Guidelines For Preparing Your Files
It is essential that you prepare your songs according to
these guidelines so that we can properly import them.
GOLDEN RULE: Make backups!!
Please DO NOT send your only copies of the files
Here’s the list of our 6 guidelines
before you send anything.
Each track must contain ONE continuous audio file.
All tracks must start on the same bar or SMPTE location.
All tracks AND all audio files must be clearly named. "Audio
1" or "Audio 27" are unacceptable; "Bass DI" or "Bass
Amp" are good.
We want your raw unprocessed tracks. Remove plugins from
the individual audio tracks. *Exception: If one of
your tracks uses plugins that are very unique and essential to
that sound--and that's exactly the way you want it--print it that
way. Examples of this include special FX and guitar amp modelers
like Amp Farm or Eleven. If you think you love your sound,
but you're not totally convinced, you can send both the unprocessed
and the processed tracks, clearly labelled to indicated that they
are from the same source, i.e. "Nile Guitar 3.raw" vs. "Nile
Guitar 3.eleven" or "Nile Guitar 3.fx".
Bear in mind that we have very high quality digital and analog
effects so, only print a track with your effects if it is completely
unique and difficult to recreate, or if you are 100% confident
that you love the effect exactly as it is.
There is a Session Form that you should
complete so we know what you are sending us. If you don’t
write it down, then it's harder and more time consuming to know
on with your project and mistakes may happen. The more info
we have, the better!
If you have accompanying MIDI tracks for drum machines,
synths or virtual instruments that trigger sounds along with the
song, they need to be converted and printed as continuous audio
files. If the sound has stereo imaging, you can print
it stereo; if there's no special panning, print it mono.
Clean up, edit and crossfade your tracks. Composite
and consolidate your tracks into continuous audio tracks.
For example if you have recorded multiple lead vocal takes (that
will ultimately be edited and combined into the final lead vocal
performance) on separate tracks or playlists, please combine these
takes into a single composite, final lead vocal track, check your
crossfades to ensure there are no clicks or pops, then consolidate
it into a single, continuous audio track that starts at the beginning
of the song, where all the other tracks start.
Each track and every audio file must be labeled
hard drive, CD or DVD must also be clearly labeled.
In general, the performance on each track should be the way you
want it in the mix.
If there is a section you don't want in the song (i.e someone talking
before the vocal take or a bass player noodling around after the
end of his part), edit it out before creating the single file for
that track. If you don’t, we will think you want it
in the mix, and will have to do something creative with it!!
Before sending any material, check these points:
• All the tracks that are sent need
to be clearly labeled.
For instance, if the track is a vocal then
it should be labeled such as, Whitney ad-libs or Whitney Lead
vocal. If the sound
is stereo then send it to us in stereo, if it's mono, then the
file should just be a mono file.
• Location Markers of the song structure are helpful, but
not required. So when you all say, “Whitney’s
lead vocal on the bridge," we can go right to it.
• Tempo of the song.
• If you have any special delays or
settings that you are married to, we need to know that before
we begin mixing.
• Include an MP3 of the current or last
mix of the song that you liked or wanted to improve upon.
• Are you involved with a record label,
and if so, which one?
• Let us know if you need us to do any vocal tuning. An
additional fee will be charged, so we prefer to have you save some
money by taking care of it before sending us your tracks.
• Copy your song session and audio files ("Save Copy
In..." in Pro Tools--see note below*) to a backup medium,
then open the backup session, making sure that all the audio files
How to Send Us Your Files
Depending on how many songs and which of
our engineers will be mixing your music, you will deliver your
files to us in one of several ways. We
will discuss the best way for your project. Options include:
delivery via FTP or yousendit.com
• firewire drive formatted so that both Mac & PC can read
• CD or DVD
In any case, we encourage you to include a text file with as much
info as you can give us so that we can make your dream mix become
* Re: "Save Copy In..."
It is critical that you read the Pro Tools
User Guide or have a thorough understanding of how this works. We have received sessions
with no audio files from users who were uninformed or careless with
their session preparation. After you master the concept of
how "Save Copy In..." works, try it using a separate drive
as your destination, and pay close attention to the following points.
• Before doing "Save Copy In...", "Save" your
session. Then make sure that you have carefully followed our
Guidelines # 1, 2, 4 & 5. Next, "Save As" your
session as "(YourSongTitle) for IPM" and then "remove" (not "delete" from
disk) all unused tracks, playlists, regions and audio from the session. The
session should now contain only the tracks that you want us to include
in your mix, each with a single, continuous audio file, all starting
at the same beat, same measure. The regions bin should appear
much more tidy, with only boldface regions remaining. Click "Save" again.
• From the File menu, choose "Save Copy In..." In
the dialog window, select one of your backup drives as the destination
for your copy, check Copy All Audio Files, make sure that you have
selected the correct sample and bit rates, and check Enforce Mac & PC
Compatibility. Click OK.
• After the copy is complete, close this session. This
is not the copy. Navigate to the backup drive, and open "Copy
of (YourSongTitle) for IPM" to make sure that it plays correctly. Then
expand the regions bin and select Show Full Path Name. The
audio regions should be referencing the new Copy Of session folder
on the backup drive, rather than the original folder on your audio
work drives. If everything is fine, close the session and click
Don't Save changes. Next, open the Finder to view the "Copy
of (YourSongTitle) for IPM" folder, and make sure that the Audio
Files folder actually contains audio files. If so, we're good
• The lean, cleaned-up Copy Of session folder will typically
range in size from 500MB to 1 or 2GB for a complex pop or rock session,
down from the 4-8GB original session with all of the alternate takes,
drop-ins, and unused audio. Our computers and servers are happy
about the streamlined copy.