You have questions?  I have answers!  Click the buttons to see the answers to the most common questions.  If you can’t find your answer here, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

How does internet mixing work?
If I decide to take on your project, you send me your project files via FTP to my server, or by regular mail, along with any mixing notes, reference songs, demo mixes, or anything else that may be helpful. I will then load your tracks into my system, and check everything out to make sure the files are not corrupted in any way, and for the overall quality of the recorded tracks. We then discuss your project via e-mail or over the phone to make sure I understand the type of sound you are after, and to go over any questions I may have about what you sent.

When I have completed my “first pass” of the mix, I’ll upload a reference MP3 file for your review and notify you via e-mail. You then review the mix and send me any change requests you may have. We will go back and forth that way until you are completely satisfied with the mix. I will then upload the final high resolution mix files for you to download. If you also hired me to master the songs, I will upload both mastered and unmastered versions, and either mail you a master CD ready for replication, or upload an ISO or DDP image of the master CD.

How much do you charge?

Please see the Pricing Page for current prices.

Do you accept every project?
NO. I won’t take on a project that I don’t feel is right for me, or that I won’t enjoy mixing.

I’m not desperate for cash, and I’m not running a “mix factory” that needs to crank out several mixes a day to pay the bills. I usually make a much better return on my time investment working on my own projects than any rate I could charge for my services. However, I really love mixing, and am more than happy to offer my professional mixing services for artists and songs that I feel I would enjoy working with.

My services aren’t cheap, so I won’t waste your money if I don’t feel your project is ready for my level of professional mixing. A great mix starts with a great song arrangment and great sounding recorded tracks. If those elements aren’t there, then I won’t waste your money, or my time, trying to create a great mix from less than great material. It’s not my place to judge if your song is great or not, but I will let you know if I don’t feel the tracks are recorded well enough for professional mixing, or if it’s not the type of music I would enjoy mixing.

If you want to know if I think your song is ready for professional mixing, please use the Mixing Submissions form to send one or more songs to me for review.

What is the turn around time?
The best way to figure that out is to contact me to check my current schedule is. Unless I’m on vacation or in the middle of a big project for someone else, I can usually schedule a new mix project within a few days, at most. Depending on the complexity of the mix, it takes an average of 10 hours to mix a song, with most modern pop/rock songs taking 6 to 8 hours for the “first pass” of the mix. Then it’s just a matter of how many times we need to go back and forth with revisions until you are completely satisfied with the mix.
What formats do you accept?
I can accept just about any format for mixing. It is not necessary for me to have the same software that you used to record your project, since most of the time the easiest way to transfer a project for mixing is to render all the audio tracks and virtual instruments to individual audio files that all start at the same time. Then, I just import all those files, line them up, and I’m ready to mix.

However, I own several of the most popular software DAWs, including Pro Tools, Cubase Pro, Nuendo, Reaper, ACID, Reason, Fruity Loops, and more. If you are using one of the programs that I also own, you can send me the project files and all associated audio files, and I can open your project directly. I’m always adding more software, so contact me for a current list.

Even if I do own the same software that you do, we still will need to go over the file preparation and transfer process in more detail. If you are using virtual instruments or other plug-ins to create a sound, those will need to be rendered to regular audio tracks first before you send the project files, even if I own the same plug-ins.

If you are recording “old school” to analog tape, or to other digital hardware recorders (such as ADAT or DA-88), please contact me first. I own ADAT machines and can transfer those tapes myself, but for any other tape or hardware format, I’ll need to rent the appropriate machines to make the transfers.

How do I prepare my files?
Render each track and virtual instrument to individual contiguous audio files that all start at the exact same time, so that I can simply import those audio files into my software, snap them all to time zero, and everything will play back exactly the way it should. You should test this yourself in a new blank project to make sure it works before sending me the files. Also, unless you are using pre-recorded drum loops, I need each drum sound as a separate file (e.g., kick drum, snare, hi-hat, toms, cymbals or overheads, etc.). I can’t change the sound or balance of individual drum kit elements if they are all pre-mixed to a single audio file.

