Tips and Tricks for recording and mixing
Hi there, and thanks for reading!
Comment on August 22nd 2012:
This section is a compilation of small tips and tricks for recording – many on recording vocals – and mixing.
I wrote most of the tips some years ago, back in 2007 or 2008, but as I today re-read the section I still think the tips can be very useful.
Also, if you have come directly to this page from a search engine or a link, I’d like to mention that what I do as a profession is recording, mixing and mastering, and I have recorded, mixed and mastered albums that has been nominated for awards, so if you would like a great mix of your song, that is something I do. Check out the pricelist for current prices.
I also offer a free one-minute preview, check it out! Upload Now for a free one-minute preview of mixing or mastering
And – if you like what you see and hear, why not like the page and also share it on Facebook so your friends too can have a look? 🙂
This section is meant for small tips and tricks in the areas of recording and mixing.
Some of these entries are parts of answers I have sent to customers after an inquiry.
If you have a specific topic you’d like me to cover, feel free to drop me a note on email or via my contact form.
|– hi Nijal, sorry for my english. my name is Rafael from Barcelona and just want to say thank you very mach for the tips & tricks. i wish learn the art of mixing and i got three books about mixing and they are good but your tips & tricks i think is the best and free. thank you man and soon i will send you a house track for mastering. best regards. Rafael Sanosyan(Dj Sport), Barcelona, September 16th, 2008::
What you need for quality recording and mixing
We are so fortunate to live in a time where technology has advanced so much that it is possible to make quality recordings and mixing at a price never before dreamed of.
Still, after getting a selection of good equipment, it’s not all that much about the equipment, there’s some skills that are needed if you are going to make quality recordings and do quality mixes.
As we all know, having a piano or a guitar doen’t make us experts on playing, – it takes practice and training.
The practice and training involved, we all have to do on our own, and the most important thing is training the ear and the mind’s understanding of what the ear hears.
It is still possible to mention some technical and methodical starting points, and that is what follows.
I hope you’ll enjoy the reading, and hopefully there will be some advise here that can be useful for you.
Tips for recording vocal
If you are looking for a modern, close and delicate, vocal sound, I recommend you take special care when recording. Shortcomings in the recording will be much more obvious after compression, and recorded reflections from the room restrict the options for vocal-sound while mixing, as the reflections will make it harder and sometimes impossible to get the modern sound.
If you are recording in a room that hasn’t been specially treated to work as a music studio, there will probably be quite a lot of reflections there.
One easy way of vastly improving vocal recordings in such a room, is to buy a screen to shield the microphone from reflections while recording, – a screen like the “sE Reflexion filter”.
That will help you incredibly much in getting a full bodied and close vocal.
It also works well and enhance the vocal even if you have a treated room.
A duvet behind you while singing, will also help – with or without a reflection filter, as that stops reflections from behind you going into the mic.
If possible, use a high quality microphone.
The main idea here, is, – if singing in a treated room, or with a screen like the sE Reflexion Filter, – use a high quality condenser mic.
There’s lot’s of high quality condenser microphones available for a good price, check with your local dealer or music magazines for lists of good ones.
If you are planning to record in an untreated room, without using a screen like the sE Reflexion Filter, I recommend using a high quality dynamic microphone.
That will give you excellent vocal sound with little or no room-sound, and will most likely be a better choice than using a condenser, under such conditions.
If using a dynamic mic; sing very close, like – touching it with the lips.
If using an condenser, experiment, use 12-15 cm as a starting point.
When using a condenser, try not to use a pop-filter, but if you must, consider investing in one of metal. That will give you a much better hi-end. An ordinary pop-filter takes out some of the closeness and the sparkle in a vocal.
A good metal pop-filter is the ‘Stedman Pro XL’, sE too makes a good metal pop filter.
Record at 24 bit resolution.
Record without any compression, and without any eq, to max -6 into the computer.
If you have much dynamic in your singing technique, aim for minus 12 for the peaks.
You’ll still have plenty resolution if doing it on 24 bit.
Use a closed headset while recording.
