Digital mixing & mastering for the best "analog" sound?
A primary reason why our mixing and mastering productions sound so good is because the entire process is 100% digital. In today’s world, with today’s technology, digital means “accuracy” and “transparency.” Analog hardware, on the other hand, inevitably blends (or muddies) the sound because it inherently introduces additional “noise” and “color." As such, these additional “artifacts” are undesirable because they are outside of the intention of the artist’s original work. But with digital mixing & mastering, emulation software is utilized that does not introduce these new unwanted "artifacts." Our digital process literally enhances the desirable sound qualities present in the original recording (thereby persevering the artist’s original musical intention). Also, with our propriety procedures, our digital emulation process acts so closely to its analog counterpart that it literally replicates the desirable aspects of the analog gear (such as the much sought after “fullness” - three dimensionality - of the overall sound)! With our digital processes and procedures, your mix will remain quieter, cleaner, and even more dynamic: and achieve all of this while remaining true to your original intent!
Multitracks, Stems, & Tracks (Songs)
There are three types of files that you, the artist, can submit for Luminarcanum Record production services:
- Multitracks (separated individual recordings / deepest level of production)
- Stems (grouped multitracks / secondary level of production)
- Tracks (single track or “song” / “mastering” production)
What is the best type of production service? There truly is not a “best” service type because the choice all depends on the artist’s satisfaction with his production (song). If the artist is completely happy with the sound of his multitracks (voice, instruments, effects, etc.) then all that he may desire is “mastering.” If the artist is somewhat satisfied with his song, overall, yet feels the entire percussive arrangement needs more mid-range (for example), then he might want to group all of the percussive elements together as a “stem.” Lastly, if the artist is not satisfied with his current production quality, overall, then he may desire a complete “overhaul” (upgrading multitracks & new mastering) for the deepest level of “mixing” offered.
* For further elaboration on the subject of Multitrack vs. Stem mixing, please click here: Multitracks vs. Stems
Multitracks / Mixing
Multitracks are the separate, individual elements (tracks) of an audio production (song). These individual tracks can comprise any type of recorded element in a song. These elements can include vocal tracks, individual percussive tracks (i.e. kick drum, snare drum, hi hats, etc.), instrumentation, individual effects, etc. The main thing to keep in mind is that “multitracks” are individual separate recordings.
Multitracks offer the engineer the greatest level of control over each element’s proper equalization, compression, panning, effects, etc.
Stems / Mixing
Stems are stereo recordings sourced from combining multitracks (individual tracks) into larger subgroups. For example, a drum stem will typically be a stereo audio file that comprises all of the drum multitracks mixed together. In most cases, additional processing such as equalization, compression, and time-based effects is included since the engineer is no longer able to add these necessities to the individual song recordings (multitracks).
Tracks (songs) / Mastering
A track is an entire “song” and suitable for stereo mastering. *All multitrack or stem “mixing” requires a final whole-track (song) mastering.
Suggested File Preparation (Artist’s Responsibility)
- Files submitted for mixing & mastering should be in the highest resolution available. We recommend a minimum of 24 Bits with a 44.1KHz sampling frequency. Remember that you should always submit your project with the same EXACT settings your recorded them at (for example, one would never submit at 24 Bits if recorded at 16 Bits).
- Please submit all files in .WAV format.
- Additionally, please remove all mastering (master chain) and pre-mastering (mixing) processing (such as equalization, compression, and limiting).
- Please keep the highest peak-levels of all stems and multitracks at -12dB minimum. Keep all tracks (songs) at -3dB or less. This allows enough headroom to best sculpt the dynamics and over-all sound of your songs.