DISABLE ALL EFFECTS AND PROCESSING (EQ, compression, reverb, delay, chorus, etc.) on all the tracks BEFORE you render and export them, unless that effect is an integral part of the sound. I can’t work my magic with my high end effects and processing if your tracks are already effected and/or processed in any way. If you aren’t sure if you should turn off an effect or not, render the effects return to a separate track and give me that in addition to a totally raw (dry) track.

CLEAN UP YOUR TRACKS! Do NOT send me anything you don’t want in the final mix. Solo each track and listen to it from start to finish. If there are any noise that are not supposed to be there, edit those out before you render the files you will send to me. If I need to clean up your tracks for you, there will be an extra charge.

CLEARLY LABEL YOUR FILES! If I can’t figure out what each track is by looking at a meaningful name, it will waste a good bit of my time that could be better spent actually mixing, and may cost you extra money.

Render each track at the same bit depth and sample rate that you recorded the project at. If you recorded at 16 bits, then you don’t gain anything by sending me 24 bit files, and it will just make the files bigger and take longer to upload and download. If you recorded at 24 bits, please keep the rendered tracks at 24 bits. Also, there are no such thing as 32 bit converters, so if you somehow had your software set to 32 bit floating point format when you recorded, please render the tracks to 24 bit format to make the file size smaller. Do not render the tracks to a different sample rate than you recorded at. Doing sample rate conversions on every track will sound much worse than one high quality sample rate conversion in the mastering stage.

Stereo tracks should be rendered as interleaved stereo files (NOT split left and right mono files). Mono tracks should be rendered as mono files.

DO NOT RENDER YOUR TRACKS AS MP3 FILES! They should be rendered as uncompressed Wave or AIFF files.

DO NOT SEND FILES THAT ARE NOT USED IN THE PROJECT! When you consolidate/render/export your tracks, do it to a new folder on your hard drive so you don’t send files that aren’t actually being used in the project. Extra files will just cause confusion, wasting time, and possibly costing you extra.

If you use Pro Tools, Nuendo, Cubase, Vegas, Reason, or ACID, please contact me for specific details as I can open those project files directly.

For more detailed information, see my article on Preparing your tracks for Professional Mixing.

How do I send my files to you?

I will set up a private FTP account for you on my own dedicated server. You upload your files to me using FTP. If you don’t know how to do this, or don’t have FTP client software, I strongly suggest using the free FileZilla FTP client software (runs on Mac or PC). If you need detailed instructions on how to upload files via FTP, please contact me.

If you are uploading just one song, you can upload all the files into the root directory of your FTP account. To reduce file size and save upload time, you may also use lossless file compression to put all the files into one archive file. I can open ZIP, RAR, and Stuffit archives.

If you are uploading files for multiple songs, put the files into folders by song, or create a separate archive file for each song.

If you prefer, you may also send me your files via large file transfer services such as Dropbox or YouSendIt, or via regular mail on CD-R, DVD-R, BD-R, hard drive, or USB stick.

What format will the mix files be in, and how will I get them?

After my first pass at the mix, I will send you high quality MP3 files for your review. As we work on revisions together, I will continue to send you high quality MP3 files until you are completely satisfied with the mix.

The final mix files will be delivered in Wave file format at 24 bits, and at the same sample rate that the project was recorded at. These files will be ready to send to mastering. I will usually also deliver a “quick mastered” version of the mixes so that you can get an idea of how the mixes will sound when mastered to current loudness levels.

If you also hire me to do the final mastering of your mixes, you will get the mastered files at 16 bit, 44.1Khz, which is the format needed for CD manufacturing. If you have me master your entire CD, or an EP or single that is destined for CD manufacturing, I can also mail a Master CD ready to send to a manufacturing plant. For faster delivery, I can also upload an ISO or DDP image of the Master CD that can be uploaded to any manufacturing plant that accepts those formats (or you can burn your own Master CD from the image).