If you have a computer in the same room, consider investing in long cables and place it somewhere else, so that the noise from it will not get into the recording.
Recording vocal with a condenser microphone, in an untreated room
If you want to use your condenser microphone, although your room is not treated for recording, and you don’t have a screen to shield the mic from reflexions, you can still make the recording better, by just adding a duvet behind you. Yes, behind, – that way reflections from the wall behind you (first reflected from the wall in front of you), will be dampened before it reaches the front of the microphone.
Also, for better hi-end, try having the microphone very slightly below the line you would think of as a middle line out from your mouth, that way the mic will be able to pick up more treble, as quite some is coming from the nose.
And, if at all possible, try to not use a pop-filter of nylon or similar, see if you could record without it (or invest in one of metal) as it is a very noticeable loss of the delicate sparkle in the hi-end of the spectrum, if using a nylon of similar pop-filter. The idea of managing singing without, would be to slightly turn the head while singing p’s and similar, directing the air-stream away from directly hitting the microphone.
Recording at 16-bit or 24-bit?
I would definitely recommend to record everything in 24-bit resolution instead of 16 bit.
The reduction to 16-bit is done during the mastering process, so when recording and mixing, it’s a good idea to keep everything in 24-bit.
It’s like editing photos, – if you take a photo with an old mobile camera, you won’t get the same flexibility when editing, as if you had taken the picture with an 8 mega pixel camera.
16 bit has 65 000 different possible values for each sample, and 24 bit has 16,7 million different possible values per sample, so when mixing and mastering, the result will usually be somehow clearer, more open, and more defined when using 24-bit sources.
If you for some reason will have to settle on using 16-bit recordings, I would recommend processing the signal with a compressor and/or a limiter before recording it, so you can have it as close to 0 as possible, without distorting.
If you record at 24 bit resolution, you don’t have to be so careful about it, since a signal recorded at even minus 12 db, still would have plenty of information in it, more than enough to make a good result.
The function of a preamp is to amplify the very low level from a microphone, up to a level where you can send it to a mixing desk or a computer, and doing this while keeping the sound of the source, and adding as little noise as possible.
Some preamps are just preamps: the signal from the microphone comes in, and out comes the signal to the mixer, usually an XLR balanced signal, or a jack unbalanced.
Some also have build-in limiters, eq, filters, and processing.
If recording into a computer, I recommend getting a pre-amp integrated in a sound interface, with an USB or Firewire connection.
That way the preamp will also do the analog-to-digital conversion, and you can get the digitized signal directly into the computer without going through any more stages.
The modern technology of today make it possible for companies to offer high-quality mic-preams with USB or Firewire connection for a very good price, so although there are some very expensive preamps available, an ordinary one in the lower price regions will probably give you more than good enough performance.
If you get levels into one stage very low, and then make it loud in the next stage, you are adding noise and grittiness.
On the preamp: adjust the input sensitivity so that the loud phrases hit minus 10 or something, let the main out be at the neutral position, and check the levels that come into the computer, they should match – or be around – the same levels as the preamp shows, if not, something is probably wrong.
If you have to boost very much after recording, something is wrong.
There’s also something wrong if the levels into the preamp are very low, and you have to turn up very much the output level.
Not proper gain staging will often give the vocal a harsh, noisy and grainy character.
Tips for microphone for recording vocal
Well, it’s nice to have an expensive and good condenser microphone.
Still, there are some famous vocalists that often use the standard dynamic microphones when recording vocals in a studio.
So – why?
When singing very close to a dynamic mic, it is in fact possible to sing with ‘live sound’ – that is – with the monitors on in the room – mimicking the vibe and feeling from a live performance.
And; – if works very well in an untreated room, too, singing in headset.
If possible, I’d recommend a good large capsule condenser microphone, combined with a screen like the sE Reflexion Filter.
If that is not possible, a hand-held dynamic microphone, with good gain-staging, will provide you with excellent sound.
More on recording vocal
There are two more options that come to mind for getting a good vocal recording.
One is to make a mix of the songs without vocal, and book time in a good recording studio, record the vocal, making sure you have enough takes to compile together a good version, and then take home the files and compile and edit it at home, or in your own studio.
