your heart goes into your music.
Don't Let A Mix Break It.
You've worked hard on your music.
You want it to be heard and appreciated by both current and future fans. The last thing you want is to hate the sound of your own songs for the next decade. I've been there myself, and it's a terrible feeling.
The mixing and mastering process of your music can either make it or break it. So make the most of it.
Once you release those songs,
they are out there...forever
Let's create something that makes you proud.
You've written songs you believe in. You have a vision for the sound.
Now it's time to put your baby into the hands of someone else.
That's where I come in.
Nightmare House Productions will work with you; turning your vision into a finished, polished recording that you feel proud of and that your fans can enjoy for the rest of your lives.
So, what do you get?
(Spoiler Alert - You get a damn-good mix for one thing!)
Let's start with the obvious, shall we?
This is the most crucial step in the process.
Getting the best source tones possible will make the following steps much easier. I will find the best environment and the best microphones to capture the best version of your instrument or voice.
If you are using a guitar, you may have spent a great deal of time coming up with your own tones.
As a fellow musician, I respect that 100%.
But there's just one problem: those sounds were created in a vacuum.
This means that whilst your tones may sound AMAZING by themselves (or in a rough mix), they may have been created without any context of the other elements that might be in the final mix (including drum and bass tones).
This is where my experience and re-amping services come into play.
I will work with you to find tones that best fit your final mix. This may be as simple as tweaking your initial sound or creating new tones entirely.
Either way, I always work with what best fits the final mix.
The same rule applies for bass re-amping: I can always
explore tones you have, but it comes down to getting the best result in the final mix.
Pro Tip: Always use new strings when recording bass!
Old strings can have a negative impact on your final bass tone (far more so than with a guitar). New strings will help your music shine.
When mixing, drum samples can sometimes play a large role in the final sound. I love to use natural drums wherever possible, but this is entirely dependent on external factors that are out of my control.
The drum kit itself needs to be decent quality and it needs to have brand new drum heads that have been broken-in and tuned properly.
The drummer needs to hit with the genre-appropriate hardness or finesse, with a damn near machine-like consistency. It's not easy to pull off. If this is the case with you though, it will be my pleasure to keep the drums as natural as possible.
In most circumstances, I will blend the drum samples with the natural drums in order to create the appropriate sound for whatever genre I am working with.
In rare cases, I will 100% sample-replace the drum shells.
This is the bulk of the work.
This can include, but is not limited to:
EQ, Compression, Parallel Compression, Limiting, Normalization, Saturation, Automation, Delay, Reverb, Creating Busses and Sends, Balancing Levels, Making Shit Sound Excellent, Etc.
Now for the not-so-obvious...
I can give you input and feedback on technical questions about mix prep, best practices for engineering and editing your songs, instrument choices, string choices, microphone/preamp choices, or anything else that could impact the result of the final product.
The better the source audio, the better the final product will be.
I want to do whatever I can to make sure the final product is excellent.
Included for free are 3 rounds of revisions. Because I set aside time on my calendar to do revisions, you can take as much time as needed to gather each batch of revisions without needing to stick to a specific schedule.
My goal is to make this a smooth and simple process for you.
Here's what's NOT included
A few things not included in the standard fee.
But don't worry, these services can be
provided for an additional cost.
This includes guitar editing, bass editing, drum editing, vocal editing, pitch correction, stitching together the perfect vocal take from multiple takes etc.
This includes post-production, FX, synth, atmospheric soundscapes, extensive instrumental effects (delays, reverbs, etc.).
The mastering process is absolutely crucial to my sound,
Mastering seems to be an elusive dark art that no one understands.
Here's a simple way to think about it:
Mastering is the final step of audio post-production.
The purpose of mastering is to balance sonic elements of a stereo mix and optimize playback across all systems and media formats. Traditionally, mastering is done using tools like equalization, compression, limiting and stereo enhancement.
There are several considerations in this process: unifying the sound of a record, maintaining consistency across an album, and preparing for distribution.
When mastering your specific genre of music, there are a few key techniques that I use to ensure that the clarity of the mix is upheld,
while creating a full-bodied and competitively levelled master.
The Process and Timeline
What's the process look like and how long will this all take?
Every step of the process explained
STEP 1 | PROPOSAL
This is where you are now.
