#70: Collaboration Best Practices – How To Make Sure That Others Can Work On Your Song

#70: Collaboration Best Practices – How To Make Sure That Others Can Work On Your Song


Are you making this record all by yourself? No? Good. You need this episode.

If you are working on it alone now, will you at some point bring others in? Maybe on future projects? If the answer is yes, this episode is absolutely for you.

If you have more than one band member working on your songs and arrangements, if you want guest musicians to contribute to you record, if you're working as a session musician for others, or if you're hiring a mixing engineer - you need to make sure that those other people can actually work on your songs (or that you can contribute to theirs)!

And if you truly want or need to be a lone wolf, then you can make your own life easier by following the principles and best practices described in this episode. Because better organization and clearly defined processes for consolidating, exporting, labeling or archiving audio files make you faster, prevent mistakes and boost your creativity by freeing up that "brain RAM" for the things that really matter.

And as soon as an opportunity presents itself, you're ready to jump on it because you know how this all works and you'll be such a pleasure to work with.

Let's discuss!

This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Related Podcast Episode:

#23: 10x Your Productivity And Creativity By Using Checklists And Templates

Related Article:

Can any stranger work on your song?

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 070 - Collaboration Best Practices - How To Make Sure Others Can Work On Your Song

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] The more than anything it's that we know that when this stuff is done properly, that the outcome, the result will be much, much better. And just by following 

Malcom: [00:00:08] the steps that you're going to do, it's going to be serious day and less stressful for you to do, right. 

Benedikt: [00:00:16] This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are.

DIY let's go.

Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host then at a time, and I'm here with my friend and cohost. Now come on flat. How are you, Malcolm? Hello. I'm great, man. How are you? I'm great as well. Thank you. Awesome. So we are back. No, I was, oh shit. I was about to say we are back recording on Mondays, but we 

Malcom: [00:00:47] are.

No, we're not. We're closer. It's still 

Benedikt: [00:00:51] on Monday. Um, yeah. Um, But it's still I'm good. I, what did I do this week? I don't know. It feels like a Monday for some reason. Maybe [00:01:00] we can just get back 

Malcom: [00:01:00] from vacation and just, yeah, from that post post vacay, uh, like shock. Yeah. It's like, oh God. Back to the real world.

Yeah. Like Austria was good. You loved it. Yes. I loved 

Benedikt: [00:01:11] it. Was awesome. Um, I didn't, like there was only one person asking about the sandals I expected to, uh, yeah. I expected more people to at least give me weird looks, but it didn't happen. And, um, it was awesome. Hiking, having fun with kids, um, chilling, just, yeah.

Great family vacation and then awesome. I'm back. 

Malcom: [00:01:35] I've been told the embarrassing Beth, my fiance for people who don't know what I'm talking about. Uh, but I've got these toe shoes that I've talked about before. They're shoes that your toes are like separated in for running and they look ridiculous for sure.

Um, I love him, but, uh, I've been like we've been going on runs together and then going grocery shopping for dinner and stuff. So I've just been walking around the grocery store and Toshi, just looking like a weirdo. [00:02:00] Nobody said a thing so far, not, not a thing. So, uh, I don't know. Forward-thinking folks maybe, or they're just being polite.

Benedikt: [00:02:07] Yeah, maybe. I mean, are they. I think those tow shoes, I don't know. Maybe I just know it because I run myself. I don't, I th I thought that people knew them 

Malcom: [00:02:18] at this point, but maybe I, I never really see them around here, but, uh, I'm sure runners would know, but I don't know if non-runners would have any idea.

Benedikt: [00:02:29] Well, yeah. Other than that, um, when it comes to audio, what, what did you, what you, this week, last week, we haven't talked about other things than running. Yeah. For two weeks. 

Malcom: [00:02:42] Uh, I had, uh, cool gig just on Monday, actually. Um, which is why we didn't record on Monday. Uh, I went and worked on a film set and, and the first part was just an interview kind of thing, pretty basic and straight forward, but very enjoyable as well.

Um, but the second part was a musical [00:03:00] performance and it was probably the first time I've seen people play music together as a performance. In like a year, um, which is so weird to me. Cause I, it didn't hit me until that moment. And I like, honestly thought I was going to cry. It was like weird. The emotional, seeing people play music for pleasure.

And as like a, a performance, it was so weird. Um, and I was like, well, let's just make sense. I've seen people playing music. I've been working this whole time, but in the studio, it is so different. That's like, here's my part, normally one at a time. And even when you see a band play live, it's like, it's not a projecting of emotion.

They're like, it's more internal for the players. They're focusing on what they're doing. Um, it was, yeah, it was really cool to see and be a part of, um, great musicians as well. Uh, and now I have to buy an old sixties arch top harmony after seeing this guy play one. 

Benedikt: [00:03:56] Yeah. I, I can't wait for that all to come back here.

Um, I [00:04:00] can only imagine how, how cool it is to, to watch that. And it's funny. You're right. It's a different thing than watching people in the studio. Right. So I never thought about it, but yeah, 

Malcom: [00:04:09] I guess it made me realize that I think I need to try and create that type of atmosphere a little bit more when working with a band in the studio and try and get them to be more in the moment of the performance than necessarily just in their head thinking about that technical accuracy.

Benedikt: [00:04:25] Yeah. That's why it's so important to listen to stuff like we do here, because then you can take care of all that before you go to the studio practice and know what, like. Whether it's all about. And then when you, when it comes time to record, you only have to perform. And yes, because that only happens when people don't know what they're doing or need a lot of help and you then then need to focus on the technical stuff or you need to give them a lot of guidance and help.

And that takes them out of performing live. But if they know that before and can practice and then they come well-prepared, it's [00:05:00] all about the art at the moment. Yeah, 

Malcom: [00:05:01] definitely. Yeah. I agree. 

Benedikt: [00:05:03] Yeah. I can't wait for all that to come back for the life stuff. We are there's hope, but we are still a little further away than you are, I think, but there's going to be something it's pretty soon.

I think some small ones, at least. Awesome. 

Malcom: [00:05:16] Yeah. It's going to be so exciting. Yeah, totally. 

Benedikt: [00:05:19] Totally. All right. Um, speaking of events, we have something planned, something coming up and. If you're listening to this episode, right? When it comes out, it should be in three days from now that we do a meetup, we may, we do a virtual, whatever you want to call it sume webinar, but it's not really a webinar.

It's not as teaching. It's a meetup. We just want to meet you. We want to hang out. We listen to your songs and give you feedback and, um, talk about the songs and help you with whatever problems and issues you might be having. And we did that before people liked it a lot. And if you want to be part of that, and if you want to send us your song, [00:06:00] maybe if you want to submit something you've been working on, um, we have a bunch of submissions already, but maybe we can get some more.

If you want to be a part of that. You go to the self-regarding band.com/community, or you download one of our free guides, free PDFs that we mentioned on the show all the time. You'll find those. If you go to the self-reporting band.com in both cases, you'll be a part of our community of our little world.

Here. You'll be a part of the Facebook group, or you'll be on my email list, which is also considered a community here. And then you get an invitation. You can join us all you need. Assume. I think everyone in the world by now knows what Sue was after last year. And, um, yeah, we can hang out. We can talk. We can get to know you.

We can talk face to face. You can ask questions and we'll hopefully help you improve your recordings, mixes, whatever you want to know about. And it's all going down this Saturday, 8:00 PM. Central European time. I think it's 11:00 AM PST, right? [00:07:00] Yup. Yup. 