Or, – there might be some shops were you can rent equipment. Renting a good mic and a screen, will make it possible for you to record the vocal at your own place or studio.
For vocal based music, the vocal and the vocal sound is very very important, so – it might be worth spending some time looking into options for getting a good recording.
Want to buy better monitors for your recording and mixing?
A vital thing to look for in the specifications, is not just the Hz in the low end and top end, but also the plus-minus (±) db for the frequency response.
Good monitors will usually have a response of ± 3db or better.
If the response is not listed, go for another brand.
Consider also investing in a sub-woofer, so you can hear what’s going on in the lower bass area.
Small tips for mixing
The best mixing tips I have, is to do the final adjustments for a mix on a day where you haven’t listened to anything loud, and then listen at a fairly low volume, maybe first to a song from an artist you like, and then to your mix.
If listening at a low volume – so low it’s like a volume similar to a radio in the background in a kitchen, it is way more easy to hear where to do the final adjustments.
Also, it’s usually a good idea not to listen at high volume at all during that mix stage, since after listening on high volume for just a couple of seconds, many people will experience a so-called ‘Temporal Threshold Shift’, where the ears response and sensitivity change for some frequencies, lasting several hours. Since the shift is not linear, you will experience the sound different afterwards, is like an ear fatigue, or comparing to sight, – if you work in a fairly dark room and go out into the sunshine for some moments, it will take quite a while for your eyes to adjust to the darker room again.
How much is this Temporal Threshold Shift coming from loud sounds?
That depends on the person, however, there have been tests with the test persons being on an air field watching the take-off of a jet-plane, and although the low end came back pretty fast, often in less than one hour, some persons had a dip in the 4-6 KHz range – for some as severe as 13 db – lasting for 24 hours.
Mixing songs – how to start
One easy way to start mixing a song, is; start with the drums, then add the bass, then add the vocals.
Then, when the song sounds good with just drums, bass and vocals, then you have a good balance and can add the rest.
Mixing songs – using groups
The efficient and frequently used way of mixing, is defining similar instruments in it’s own group.
That way you can easily adjust the volume of all the vocal tracks, or all the keyboards.
Just create a group in your audio-software, and route all the corresponding tracks to that group.
As a starting point, you could use groups for drums – guitars and keyboards – backing vocals – mains vocal, and expand with more groups should the need to differentiate rise.
Also try using a compressor on the each bus before sending it to the master fader, that way the group will often sit much better in the mix.
After recording a great vocal-take, one often finds that after applying compressors and eq, the ‘s’ sounds often get too high in volume, and is sort of popping out of the music.
One efficient means to counter act this, is to use one (or several) de-essers.
A de-esser is a special compressor that only compress a specific range of frequencies, and you can then ‘tune in’ the the frequencies where the ‘s’ sound is, and reduce the volume of these sibilants.
As a starting point, I recommend using a de-esser before applying compressors, and if needed, one after also.
One easy and much used way of using compressors, is using several in a serial chain. Let each compressor work a little, instead of one doing all the work – and that way none of them have to work too hard. This way the overall sound will be smoother and more even than it would normally be possible to achieve by using only one.
Try having one with a fast attack and slow release, and another the opposite; slow attack and fast release.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, there’s no rule against using 3 or 4 compressor in a chain.
Think of the compressor not just like a thing that compresses the sound, – it alters the sound.
Go for using compressors that alters – often called ‘colours’ – the sound in a way you find pleasant.
Think of a compressor as a tool for shaping sound.
Check for mono?
When mixing these days, there is a tendency to disregard how the mix sounds in mono.
However – there still are some areas where mono-compatibility is important, as some online video-upload places still are mono.
And – in some music styles, like Metal and Rock – the guitars are often dubbed and panned hard left and right.
Sometimes the dub is a digital dub of the original track, just pitched down or up a little.
