Online Mixing Review: My Experience with In The Box Online Mixing Service

In The Box Online Mixing

In The Box Online Mixing Service

Since I am currently living in a place where I use only headphones to monitor my sound, I am having a great problem with listening to my productions properly. Moreover, I must admit that I am not the best sound engineer, even though I try to produce reasonably good sound. I am more interested in the creative part of the process. The fact that I have no access to a studio and that my budget is always limited made me think about trying an online mixing service. I chose In The Box Online Mixing. According to their website, for $99 they provide optimized sound by brilliant craftsmanship for up to 32 tracks. On top of that, there is an option for clients to hear a 40 second sample before paying for the full high resolution mix. Below is the online mixing review.

Experience

My project consists of 18 different tracks – kicks, snares, hihats, drumrolls, breaks, crashes, chords, strings, dubby chords, keys, and return tracks seperately. Unfortunately, this summed up as more than 1GB and as suggested at the upload page, I contacted the staff to see how I can get an FTP access in order to upload the seperate track files. They responded quite fast, asking if I do have an FTP client to use for uploading my project and swiftly provided me with the host name, username and password. Luckily, I am experienced in creating websites, uploading files, etc. and I regularly use FTP clients, so I was already familiar with the process and soon my tracks were uploading. Early on the next day my mix was ready and I received a notification via e-mail to download it from WeTransfer.com

Results

Online mixing service readme

The readme file provided by the online mixing service providers, which came with the final mix.

The work was archived in a .zip file and it included TWO mixes of my track, together with an explanatory readme file. One of the tracks was “ready to master” .wav file which afterwards I sent to a mastering engineer. The other one was a louder “ready to rock” .mp3 file with reasonable loudness to enjoy listening before the final master. The quality of the sound is quite satisfying for the price of $99. If it can be described in words, I would use smooth, balanced, warm and thick. There is no doubt that the overall sound was improved from what I initially sent to the mixing engineer. For reference, you can listen to a before/after sample of my track at the ITB Online Mixing website here. A much easier task is to describe the technical parameters of the files, and I will concentrate on the .wav file which is to be sent for mastering. It is a 24bit, 48kHz file with a lot of headroom left for the mastering engineers. In fact, the final mix is done by K-12 standard, which is a way for measuring loudness and was invented by Bob Katz. This is the moment where it should be noted that the work of a mixing engineer is not to make a track loud, but rather to make it balanced and to preserve the quality and the dynamic range. This is something which I think was achieved quite well by ITB Online Mixing. In general, I am happy with the service, having in mind the price, the service, the quality, and the time it took to complete the final mix. Hence, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend In The Box Online Mixing.

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