Malcom: [00:07:01] I mean, that's what you told me. I'm just trusting you blindly.

Benedikt: [00:07:03] I think that's right. APM. If you're in Europe, 11:00 AM Pacific and whatever central time that is. Um, if you're in Australia, I'd love to see you. It's going to be a little difficult, but that's always hard too. But Europeans and Americans and Canadians everyone in those times zones, we'd love to see you.

It's a Saturday. I hope you can make time and we can finally meet you and 

Malcom: [00:07:27] yeah. Yeah. I missed the first one. So I'm really excited to be on this one. 

Benedikt: [00:07:30] Yes, me too. The self recording, bet.com/community. That's where you'll find the announcement. All right. Now, what do we do this time? This time we talk about something that I can't really believe we haven't covered yet because it's so essential.

It took us 70 episodes to talk about that. Although both of us are struggling with that all the time. 

Malcom: [00:07:51] Yes. So a large. Motivating factor of us creating this podcast was like, this will help us, you know, if our, [00:08:00] our clients and the bands that work with us, uh, listen to this podcast, they're going to start doing things a proper way and it'll make our lives easier.

When we end up receiving those files to mixer master or whatever, or even in the studio with them, it's been making a difference and it has been, it's been great. Um, and, but this is like one of our number one problems, and it's just doesn't make any sense that we haven't had a dedicated episode for it.

Um, that said, I think a lot of it has come up across multiple episodes, but it's, it is well worthy of having a dedicated episode. 

Benedikt: [00:08:32] Yes. So what this episode is about is collaborating with others basically, and exchanging files between you and bandmates, other bands, guests, musicians, people you collaborate with, but also mixing engineers, remote, um, producers, like everyone, like other people working on your session.

Basically, whenever you do that, whenever it's not just you working on your session, you should know about some best practices that just make the whole [00:09:00] process easier and smoother. And even I would argue that even if you are doing everything yourself on your own, this is the helpful and valuable because you're going to make your own life easier.

If you do that, it's like being more organized with stuff like that and following certain best practices, just, yeah. Again, helps you focus on the art more and less about screw ups and things that go wrong and are missing or not working or not compatible or whatever. Like all sorts of things can happen in the process.

And if you. Prepare export and transfer files correctly. Or like if you prepare your session after each stage of the process correctly, like after producing, editing, mixing, and prepare it for the next phase, the next stage, your life is going to be a lot easier and the life of your collaborators.

Absolutely. As well. 

Malcom: [00:09:51] Definitely. So the practical example for us to give is both of us being mixing engineers. Uh, we receive files from bands to [00:10:00] mix their song. And, uh, lately I've been on like a batting average out of like nine out of 10 songs are done incorrectly, which is just such a bummer. All right, I'm going to make this song today.

You load it all up. And you're like, okay, well I'm missing half the bass track or the vocal isn't exported to the same length. So it doesn't line up with the song, um, you know, or, you know, they forgot to crossfade their edits. So there's pops all through it. This acoustic guitar track could be so many things and we're going to cover a bunch of them and how to easily fix them.

Um, and, and there's, there's even more trivial stuff in this more important stuff than, than that too, but essentially it stops us from getting your, your music mixed in that situation. Um, but this also applies to just you working with other musicians. If you collaborate with your band mates and you're sending stuff to them, and you're sending them a file that is not going to line up with their session, they might not even really understand that it's slightly out, right.

They like, depending on the [00:11:00] severity of the mistake and the experience and knowledge of the collaborator, things can actually get pretty screwed up. And, and it can end up to this big mess that you can't fix 

Benedikt: [00:11:11] later. Yes. Two things can happen, basically, if you ignore what we're talking about today, first is that asthma com said that you're.

You're just going to make mistakes that you can't fix. And so it affects your end result. It affects what you can, um, yeah. What you can do with, with your recordings, it affects the, the outcome, the actual outcome, and end result the sound of it. The second consequence is it just delays the project a lot sometimes.

So if you want to have like fast turnaround times, if you need the stuff back as early as possible, or if you just want to move on and not get stuck in the process, um, this is super important because what happens is if you send us, for example, your stuff for a long time, I did that way that I, I scheduled the mix.

I open up the session and when there was an issue, I got [00:12:00] back to the band and I requested new files or asked for my, I had to talk to them about how, how to solve that problem and what we, what we should do next. And then it took them a while to send you files or fix the issue. Whatever. Now I do it differently.

Now we check the files like Thomas. Who preps and added stuff for me, he checks the files as soon as possible. So I can get to back to the band with as little delay as possible, give them a chance to fix it and ask, schedule my mix a little later, so that there is like the scap between checking the files and actual mixing so that the actual mixing session is not delayed, but still there is this buffer that is just necessary because so often people send stuff that is not ready to be mixed yet.

And, um, now what happens if you send stuff over that, that doesn't, it just doesn't work. And we. Tell you that, and you have to improve, you have to fix the issues. You have to send new files, but you maybe don't know what to do exactly. Or like there cannot [00:13:00] can be so many, so many problems at this point because once it's done incorrectly and, um, it can delay the whole session, the whole project by weeks.

Sometimes like if I expect five songs certain day and I want to mix them and then I don't get them and I have other people lined up, you might have to wait like another two weeks or so until I can work on your stuff or even longer. And the same thing with collaborators, like if you want to want to have someone play on your record, that person will schedule time as well likely.

And if they can't work on the record or if they send you back stuff that just doesn't work, something is going to be the something's not going to work. And if there are more stages, more people down the line, it only gets worse. So, yeah. 

Malcom: [00:13:45] Definitely. I, uh, it's good for you and it's good for the people you're working with.

It shows respect for their time. Um, and it's something to be aware of is that this can totally end up costing you money. Um, like if, if enough mistakes are made, I have to charge for it. Cause [00:14:00] this is like, look, I've been spending two hours on file prep where that shouldn't have been the case. It should've been like 20 minutes of importing files into a session.

Um, and some people, sometimes people are like, Hey, here's all the files please like charge us to clean them up because we don't know how to do it. Yeah. And I was like, okay, like that that's communications are declared and it'll be fine. Um, but uh, in general, this will save you money. If you just follow the steps we are going to outline.

Benedikt: [00:14:29] Absolutely. And like, that's the gonna be the last example from, from the real world, like, from my perspective here, but. I actually made and a lot of mixers that I know do the same thing. I made a pretty extensive, like in-depth checklist for people that I send every single mixing client. And I know that some of you who work with mixes, you know, all that stuff and you don't need that, but still you're going to get it.

If you work with me just in case. And I don't mind if you don't follow the steps, as long as what you sent me works and doesn't have technical issues. But what I really [00:15:00] think is, is a bummer is when people just ignore the checklist obviously and send stuff, that's just, that just doesn't work. And I can tell that they've never looked at the checklist and we have to go through it all over again.

So don't do that. If you get a checklist from someone who you're working with, at least have a look at it, and you can always decide that you don't need it, but at least look at it. There might be something in it that's that really is worth paying attention to. And as you sat Malcolm, if you really ignore it, and if you do that two or three times in a row, and we just can't start at some point, there's going to be a set up for you or whatever, because it just 

Malcom: [00:15:33] doesn't work.

Yeah. That's just the reality. Um, I have fallen off giving out to the checklist. Okay. I'm going to get back on it. It's probably my fault that there's been so many mistakes lately. 

Benedikt: [00:15:45] Yeah. Um, yeah. I, I just have a sort of an onboarding process where that I send people through and I know that it, I try to make it not to not make it a pain from the artist's perspective because sometimes these systems and processes are good for us.

