Preparing track variants for MINT Studio is not as easy as when you prepare them for a traditional mix, but it's not too complicated.
In this tutorial, I will create a simple song, which comprises two tracks. The first track is "Piano" and the second one is "Guitar". Piano contains 3 variants, Guitar contains two:
As you can see, first three tracks have names "Grand Piano 1", "Grand Piano 2" and "Grand Piano 3". It's an important hint for MINT Studio, this way it understands that you actually create one track "Grand Piano" with three variants. There is also a "Guitar", but it contains two variants.
However second "Guitar" is different. . I recorded this guitar variant to two separate tracks, one with pickup and the other with a microphone. Now, I want to combine these two sounds together, therefore, I created a group with two parallel audio clips inside. I made a group, which is similar to creating a folder with two files. Eventually I won't need those two audio files, I will only need a "Guitar 2". To define that, I gave them names, starting with "-" , so that when these tracks are rendered, I will see which files I should get rid of.
While you are preparing your tracks you will turn "solo/mute" on and off, but before you are about to render it, don't forget to turn all tracks on, because otherwise Ableton Live will render them as silence!
Once you're happy with your project, select
"File" → "Export Audio/Video":
Pop up the "Rendered track" menu and choose "All tracks" option. This way it will render each track separately rather than mix them down to one.
Click "OK". Also, give it a short name, since it will become a prefix to all the files you are exporting. I usually just give it an underscore name: "_".
When all the tracks are rendered, open the folder:
We have to delete the files we don't need. For example, it's obvious that files, starting with "-" should be deleted, "A‑Return" and "B‑Return" too, and "_" file, which is a master mix. Next, we also see that "‑guitar mic" and "‑guitar picked" start from "‑", meaning they also can be deleted. In this simple tutorial, you don't really need all those tricks with prefixes. However, in big projects, where you have dozens of tracks, it may come in handy, because it's always easy to make a mistake and delete something you need, or do the opposite and leave unnecessary files intact.
Here is the list of files I need for my MINT Studio project:
It would be nice, although not necessary, to remove the trailing "_" that was added by Ableton Live. You can do it by any means, for example Bulk rename utility for Windows, Name Changer for Mac or any other program of choice - it's up to you.
When done, your list should look somewhat like this:
and we are ready to import it to MINT Studio. Unfortunately, the current prototype version of MINT Studio does not recognize WAV or AIFF files. Hence you will have to convert it to MP3 (soon it will support many formats, we are working on it). I am sure you have tools for that, but if you don't, here is a tutorial for MAC and one or another app for Windows.
Once you are done with it, run MINT Studio and create your project:
Enter a name and hit "OK":
When your project is created, click the "Upload variants" button and select all of the mp3 files we prepared earlier:
Now you can work on your project, click "Mint" button and tweak dynamic processors until the mix is perfect:
When your MINT mix is ready, you can press "Export to MINT file" button and impress your fellow musicians with it. Don't forget to send it to us as well!
If you have any suggestions or questions, don't hesitate to ask us