Updated: Jul 25, 2020
The first step when preparing a song for mixing is to organize your tracks. Try to keep tracks of similar instruments in proximity and on adjacent tracks Set the recording format, sample rate and bit depth for the are recording and any exported files. A typical sample rate/bit depth is 44.1KHz/16 bit or 96KHz/24 bit. These setting are usually made in your DAW software or your audio interface software. I typically mix projects at 96/24. This is important information for me to know when importing your project.
Note the tempo and any tempo changes as well as the measure number of tempo changes. This will be needed to accurately load your files into my DAW. I have Pro Tools, Studio One, Cakewalk/Sonar, Ableton and Reason so if you record with any of these DAWs we should be able to drop your project file and audio files directly into my system. To do this I would need the project file and any audio files/folder associated with the file. Keep in mind you would still need to bounce or print any track with a setting, plugin or effect that you want to keep in the mix. If I don't have the same plugins in my system those effects or settings won't load.
Any project recorded using another DAW will have to exported from your DAW track by track and imported into my system. You can easily select all tracks and export each tracks as a separate file. When exporting tracks be sure to select them at the beginning of the track or the start of the song (even if they don't enter until later in the song). I often select ALL tracks prior to bouncing to ensure everything is bounced from the beginning. This may leave 'blank' space at the beginning of some tracks but it will be crucial to line things up when bringing the tracks into another DAW.
Before exporting any tracks or sure to bounce or print any plugins as I may not have that plugin. In which case the audio track will load but the plugin will be unavailable. Again you would have to bounce or print the effect onto the track or bounce to a new track to ensure the sounds you want are preserved.
For mastering I typically receive a single stereo file for each song in a wav, aiff or other uncompressed format. Compressed files like mp3s or flacs are not recommended for mastering but can be used if nothing else is available. Standard format is 96KHz / 24 bit for mastering but other formats can be used as well. Let me know if you are planning to release with streaming or on a physical CD or on vinyl let as I will have to prepare additional documents such as a DDP file.
So those are the basics. If you have any specific questions on the process of transferring and mixing your files please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Craig