Remember to check how it sounds in mono because some mixing tricks are not compatible with mono. What happens when they are played in mono, is that the tracks will phase-cancel each other out, and almost disappear. If that happens on your track; try other methods of getting fat guitars (I mention guitars here, because it most often happens with guitars) like using real overdubs together with chorus and applying M/S phase stereo-widening.
Mixing and panning
A common way of mixing is to imagine ‘the band playing’ and pan the instruments and tracks accordingly.
However – another very commonly used method, used by many mixers – and by quite some famous mixers as well – it to think 3-channel mono.
That is – a track is either in the middle, to the left, or to the right.
Of course reverb and short echoes will make a kind of space for instruments panned all the way to left or right, too, – still, this kind of mixing can seriously open up and make a mix clear and spacious.
And of course, as a guiding line and starting point, it is of course possible to pan something a little left or right of center.
Still, – if you listen to the radio and listen for this kind of mixing, you will surprisingly often hear it – the 3-channel mixing.
And it’s easy to give it a try, if you don’t like the results, you can of course go back to your usual way of mixing.
Kick drum and bass – how to get that tight and robust low-end
In modern music, the most energy from the kick is around 40-50-60 Hz, so if you want a robust and balanced low-end, it’s a good idea to boost the kick some in that area. Use a parametric eq with a high q-value, making it narrow in where it works, boost some db’s, and do a little sweep in the frequencies around 40-50-60 Hz, until you find a suitable place to do the boost.
How much energy and volume you’ll want here, depends on the music style.
Generally speaking, there’s much more energy in this area in RnB, Rap and Hip Hop, than in soft pop.
Check also the bass at the same time, if there is too much energy way low in the same area as the kick, it might be difficult to make them sit together. Try thinning a little and put the kick and the bass together in a group, and compress the group, making the kick and bass move better together.
If doing techno, house, or similar, you might also want to look into doing side-chain compression/ducking of the bass, with the kick as source.
For new age and chillout, it will be ok to focus some of the energy for both the kick and bass, lower than 40 Hz, try lifting somewhere around 32-35 Hz.
Checking on several speakers, – what to expect
Most professional speakers have a frequency response that is better than3 dB over the specter, home speakers have much more difference in them.
For a professional speaker, this means that a volume of 85 dB for a region or frequency specter, on one speaker, might have a level of 82 dB
on another. Or a level of 88 dB. Giving a possible difference of 6 db’s, and that for two pairs of professional speakers/monitors.
(Of course, – most of the time and for most professional speakers, the real difference will not be that much.)
So it’s not really possible to have a total control over how a recording will sound on someone else’s playback system.
Still, – if you have pretty good speakers, and your mix is good, it will most often sound decent on most equipment, as most manufacturers will aim at having todays music sound ok on their equipment.
If you check on several speakers while mixing, it will often be easier to detect when your mix is not close enough to the ‘standard’.
In addition to a good main pair of speakers/monitors, and preferably with a sub, I’d recommend having at least one more set of speakers, like a small set of ordinary external pc speakers.
Sub-woofers, setting up split-frequency and phase
Sub-woofers ad the low-end to the music, the part that one feel in the body.
Music without low-end is like watching a large scenematic movie on a small tv-set, it’s kind of the same film, but it’s not the same experience.
And although it’s not so common to have full quality/full spectrum listening systems in ordinary homes, more and more new cars are getting close to studio-quality listening systems, and very many are listening to music in their cars.
Setting up a Sub-woofer can be a difficult task, since so many rooms have frequencies that will resonate with the bass at a certain frequency.
Also, most professional sub-woofers have a knob for cut-off frequency, and one for phase.
The frequency know will tell where the sub-woofer will start to work, and – if active and with connections to the smaller speakers – where it will cut off the frequencies for the smaller speakers.
A good starting point would be around 80Hz.
That is a very common frequency to start at, and that’s also around where most smaller speakers start to fall in their frequency response (although many modern smaller monitors go down to about 55Hz without subwoofers, check your brand before setting up).
Adjust the phase knob to a position where you it get the loudest bass at your listening position, and adjust the volume in such a way as it ads to the experience of the music, without overpowering it.
Since many will listen to your music without sub-woofers, it might be a good idea of having an on/off switch for sending signal to the sub-woofer.