But from the [00:16:00] other side, they are just a pain and a lot of hoops that people have to jump through, but it's still worth it, I think. And there's a reason why I make you do that. Not because I want to be, I want to have less work or I'm lazy or whatever. It's just that the result is going to be better. I can focus on what really matters.

Um, it's going to be quicker and there's a reason we do that. And I don't care if it's a little harder during the process if the end result and what you finally getting is much better than so. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Okay. So what's actually on a checklist like that. And what do we recommend for you is like to, yeah.

To pay attention to as best practices. 

Malcom: [00:16:41] Right. Okay. So for the listener, I think there's two scenarios that we're really talking about. There's the collaboration where you're like, Hey, here's a bounce of the song or whatever, and you need to add your guitar solo to it and send it back. Um, and then there's also the situation that we've been referring to where you are sending all of your tracks to one of us to get mixed.

Um, [00:17:00] that's kind of like the two situations. So we're kind of going to be bouncing between those, I think. Um, but the first step in either case is that you gotta first off listen to your files and clean them up and make sure that. They're faded that like that it's all faded. Um, and there's no bad edits, so there's like no double breasts or, you know, pops or anything like that.

Um, and that it's all clean. And essentially that, that sounds like it's meant to be. And you know, that, that could go as deep as you want that could include editing, um, include automation or clipped cane if you really wanted to. Um, but, uh, and then, um, even like moving, moving. Things onto the same track, if possible, you know, like if you have like eight, each guitar passes on a different track, you gotta get it all onto one.

So you're just sending the single file, but that's is really the most important part is listening to it and being like, okay, this is right. 

Benedikt: [00:17:53] Totally, absolutely. Totally. That's it. Listen to it. Get rid of all the junk, get rid of all the noise, um, stuff [00:18:00] that's not supposed to be in there. Just get rid of it.

You don't have to, like, if you don't know what, what editing, how editing works, or if you don't know how to proper edit, you don't have to go into much detail here, but let's just get rid of stuff. That's obviously not supposed to be in there. You can do it. It's just cutting and then deleting and then make a fade.

So it doesn't click, um, like there's no clicks and pops. And then when it comes to consolidating and putting stuff on one track, I would say that, I think you've mentioned that in one episode, Malcolm, and I thought it was a great way to explain it whenever. You would have to automate a plugin or you would have to choose a different sound throughout the song, make it a different track.

And whenever it is one basic tone throughout the track and like the same instrument, same panning position, same tone, just different. Like you just started recording in different spots, but that on one track, like only make it another track. If it's a different sound or a different position, they can the stereo field or whatever, [00:19:00] but.

Take it's. If it's the left rhythm guitar with the same tone throughout the song, just make one track for the left road and guitar and don't spread it out over it. 

Malcom: [00:19:08] Contracts. Yeah. And usually that can all just leave on one track, live on one track. Sorry. I said a lot of things wrong there, usually that could all live on one track, but sometimes, you know, you might hold a chord and then have the rough start over top of it.

Like occasionally those, those overlaps. But at most that means you now have two tracks that for it, you know, it's really no, like, I don't think I've ever run into needing more than two for one guitar, you know? Um, now the, uh, little pro tip just on the edits because. Everything does need to be edited usually, but essentially if there's two things that are constantly missed, it is the space between vocals, you know, so maybe there's a vocal line before the course, and then he doesn't the singer doesn't sing through the pre-course and Mr.

Sing in the course and they just leave all of the noise of them waiting for the course to come in. And there's just like a singer going 

[00:20:00] Benedikt: [00:20:02] all right. 

Malcom: [00:20:03] Okay. Here it comes. And then they start singing. It's like, that stuff gets left in all the time. You hear them drinking their water and like, you don't want that in the song.

Right. So it's that kind of stuff that can be deleted. Like you can't mess that, delete it. And then put a fade on the edges of the regions now. Um, and then the second one after vocals is electric guitars where just like there's a gap in the guitar, but you can hear the amp buzzing away. Um, just to the, like the part where they're not playing.

And, you know, you can obviously get rid of that. We don't need it. 

Benedikt: [00:20:37] Yeah, absolutely. Wait. We had one sweat like Thomas, you will remember, um, van sent us a song, whether it was guitar solo, and then right after the guitar solo. Uh, I think the singer, yeah. I think someone from the band just yelled into his microphone, like yeah, like wicked solo or something like that.

It just left that in. Like it was an accident of [00:21:00] course. And you couldn't really tell what he was saying, but if you soloed it, you could tell if for some reason they didn't delete it. But I thought it was funny in this case, I was thinking about keeping it because it was so good. 

Malcom: [00:21:11] There was one time where I got rid of something and they're like, Hey, you got rid of our, yeah.

I was like, oh, that was intentional. Okay. I'll bring it back. But there was also a bunch of other stuff in that same song that it was not meant to be there. Another 

Benedikt: [00:21:22] reason to be really, um, detailed here and like really listened to stuff and really clean it up because if you send us stuff and it's not just obviously noise or things, that absolutely can't be in there.

But if it's. Stuff like a year or whatever. We have to assume that you want that in there if you sent them to us. So another reason to clean stuff up, because we don't know if you want that or 

Malcom: [00:21:47] not. Yeah, exactly. And again, in that case, there was this. Yeah. Which kind of sounded musical, but it was like far enough away from the mic that I wasn't sure.

And then there was all this other talking, you know, being like, Hey, can you pass me the water and shit like that? [00:22:00] So I was like, okay, I deleted all this stuff. I'm going to assume this other little thing was also not meant to be there. Um, you know, it kind of led me to believe that. So if that had all been cleaned out and it was just this one, yeah.

I would have been like, okay. It seems like they've cleaned the file. This has meant to be here. Yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:22:14] exactly. 

Malcom: [00:22:15] Okay. Um, yeah. So now we're heading to step two, which I think is the most commonly. Screwed up step misstep even. And, uh, where the edits, I mean, it's really good practice to do that, but it's usually things will still line up.

This is going to make it so we can't use the file at all. Um, so what we mean when we say consolidate files to the starting point is that if you throw all of your files, individual files into a folder for us, when we load them into a session, they'll all have the same starting point and play back in time.

Right? So even though the vocal might not start for 30 seconds, there's going to be 30 seconds of silence in front of it, so that it all lines up with all the other tracks that started before it, if you don't do that, [00:23:00] the vocal would like you didn't have a light silence before that imaginary vocal, it would start playing right at the beginning of the song and be out of place.

And this happens all the time, just constantly, constantly, constantly, constantly so different does kind of do this different ways. So you have to do some YouTube searching and it'll it'll show up though, because everybody has the same problem. Just figuring out how to bounce files out of your or export files.

I like to use the word export, um, in your YouTube search, uh, from your doll and you'll find a hundred videos on how to do it. Um, and yeah, you have, you got to get this right. Otherwise the, it won't line up and we'll be listening to, it's not the same song we're hearing. If the files don't line up properly.

Benedikt: [00:23:42] Absolutely nothing to add when it comes to two audio files. The only thing that comes to mind is that depending on your diet might be a different process to do the same thing with MIDI files. Sometimes I, again, Sessions that line up perfectly, but the media is all over the place or, um, like w yeah, I can't [00:24:00] really give advice here because it totally depends on your dog, but that's another issue that maybe, you know, how to export and consolidate your audio files, but it doesn't work the same way with media.

And you've got to figure that out as well. If you, if you are sending media along with the audio, right? 