Chances are I've linked you this lovely proposal, and now you're reading it with your own eyes. It's a beautiful thing.
This gives you a detailed overview of what is included, what is not included, what to expect, the timeline, the investment, the next steps, and the terms & conditions.
STEP 2 | DEPOSIT
Once you've looked over everything, spoken to your bandmates
and agreed that Nightmare House Productions is your best option, I will send you an invoice for the 25% deposit.
STEP 3 | SCHEDULE
Once the deposit has been paid, we'll discuss dates that work for both of our schedules.
Keep in mind that no dates are guaranteed on the Nightmare House calendar until a deposit has been paid. There are no exceptions to this rule.
This rule allows us to give you more options for scheduling. If I didn't have it, then our calendar would be booked for the next 12 months, and 50% of the bands would fall off the face of the earth with no explanation.
STEP 4 | FINAL PAYMENT
The remaining balance is due on the first scheduled session.
If you need a few extra days to get the payment together, I allow up to 1 week for payment.
STEP 5 | TRACKING
This is where sound capture happens. I offer a variety of options to make sure that you have the right amount of time to get your ideas down in the most efficient way possible.
Choose from a full 8-hour day, half 4-hour day, or book hourly if that works best. We offer an environment that is very conducive to the creative process.
We have a great selection of microphones, preamps, compressors, and enough plugins to choke a digital horse. Regardless of what your sound is, we have the means to take your ideas and make them a reality!
STEP 6 | TEST MIX
Before mixing all of the songs in your project I will mix one song as a test. This allows us to get on the same page for all of the "big picture" parts of the mix. This includes drum tones, guitar tones, bass tones, and overall mix levels.
The revisions you make here are not counted towards your three revision limit. Spend as much time as you need to get the mix where you want it before moving on.
STEP 7 | FULL MIX
Once the test mix has been approved, I will spend the bulk of our time mixing all of the tracks based on the final test mix.
There should be no nasty surprises once you get the full mix.
From here, there are typically only small revisions to make.
STEP 8 | REVISIONS
The revision process typically goes like this:
1 | I send the "Full Mix," which is all of the mixed songs in one long track.
2 | You spend a week (or so) gathering a lengthy list of minor revisions ("turn up the lead at xx:xx. Turn down the vocals at xx:xx" etc).
3 | I add the revision request to our to-do list and completes them during our next available revision calendar slot.
4 | Rinse and repeat for revision round 2 and 3. By revision round 3, the 99% of artists have a mix they're ready to receive final masters for. If you're part of the 1% who need additional revisions, they can be completed for a flat hourly fee.
5 | I take your songs and master them if that's something you've budgeted for. This way your album or EP will feel consistent as a single piece of work. The quality and volume level will be up to industry standard and will not stand out or be out of place when being played alongside other songs on the radio or streaming services.
Note: Additional rounds of revisions are, obviously, always FREE if they are needed to correct an error of our own making!
STEP 9 | FINAL MASTER Delivery!
You did it! The mixes and masters are done! I'll deliver them straight to your inbox.
The revisions are the most lengthy and unpredictable part of the process. I have had projects that lasted 2-3 weeks and some 4-6 months.
The faster you get the revisions to us, the quicker
the entire process goes.
Projects with more songs tend to take longer than smaller projects, however, the revision process is still the biggest factor.
STEP 8 | FINAL MASTER Delivery!
Please contact us if you require any of the additional services explained in the "What You Don't Get" section.
(Please read these carefully)
I like to keep things simple
Instead of a bunch of legal jargon, our terms are in plain English.
1 | DEPOSIT
The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferrable.
If you send a deposit for and schedule time for a full day, and only use half, the deposit will not be refunded.
If your band breaks up, the deposit will be forfeit.
STEP 8 | FINAL MASTER Delivery!
2 | SCHEDULING
The remaining balance is due on the first scheduled session.
If you need to reschedule, please let us know as early into the process as possible. I try to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to unexpected delays.
There are no rescheduling fees, but I reserve the right to cancel your project and forfeit your deposit if the project is delayed by more than 6 months.
3 | HIDDEN FEES
There are none.
The only way you could incur additional costs is if you requested additional services that are not included in the "What You Get" section.