The Mastering Process
Getting Your Mix Ready For Mastering
- If you are experienced and feel comfortable using compressors, please feel free to leave it on your master bus (mix bus) when exporting your mix to a stereo audio file. If you are not comfortable with it, then please leave it off. We cannot undo any mistakes makes with a compressor. Once the dynamics are squashed, there is no reversing it.
- Please keep your bit depth and sample rate the same as you mixed it. We do not want any unnecessary conversions before the mastering stage. If your song was recorded and mixed at 96kHz and 24bit, please export it at that
- The mastering stage is the place to make your song loud, so please give us a mix that peaks no higher than -3dB
- Wave files or AIFF files are the preferred file format. Do not convert to an MP3 file format. MP3's use file compression and truncate the high end and degrade the sound quality. If you have no other choice, then MP3's will have to do
When We Receive Your Music Files
- We will analyze them in our acoustically tuned mastering room to get a good feel for the song
- Then we will decide what analog and digital effects we will use to get your song to sound its best
- If needed, we will clean up the beginning and the end of the song and if requested, we will make a fade-out at the end of the audio file
- If we hear any hiss or static that is not supposed to be there, we will try and remove it with our audio restoration tools. If you know your song has these artifacts, please try and leave us 2 seconds of silence before and after the song begins, so we can make a noise profile of it and get rid of it without any damage to the audio file
- We will use EQ (Equalization) to fix any deficiencies with strategic cuts and boost. We will also use Mid and Side EQ edits to create a better stereo field and to make the song have more space to it and for better sound isolation
- After we apply EQ to fix the frequency field, we will add compression to the audio file. This will increase the entire audio level and will give it a more cohesive and glued sound.
- After we add compression, we may add another EQ. On some occasions, it's good to have an EQ before and one after the compressor. In many instances, it's best to have some EQ frequencies compressed and some not compressed.
- We will use a limiter at the end of the gain stage. This will enable us to increase the entire audio signal without it clipping and bring it up to an RMS and LUFS levels.
- The last step is to apply dither and export it to its final digital format
When We Are Done Mastering Your Music
- We will send you the full-length version of the song for you to sign off on
- If you want anything changed in the completed master, you have 5 days from the time we send it to you to email us what you want to be revised and we will happily revise the original master that you sent us for you. After 5 days your project is considered completed. 98% of the time, no revisions are needed, but in some cases, you may want a slight adjustment here or there and we will be happy to do it for you
- If you want to send us a new mix to master, because you want something changed in the mix that cannot be revised from the original master, we will never charge you the full amount to master it again. It will be less than half the price of the mastering rates we have listed
- If you do request a revision, after we revise it and send it back to you, you have 2 more days to review it and request another one before it's considered complete.