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Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

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Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby manwilde » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:20 pm

Hi all. As I explained in a previous post, I got to record a live gig last week. As it had been agreed beforehand, next day raw tracks for the whole concert were sent to the band, and also a rough mix of one of the songs for them to decide whether they wanted to hire me or someone else to fully mix it (also if they were happy with their perfomance, which they were not totally sure about).
So I spent a couple of hours crafting a basic mix, warning the band about this being just a way for them to "test the waters" so to speak, both about my skills and their perfomance on that given night, and that the mix would be improved should I was chosen and paid for the extra work.
A week went by and I hadn´t heard any news, so I refined the mix a bit more and sent it again, just to show them that better results were achievable in case they were not totally happy with the first draft.
So, my question is: how dou you know that a rough mix is good enough to be sent?. I mean, weirldy enough, many musicians don´t seem to understand what a rough mix is (no automation, basic reverb treatment, phase relationships checked, etc.) and they expect to hear a finished, commercial sound... how do you go about that?.

Very interested in your thoughts and comments.

Thanks for your time.
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Re: Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:42 pm

I must admit that I tend to tailor it to the client. If I feel that the client is fully aware of what a rough mix is I'll just sent them a mix where they can hear everything and let them decide what they want to do with it. If I feel that they're less aware of what a rough mix sounds like I'll go for a more finished mix with a little eq, compression and reverb although without any drastic processing as it is still basically a reflection of what is recorded. Basically the sort of mix that I would have done at the end of a recording session to allow the band to hear what they have and give them an idea of what a more polished mix would sound like.

I did a rough mix a few weeks ago from an old tape of an unfinished song and the band decided that they wanted the rest of the tape mixed in the same way as the original mixes from back in the day were just too polished and didn't reflect the real character of the band. So in this case it was worth not polishing things too much but it totally depends on the client.
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Re: Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby CS70 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:45 pm

manwilde wrote:Hi all. As I explained in a previous post, I got to record a live gig last week. As it had been agreed beforehand, next day raw tracks for the whole concert were sent to the band, and also a rough mix of one of the songs for them to decide whether they wanted to hire me or someone else to fully mix it (also if they were happy with their perfomance, which they were not totally sure about).
So I spent a couple of hours crafting a basic mix, warning the band about this being just a way for them to "test the waters" so to speak, both about my skills and their perfomance on that given night, and that the mix would be improved should I was chosen and paid for the extra work.
A week went by and I hadn´t heard any news, so I refined the mix a bit more and sent it again, just to show them that better results were achievable in case they were not totally happy with the first draft.
So, my question is: how dou you know that a rough mix is good enough to be sent?. I mean, weirldy enough, many musicians don´t seem to understand what a rough mix is (no automation, basic reverb treatment, phase relationships checked, etc.) and they expect to hear a finished, commercial sound... how do you go about that?.

Very interested in your thoughts and comments.

Thanks for your time.

Er.. you did a mix and sent it just like that? No breaks, no noises, no audio watermarking - but the full raw tracks and an ok recording of the entire performance from start to finish?

Do you realize that in 2020 people puts out half-baked badly strummed "songs" saying "this is work in progress, tell me what you think"? :D I hope I am wrong but a likely reason you haven't heard much is because you have already given away all they need from you..
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Re: Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:52 pm

CS70 wrote:I hope I am wrong but a likely reason you haven't heard much is because you have already given away all they need from you..

When I do a live recording I always include a rough mix in the price (as well as supplying all the raw files). What the artist does after that is up to them. Some come back for a full mix, others go elsewhere for a mix (or do it themselves) while just the odd one uses the rough mix.
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Re: Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby manwilde » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:21 pm

The mix is of one of the songs only, the song that the band was most interested about.
Anyway, I was aware of the chance of it being good enough for them, specially given the fact that it was a basic recording with almost no time to soundcheck. It didn't come out too bad, better than what I expected actually, but obviously a studio recording is not.
But, what can you do if "good enough" for the band is just a draft mix for you? Shame as it might be, it's their music, after all. Yes, your name is gonna be linked to that sound, but you cannot stop them from using it as it is... Specially when the price quoted for the job already done had been satisfied right at the end of the concert.
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Re: Sending rough mixes to clients for approval

Postby manwilde » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:28 pm

James, what you say makes perfect sense, but I had no way to feel whether they could tell the difference between a rough and a completed mix. I only knew the bass player, who recommended me to the rest of the band, whom I met for the first time ten minutes before soundcheck...
Anyway, maybe they liked my mix well enough or nothing at all. I guess I'll eventually find out. :?:
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