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help please - how long should i expect a pro mix to take

Discussion in 'Recording' started by john turner, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. john turner

    john turner Guest

    my band is researching some potential mixing engineers to hire to mix each of our 2 cds. each has ~70 minutes worth of music on them. approx. how many 12 hour days should we budget for to mix that much music? the songs are fairly long, if that makes a difference - the first cd has 8 songs and the second has 9.

    the arrangements are multiple guitars, bass, drums and background synth, with single and multiple harmony vocals (up to 14 tracks in some places) and many long instrumental sections.

    assume in your time estimate that all the potential preparations - format conversion, noise cleanup, notes and track listings are all completed. furthermore, each guitar track has the desired effects and is already mixed to a stereo pair, as is the bass (mixed and compressed where necessary). the only tracks that universally are uneffected and in need of outboard attention are the drums and vocals.

    we have a pretty good budget to mix each cd ($10,000 to $12,000), so hopefully we can consider a wide range of options.

    your help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. I would figure about a day per song. That would mean 8-12 hours per song. If there is a lot of editing to do, it could be longer.
     
  3. RobinH

    RobinH Guest

    I would say 2 days for 3 songs with a day extra for tweaking and tidying. Also reckon 8 hr days with a nice break in the middle ( so around 10 hrs a day ). At the point of mixing 3 songs a day quality definately starts to slip. 2 songs a day is possible but rushed.
     
  4. homerg

    homerg Member

    2 days for the first song, 2 songs a day after that. This is assuming that there aren't great differences between songs like, one is an acousting song, and some have keyboards, so on...
    If the tracks are truly in good shape, once he gets the intial sound then it should go faily smooth from there. It will also depend on the equipment that they'll be using. With ProTools or some other DAW it can go pretty fast. 12 hours is a long time for anyone to be mixing without the mix starting to suffer.
     
  5. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    "QUOTE]Originally posted by john turner:
    my band is researching some potential mixing engineers to hire to mix each of our 2 cds. each has ~70 minutes worth of music on them. approx. how many 12 hour days should we budget for to mix that much music? the songs are fairly long, if that makes a difference - the first cd has 8 songs and the second has 9.

    the arrangements are multiple guitars, bass, drums and background synth, with single and multiple harmony vocals (up to 14 tracks in some places) and many long instrumental sections.

    assume in your time estimate that all the potential preparations - format conversion, noise cleanup, notes and track listings are all completed. furthermore, each guitar track has the desired effects and is already mixed to a stereo pair, as is the bass (mixed and compressed where necessary). the only tracks that universally are uneffected and in need of outboard attention are the drums and vocals.

    we have a pretty good budget to mix each cd ($10,000 to $12,000), so hopefully we can consider a wide range of options.

    your help is greatly appreciated.
    [/QUOTE]"

    I'd do it in two weeks. Stereo comping the Gtr's and Bass , etc. could be a time saver or waster. It depends on how good of a jobn you really did in thiese areas. I'd prefer instead, to have copies of the unaffected Gtrs' and Bass just in casew there's a problem with your choices. E-Mail me if you'd like more info
     
  6. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    I don't think the time issue is a big deal, unless you are on a deadline. I think your biggest problem will be the bottomn line...money. Some of the best mixers charge way more than your budget, and that's minus the studio time. Some guys work pretty fast, especially if the instrumentation is similar from song to song. You didn't mention the style of music either. Some guys prefer certain formats(3348HR over ProTools) so the songs would have to be transfered. It depends on the mixer and how he/she works.
     
  7. john turner

    john turner Guest

    wow, thanks for the responses everybody.

    yeah, time is not the big issue, but i figured that most guys charged by the day, so i could get a basis for the financial burden/commitment there.

    the style of music is heavy rock/progressive rock. we've been compared (favorably :D ) to yes, rush and sound garden in the same review before.

    thanks for your offer recorderman. you should be hearing from me presently.
     
  8. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    It all depends on how well it was produced, arranged and tracked.

    If somebody who was really good handled the tracking and arranging, you could be looking at an hour a song max. If not, you are looking an a day or a bit more per song. A lot of mixers now charge by the song because so much depends on the quality of the tracking work.
     
  9. john turner

    john turner Guest

    thanks bob for your response.

    what would be considered a "good production", other than the audio quality of the individual tracks?
     
  10. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    It could take anywhere from three hours to a day per song. I usually shoot for two songs a day. Recorderman's estimate of two weeks for both discs is probably about right, maybe a little over but I don't know what the tracks sound like or how he works. I don't work 12 hour days unless I'm forced to. When I'm mixing I like to do 8 or 10. While it's great that you've compressed the bass and mixed the guitars yourself I'd want to have everything seperated out as a safty while mixing. At the very least any solos and melodys should be on seperate tracks.

    Speaking for Bob which is probably a bad thing, I'd say good production would be good sounds, good playing and good arrangement. If any of those are lacking it could take longer to mix. If you want, feel free to email me about it. I'd estimate maybe 10 days to mix everything. MooseAudio@aol.com
     
  11. bsking

    bsking Guest

    Hi everyone, and thanks for the responses. I'm in the same band as John...

    Jay, in response to your last post, we do have the original copies of the raw tracks, but we'd rather not use those unless necessary, just because of the time constraints. Just for my guitars, it took us a day per song to mix the different mic signals, audition several effects units for cool patches, tweak parameters (like delay times to match song tempos for instance), apply eq/a little compression, and then get a hot, consistent level out to the mixdown tape. We kept logbooks of the fx settings but it would still take a while to reinvent the wheel... w.r.t. compression, when we were in doubt we left it a little under-compressed-- better to have too little than too much at this stage. Also, minimal eq at this sub-mix stage.

    We didn't combine all of my tracks into a single stereo pair, though, just a pair for each distinct part. So, I'd have a pair for the main guitar, then another pair for a doubletrack or harmony or solo. And parts that are adjacent to each other in the song, like a verse and chorus, are generally on different tracks as well. So, we might have 2 pairs for the verse (main and dbl) on 1-4, and then a main and dbl for the chorus on tracks 5-8, then back to 1-4 for the 2nd verse... that sort of thing. Is that a desirable sort of track arrangement for an engineer to work with, or would something else be better?

    I think the tracks sound good now-- we just need someone with experience and expertise (and great gear) to put us over the top and turn it into a record. :)

    Thanks for the information!

    Brian
    Lord Only
     

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