Mastering

1. Why shouldn’t I just have my mix engineer do my audio mastering?

It is has been widely held in the music industry for some time that whoever mixed your album should avoid mastering it, as the mix engineer won’t have fresh ears or perspective if they have already listened to a song or album a bazzillion times.

2. What’s the difference between audio mixing and mastering?

Mixing is the process of adjusting the individual tracks/individual instruments in of a song, and mastering typically only deals with the stereo output of a mix. Mastering comes after mixing and is the last creative musical process before release. Mastering also makes a collection of songs feel like an album, glueing them together with a common feel, tone and levels.

2. What’s the MASTERING GUARRANTEE?

If you’re unsure if you’d like to work with me I’ll master a portion of one track. If you like it then you can pay for the full mix. Easy.

3. Will my music be radio/label-ready when I get it back from you?

Yes, IF your mixes are reasonable. Mastering is the final “polish” or “sheen” on a song or album, but it’s not a substitute for good mixing. Although even a bad mix will improve dramatically after mastering.

4. How does payment and delivery work?

There is a multitude of ways to send files over the net. I like to use www.wetransfer.com. Once mastering is complete, 16 bit 44.1k WAV files are sent online or physical masters can be mailed for an additional fee. Payments can be made with credit card or PayPal account. Shipping prices, if applicable, vary by location.

5. How to get a mix ready for mastering

There are a few things to keep in mind when getting a mix ready to send off for mastering. Here’s a helpful list of pointers that will… help:

i) Send your mix in the same sample rate and bit depth you recorded it in. (If you recorded it at say, 48 Khz/ 24 bit, don’t convert it to 16 bit or 44.1 Khz.)

ii) Don’t leave any effects (compression, limiting, EQ, etc) on you master buss/main out/final bounce.

iii) Make sure the master output isn’t clipping, and that your individual tracks are not clipping either.

iv) Listen to your mixes on lots of speakers to make sure you’re happy with how they sounds in different environments. Good mixes generally sound good everywhere, and the more awesome your audio sounds before mastering, the better it will sound after.

v) If there are songs by other artists that have a certain quality that you would like yours to have, please let me know. Sometimes, this can help communicate how you want your music to sound.

6. Do you charge extra for revisions?

In the unlikely event that you feel the master doesn’t sound delicious, I will certainly make mastering revisions at no additional cost. If you hear any small mixing mistakes in your mix after having it mastered, you may re-upload a new mix for mastering at a discounted rate of $25 per song, so long as that mix has only very subtle changes (i.e. Slightly lower vocal, fixed edit, slightly louder snare etc).

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