the only thanks an engineer gets. Credits also lead to more and more people finding out about our service. If you credit us on your website, your Facebook site and in your liner notes for our MixPack Pro service, we'll take $10.00 off the total cost of your next project for spreading the word.
Why do I need The MixPack to mix my project?
There are a million reasons why you may need help with your mixes. Mixing is such a specialized field, and an entirely different discipline from songwriting. An engineer has to know music theory, some physics about sound, has to have some knowledge of electrical engineering and electrical systems, has to be artistic and creative while at the same time being regimented and controlled. These skills take years to develop and nurture. That's just too much getting in the way of the songwriting process. Also acquiring the gear and building a studio is too costly to even consider for most musicians. Let us handle that mix of your music so you have the time to focus on what you do best- being the artist.
What about analogue tape? Since you require digital files for ProTools, how can you work with these tapes?
For analogue tapes, we require an extra $200.00 for the transfer. Just ship us your tapes via FED-EX, and we'll take care of it from there. The price is the same for 16 track or 24 track reels.
What about other software recording programs? Can you mix it if it wasn't recorded on ProTools?
Absolutely! Just upload what you have. I may move it over to Pro Tools. Or not.
I use Logic (or insert the name of any other sequencer here)- can you work in Logic and send me back the Logic session file?
The industry standard for years has been ProTools. and it looks like that's the way it's going to be for some time to come. Our network of engineers all have this common system, so for the sake of consistency we have to stick with the best. If we can do it in your DAW we will, but I personally work best in Pro Tools.
How do I make changes on the first round of my mix?
Just let us know by phone or email, and we'll take care of the rest. You get two free round of revisions, so listen carefully and suggest any changes you might want to make. We encourage comments, and we want you to be happy with your mix.
How long do I have to make changes to my song?
We'll keep your song on hand for 30 days. After that we assume everything's fine with your song.
What about bad words or samples?
We're not censors, nor do we try and get in the way of the creative process- we're here to help! If you want a clean version (for radio, for example), either send us a clean vocal along with your "dirty" vocals, or specify exactly where you want us to cut the vocals. The MixPack will not be held liable for the use of samples. I cannot possibly know of or keep track of every sound that's used in a recording.
What about my recording quality? Can you really make my recordings sound good?
Record the best you can. Read books and magazines, consult with friends, record at a professional place, buy a nice mic pre and a nice mic- anything to help you capture better and better sounds. It improves your sound and makes our job easier. Don't worry- if everything just sounds horrible you might need to upgrade to hiring a producer, but if only a few things sound... well, a little off... then we can still make the overall song sound great. Sometimes a poorly recorded instrument is just what's needed- it can force us to be creative. Once, someone sent in a guitar track where the tone knob was all the way down. The guitar sounded so muffled- it was almost unlistenable. But when the bridge of the song came in, the song went into a breakdown. We left in the muffled guitar along with the vocal. When the rest of the band came back in, it sounded huge- the muffled guitar helped to support the softness and intimacy of the vocal while at the same time it set up the powerful entrance of the band.
Is there a limit to the length of a song?
Most songs- long or short- take more or less the same amount of time to mix. Short songs often have the same amount of tonal variety found in a long song, and the real energy invested in mixing a song for us is finding this tonal balance. For this reason we don't put a limit on the length of a song. However, if the song is more like two or more songs "stuck" together, we would have to charge for another song.
What about a full album? Is there any discount?
Yes- if you have us mix your full album, we'll create a package deal. Call us with the details, and we'll arrange it.
I have a ton of things that need to happen in my song, and I can't really "sit in" on the mix session. How do I get my "musical vision" realized?
That's why we encourage you to send along a rough mix of the track when you submit your material. Also, just write down everything you want to happen in an email. With a rough mix and a good description, the direction of the mix should be clear to our engineers. We're used to interpreting vague adjectives into real results, and we want to make your idea of the song come alive.
Can I send along other bands' CDs that I want to sound like?
Absolutely- hearing something is the fastest way to get your point across. We often have people send in examples such as "I like the kick sound from this record, the guitar sound from that band, and the snare from here", etc. We have to point out that in many cases the existing recorded sound has to be close, but we'll make every effort to get near as possible to the sound you want.
How will I be able to open up my ProTools session- you have HDX and I have an MBox- will it still open up?
Yes, the session itself will open, and any related audio files will also open. However, if you don't have the same plug ins or outboard gear that we have, the mix will not sound the same. This is similar to the old analogue recording days when an artist would take a reel from one studio to another. The new studio wouldn't have the same effects and outboard gear. We've invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into our mixing rooms, gear, and so forth, and we love to use the stuff we have to give you an uncompromising sound. Some plug-ins will open, some won't, but the overview of the session will still be a great learning tool.
What about drums that weren't recorded with a click? Can you still fix them?
If the groove is there, but the sounds are a little less than ideal, we can at least change the sounds. There's often a place in fixing the groove where a small section is just a little too slow or fast, and this we can usually fix.
We only had two mics for the drums (or one mic for the drums). Is this a problem?
It makes for an interesting challenge- there's no way to separate the individual instruments, but we can often add sounds on top of already recorded sounds. Even though there may be only one or two audio tracks for drums, we can still adjust the groove.
Should I get my drum tracks aligned before I put on the rest of the instruments? How does that work?
Definitely get your drum tracks fixed as soon as you can. Just pay us to do it, then when you have the rest of your song mixed, we'll discount the cost of fixing your drums off of your mixing purchase.
I need my song to sound loud no matter where it's played- FaceBook, my car, iTunes, etc.
The great thing about a well mixed and mastered song is that it will sound great anywhere it's played, and it will be as loud- if not louder- than other songs online. A mastered version of your song comes with the MasterPack or MixPack Pro packages.
Can I send along other band's CDs or songs that I want to sound like?
Absolutely- hearing something is the fastest way to get your point across. Let us know what it is about your examples that you like, and we'll make every effort to get near as possible to the sound you want.
Why should my song be mastered- I thought I was getting a professional mix?
Mixing is one skill, and mastering is another completely different set of demands on the engineer and resources. Technically speaking, a good mix makes the most of the available gain structure in a system, but a master deals specifically with the master buss section. The good news is that we usually combine mixing and mastering to ensure that your song reaches its full potential.