Malcom: [00:24:13] Yep. Now we do have a step at the end of this, that actually is going to solve that problem. So don't worry it's coming. Um, but on the consolidate, we we've talked about the starting point, which is really important, but the consolidate word actually means something too and say, you're doing a vocal and you're punching in different parts.

So on your you've got all these different clips on the same track. When you consolidate the file, it turns that huge amount of clips into one file. So it's, now you're not sending us take three and four and five and six, because if you send us all of those, they wouldn't show up on the same track for us.

Right. And they wouldn't line up again. So it is literally taking multiple takes and turn it into a single long file. The length of the song just wanted to clarify that, um, then naming tracks, I mean, [00:25:00] this is always going to be a little bit different. I've just never had it kinda come a uniform way despite lists and stuff like that.

But as long as you've made an effort, it usually is pretty good. Um, Benny, why don't you talk about how you like it to be done? Because I like your system. 

Benedikt: [00:25:13] Okay, cool. So basically the two things I want to know is what is it like, what is on the track? What am I listening to? You need the source and. Then I want to add, like, that's basically the only thing that really matters and what's nice is if people give it a numbers so that when I import stuff into a new session, like a drag and drop on the files into new session, if they are numbered in some logical way, it doesn't have to be my system, but some logical, um, way, it all lines up in a way that I can quickly look at it and like, know instantly what's up.

Like if you, for example, if you number all the drums one to 12, or how many drum mix you have, and then you number all the bass tracks, like the next, like, um, [00:26:00] 13, 14, whatever, and then all the guitars, 15 to 20 or something. And then the vocals, some system like that. If I drag and drop that into the doll, I can immediately see groups that belong together and it's just easier to navigate and to see if something's missing or weird on outlining up.

So, but that's the bonus. The most important thing thing is I need to see what's on the truck and everybody needs to see what's on the track. If you're collaborating with someone else, it's the same thing. Basically, you need to label the tracks in a way that a true ranger immediately knows what he's looking at or she's looking at.

And usually it doesn't matter who plays the instrument, like the names of guitar players, for example, don't matter. And to me, microphones and stuff like that also don't matter. The worst is if just don't name it at all. And it's just called audio, I don't know, dash seven, take one, three or something like that.

That's the worst because like, what is that? What, where should I put it? What should I do with it? Um, [00:27:00] if you call it, I dunno, guitar left. That's okay. Even better is if you call it rhythm guitar, Dai left or rhythm guitar, one, the I left or something like that. Then I know it's a rhythm guitar. It's the Dai it's rhythm guitar one.

So there's probably a rhythm guitar too. And you want it on the left side and then see your rhythm guitar. One make one left. I know it's the same guitar and it's the mic that belongs to the Dai. And it's also on the left side. So I immediately know what's up and it's much better than calling it, John, uh, JCM 800 take seven or something like that, like, right.

I don't know who John is. I don't care about the amp and I don't want to know which take, you know, so, and every collaborator, it's the same thing for everybody. It's like, you just need to think. What would a stranger think when, when they look at your files, like could a stranger immediately work with your files?

That's the only question you need to ask yourself. 

Malcom: [00:27:57] And, uh, I, I pretty much have the [00:28:00] exact same system. The only difference being instead of numbers, I just go with, I call it like instrument group. So, and I just get them to put the first letter. So if it's drums, they just put a D underscore instrument. So snare, so D underscore snare, and then descriptive.

So underscore top Mike, maybe, you know, just top would be fine, you know, everybody's gonna be fine with that. And that's it. So instrument, group, letter. Instrument specific and then descriptive if needed, you know, if you only have one kick mic, you don't need a descriptive, it's just kick. And it's like, well, this is obviously a kickback.

Um, and then, uh, the only step past that is when Relic, when necessary put the Pantene in last. So, you know, you could have G for guitar underscore, uh, one, so it's guitar, one underscore left, and, you know, with a descriptive would be a D I G one D I left G one amp left. You know, now I know that guitar one.

And the beauty of this is that it's going to, like, if you throw your [00:29:00] finder in a, you know, computer in alphabetical, all, it's always going to put G one together. Right. It's not going to be like G one left. And then G three is going to be like, okay, here's all of our G one, here's our G one lefts and then our G webinars or rights.

Right. And so it says like all of them drag them drop G one is now in the session kind of thing. And so it's really easy and simple. If you think about it logically, right? Any mixers going to know what to do with that? Um, and something that you probably haven't thought about is that these smaller naming schemes show up on the displays of your computer really nicely when you have these big, long names, like George Rufus, the third guitar track fuzz, amp, Mesa boogie into SM 57 with Timmy distortion pedal.

You can't read anything. It's just a bunch of letters on your screen, right? Like it doesn't fit in a little box where the track, right. So you have to kind of consolidate. And, uh, like when I came up on an internship, I, I had, uh, a digital mixer in front of me that [00:30:00] displayed it on these little LCD screens.

So he was just like, you know, like if you can't make it, tell me what it is with like three characters. Yeah. You're doing it wrong. It's like, okay. I can. That makes sense. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:30:11] Yes, yes, totally. That's right. More important. I think if you're working on your, on your own sessions, um, because when, in doubt, when you working with strangers, I would make it a little longer.

It's just, just to be safe because like D one could mean whatever or like G one could usually it's a guitar, but you know, whatever, 

Malcom: [00:30:31] like yeah. You could definitely be a little more 

Benedikt: [00:30:32] descriptive. Yeah, exactly. But still it's good advice to keep it as short as possible, but still be very clear what it is.

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Yeah. That's basically it. And as you say that Malcolm is, it's very logical once you think about, think about it. So I don't really know why people don't do it, but I mean, I'm probably guilty of that myself. I can't really remember. It's been a long time, but I assume at some point I also had a bunch of audio.

One, two, yes. We 

Malcom: [00:30:57] all thought we all did. Yep. It's [00:31:00] a stay organized first and foremost end. It'll just make your life so much easier. Moving forward. Um, step four is actual exporting and this is now the other commonly. Screwed up step, um, that we, we always see. And again, if you do this wrong, it can really actually have an impact on your product.

Um, so you've consolidated the file, right? And they're named and all that. And now you're going to export them out into a folder to send them to somebody. Right? So a couple of things you have to do, you have to double check the sample rate and bit depth of your session and make sure that what you're exporting is set to do the same thing, um, that does get screwed up.

And it's really easy not to just, I mean, for me, I always work at the same one, so, and then I just never have to think about it. That's what I would recommend. Um, but yeah, just double check and make sure it's the same and then format. That should also be the same. So when I say format, I mean, like if you're recording wave files, you should be [00:32:00] bouncing out away file, not an MP3.

Um, that's the big one. Don't, don't bounce in and out an MP3 for collaboration or for mixing, and then last but not least, certainly not least is the file mano or stereo. Um, now ProTools does this automatically. So I was always confused why this was a problem, but I think some dogs don't do this automatically.

Specifically logic logic seems to default to making everything a stereo file. So you can't load it into a mixing template very easily because you've got all these mano tracks that won't accept the file. Logic has spat out. Um, I even have a paid piece of software that goes through and make sure things are actually stereo and we'll convert them back to Moto.

Um, if they're not, and every mixer I know who does the same thing has the same program. Cause this is such a problem. It's yes, but artists in particular, they wouldn't know [00:33:00] that. Right. They, they, they wouldn't have want to buy this software for making true model files model. Um, so you, I mean, just again, YouTube will be your friend there.