That way it will be easy to hear how it sounds without subwoofers, and then also more easy to eliminate one problem that can occur when mixing with a sub-woofer, a mix where the bass only can be heard if having a sub-woofer. It’s important to have quite some energy in the 80-110 area also, so it will play well on smaller playback systems too.
The idea behind normalizing audio, is to change the overall level in a track or recording, so that the top reaches a set level, like 0 or -0,3.
Although it could be a good idea in the old days with 12-bit hardware samplers, it’s not really anything you would want to do today, for any reason. Meaning – I can’t think of a scenario where it would be a good idea to normalize a level on a track.
If you have recorded way too low, or with bad gain staging, you probably should re-record it, anyway.
And – if you just find it too low, you can just use the faders and bring it up!
RMS-level is the average level of a recording.
Although most music have the peaks reaching the maximum, or close to the maximum, – the perceived level of the music has to do with the RMS-level.
To complicate things, there are two different ways of measuring RMS-levels, the square-wave method, and the sinus-wave method, and the measurement result for the same song, will be 3 dB different!!
So, – if you have a song that measures -12 dB RMS – square-wave measured –, the same song will be measured to -9 dB RMS, in a software using the sine-wave measurement.
To complicate even more, there is a standard, AES-17, that defines sine-wave measurement as the standard, however – most software use the square-wave measurement.
So – if anyone mentions RMS-levels for a song, you can’t really be sure what they mean, unless they specify if it’s sinus-wave measured (AES-17) – or the square-wave measured.
Reverb is able to shape a sound into something else, giving it a space and an attitude that helps create a vibe and a feeling – so – the single most important and helpful trick when it comes to using reverb, is to stop thinking of it as adding reverb.
Don’t add reverb: Use reverb to shape the sound into something that helps bringing out the vision and desired attitude for the song.
More on reverb
Beginners and people that have just started out mixing, often use just one reverb.
Most of those who have done it for a while, use several.
One easy way, is to configure effect aux-tracks, with maybe three different reverbs.
Then use the effect send on each track to send to the corresponding effect track.
A nice starting point for the reverbs, could be something like:
1) Fast plate
2) Real room
3) Big space
This way you can colour a track by using the fast plate, as a ‘thickening’ device, using the real room reverb as a way of getting a real space feeling, that adds to the authentic realness vibe in a track, and the big space reverb to add a sense of air and space.
Echo and delay
Echo and delays are very efficient in adding space and position to a track.
One very common way of using echoes, is to have them go in time with the beat.
Another very common way is to use a ping-pong echo that gives first one echo in one channel, then the next in the other, and so on.
In addition, – mimicking real life – you can have an echo or delay, that feeds into a reverb.
That will be similar to sound echoes and reverbs in the real world, and can help adding space and definition to a track, without making it cluttered.
In fact, it’s a little bit like the pre-delay setting that many reverbs have, although used a little differently and for a slightly different effect and result.
Using EQ’s – cutting or boosting?
When mixing music, it is very good to have at least one good parametric equalizer available per channel, so you can focus on the frequency area where you would like a change, apply a q-value to adjust how wide the change will affect the sound, and a value-knob for boosting or cutting.
So, – should you cut or boost?
There is a very common idea that say it is better to cut than to boost, and although that can have been a good idea at a time where adding noise if boosting, was an issue, it’s difficult to imaging the usefulness of that idea in these days.
I suggest a different, and very easy approach:
Listen to the sound; are there any areas where there are to much, then cut there.
And, if there are any areas where there are to little: add there.
Room treatment – the easy way, or at least for a start.
People go on and on about their speakers, and how this speaker is so and so accurate and this and this is so and so, – however, the room the music is played in is usually much more vital, as it can make peaks and dips easily going 10db up or down. Or more!
There are some easy and cheap things you can do with your mixing room, that will make it a better room to mix in so that your mixes will translate better – that means – sound better in other places too.
The most important one is already mentioned, – I’m repeating it here: Mix at low volumes.
That is the single most important thing you can do to bring up the quality.
