THE FINAL STEPS
Make sure your songs are playlist ready
The Mastering Process
Review– During the review process, our mastering engineer will be analyzing the final mix and making sure the audio is controlled and acceptable for mastering.
Premastering – Premastering is a process by which a song is prepped for mastering. This process is usually done by a mixed engineer. Here is what mastering engineers will need before they can complete their mastering
Export a stereo .wav or .aiff file of your song already mixed. We will only be mastering the song so make sure the song sounds exactly how you want it to. Mastering is not mixing so if you don’t like something in your mix, address it before it goes to mastering. Mastering does not fix mixing it only enhances what is already in the mix.
Export with the same bit depth/ sample rate as your session. For example, if your session was recorded in 24 bit/ 44.1K then you need to export your premaster in the same bit rate and depth.
No plug-ins on the master track – Remove all compressors, limiters, and any other master bus processing. The mastering engineer will need space to do their thing so don’t hold them back.
Remove dither from master bus fader
Adjust your master output levels. In general, the song’s master fader meter should be peaking between -3 and -10db.
Processing – The processing phase is where the core of the magic happens. Engineers may apply multiband compression, EQ, compression, limiting, stereo imaging, excitement, saturation, and many more techniques so the song is polished and pushed to its maximum threshold before clipping occurs.
Exporting – The final and most detailed stage of mastering is the exporting stage. During this phase mastering engineers focus on creating a secure, reliable manufacturing master, including PQ information, UPC/EAN codes, ISRCs, and CD-Text.
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