If you mix records for a living and are spending too much time digging through texts, Facebook Messenger posts, and bottomless email threads from various band members looking for mix notes, then Filepass is a must-have for you! An online platform that streamlines the sharing of mixes and client feedback, Filepass is "your one-way ticket out of revision hell." Not only does it allow you to seamlessly share mixes with all band members via a simple link, without having to add permissions for each one, you can also set it up to collect payment and allow downloads only when payment has been received, saving you more time from chasing down delinquent clients.
In the realm of software solutions, or SAAS (Software As A Service), Filepass is a no-brainer for today's audio pros who mix, master, or rely on client collaboration and approval to get paid. You will hands-down make up the price of entry with time saved by this platform. I'll admit, I hate paying for online software, avoid it all costs, and have multiple hard drives, Dropboxes, and WeTransfer accounts, but I do pay for Filepass and don't think twice about it – it's that awesome!
Okay, so what's the cost? Filepass comes in two flavors: Part-Time ($19/month billed yearly), or Pro ($39/month billed yearly). They both include unlimited projects, clients, files, lossless WAV streaming, and time-stamped comments. The biggest difference between Part-Time and Pro versions is in the storage space. Part-Time is capped at 256 GB of storage and a 10 GB monthly upload limit. Now, this may seem to be a lot at first, but you could burn through the monthly upload limit if you have a picky client or two requesting constant revisions. I'd recommend starting with Part-Time, then see how it goes – unless you are mixing three records a week or sharing high-resolution files; in the last instance, I'd say jump right into a Pro account. Pro includes 512 GB storage with no upload limit. Also included are custom branding of your profile, faster uploads, and client uploads – a great way for them to send you their sessions, files, or reference tracks. You can also set either version of Filepass to allow downloads or for streaming only until after the client pays you.
At its core, Filepass excels over other cloud-based sharing options as it was created and tailored by Brian Hood, who himself is a career music mixer. He built Filepass for his own use and for the rest of us to regain valuable time being lost shuffling through mix notes that were strewn across multiple platforms, devices, and user accounts. In a nutshell, Filepass centralizes the entire feedback and revision process for music mixing, then streams the files back lossless – meaning no data compression, no end-user computer operating system de-prioritization of audio quality (yes MacOS does this to your awesome mixes), simply the music as it is intended to be heard.
Now, I'll admit, you will have to train your clients – at least at first. They will text you their requests while you are sleeping, eating, and driving. Their bandmates will email you from four different accounts. They will even message you on social media with important mix tweaks that if you forget to address them will potentially make them speak poorly of your services. Politely, from the start, instruct them to add their comments to Filepass and Filepass only. They can even put notes in a specific point in the timeline that they want an adjustment. Trust me, they will catch on – and it will be worth it for everyone involved in the project.
Here's a testimonial from a client of mine: "There are a million file-sharing options, but having one that's customized for hi-res music collaboration is what sets Filepass apart. Easy time-stamped commenting and replies made it simple to communicate with my mix engineer and finish my mixes, and we were able to work in hi-res, since every detail is obviously critical at that stage."
How does Filepass work? Sign up for a free trial, add a few details, create a client name, add a project, and start uploading mixes. There's a feature that allows you to automatically copy a project's or song's URL to the clipboard with one click, and then you can paste that into an email. No highlighting necessary. Convenient, easy, and foolproof. Now CC all band members, then wait for the comments to come in. Individual band members can leave comments under their own name, so you can track where feedback is coming from – is the drummer talking about the guitar player's level? This can be insightful for navigating group psychology! Comments can either be general feedback or time-specific. A collaborator can click in the timeline and leave a comment at the exact spot they'd like a change. As you review a mix, the playback marker jumps to the exact spot in time a comment was left so you can quickly make decisions and compare to other sections of a song.
Once clients start commenting, you'll receive project-specific updates and even an additional daily digest of all project-related comments from Filepass. This is super convenient, as you can stay on top of the action without having to constantly open Filepass or dig for new comments. They get delivered to you while you are doing whatever else it is you do. Jump in, make revisions, upload a new version, and repeat the process until the client is happy. Once they are, they can pay you directly through Filepass (using Stripe or PayPal), and then download their mixes. It's that simple. If you have connected your Filepass account to Stripe or PayPal there's an easy accounting function that allows you to add line items and amounts before invoicing your clients. However, this can be tough to find. You'll need to open the Edit menu in the Project, then select Project Balance.
One note regarding mix comments. You can resolve them as you go, and Filepass archives them so you can recall as necessary. However, if you delete a previous mix version to free up space, you will lose any comments associated with it. I prefer a complete history of comments so I keep every mix revision in the project folder until final mixes are approved. This will affect your storage allotment, so keep this in mind when choosing Part-Time versus the Pro version – or consider an upgrade once you start to max out.
Now, you might say to yourself, "I can get more cloud storage for file sharing for less investment." But, none of those solutions were created by music pros, for music pros, and allow the level of collaborative integration that Filepass does. In a nutshell, Filepass is a perfect compromise between automation and collaboration. It collects all the feedback you need to succeed in one place and gets you paid as soon as your client is ready to move to the next phase of the project, such as mastering or distribution. Filepass is an essential tool for the modern mixer or mastering engineer. Try it yourself, today!