I have put together some guidelines to follow in order to make the process a little more transparent.
The more front end production put into the recording the better the results will be. Using good instruments, mics, pre amps, eqs, compressors and effects. Its possible to clean up and work almost anything into a mix if its recorded with basic guidelines, good takes and equipment.
If your signal is recorded to loud we might get digital distortion and that can't be fixed in the mix. If you record to quiet than when mixing the "room to noise ratio" (room noise) becomes an issue.... Aim to keep the signal at half to 3/4 of the input meter. At no time should any meter clip or overload/go red.
Since I use Pro Tools I can use your session files. Make sure to label all tracks clearly... for example if its a background vocal then call it that.
All this saves me time that I could be spending on the mix.
WAVE FILES & ALL OTHER PROGRAMS
I'm a Pro Tools user but a lot great stuff is done on many types of DAW's (Digital Audio Workstation). Logic, Reason, Cubase to name a few.
They all basically operate the same way. What I need from you are wave files of each track. For each system its slightly different. Some people send just the tracks without any effects in wave format. Some like to send me something called "Stem" tracks. "Stem" tracks are the tracks with effects printed and/or multiple tracks together. Printed means fixed.. I wouldn't be able to adjust the effects apart from the track. This is popular with anything that has many layers/tracks. I wouldn't always recommend this but if you like how something sounds then print it. Its always good to keep options.
All wave files need to start from the same place even if there is only a short track. This is vital so when I load your files into a new Pro Tools session they all line up perfectly and I don't have to guess where everything goes.
If you have done a mix in your software then send me a stereo wave file of it so I know where your heads at as far as direction goes. Also send me a couple examples of artists you like the mixes of. This helps me know the direction a bit of what your final product is in your minds ear.
Sample rates I use are 44.1 to 96 at 24 bit or 32 bit float if your sending me a Pro Tools session.
PLEASE ask me if you have questions. The more the better. I like to get the details out front right from the start. Its important for you to understand the process. Its also important your happy with the product.
MUSICIAN FOR HIRE
As a producer/musician I have the ability to add needed tracks or replace samples if needed. This is not included in any of the mixing packages but is always available for your product. I'm also for hire outside of mixing. I could just record a track and send it to you if that's what you want. I'm open to ideas.
Bass - Adding a bass track can really help carry a song in the low end.
Guitar (Acoustic and Electric) - Adding guitar of most styles, Country, Jazz, Metal, Blues...etc. I'm a professional guitarist with session experience. (Bryan Rason Music)
Drums - Adding a simple drum beat or replacing/adding samples is very common to get everything to sit properly in the mix.
Percussion - Adding shakers, tambourine can add a nice layer to help with the rhythm of the song.
Using "Zip" files can greatly simplify transferring files between you and I. It turns all the files into one which makes it easier to send/receive. Below are a few links to free zip programs.