Do you also do Mastering?

Yes! I usually include a “quick master” version of the mixes for reference since the “loudness wars” have conditioned everyone to expect songs to be compressed and peak limited to death in order to make them sound louder than everything else. If you hear a raw mix that has not had this type of loudness mastering performed, next to something that has been mastered loud, you will think the mix is too soft and might feel it does not sound very good. Our ears are easily fooled into thinking louder is better. So, when I send you mixes for reference, I usually send the raw mix along with a “quick master” version where I have done some fast limiting and compression so you can get an idea for what it will sound like if you choose to have it mastered loud. Of course, the preferred method is to listen to the raw mix and just turn up the volume knob, which will make the mix loud, but will still preserve all the dynamics and nuance that we worked so hard at during the recording and mixing stage. But, I also understand that people may still not understand this, and/or they simply feel that their mixes need to be just as loud as everything else to compete, so I provide the “quick master” versions for comparison while we try to finalize the mixes.

If, after the regular mixing is complete, you want me to spend the extra time to do some real mastering on the mixes, that can be done for an additional fee. Although my studio is not a dedicated mastering studio, I have done mastering for a variety of artists, both independent and major label. If you require even higher-end mastering services, I am located only a few blocks away from a very high-end, purpose built, dedicated mastering facility, and would be happy to personally take your project there for mastering and attend the session myself, or refer you directly to them or other mastering engineers that I know and trust to do a good job.

Do you do instrumental, A Capella, or other alternate mixes?

Yes. If requested, I will usually include an instrumental mix and vocals only mix at no additional charge. If you need special radio edits, or other special mixes that require extra time to set up, there may be an additional fee.

What is included in the price?

Included in my fee is my initial mix, and up to two sets of revisions. If we need additional revisions to get the mix where you want, there will be an additional fee (although if it’s just one additional minor change, I will often do that for no additional charge). You will get the final high resolution Wave file of your full mix, as well as any agreed upon alternate mixes (instrumentals, vocals only, etc.), delivered via FTP. If you need a master CD mailed to you, there will be an extra charge for the shipping. If any of your tracks need cleaning up, auto tuning, or editing of any kind to make them ready to mix, there may be an additional charge for that time.

What types of payment do you accept?

I can accept all major credit cards, as well as electronic debits, and e-checks, through PayPal, or I can direct you to a secure payment page if you don’t want to use PayPal. Please note that e-checks can take up to 5 business days to clear, so I reserve the right to wait for the funds to clear before doing any work. I require a 50% deposit up front, and the balance is due before the delivery of the final files.

What other services do you offer?

In addition to mixing and mastering, I offer a wide variety of studio services. I have produced, composed, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered, music from a wide variety of artists, and am experienced in all aspects of music production and recording. I also work with all the top professional musicians in the greater Seattle area, and can hire them to perform on your project as well. Live drums, professional vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, strings, and just about anything else… I can do it all. If you need help editing your tracks, tuning vocals, tightening up drum tracks, noise reduction, or any other type of digital audio work, I can do that as well.

For more information, check out my DBAR Productions web site, or contact me directly.

Can I hear samples of your work?

Yes! Just use the music player on the home page. I will try to keep that player updated with examples of my most recent mixing projects. You can even click on the popup window button at the upper right of the player to open the player in its own window so you can continue to listen while browsing the site.

Still want to hear more? Check out the audio samples page on my DBAR Productions web site, or visit my Soundcloud page.

Do you offer any kind of free, or discounted, trial mix?

Not usually. But I will go out of my way to make sure you are completely satisfied with the mixing I do for you. In special circumstances, I may offer a discount, especially if you are having me mix your entire album, or if I really, really love your music.

I will, however, sometimes offer trade deals for extremely talented singer/songwriters, or other artists, that I think may be able to help me out with some of my own productions.

I have other questions!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you may have.