Preferred delivery file formats:
Final mixes for mastering: Interleaved-stereo wave files 24-bit 44.1kHz (48kHz or above are fine as well). No mp3’s please. Lossless files acceptable (eg Apple Lossless or FLAC). Front of track can be tight (but not chopped-off) and end of track should leave enough padding to enable a smooth trasition into silence. Don’t do fade-outs as part of mix. You can supply another reference mix bounce as mp3 to show where you want the fade to be, if you like.
Levels: For mastering, levels should be around an RMS of between -20 and -15dBFS. Peaks no higher than -6dBFS (okay -3dBFS if you must). Make sure any limiter used on the stereo bus is disabled when bouncing.
Deliver via DVD-R. HD, USB or online via shared Dropbox or via large file service (eg Mail Big File)
For stem mixing/mastering: Using bounced stems allows for corrections to be made to the mix to, for example, counteract mix chages with any compression/maximising added during the mastering process. Stereo 24-bit wav files, all files together playing at unity gain should be identical to the final stereo mix. (Note – watch out for bus/return effects when bouncing stems – ideally these should be assigned per-stem otherwise all the combined stems will NOT equal the final mix).
Ideal stems to supply are: Final mix, drums, bass, vocals, (or separate lead and backing vocal stems is even better), keys, guitars. Having a final bounced mix with identical start/end bounce points allows adding or subtracting of stems to modify the mix as needed.
DAW session formats for tracking, editing or mixing: Logic Pro format is preferred, however we also accept Pro Tools and Ableton sessions. For mixing, please tidy up your sessions to the following standard; ZedB DAW submission guidelines 2012 which is Zed’s condensed (and slightly modified version) of the grammy.org recording-academy DAW guidelines.