How I Manage Projects as a Mixing Engineer

How I Manage Projects as a Mixing Engineer

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Creatives are not always organized. Even if there is a manager, A&R, producer, friend, or just the artist is managing the project, I've found that communication between all parties and centralization can easily become disparate. This creates an opportunity for me to add value for all parties involved. After multiple iterations, implementations, and testing, I developed a project management spreadsheet that I share with all parties involved on the project. Not only does tool help you track a project, it gets out ahead of all of the major stages of the mixing process to help you plan.

For example, the spreadsheet outlines all of the assets the artist should sent to the engineer - Do you have those put together yet? The spreadsheet specifies all of the deliverables the engineer should sent to the artist after the final mix is achieved - Have you asked for or considered those? Have you thought about the date at which you should start mixing in order submit your songs for digital distribution on schedule?

This is a living document and is subject to change based on future optimizations, so the instructions below could become dated at some point in the future. It should still be easy for you to figure out and you're free to adapt the spreadsheet in your own copy to fulfill your own needs!

Click the image to the right to be taken to the spreadsheet.

Please note, you will need to make a copy to use the spreadsheet for your own projects.

To make a copy of the spreadsheet ("File" from the Google Sheets toolbar > "Make a Copy")

Understanding the spreadsheet flow from left to right:

Song information (Columns A and B)

Enter your song titles in Column A, and indicate wether or not the song has been recorded yet in Column B

  • Enter your target date for the mixes to be complete in Column K
  • Enter your target deliverables date in Column S
  • You can also track other important dates on the far right for the spreadsheet, like "Submission Date/Digital Distribution Date" and  "Song Release Date" if you wish.

Assets Sent to Engineer (Columns C - H)

These are all of the assets that, as a Mix Engineer, I have found help deliver mixes that meet client preferences. You can read more about the "why" behind this list in this article: What Does an Engineer Need From You to Start Mixing Your Music?

This section should force you to consider if you are able to get the instrumental multitracks or will you be using a two-track instrumental, if you want your autotune settings replicated, and if you have your mix references put together to share with the engineer.

Revision tracking (Columns J - Q)

Here, the engineer can indicate if they have started mixing your song yet and the artist can indicate what their desired mixing deadline is. For each revision, all parties involved can enter their notes in the accompanying cell, so everyone's feedback is transparent and accessible. The "payment" and "mixing complete" columns should be self explanatory. 

Deliverables Tracking (Columns S - Z)

Once each song has completed the mixing phase, the engineer has to put together the deliverables. This will vary from engineer to engineer, so I just indicated what I typically include with my own services along with performance and radio/clean versions which might be an added fee.  

Other Important Dates (Columns AB - AC)

Just a place to park other important dates for tracking purposes. In many cases with project management, the project milestones might be self-imposed, revolving around an important, hard deadline like a launch date or publication date that has already been announced. In the cases that milestones are moving around, you can maybe specify a "signed in blood" date for reference in one of these columns. Totally optional, but it does force all parties to think which is healthy.

Feel free to add comments in the original spreadsheet if you have ideas, feedback, or questions!

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