Besides, if mixing in a room, remember, – the lower you play, the more sound will come directly from the speakers, and less from the walls.
Well – here are the easy starting tips:
- Use your ears, first and foremost – if the room sound bassy, that is different from a room with just to much reflexions, and you will have to compensate in a different way.
- Consider using a carpet on one or several walls, that will help dampen the room.
- Consider using some bed-sheets or similar on other walls, that will help dampen the room, without making it dead in the high-frequencies. Carpets on all walls will often produce a dead hi-end sound, and leaving just the low mids, – not a good thing.
- Put a sofa in the room. That will help absorb some bass-frequencies, it’s a bass-trap!
- Place the speakers a distance away from the walls, – often placing them a third or something out in the room, will make everything sound better, and will help reducing reflexions from the wall behind them.
The more high-end route, would be to buy dedicated bass-traps and pads designed for music studios.
Or, you can make your own bass-traps, by buying rolls of fiberglass, and stacking them from floor to roof, one in each corner — that will greatly enhance the sound of your room and trap the bass-frequencies so they don’t ring in the room.
Remember to pack the rolls with some material, so you don’t have to breath in the small particles in any ways.
Still not satisfied with your mix? Try this check-list for mixing pop-music:
— wake up
— don’t play anything at a high volume, or expose yourself to noise
— go to your studio
— listen to a song or two of one of your favorite artists, at a very very low volume, so low that you can talk to someone in the same room by using a low voice
— then play your own song at the same low level
— those parts you’ll have to work on, will often just ‘pop out’ of the speakers – it’s often very obvious
— don’t use headphones when listening.
— don’t turn up the volume at all, just a few seconds at a high volume will diminish your ability to make good judgments, by doing a ‘temporary threshold shift’ in perceiving sounds.
Here I’d like to add that the last few years, my own procedure with regards to volume and mixing and mastering, is to always have the same level on my volume knob.
That makes it possible to get a reference point in the mind on how the song should sound, and also a reference point to rms-levels and frequency response.
Some brands and products to check out:
Dynamic microphones: Shure SM58 and Beta 58. The SM7 could also be a good choice.
Cheap but good condenser microphone: sE 2000
High-end condenser: Sanken CU-41, Sony 800g, Neumann U87
Monitors (speakers): Adam, Genelec, DynAudio, B&W
Pop filters: Stedman, sE
Recording screens: sE Reflexion Filter
High quality – low end priced Pre-amp/sound cards: M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, Line6 Toneport UX2, Emu Tracker Pre,
De-essers: Waves Ren-De-Esser, Digital Fishphone Spitfish
Headsets: Sennheiser, Sony, BeyerDynamics, M-Audio
Software compressors; Waves, Massey, PSP-ware
Software reverbs: TL Space, Waves, SIR
DSP Effects: Focusrite Liquidmix
If you are going to release an album, you might want to do some research on ISRC.
ISRC is the code that marks a song as a unique song (and follows that recording of the song, forever), and helps you get paid if your song is played on the radio.
The ISRC code is usually supplied by the record company, – however, – if you don’t have a record company, you might still be able to get ISRC codes for your album.
If you don’t have an ISRC code and distribute via iTunes, they will make up one for you, just to tag the sale.
The ISRC code is not embedded into the song, it’s in an extra layer on the CD, – if you want to have ISRC on your CD, you should have it available when it’s mastered (although it will be possible to change just the sub-code part of a master, afterwards, without having to change the audio).
The ISRC format is: two first alpha-numerical for the country of origin, next three for the record company, next five is user selectable.
You can use the last five digits just the way you’d like, there is no strict rules here, although the scheme mentioned should work well for most:
Use the first two for the country-id: NO, – the next three for the company id: XXX, the next two for the year: 08 – and the next four for the album and song id, for first song on first album this year; 0101, and the last for remix id.
So for company XXX, in Norway, the first song on the first album in the year 2008, original mix, would be; NO-XXX-08-01010
If you live in the USA, you can apply for your own ISRC here – I think it’s still free:
For Norway, try this:
For the rest of the world, try this page, with contract address and names for all countries:
If you want ISRC codes on your mastering, you should supply them when sending in the songs.