It should be mano. Most of your files would monitor. 

Benedikt: [00:33:15] Yeah, exactly. And I think part of the issue, I don't know how pro tools does it automatically. Part of the issue is. If you have mano tracks, but you balance them through your stereo bus, they're going to be stereo. And a lot of people do that. They go track after track one, after the other, just bounce them, like export them one after the other, through the mixed bus or their master output.

And that will result in a stereo. Um, file. What you have to do is you'd have to do a batch export, a multi-track export and all the major dyes can do that. So you don't export one track after the other. Um, I know for a fact that a lot of people do that. They solo track export and they sold the next, the next port.

What you need to do is you need, do you do a batch export of all your tracks and they should already be mano [00:34:00] inside your session. Like a Kik is one mic. If you recorded it properly on to one track, you probably use the mano track. And so you already have it in mano. And if you then then do a batch export, you'll get mano tracks.

I know that there's this weird thing with logic where you can still get stereo tracks for whatever reason. But usually that often that is the case. That is the problem that people don't even know that their doll has a batch export. For example, 

Malcom: [00:34:25] now this is important and I'm sure if we've mentioned it, but I really want to drive it home exporting and bouncing art, different things.

Oh yeah. Actually commonly mistake it. Um, so. Bouncing is kind of what you were just talking about, where you solo the track and you bounce it out of your master bus and it prints a new file. It renders a new file. So exporting is this magical thing where you have to imagine that if you're looking at the file, the kick drum, again, as an example in your, in your doll, it already exists.

There's an audio file somewhere. You're looking at it and you can listen to it. So why would you need the balance, a new one [00:35:00] through all this processing or through all this routing, to be able to send it to somebody that already exists on your computer. So exporting is just go into that file copying and pasting it into a new file.

Like it already exists. They don't need to, rerender something and it's amount of file in your dyes. You're looking at it. So it's just like copy paste kind of thing. And that's what that export function does. If you're using the same settings like Sanford and bed depth. So in collaborating, you probably want to be exporting for sending like individual tracks to people rather than bouncing.

But, um, to give you a practical use case, sometimes you might just want to send a bounce to the song without vocals, and then your vocalist is going to lay down vocals. For example, that's going to be a bounce, right? Because you just want to send them like an instrumental bounce of the song. You can't export that because that audio felt doesn't exist.

So when you listen to your song and your doll, you're listening to all the individual files getting played at the same time where you need to make one file. So that is going to be when you want to bounce instead of export. 

Benedikt: [00:35:58] Yeah. Okay. So I need [00:36:00] to add one thing you're right. But typically like if you have consolidated your files properly and you're looking at one file per track and there's no gaps, no fades, no cuts.

And everything starts at the beginning. And like, everything is basically as it should look after you've imported a session. Then yes, you can just go to the source folder, locate the files, export them and send them to somebody that's the ideal case. And in that case, you've also already double-checked it because you see it in front of you in your door, that it works, that it lines up.

In reality, though, most people will have a session where they might, there might be a crossfade somewhere. There might be silent somewhere. It's not one file all throughout the song or like one event or region or whatever it's called in your software throughout the song, but it still works and there's no clicks and pops in it's properly cleaned up and everything.

So unless you then consolidate like balance in your session basically, or render in your [00:37:00] session and then export, you have to bounce it instead of just copying and pasting it because you, you first have to create that one file that goes from start to finish because your daughter shows you, um, multiple files or like, um, It's, it's a weird thing to explain.

If you don't know how that works, there's a file on your, on your hard drive and in an event or a region in your door is part of that file that your dog like plays back. And, um, you have to make one new file that goes from, start to finish and has all the processing you want in the right format and stuff.

Now, if you've done that properly during the session, you can just go and export. But if, whenever you're looking at cuts, fades, silence, multiple events on one track, you have to make a balance. Yeah. That is 

Malcom: [00:37:44] multiple files at that point. As soon as there's a cut or fades, you have more than one file and you can't just send that because it would show up as two different files and not line up again.

So that is back to step number two, consolidating the files to the same start point that is committing your edits and [00:38:00] stuff like that at that point as well. 

Benedikt: [00:38:01] Yeah. And you'll actually save, I mean, you should still do it probably, but you could, in theory, you could. Um, you wouldn't have to do step number six, which we're going to be talking about later, if you do that properly, because you already see it in front of you.

So if you consolidate it in the session, everything lines up and it's only one file per track. All you need to do is like copy and paste and that will still work in another 

Malcom: [00:38:25] session. Yep. Definitely. Now we did kind of miss a step in naming tracks actually and realized, okay, so it kind of goes in hand with the exporting though.

So you double check your sample right in your bit depth and your format and that things are mono stereo. Um, but sometimes there's really important data to put in the naming tracks. For example, you could put the sample rate and bit depth in there to be safe. Um, and you could also put the tempo in there.

And I think that's a really good practice. Um, and why we do that is to ensure that the person receiving that file is setting up their session the same way so that they're dragging it into. [00:39:00] A session that matches all of that data and that they're going to now record stuff onto it. The same in the same format.

Um, I just had a situation where I sent her to bounce to get some gang vocals from some people. And one of the artists brought it into the wrong sample rate. So they kinda pretty much, they were hearing a slowed down version of the song and sang to that. Um, and I guess it just didn't notice that it sounded a little weird.

Um, but I don't really know, but anyways, it happened. And if I had put the sample rate in the title of that file name, it probably wouldn't have right. They probably would have been like, oh right. I just gotta change that little setting. You know, maybe they still would have, I don't know. 

Benedikt: [00:39:41] Totally. Right. It's a really good thing to do.

Um, I request that an info sheet with stuff like that on it, but you can, you can just to be safe, put it in the file name or the folder name or whatever, just put it somewhere. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:39:53] That's more so for like, when you're sending like an instrumental bounce of the song, cause it's, it'd be a lot of work to put all that data into the file [00:40:00] name of each individual.

Multi-track, you know, if you're sending each instrument out, um, that that's not really practical, just put it in the folder name. It's like, uh, an info sheet, like Benny just recommended, but when it's just like, here's one file and you're going to add something to it that you can just quickly write it in there real quick.

Yep. Um, I have one more trick that has been a lifesaver for me lately. Uh, especially with pre-pro tracks is when a band is sending me like their pre-pro tracks and scratch tracks and stuff. I get them to insert, um, like a kick or a click or any noise on beat one of the session for them. And sometimes that doesn't line up with the one in mine and it's like, okay, this doesn't make any sense.

I don't know why that wouldn't be the same, but I can just go cut it at that kick that kick they've inserted and drag it to maybe one. And now everything lines up. It's kind of like a fail safe. You're putting in like a little marker. That's like, okay, this is on the zero point of our grid. So as long as you get it, there will be good.

And there's a multitude of [00:41:00] reasons why that could happen. Some Dawes support, like zero time or negative time where there's like time before beat zero, which is a little weird. Um, others will. Print a delay, maybe there's a plug-in that's causing latency. So you render up this file and it's actually been pushed back in time.

So it wouldn't line up in the doll if you brought it back in, um, stuff like that. So this is like, if you can't get things to line up between your collaborations, literally insert a click. Um, yeah. You can even print a click into it, you know, so there's like 1, 2, 3, 4 song starts. That's a great fail 

Benedikt: [00:41:33] safe as well.

