Mastering and stem mastering will make your recorded music or audio sound the best it can be. I will sympathetically enhance and balance the mix, bringing out detail, impact and loudness. You’ll be able to check you’re happy with my work before you pay.
Mastering is the last opportunity to polish your finished mix before digital release or CD duplication, to:
In stem mastering, you supply elements of a mix which I master separately then blend into a stereo mix. For example, you might supply the music as one element and the vocal with effects as a second element. This gives me much more scope, because each element, or ‘stem’, can be EQed and compressed separately.
Almost all music and audio benefits from mastering. When compared to a mastered version, an unmastered recording sounds flat and quiet, with some instruments or production elements not coming across as clearly as others. There is often a tendency for some frequencies to poke out in a distracting way. I will spot these issues for you, and correct them in a high quality monitoring environment.
You can hear examples of the difference before and after mastering in the recent work on my homepage.
Ideally, submit your mix for mastering in 44.1khz 24bit WAV or AIFF format. This will usually give the highest quality final master.
It is not advisable to use higher sampling rates, unless you intend to release the music at these rates. The reason for this is that the master will have to be converted to the final sampling rate, which adds distortion, making it worse than if the project was at this final sampling rate.
It's almost always better to submit mixes that haven't been EQ'd, compressed or limited, as I will be using these tools during mastering. If these techniques have already been applied the mix will end up being processed more than usual.
If you have a certain sound that you want me to work with, submit processed and unprocessed versions; I’ll then either work with the processed version or use it as a guide as to what you want from the mastering process.
MP3s are not of high enough quality to be mastered, and should only be considered if there is no other option - for example if you have lost all other versions of the recording.
The final master will usually be available within four days from when you upload the mix to be mastered, often faster and sometimes even on the same day.
Before you receive the final master I will send you a section of it for approval. Once approved and paid, I will send you the final master in a format appropriate to how you intend to release:
You will receive two CDs: one which can be sent to the CD duplication company, the other for your safe-keeping.
For online releases, you will receive links to download both full resolution (Wav or AIFF) and MP3 versions.