How to prepare your scratch or reference tracks

Before sending your scratch tracks, there are a few important things to consider:

  1. Send only MP3 files (in 160 Kbps or better). Please don't send WAV or AIFF files.
  2. Each track should be a stereo mix of your song without any drum or percussion. Just guitars, piano, bass, etc., and the vocals or main melodic instrument. If you have a drum beat you want me to play, send a separate mix including the drum beat. Each file should be titled with the name of the song or abbreviation, and the tempo in bpm. For example: "Dark Moon-Mix-110bpm" or "Dark M-withDrums-110bpm". All files should be compressed in a single ZIP or RAR file before sending.
  3. Record your scratch tracks using a DAW (i.e. Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Garageband, etc.). Please, don't use handheld recorders, or stand-alone sequencers. Make sure that the tracks are locked to the internal grid of your DAW before you bounce them to MP3.
  4. Include a click count off starting at least 2 measures before the music begins, and it should stop as soon as the music begins. This way we can line things up in the DAW. The file should start at the absolute beginning of the session, which is 1:1:1:001 (bars:beats:divisions:ticks). Your DAW could use a different way of describing this, but just make sure it is the exact beginning of the project.
  5. When creating the scratch tracks, play as tightly as possible to the metronome of the DAW, or to a loop that is in sync with the grid. Just play the most important parts to get the idea of the song, because I'll recommend you to re-record those tracks again, after you receive the final drum tracks.
  6. When sending the files via You Send It, specify in the message box, or in a separated text file, if you use one of my virtual drum samplers and libraries (see previous page), and if you prefer a specific drum kit. You can send a project preset if you want. That way I'll know in what software your MIDI tracks should be recorded, or if I have to send you WAV files instead. Also specify if any of the songs has a change in time signature or tempo. Tell me the number of the measure where those changes occur, plus any comment about the arrangement that I should know.

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