Yeah, absolutely agreed. Okay. Um, speaking about things we missed in previous points, I want to, I have something as well with mono and stereo, because it's one of those things where we assume that this is totally clear and logical, but I think when I think about it, I'm pretty sure that not everybody listening to this podcast is really sure when a file is mono or stereo and when, or when it should be [00:42:00] monastery, because I sometimes get things that people call stereo, but it's clearly not.

And sometimes, sometimes they, um, Yeah. Sometimes it's mano, although it should be stereo, like there's all sorts of things. And just to clarify, a stereo means when there's different information on the left and right channels. So whenever. You listened to a track and it's not, it doesn't seem to come straight out of the middle between your speakers or headphones.

If it's like off to one side, if there's different information left and right. If it's just not coming out from that center between your speakers all the time, it's stereo. But if it does come out of the center, it's mano, that means that the left and right speaker are playing back to the exact same thing.

So everything recorded with one microphone is mano, unless there's some stereo effects on it later in the chain, but a kick drum mic, a snare mic, one single guitar mic, a vocal mic. All of that is mano. A pair of overheads is stereo. Yes. They're paired together if they're paired [00:43:00] together. Yeah, exactly.

Otherwise you have two mano tracks, like one for each overhead mic. Exactly. Um, sometimes guitar tricks can be stereo. When people record the, the line out from their camper, for example, they use a reverb or a chorus or something like that. That could be stereo and it should be stereo if it's a wide delay or reverb or something like that.

Yeah. Sometimes there'll be. 

Malcom: [00:43:23] Like, sorry. I want to clarify that to get it to be stereo. It's not that it's the delay and reverb it's that you're capturing two signals. There's still, every stereo capture is made up of two mano sources, right? Yeah. Like, so it's like now you would need two XLRs out of the, back of your amp to get that stereo effect.

To capture it stereo, if you have one it's only ever going to be modeled. 

Benedikt: [00:43:45] Exactly. Right? Exactly. So a reverb, even if it's stereo in the box you're using, if you only record one output, you will end up with a mono track. Exactly. You need a left and the right channel. So stereo is just two mono channels.

That's what what's. There is one goes to one speaker and the other goes to the other speaker. And if they're [00:44:00] exactly the same one is redundant and you can just bounce a mano Trek. If they're not exactly the same, you have one stereo track or two monitor tracks that can be played back together. S stereo, just to clarify that I had it like just last week, someone sent me a session with programmed drums and the, he exported some reverb or room ambience stuff with his close mix.

So every track, like every kick and snare and Toms, all of that was stereo. And, um, I dunno, you can't do that. But in that case, I would prefer to get the close mics as mono files and then have one stereo track for the ambient. So the room or multiple, uh, whatever you want to do. But in that case, all the drums were stereo, but that was because the reverb and the room and the stereo image was printed onto those individual shell.

Mike's Speyer shell tracks, basically. 

Malcom: [00:44:50] Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That is a kind of a weird thing to get your head wrapped around. Um, but yeah, it's a left and a right. The information coming to the left and [00:45:00] right. Speakers is different. That is stereo. Situation. 

Benedikt: [00:45:04] Yes. Okay. So, um, and it's just double though, the file size, by the way, one of the reasons we just can't accept it is, or where we can accept that.

It's just a pain is that the session is twice as big. If you send redundant, um, stereo tracks like stereotypes that are actually mano, it's gonna use more processing power. Every plugin is actually two instances of this plugin, because one has to process the left and one the right channel. And you don't need all of that.

So that's the reason. Okay. Great point. Um, step number five. Mini data. 

Malcom: [00:45:38] Yeah. This is really handy. Uh, more handy than you might know. Um, you can export middy information from most Dawes and it'll include pretty much everything you need. It could include the markers, you know, it's like, here's the course, here's the verse, all that stuff.

It can include all the middy instruments and it can include the BPM tempo mapping as well. Um, so it's like this one little mini [00:46:00] file that I bring to ProTools normally has all of the middy stuff I need, which is great. Um, not all does work that way to my understanding. Sometimes you need to get like each mini instrument sent us a separate mini file, um, where for whatever reason, I seem to get lucky and I can bring one in and it will spit out multiple mini files for me in, in my doll.

But. Just essentially, you have to make sure you include that stuff and, uh, and make sure you do it properly. So again, YouTube, your own dog and exporting Medi and watch a video watch too. There'll be 

Benedikt: [00:46:33] absolutely like, I would always watch at least two when it comes to anything, but yeah. Yeah. And when you find like a consensus, then, uh, use that.

Um, so yeah, many data data. Yeah. It basically, if you do that properly, the tempo, the start of the song and all of that is already in there. If you import the mini first, before you import all the [00:47:00] audio in two new session, you should have a tempo track. You should have a tempo map. If there's simple changes and stuff like that, like you can put so much information into the committee data at Jimminy track.

Um, I actually even tell people to just create an empty track and empty MIDI region and just export that and send me that along with the audio files, because then I have their tempo map and all the information, usually depending on the job, but usually it just works. And especially if you have very complex tempo changes or anything like that, it really helps to just have that blank committee, um, region there.

Uh, do, you can make one note, you can create a right program, whatever one note in the beginning and one in the interest to be sure that the media thing goes through all the way to the end. Um, and then just export that and re-import it. And it should be fine again, check if that stuff really works, but it should be fine.


Malcom: [00:47:53] Um, now we do have a post-mortem coming up shortly about. Whose responsibility it [00:48:00] is to choose like what those Mid-City instruments do and stuff like that. Um, so stay tuned for that. That's coming at the end of the septum. Uh, but I think we're ready to hit the last of our kind of file collaboration, prep stuff, our last step.

And this is the most important thing. And you are all lazy turns if you don't do it.

And like side note, nobody does it either. So you're all lazy turds, but, uh, uh, no I'm joking is importing all the files. You just export it back into a session, a blank session and making sure that it works. So it should be, it should take you no time. Just make a new session, make sure the separate bit rate and all that.

It's the same. And then how they'd all of the files you've just exported, drag them right back in. It should be as simple as that in most cases. And then click play. And does the song play correctly? Is everything there? Does it all line up? If you hear anything wrong, you got to fix it before you send it off.

Doing this one [00:49:00] step will ensure that you never make a mistake in your life. Yeah. You'll get, you'll get the job you wanted. You'll be married soon. It'll all 

Benedikt: [00:49:10] come together and we all come together magically. Yeah, totally. Um, if you do step number four or no step number two, collect correctly, um, you shouldn't have to do step number six, but do it anyways to 

Malcom: [00:49:24] make sure that you did it right.

Yeah. You know, and, uh, you'll, it also gives you this opportunity to kind of put yourself in the shoes of the person, receiving the files and being like, wow, this is a mess. Like, what are all these things? Like? I can't understand what they are. Okay. Maybe I should try renaming them, whatever stuff like that.

Yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah. Good practice. Just do it. You'll uh, yeah, it'll really help you. 

Benedikt: [00:49:47] I can't the thing is it's so funny how different people are and how different our brains work and stuff, because. I could never, never send something to another person that I haven't checked before, or like proof [00:50:00] read or whatever, whatever it is.

If I send out an email, I'm the worst at this? Like my wife hates it. I said, I can sit in front of an email for 10 minutes if it's an important email and just look at it and read it over and over again, just to make sure. I got it the way I want it. Um, so I cannot imagine sending someone something as complex as multitracks, without checking them first.

But I know for a fact that a lot of people just don't have a problem with that. So 

Malcom: [00:50:26] yeah, it is crazy. It's like, Hey, I want you to mix like this piece of my art that I care more about than anything in my life, but I don't care if the files are assigned when they show up in your computer.

