Recording, Mixing & Production Services

This document contains information regarding Cambridge-MT’s recording, mixing, and production services, carried out by me, Mike Senior.

Location Recording & Audo Editing

I have more than 25 years’ experience of in-studio and on-location recording sessions, and own a complete 32-input on-location recording setup, including a large mic collection, several multicore stage boxes, moving-fader control surfaces, control-room monitoring hardware, and plenty of cables and mic stands. I specialise in achieving commercial-grade recordings within non-studio environments, allowing musicians to create and perform wherever they feel most comfortable.

I am a skilled audio editor, and have built a reputation for natural and musical-sounding results, whether comping takes or correcting timing/tuning. Multitracks from my recording sessions are provided as consolidated WAV files which you can simply drag and drop into any modern DAW system for mixing purposes.

Delivering Multitracks For Mixing - Guidelines

All of the production’s individual tracks should be supplied as audio files in WAV or AIFF format at a minimum resolution of 24-bit/44.1kHz. (Data-compressed files such as MP3/AAC aren’t suitable for mixing purposes.) All the WAV/AIFF files should start at the same time so that they line up correctly when imported. Any combination of stereo and mono files is fine, as long as it’s clear what each track is (especially if any mono tracks are the two sides of a split stereo pair). It saves time if you can indicate the exact tempo of the project as well, or supply a MIDI tempo map if tempo variations are used. The audio files should be free from digital clipping and any effects or processing. However, if there are any tracks where an effect is very much part of the character of the raw sound itself (such as an amp simulation on a guitar/bass part, or a resonant filter on a synth), you can provide a version of the track with this effect in place, but an unprocessed/DI track may also be useful too, so please also include that if you have it. If you’ve used any pitch-correction processing, especially on lead vocals, then please supply separate files with/without the correction if at all possible.

If any parts are running live from external sound modules or virtual instruments, they’ll need to be bounced down to audio. For programmed drum parts, please try to separate out the different drum samples onto different tracks as much as you can - it leaves a lot more room for manoeuvre in terms of getting the sound you’re after. It’s also handy in this case if you can include the MIDI trigger files you used as well, in case there’s a need to synchronise any layers/effects with your programming. In addition to the multitrack files, please provide a stereo WAV/AIFF file of your own most recent mix, as well as an indication of any specific commercial tracks which would be good benchmarks for the kind of sound you’re after. Mix sonics can vary a lot even between songs apparently in the same musical genre, so without any input from you it’s only possible to make an educated guess at the exact sound you’re aiming for.

It is advisable to submit your multitrack files at least a week in advance of the mixing date, so that I have time to check them over for any obvious problems which might waste session time. Audio files can be sent on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM by post, but it’s usually easier just to host them somewhere online for download – WeTransfer and Dropbox both work well, for instance. (Before uploading, though, please pack all the files into a ZIP archive to reduce filesize.)

Pricing

The pricing for recording, mixing, and production services is £375 (plus 19% VAT) for a nominal 10-hour day. For longer sessions a discounted rate of £300/day is available, and further discounts may also be possible if you’re happy for your project to be featured in my educational activities for Sound On Sound and Cambridge-MT. Reasonable travel/accommodation expenses (economy class travel and local bed-and-breakfast) will be charged in addition, wherever the training location is more than 60 minutes’ drive from my home in Munich, Germany. Travel time may also charged as session time, depending on the length of the session. As a rough guide, most self-produced multitrack productions take at least 2-3 days to mix to a professional standard on my own system, whereas multitracks I’ve recorded myself usually require no more than one day per song. My normal working hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm and then 8pm-11pm, although weekend sessions can occasionally be accommodated by special request. In practice, I normally find it works out best if I can develop a first draft of any mix on my own, but you are welcome to attend the session if you wish, at no extra charge. In addition to the finished mix files, I can also provide my Reaper project file for each mix if you wish to examine my settings and/or follow up the mixing with further training sessions.

Travel & Accommodation

My studio is located in Feldkirchen (postcode: 85622), an Eastern suburb of Munich. You can reach this by S-Bahn train from any of Munich’s main stations (Hauptbahnhof, Ostbahnhof, Marienplatz): the S2 train (usually destined for Erding or Markt Schwaben) stops directly at Feldkirchen station. The studio is a seven-minute walk from the S-Bahn station. For overnight stay, there are a number of affordable hotels (under €100/night) located in Feldkirchen:

All these hotels have restaurant facilities, but there are also restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets within walking distance of the studio.

Terms & Conditions

Final mix/master files, stems, and/or project files will not be delivered until full payment has been received. In the case of per-project quotes, payment will be 30% in advance and the price includes two revisions per mix/master - subsequent revisions will be charged by the hour. Draft mixes will be supplied in MP3 format (normally at 192kbps resolution unless otherwise requested) until a final version has been agreed upon. Mixes/masters must be approved as ‘complete’ by you in writing (email is fine) before any final deliverables can be generated. As standard CMT supplies the following alternate versions of all final mixes where relevant: lead vocal(s) up; lead vocal(s) down; lead vocal(s) out (TV or PA mix); and instrumental (no vocals). Creation and delivery of any further mix versions, stems, and/or project files will be charged hourly. All final audio files will be provided in 24-bit/44.1kHz WAV format, with the exception of individual mastered files at 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution. Mastered projects for CD duplication will be provided in DDPi format.

Any production work carried out by Cambridge-MT is performed as ‘work for hire’, and as such no claim is made on the music creator’s compositional or sound-recording copyrights. Although mixes and project/master files are backed up by Cambridge-MT as a matter of course, ultimate responsibility for archiving all aspects of any mix project lies with the client. Cambridge-MT encourages clients to back up important files in at least two different digital formats. Cambridge-MT reserve the right to use up to 30 seconds of any material worked on by Cambridge-MT for demonstration and/or publicity purposes.

Attendees are responsible for ensuring that no property of Cambridge-MT is damaged, lost, or stolen as a direct or indirect result of their own action or failure to act appropriately. In the event of loss, theft, or damage directly or indirectly caused by any attendee, the attendee agrees to pay all reasonable costs in full, including replacement or reparation of damaged property. Cambridge-MT accept no responsibility for loss, damage or theft of personal belongings.

Cambridge-MT reserve the right to terminate the session in the event of unacceptable conduct or attitude from any attendee. In such cases, no refund will be given. Any attempt to create unauthorised audio or video recordings of Cambridge-MT’s production sessions will be deemed unacceptable. In the event of any complaint, please contact Cambridge-MT directly in the first instance. These Terms & Conditions shall be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any claim, dispute or difference which may arise out of them.