How to Prepare and Send Recorded Tracks for Audio Mixing

Let’s have this example. Have you ever thought; “How am I going to make my recordings compatible with any DAW for mixing”? Supposing you are proaducing a song; then you are recording the tracks. All tracking is now complete in your own DAW or tracking software. You won’t be mixing the track; then you asked this question: “How am I going to make the recordings compatible with any mixing engineer DAW?” All of these details will be discussed in this post.

Basic Essentials- Complete the Tracking and Don’t Apply Effects

If you are record producer in-charge of the project, don’t apply effects to the recorded tracks on your mixing software. Leave that to the mixing engineer. All necessary/required effects should be applied during the recording session such as:

1.) If you are recording/tracking guitars; the guitarist would naturally use some effects on his own such as distortion, chorus, etc. To capture these effects naturally you would be recording the guitars using amp cabinets. So the effects are added naturally during recording. The signal paths are as follows:

Guitars — > Effects pedal (distortion, chorus, etc) — >Guitar amplifier — > microphones — > Audio Interface — > DAW

2.) Some bass guitars or other instruments are using effects just like guitar. So you need to capture them during the recording process.

The vocals are mostly recorded dry without any effects on it. Then you should complete all the needed recordings for the song. This includes all the overdubs, back-up vocals, additional guitar solos, etc.

Then make sure you are correctly naming the audio recorded files. Do not simply name the track as “Track1.wav” because it can confuse the mixing engineer. Make it as descriptive as you can, e.g. “Guitarleft.wav” or “Leadvocals.wav”.

When saving the audio files using a new name, make sure to save it in correct format as it was recorded. If you are recording it as 24-bit/48KHz then save the new file with the new file name also in 24-bit/48KHz. The PCM WAV audio file format is a standard and can work with any digital audio workstation software.

OK, at this stage your recording should be clearly labeled and no effects applied on the DAW (except during the recording).The next thing is to combine all loops into a single WAV file. For example, a very common loop used in a track are drum loops created by drum sequencing software, see below:

Drum Sequence

Drum Sequence

There are three drums section loops above (kick drum, snare drum and ride cymbal). Each of them consists of replicated drum loops; you need to combine all loops in each track into a single continuous WAV file.

Combined drum loops

Combined drum loops