Benedikt: [00:50:38] I mean, we are, we are all different and I, uh, yeah, you just don't know better now, you know? So do it. Yeah. Yep. 

Malcom: [00:50:45] Yeah. It's probably easier than you think to import the files back into a new session. Um, and that's probably the biggest barrier is that it seems like this daunting thing, this is a big folder full of unknown files.

Like, did you do it right? But it's just, just drag and drop them. [00:51:00] That'll 

Benedikt: [00:51:00] be it. Okay. Yeah. So before we get to the final thing here, we already, we have on our list. I have one question like them, and that is why. Can't you just send the whole session as it is, and not worry about all of this at all. I have my session in front of me.

It plays back. Well, why can't I just send the whole session? 

Malcom: [00:51:20] You know, technically you can, if your mixer or your band mate, or whomever uses the same doll and has all the same plugins and everything else, if you guys have a cologne of your system, it would work pretty good. Um, it would work perfectly in theory.

Uh, now in practice, that's almost never a good idea. Uh, there's some practical stuff like the file size is huge. You know, you might be sending a 50 gigabyte session for one song and that's going to take a long time and just give all of those old takes that weren't keeper and stuff like that. That could all be left in there.

And it's just [00:52:00] a waste of everybody's time and space on their computers. Um, number two, I probably don't want to see the session the way you have it. Right. Um, I've got particular stuff set up on my mixing template. That's going to save a lot of time and all the plugins I want are all kind of ready to go and be turned on with one click.

If I want them, they're all routed so that I have stems and instrumental versions and all this stuff. And you'd actually be making my life harder if you did that. Yes. Um, so that, that's another other reason. The third being the plugin software thing. So say that you've got some creative effects and you're like, well, I want to send it to you because this is, I'm hearing it the way I like it.

I like how this lead guitar has this trippy delay on it. And it's like, well, I might not have that delay. So even if you send me your session, it won't be there. I'll have the guitar, but I wouldn't have that delay plugging. Cause it, it wouldn't exist on my, my rig. Um, so in theory or in practice, it just rarely actually translates the way you think it would.

Yes. Um, I have done it. I would just say, I don't know if you've [00:53:00] ever done it, but I've had, uh, like one client, um, that did send me stuff. And he's just like, I kind of had things toned out how I want. Uh, and I think this would just be easier. And the, the exception, the reason I was down was that I was going to be adding tracks myself.

I was going to be adding more guitars, more percussion and stuff. So it was kind of a tracking session. And I was like, okay, I'll work with that. And then I'll do the transfer to the file. Um, like the file export, everything we just talked about today, I'll do that for myself to get it into my mixing session.

Once we're done. That was the only time and it worked fine, but it was a different, unique situation. Yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:53:34] totally. I think many people don't know how much we like, especially professional users, how much we customize our sessions, our, uh, our doors, our software, some settings, some the mixing templates we use.

And it's not just because we're lazy or we want to have like a quick and dirty solution. Um, we're going into every detail and making sure that it's perfect in the end, but we want to do it intuitively. [00:54:00] And if you send me a session, even if it's the same door that I'm using, and even if you have the same plugins, what do you just set Malcolm?

I don't want to see it that way. You see it. If you send me a session, I'll probably we'll do all the steps. We've just explained in this episode, I'll have to export, consolidate all of that and put it into my own template, my own system, because that's going to be quicker than working from your session where I have to find my way around all the color coding and the track names and the routing and all those things that are completely different than compared to the way I do it.

So I would just do the same. It's thing, but the potential to make a mistake here is much higher because it's not my session. So I would have to try and figure everything out and create and consolidate and export and do all that. And then hope that that is what you want it. And so why not just do that yourself?

And if you it's gotta be the same thing for every person you got, you collaborate with, except for, if you are in a band and you are together a lot, and you build your own system together and you have your dog [00:55:00] together and you write, and it's like a moving thing. The project is just one project where all the people work on.

That's a different story. But with external people, guest, musicians, mixers, all of that. It's just never a good idea to send a session it's been done. And you will hear that. That's why I mentioned it. If you listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos, especially like big name, producers and mixes, you will hear them talk about that a lot.

You will hear people say that they receive pro tool sessions all the time, and yes they do, but. Oftentimes, they have a great relationship with like the mixer and the producer have a relationship where they know each other and send stuff back and forth all the time. That's one thing then typically in these situations, it's all professionals who know what they're doing and they won't send a bunch of junk with their, their pro tool sessions.

Then also the budgets are really high. So it doesn't really matter if the assistant is sitting there a day or two cleaning up the session, that's just factored in and they just pay for that. But you can't expect typical [00:56:00] collaborators or mixes like us to spend two days just to sort through your files, you know?

So there's a difference. So you might hear someone say that they re receive protocol sessions all the time, but it's a little different than compared to what most of you do. Probably. 

Malcom: [00:56:14] Yeah. Yeah, it is usually, um, if for some reason you think you are the exception, keep in mind that you can actually send oath, you can do what we just described, which is what you should absolutely do.

And then you can just send the session file along and be like, oh, like, I really would love if you use the automation, I put it into this instrument and they can just pull that single thing out of that session. They don't have to take the whole thing and then they'll have your volume automation or whatever it is you were really particular about.

Benedikt: [00:56:41] Yeah. And even if you work with a person who takes protal sessions all the time or whatever you're using. They probably won't mind if you sent them properly consolidated, labeled exported WAV files, because that's also for them pretty quick, uh, and easier to do. And they're going to have that template. So they might accept [00:57:00] pro to session.

They might charge for the setup, but they certainly won't mind if you just sent them. Properly exported way from multitracks. Everybody can work with those. Yeah. That 

Malcom: [00:57:10] is the standard. Yep. Um, great. Now we should jump into some really related stuff. Um, we'll we'll keep it short, I think. Yeah. Yeah. We have two at this flight.

Yeah. But there's, there's some questions that come up through this and like, we could start with mini data or emitting instruments. You're sending mini instruments along and if you named them, right, at least the mixer would know that this is a piano middy track. Right. But what piano piano is can sound very different, um, across, you know, is it an upright, is that a grant?

Is it really roomy or is it really close mic kind of thing? Like what piano sound? So we always advocate for. Sending like a printed version of that instrument as well, actually, first and foremost, send that. I don't really care if the muddied instruments show up, I will just ask for one, if I [00:58:00] don't like the printed version you gave me.

Um, but you, I mean, to be thorough, you could do both. Absolutely. But do you should always render your, your middy stuff and send that along because that's the sound you've been working with and that's what we should probably try and mix. Um, you, you agree with that, Benny? 

Benedikt: [00:58:16] Absolutely, absolutely. Same as with the eyes.

Don't just send the Dai sent the MPAA and the da or the Amsterdam NTI. 

Malcom: [00:58:23] Exactly. Because what we're talking about is like whose responsibility is it to make these tones and it is not the mixers. It's actually the producer and for self recording bands, as we've discussed that as you, it is, it is whoever is leading the, the recording.

You are the producer, whether you like it or not. So you have to try and get the sounds you want. And maybe we'll, reamp the Dai. But we're going to take a look at that guitar amp tone that you sent as well and, and see if that's like good enough. Right. And even if it's not good enough, it's going to help us understand what you were trying to do.

[00:59:00] Um, so it's imperative that you try to give us the sounds that you intended to the best of your ability. And that is like exactly what we're trying to help with with this podcast is making it, so those are great. Um, but yeah, don't send the DEI with the intention of it being wrapped and just be like, oh yeah, you chose, you choose a tone and said, well, that's a producer's job to choose the tone.

