Why Do You Need Mastering?
The least understood part of the recording chain is the mastering process. It is a process that is much easier to demonstrate then it is to describe, however, it is essential to the final presentation of the audio in question.
Mastering is “The art of finishing a recording by using the highest quality absolute dynamics and frequency control.” In laymen’s terms it the process of final leveling of volume and tonal issues throughout a recording via the use of Limiting/Compression, EQ, and noise removal.
When do you use mastering?
Mastering is the last processing to occur before reproduction/distribution. The needs of the mastering process depend upon issues rendered during the recording process and vary with the particularities of the mix. Issues include frequency problems, bass/treble or mid-range issues, elements that are mixed at low or high volumes, noise/hum/clicks in the recording, etc.
Mastering takes your final mixes and can do the following to it:
1. Normalize the volume: Mastering will set the final volume of all the songs so that they are at the same level. If this is not done, there could be drastic changes in volume between tracks. Most modern genres are mastered to boost the volume of the songs.
2. High End EQ: The mastering process performs overall EQ on the final mixes. With proper EQ techniques, your final master should sound more clear and translucent.
3. Order the songs: The songs will be placed into the proper order with fades/cross-fades where applicable.
4. Other: There are an abundance of effects that can be used to alter the final master; some will smoothen out the recording, some will broaden the track via stereo imaging techniques, some will add warmth and analogue qualities as desired. There are a multitude of options at this stage and it depends upon the needs of the client.
5. How to prepare: Make sure that the mix-down is sufficient to your ears. Be sure to preview it in different systems and obtain feedback from other people. While mastering can fix and enhance a range of different issues, there are errors in the recording/mix-down that might not be able to be addressed in the mastering phase, so PLEASE be certain of your mixes before mastering! Bring your track order, leave some headroom on every track and we look forward to providing you with excellent mastering services. Thanks!
The Results… Our goal is to master your music to the highest possible standard so that it stands out from the crowd and sounds the way you intended it to sound… Clean, Clear, Loud and Punchy.
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