So, if you don’t have ISRC codes and want them for your album, remember to apply for codes sometime ahead of doing the mastering, as it can take some time to get the registrant-code.
In some countries, – like Norway, – if you are going to use a cd-duplication facility to duplicate your cd, you also need to apply for a license to do this, in Scandinavia this is handled by NcB, more info here:
More about ISRC?
About ISRC, there are only one real vital use for it; getting paid if the song is played on the radio.
Also, some music-shops, like iTunes, use the ISRC to identify the song, and if not present, they just make their own id for it.
And, since the ISRC is not embedded in the file, but on a separate sub-code track on the cd, it will not follow the file if it is ripped from the cd, or in other ways converted to mp3.
So, are you going to sell this on cd or as a digital single?
For a cd you would want to have the isrc on the cd-sub-track. If as a digital download, I suggest you check out the web-sites of the stores you are going to use, and see if they mention anything about using the ISRC for anything.
The ISRC follows the song, not the album.
The last digit is often used to separate different mixes/versions.
A common way of using ISRC is:
First two: country code
Next three; registrant code (this is a code you yourself get from the registrant authorities, it will follow your releases)
(these two above is fixed)
Next two; I suggest year
Next two; I suggest release number
Next two; I suggest track number on that release
Last: remix number, leave at 0 if this is the first mix/release.
So, this was the background.
I suggest the following; if you are going to send the single to the press and radio stations, simply supply the ISRC with the info, either in the mail you send about the release, or, if sending physical cd’s, write it on the cd it self.
Also, if sending an mp3, tag the file itself with a software like iTunes, just write the ISRC in the comments field.
I would suggest you supply the following info when sending your song to press or radio:
Name of the song:
Catalog number: (you would need to make a catalog number for the release, just make a system for tagging them, the easy way is to use a variant of the ISRC, like, without the country code, and last three digits, but with code for if the release is a single, ep, or album)
(c) and (p) symbols, and name of company having the (c) and (p) (copyright and publishing)
CD-Indexes and blank between songs
The original standard for CD’s stated it should be at least 2 seconds between every song.
Some like to have the songs go info each other, for a more defined ‘album’ feeling.
And, it is possible to do that, it is possible to let one go over into the next – however – if doing so, – if one start the song from the beginning of the song, there will also be some sound from the previous one, and – if one extract the song, the extracted file will contain a little bit from the song coming previously.
So – I suggest you go for a some gap between the songs, making it easier to extract single tracks, and by tuning and defining the amount of gap/blank between the songs, you will still be able to get a good album feeling.
CD-text, car players and iTunes
An addition to the original cd-standard, CD-Text makes it possible to have information about the songs and artists, embedded in a sub-track in the cd.
However, unfortunately most players don’t use this information, although car-players often do.
And, it can be a potential additional source of error, so most major labels don’t use it.
Still, it’s an option, and if you have your cd as an image, in the bin/cue or wav/cue format, the cue file – an ordinary text file – holds the information about the tracks and their names, and so, it’s easy to edit it and burn a new cd with the edited information.
Still, some players don’t support burning of cd-text, so you might want to check it in your car before you send it of to replication.
Now, what about iTunes, from where comes the information about a cd when I pop it into a computer and opens iTunes?
Strangely enough, the information doesn’t come from the cd, if comes from an online database; it’s a database with information about the cd, how long it is, and how many tracks, and how long they are, and mostly, each cd will be unique in these details.
And how does the information enter the database in the first place?
Someone has to manually enter the information in, so the next player of the same cd will have the correct information.
If you’ve made your own cd, nobody has done this for you, so you will have to do it yourself:
Open iTunes, and pop in the cd.
Say ‘no’ to the question about import.
Edit the cd-info, click on the audio-cd on the left, and enter the correct information about the cd.
Then click on each track, and enter the correct information.
When you’re done, go to the ‘Advanced’ tab, and choose, ‘Send in names of cd-tracks’.
That’s it, your done.