Right. We're meant to finesse it. Um, because like a guitar tone can define a song, right? 

Benedikt: [00:59:26] Yes, absolutely. At the very least have a conversation. Like if you really don't know how to do it, or if you have no, no option other than like record a clean dive for whatever reason, at least have a conversation with the mixer or the person you're collaborating with and explain to them as, as, as good as you possibly can, what you're going for.

Um, something like that, but don't just send a blank Dai and say, do your thing. It's like, what is that? You know? And it's, and again, you are making something that means a lot to you. You are creating a piece of art. That's important to you. [01:00:00] You should have, and you probably have a vision for that. You like, what's the point of like making something and then just saying, well, do your thing.

I don't, I don't care. Like, of course you do. Why, why are you making that song in the first place? Of course you care, and you should, for that reason send, or you may just make decisions. And I think you said Malcolm, you are the producer, whether you like it or not. That's the reality. If you decided to skip going to the studio and hiring a producer, then you have to wear the producer hat.

You just have to be bold enough to say I, okay, I am the producer. I can make those decisions. That's your, that was your decision. Because if you don't want to do that, you have to hire a producer. Somebody has to have the vision. Somebody has to make decisions. And someone has to produce that record and skipping, hiring a producer or going to the studio doesn't mean that you can just make the mixer, the producer, like [01:01:00] some mixers will offer it to be a remote producer or help you with the production.

And I'll do that a lot as well, but that's a matter of communication and scope of the project and everything, but it's not automatically, you cannot automatically assume that you just record and someone else produces it. And especially not after it's been recorded. Yep. That's just doesn't work and it's not because we're lazy again.

It's because the outcome will not be as good. They get the tone you choose before you, um, record the next instrument. And the next tone, um, it's going to define what the next tone is going to be like. And it's like, everything builds on what's been done before, and there's no way we can, we can make it work after it's been recorded.

I mean, we could do something, but it's definitely not going to be as good as a production that's been made properly. 

Malcom: [01:01:50] Definitely, definitely. Yeah. Getting those reference tones is just imperative to a good result. Um, and, and you could record an and production. So you have to do that. [01:02:00] You know, again, you are the producer, get comfortable with it, you can do it.

Um, and then the last bit like final thing is also send a reference mix of where the song was when you finished, um, just, you know, printed it off. It doesn't have to be special at all. You don't have to put any time into it, just whatever you've been listening to. That's what we also want to get. That'll help us understand kind of what you were hearing and, and again, uh, how those tones were being used.

Sometimes it's like, what is this file for? I don't really get it against these other clean the eyes. And then you hear it with the processing and everything together. And you're like, okay, I kind of see what they're going for. Um, that can be really handy. 

Benedikt: [01:02:39] Totally. Um, yeah, totally. I mean, have we, w we talked about the tones and making decisions there.

We should maybe say again, that this is also about the performance is about the takes. Uh, yes. Um, but like, because some people send three different takes of the same thing. And same as what we just mentioned with [01:03:00] tones, they will go, we just recorded three takes just in case we sent you three takes, just in case, just choose the better one.

Or let's say you have a guest musician. You want to have some guitarist play a solo on your track or whatever you, you can't just send three versions and say, pick the best one and play to that. Make that decision, like tell people what is the main take, what do you like most, um, make that decision and only sent that you can send additional.

Takes, if you want, if you've defined, what's the main take. And then it's up to the person receiving those files. If they want to use something out of the other takes, if that's better, but at least they know what is the main take? What, what are you, what do you like? And what can I work with? But if you sent me three times the multi-track and you don't tell me what your take is that you like most th th that doesn't work, that's part of the production that you have to decide.

What, what is good enough for you? What, what Y vibe or feeling you like, where, um, what timing you like, and you [01:04:00] can't expect also someone else to listen to every single track in solo, three times to figure out which one has the least amount of screw-ups so that this just doesn't work. Make those decisions.


Malcom: [01:04:14] agree. Yeah. Uh, it is the producer's job once again. And like you said, you can hire mixers to kind of remote produce at the same time. Um, and I, yeah, I agree that that's a fantastic solution, but even then you still have to, it's a co-production somebody in the room has to be the producer, you know, somebody has gotta be there being like, yeah, that was good enough.

We're moving on to the next part of this guitar, whatever it's, uh, you can't replace that. 

Benedikt: [01:04:39] Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So please don't take this as a rant or as like, as we were like, it is a rant in a way, but we are not. How should I say this? It's not just to make our lives easier or because we are annoyed by all the people we [01:05:00] have to work with.

Like that's not the case. We are happy for every single project we love working with all of you. And, um, the, more than anything it's that we know that when this stuff is done properly, that the outcome, the result will be much, much better. The whole process will go very smooth and, and it's, everyone will be more creative.

Everyone will be able to focus better on what's really on what really matters. The outcome will be better. And, um, we all love saving time and like moving on so we can get to other cool things. And that's not only us, but also you and people you work with and collaborate with. So, yeah, it's not a personal thing.

And don't take any of this personally, if you've done one of those things we've been mentioning, um, but still take it seriously. It's a reason why we're teaching you that. And it's, it's really, really, really important. 

Malcom: [01:05:49] Absolutely. We're cutting out the negative parts of these processes. And just by following like a step list like that, you're going to, it's going to be clear as day and less stressful for you to [01:06:00] do even.

Right. Um, and that alone whoever's receiving, it will be happier. 

Benedikt: [01:06:04] Yeah. I would be very skeptical. Um, if you would send stuff to someone and that, or not skeptical, like I would think it's weird if a person receives two tracks and there is an issue and they won't tell you and just move on and try to do something with it.

Um, that might be. That might sound like an easier thing for you and the smoother process, but the it's very likely that mistakes are going to happen or that the outcome will not be as good. So if you get feedback from someone telling you to resend re-export or fix stuff, that's because they want it to be good in the end.

Yep. And, um, yeah, that's a little more effort, but 

Malcom: [01:06:41] it's, I had to once kind of go through this being like this isn't right. This isn't right. Like something's up the files aren't lining up and it ended up kind of unearthing that the, in this case stars was like, I need to redo all of this. Yes. He started over and [01:07:00] the result was fantastic, you know, but it was like, I could have just mixed it, but it would have been a really bad product in the end.

Um, so, you know, take this advice they're trying to help you. Exactly. We are trying to cool. 

Benedikt: [01:07:11] Yeah, absolutely. So, um, yeah, that's that's once again, if you want to join us, if you want to hang out with us this Saturday, 8:00 PM C T central European time or 11:00 AM Pacific time. Then you have to join the self recording band, Facebook community.

Go to the self recording, pen.com/community. Or if you're not on Facebook, no problem. Make sure you are on our email list. You can just email me at Benedict at the self recording, pant.com or podcasts@thesurfrecordingband.com or you can download and you should download one of our free guides that we have on our website.

They are completely free. They're valuable. And if you do that, we'll let you know about the meeting on Saturday. So just make sure you are, we can reach you in any way. It's just makes sure you are in our circle in our [01:08:00] community. And you'll know about the meetup. Um, we're going to meet on zoom. Uh, we're going to discuss your songs.

We're gonna, uh, hang out, answer questions, get to know each other. It's going to be fun. The last one we did was fantastic this Saturday. Um, it's June, what's the 19th, June 19th, 2021. Exactly. That's when it's going to happen, make sure you join the community. See you there. .

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