Why Mastering?Mastering isn't a luxury or an add-on. It's the required, final step in all professional audio production. Your recording engineer has done their best to get your music sounding as good as possible in the studio. But, without mastering, your fans won't hear the music as you intended.
The fresh ears and specialized gear of a mastering engineer will get your recording sounding its best outside the studio - radios, iPhones, jukeboxes, earbuds, in the car. It will give your mixes clarity, punch, loudness and energy by sonically shaping them with EQ and compression, improving both the individual tracks and the overall continuity of your project.
Our Audio Mastering OptionsWe offer three two of service - economy and standard.
Software-automated volume boost & EQ optimization administered by a professional engineer
Custom volume and EQ optimization by experienced mastering engineer using top-of-the-line software and outboard gear
2 to 3 business days
4 to 5 business days
$199 flat for first 10 tracks
$199 flat for first 2 albumtracks
Automated EQ & Compression
Pro Crafted EQ & Compression
Revisions not included
A mastering engineer typically won't be able to make changes to individual elements in your songs - that is almost always a mixing change. When submitting your mixes keep in mind if you don't like how loud your vocal, guitar or awesome synth is, make sure it's right before you send it in. If you don't and the mastering doesn't fix the issue, you'll have to submit a new mix. And every time you do that, it will be considered a brand new order.
For our Standard mastering service, revisions are typically done for free and may include things such as minor EQ adjustments, spacing changes, etc. We ask that you provide clear and complete feedback once we provide you with your first draft of mastered tracks. Multiple revision rounds or revisions deemed to be due to deficiencies in the mix may incur additional charges at our discretion. Any change that requires the submission of a new mix to our service is not eligible to be part of the revision process. This is because our engineers incorporate the use of outboard gear and every time they get a new mix they have to start the mastering process over.
For our Economy mastering service, revisions are not included.
Radio-ready and profanity-free versions of your songs that are already being mastered can be done for free as long as the following rules apply:
- They are submitted with the original mastering order.
- They are the exact same mix as the original.
- The profanity has already been edited out by the mix engineer.
If any of these rules are not met, radio-ready and profanity-free versions will be treated as a separate track and charged for accordingly.
CD Text ensures that certain information (usually Track Title, Album Title and Artist Name) appears on compatible devices like certain home and car stereo systems. This is available as an add-on service if you are ordering a physical master disc.
You can actually program your album's information within iTunes and that will update Gracenote's servers. Just follow the easy steps here: http://www.gracenote.com/company/faq/owner/
If you want the names to display correctly in Windows Media Player you would need to use Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/product-submissions
That is entirely up to you. Use the opportunity to send us sample songs for our engineers to use as a reference for overall loudness, EQ and anything else you like. Be as detailed in your description as possible and if there is anything that needs further clarification from you or us, we will be sure to contact you.
We only will accept uncompressed .WAV or .AIFF files. We prefer .WAV files, but will accept only .AIFF as an alternative.
Please send files at a maximum of 96 kHz and 24-bit with -3 to -6 dB of headroom.
It's very important to render/bounce/export your mixes at the same sample rate that you recorded the audio at and your session is set at. That said, please submit them at a maximum of 96 kHz and 24-bit.
If you recorded at less (48kHz and 24-bit for example), then submit your mixes with those parameters.
Here are some basic instructions on how to find Sample Rate and Bit Rate information of .WAV files you may have been given by your engineer: http://www.ehow.com/how_8463486_sample-rate-wav-file.html
If your files are at 44.1 kHz and 16-bit, we suggest re-exporting/rendering/bouncing your mixes or attempting to contact the engineer that mixed for you. Or better yet, ask for them when you let them know you plan on having your mixes professionally mastered.
If it is impossible to get files at anything higher than 44.1 kHz and 16-bit, we can accept those parameters.
The turn-time clock starts when your order is placed. Your mastered tracks will be available for review as follows:
- Basic: 2-3 business days
- Standard: 4-5 business days
These are a few things that you want to avoid to make sure your order is processed in our advertised turn-times.
- Make sure you submit your tracks in the identified proper file formats and proper specifications.
- Make sure you go through our "Are my tracks ready for mastering?" checklist. If you submit mixes that our team doesn't feel are ready for mastering or don't meet our specifications, that will cause the turn-time clock to be reset when proper files are received by us.
If you answer "Yes" to all of the following questions, then your tracks are ready for mastering!
- Are you happy with your mixes and the levels of the individual elements in your songs?
- Are your unmastered tracks free of undesired noises, pops, clicks and hisses?
- Do you have all your unmastered tracks exported as .WAV files?
- Are all your unmastered tracks at a minimum of 44.1 kHz and 16-bit, and a maximum of 96 kHz and 24-bit?
- Do your unmastered tracks have -3 to -6 dB of headroom?