Did you know that every record you buy or hear on the radio has been mastered?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you need mastering:
- Do you have a finished master tape for duplication on CD, cassette or vinyl?
- Do you need the best sound you can get from your source tapes or digital master?
- Do you need to assemble your master from different formats, such as DAT, reel to reel, etc., or even from recordings done in different studios at different times?
- Do you need to enhance, EQ, limit, do edits, maximize volumes, change the running order, remove noises… or anything else it takes to bring your recordings up to professional standards?
What is mastering and why is it important to me? What does it all mean?
Mastering is the process of putting the finishing touches on your music and is the crucial audio step that comes just before
manufacturing a CD. It is probably one of the most widely misunderstood processes of recording and is often mistaken for mixing.
Once you have finished recording and mixing your songs, the tracks are equalized, shaped, compressed, fine-tuned and arranged through the mastering process. It is what gives clarity, punch, depth, volume and organization to the music. It is part technical expertise, part science, alchemy and a whole lot of artistry on the part of the engineer. Mastering is an art form, itself, and is no different the writing songs, production, singing, performing, etc.
While mastering is a process performed on all major and independent releases, also, mastering demo CDs is becoming a standard practice in the hyper-competitive music market. A&R Representatives have been spoiled by the affordability of receiving a finished, mastered, demo, and is more appealing than its basement, home-studio, and/or un-mastered counterpart.
Almost every mastering session will include the following as a standard process:
- Optimizing average and peak volume levels for proper relative loudness of tracks as compared to the others
- Remove unwanted noise like clicks, pops, hiss, and adjusting the punch of the music
- Signal processing – compression & EQ
- Arranging tracks in final sequence
- Timing of the space between tracks
- Establish a sonic “field” for all tracks
- Place track markers at head of all tracks
- Clean-up start and ending of each track (including fades)
- Insert Master Track Log – the PQ codes required for replication
What mastering isn’t.
Mastering is not a magic wand that can fix a bad mix. While it can enhance and fix components of trouble in a mix, to ensure the best sounding product, be sure you start with a great recording and final mix.
All of this can be done very easily with Mojo Music Studios HD system in our Production Suite.
Call (603) 348-5249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to send your mixes to our facility so we can make your music sound the best that it can!