Crowdfunding Project Tips for KickStarter

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How to prepare for the recording session

So, you have decided to record your song (or songs). This is the most critical step in music production. A good mixed and mastered track depends on well recorded music. And you have decided to pay for the service. Here are some guidelines on how to prepare for the recording session to save money, time and to get in return what you want: a good recording of your music.

Rehearse your material

This may seem obvious, but I’d like to say it nonetheless. It is very important that every band member can record a good performance in the shortest time possible. If you or your band members have problems in any section of the song, please address them before going to the studio. You will save money and a lot of frustration.

Practice with a click track

You will have to follow a tempo when recording your song. It is not easy to follow it at first, so practice by playing your music with a background click track. Also, you will be recording using headphones so it is a good idea that you use them while practicing too. The “click” can get really annoying.

Set an agenda in advance

Knowing which songs will be recorded and in what order can help a great deal to have a smoother process. Communicate it to the recording engineer so he/she can also prepare.

Your instrument must be in top condition

It is obvious to say that your instrument shall not make undesired noises or be broken. Intonation must be perfect. If your instrument uses strings and they are old, please put a new set of strings before the recording. This is important!

Take your music seriously

It is your music. Be proud of it and respect the process of producing it. It is important to have fun while recording, and it is equally important that you realize that it does not start sounding good magically. It requires a lot of work! Have a good night sleep, and come to the studio clear headed.




How to prepare your tracks for mixing

Your tracks have been recorded, you are happy with the results and now you want to get a good mix out of them. Great!

Here are some guidelines that are good to follow in order to let the mixing engineer focus on the mix:

Send only the audio to be used in the mix. It is good practice (and almost standard) to record more than one take per instrument or vocal and then select different pieces of each performance to create the perfect take. This should be done before sending your tracks to get mixed. Be sure to send the best performance! Not a set of tracks from where the engineer must pick one.

If possible, have your tracks at a sensible level. This means that it’s good that the different volume levels of the different tracks are coherent. For example, no 20 dB difference between them. Now, please keep the volume under 0 dB. This avoids unnecessary distortion that damages your music.

A good source is the only way to get a good mix.

Edit your tracks. Clean them up. Remove any background noises that you do not want to have in your final mix. Make sure that all instruments and vocals are synched, that they follow the tempo of the song (specially the drums and the bass guitar). If some tuning is needed, this is the stage to do it in.

To edit your tracks in a good way can mean a world of difference, it’s the difference between an ok/bad song and an awesome one.

Remove all effects on the tracks. If you added some effects (like compression, EQ, delay or reverb) to your tracks, please remove them before sending them to us. Unless those effects are part of the fundamental sound of the track. If you used a Limiter, please remove it.

To mix a song which tracks have effects on them makes the mixing engineer’s job difficult, if not impossible.

Label your tracks properly. Give them names that describe what they are. Examples can be “KickDrum”, “ElGuitar_solo”, “Bass”. You get the idea.

To have self explanatory names on your tracks makes the mixing process much faster and fun.

Consolidate and export your tracks. This means that every track shall start at the same point in time (usually at zero). This is very important because the mixing engineer can import all of your tracks directly to the software he/she is using and start working on the mix at once.

Render any software instruments/sounds down to audio. Did you use an amp emulator for your guitar? Or added this beautiful strings quartet? Or a special pad you like? Send the rendered version to the mixer. It’s most probable that he/she does not own the same virtual instruments you do.

Give the tempo of the song. The process of mixing also includes some “sweetening”. This means that the mixing engineer may add some arrangements to make the track more engaging. The tempo of the song is very important for this.

Some extra information that is really good to have are the key of the song, reference songs and rough mixes, the sample rate and bit depth the song was recorded at, and a copy of the lyrics.

These are simple steps and pieces of information that help the mixing process a great deal, which in turn produce much better sounding mixes.

After the above steps are done, and done correctly, all you have to do is wait a bit till the mix is done. And after that: fulfill your goal of showing your music to the world.

How to prepare your track for mastering

Your tracks have been recorded and mixed, you are happy with the results and now want to show them to the world. You are almost there!

Mastering, keeping it short, is the term used for the process of taking the mix of a song and preparing it for distribution. If the song happens to be part of an album, then all songs are treated. The final result is a unified, consistent album with it’s own “character”.

There are some guidelines we would want you to follow when sending your tracks for mastering:

Remove all processing from your master channel. If you added limiting , compression or EQ to it, please remove it. It can make our work very difficult and will not be able to deliver the master we aim for. In short, remove any processing used to enhance the sound of the final mix.

The loudest section of your song shall be max -5db. We need the headroom to be able to work better and deliver a good master.

Send the highest resolution file you have. Most of the time it will be a 24bit WAV or an .AIF file. If you send compressed files, such as MP3, the quality of the master will suffer.

Send any reference songs and notes with the expectations on the sound. Having this information will help us achieve the sound you are wishing for.

Make sure the mix sounds as you want it. This is the most important thing to take into consideration before starting the mastering process. Flaws in the mix will continue being flaws in the master, so pay extra attention to this. Also, mastering can highlight issues in your mix. That is why we offer up to three revisions after the first master is delivered.