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Preparing Your Music For Mastering

Mastering Tips

 

Final Things To Remember:

 

• First of all, spend the necessary time to get the mix right., a good solid mix will produce a great master.

• Do not make your final mix levels too loud. Mastering engineers need the extra 'headroom' to work their magic.  -4-to -10 dbfs will work in most cases and keep you in the 'safe zone'.

 

• Do not 'Pre Master' or attempt anything that should be left for the Mastering Engineer. This does not help your project, it hurts the project.

 

• Do NOT put any processor or plug-in (ie compressor/limiter) across the master mix bus.

 

• Try not to master mp3, mp4, aac formats These are compressed audio files that are lower in quality. You want to deliver your master formatted to offer the best quality.

 

• We advise to use 24 bit 44.1K  Wav  or AIFF files. BWF and SD2 are also ok. We can also work with final mix audio copies from cds however, these are 16 bit by default.Usable, but not the best format.

 

• A great idea is to include a song reference of a cd that you like is always a great idea and helps us to pinpoint what you want your finished master to sound like. Hi quality MP3 format will work fine for this.

 

 

What audio formats are acceptable?

 

All mixes should be final ‘consolidated’ files, not a multi-track Logic or Pro Tools Session and all should be interleaved (not separate left and right files).

Please note: when saving your files, please make sure they are saved with a file extension, i.e. "myhitsong.wav" or  

"myhitsong.aiff"

 

Final Thoughts:

 

We understand the desire to rush and play your hot new final mix for people, and the desire to make it as loud as possible. Well...do your thing with that, but PLEASE ask your audio engineer to make a version of the mix with no master bus processing. (ie no compressors, limiters, eqs, etc inserted into the stereo mix signal path.) Once again, DO NOT max out the levels on this version. Give us about 6-10 db  of headroom for us to make your final master sound stellar. You can make another version to play for friends etc. until your final master is ready. You can also feel free to try your own hand at mastering on this copy.

 

Including a song reference of a cd that you like is always a good idea and helps us to pinpoint what you want your finished master to sound like.

 

I hope this helps you to be on your way to a great sounding final Master

Please feel free to call with questions

 

Lee Evans

Senior Director

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