Frequently Asked Questions - Audio Mixing and Mastering Facts

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our mastering and mixing services. If you don't find what you're looking for, please Contact Us for assistance.

What Is Mastering?

 Mastering involves a number of highly sophisticated audio techniques. In short, the quality of your music will be enhanced and it will prepare it for radio airplay, media distribution (like iTunes) and Cd replication/duplication. It will make your music sound its best on all sound systems by fixing any EQ deficiencies and it will bring the overall volume up to acceptable levels.

 

How Come You Should Not Master Where You Recorded At?

Take a look at any Cd that was released by a major label and you would see that its always mastered at a different location from where it was recorded at. Recording studios are not equipped for mastering and most audio engineers are not mastering engineers. Mastering engineers specialize in mastering and their studios are specially equipped and acoustically tuned for critical listening.

In order for your songs to be a success, you will need to have a non partial person with a trained set of ears in an acoustically tuned environment master your music.

 

Why Should I Not Use Compression / Limiting On The Master Bus Before The Mastering Stage?

The simple answer is, because i cannot undo any mistakes that where done by the overuse and misuse of these things. The slightest incorrect settings on your attack, threshold and other settings can kill the dynamics and squeeze the life out of your song. Leave these things for the mastering stage to ensure the best possible results for your music.

 

The Differences Between Mixing And Mastering Are:

So many times people get these 2 terms confused. Sometimes they even use them interchangeably. Here is my take on them

Mixing is the stage after you record your instruments and/or arrange your sounds. Mixing achieves your sound by the addition of effects, special panning and imaging techniques & track volume levels. These effects and techniques can be EQ, reverbs, compressors, limiters, delays, chorus, flangers, panning, amp simulators, special imaging techniques, and individual track fader levels. You use what ever it takes to get your sound. You can use these things to mix your tracks until you get the sound you want for that song. After your happy with it, you then go ahead an export it to a single stereo wave file. This file is then used for mastering.

Mastering is the stage that comes right after the mixing stage. It involves taking your mix and fixing any deficiencies it has in it, such as EQ. It enhances and polishes the natural sounds of the mix, giving an overall increase of sound quality. It also increases the volume of your mix so that it is as loud as the songs you hear on your favorite Cd and radio. It brings your song up a notch so it can compete with songs that are commercially releases by the major record labels.

 

What Should The Audio Level Of The Mix Be Set At For Mastering?

Your peak dB audio level should never go above -3dB, but anywhere from -12dB to -3db peak is just fine. This ensures that there is no accidental clipping in your file.

 

How To Prepare Your Audio Files For Mastering

Do not add any kind of limiting, compression and equalization effects to your master bus (mix bus) when mixing down to a stereo wave file.
To avoid any kind of clipping, do not let the peak level go above -3dB.Anywhere from -15dB to -3dB is perfectly fine.

Do not change your sample rate and bit depth. Keep them at there original rates.
We accept audio Wave files or AIFF files. MP3's are not to be used, unless there is no other option available.
To make the file upload easier, you can zip your audio files or make a rar file.

 

How To Prepare Your Audio Files For Mixing

We accept Wave files, AIFF files, broadcast wave files, CWB files (Cakewalk Bundle Files) and OMF files.
When sending wave files or aiff files, you need to export all your audio files from the same time-line in your project. This make it so they line up when we start mixing them.
All your tracks should be dry, with no effects on them. The only reason for you to keep effects on any of your tracks is if there is an effect that is key to the sound you want, like a certain type of delay or flanger.
If you want to send us a rough mix, that's ok.
When sending the tracks to us, its easier if you zip them into a zip file or a rar file.
Mixes that are longer than 6 minutes are subject to an extra charge.

 

Why Have Your Songs Professionally Mastered By Us

Getting your song mastered by an experienced mastering engineer will dramatically increase your chances of having your music noticed by a record executive or an A&R rep. You need your music to stand out from all the others and your music needs to compete with all the commercially signed artist and bands.
Mastering is the difference between your songs sounding like a demo and sounding like a commercially released Cd.
You'll get your completed master within 1 to 2 days in most cases
You have the ability to request free revisions, if you feel something needs to be changed.
Our studio is on the cutting edge and has been acoustically tuned for the flattest frequency response possible. This improves the sound of your final masters
No matter if you're a signed artist or a struggling unsihend bedroom recordest, you will be treated with respect

 

Why Have Your Music Professionally Mixed By Us

We master your songs for free, if we mix it.
If you have your music mixed by an audio engineer with years of experience, your master will be significantly better and your chances for success will dramatically improve.
An experienced engineer with trained ears will mixed your music in a controlled environment.
The turnaround time for mixing is between 1 to 3 days in most cases.
Mixing is an art form. It takes many years and sometimes decades to fully understand all the little intricacies involved in

 

Why Should I Not Use Compression / Limiting On The Master Bus Before The Mastering Stage

The simple answer is, because i cannot undo any mistakes that where done by the overuse and misuse of these things. The slightest incorrect settings on your attack, threshold and other settings can kill the dynamics and squeeze the life out of your song. Leave these things for the mastering stage to ensure the best possible results for your music.

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