Mastering is the final step in polishing your recording. It is your final action in adding aesthetics to your sound. With all the online mastering being offered, it is very important to make sure that you are creating quality music from the beginning of your music production. Mastering will never be a fix to your recording. The main goal of mastering is making a good recording sound better.
With all the online mastering available today, most artists do all the production steps prior to sending it to an online mastering studio. Here are a few things you will need to consider before sending your recording for online mastering.
- Keeping Your Mix Clean
You need to make sure that you keep your mixes free from noise. When you go through your mix, make sure you eliminate any noise, pops or clicking sounds that may be present in your tracks. Use your fader to remove any noise that has been captured during the recording. When this is properly done during the mixing stage, it gives the engineer the capacity to eliminate the overall noise. This is done by the online mastering engineer by equalizing and compressing the mix. If the mix contains those unnecessary sound from recording, there is little an engineer can do to eliminate them.
- Giving Your Mix A Dynamic Range
Dynamic range is the space from the peak of the lowest sound to the peak of the highest sound. This is a range which your engineer can work on to improve the sound quality of your recording. Overusing your dynamic processors on the master bus can ruin your mix and make it difficult for your engineer to master your recording. It may even limit him from making any improvements. It is actually best to keep the master bus free of plugins. If it is necessary for the mix to use master bus processing or plugins, make sure that your engineer is aware and what type is being used.
- Mastering from Stems
Stems is a mixing method from which the recording created is based on audio tracks are grouped and processed for mixing separately. It is then combined into one during the final master mix before being sent for online mastering. Submitting each stem to the engineer is possible without creating a final master mix as long as your tracks are aligned. (read more here: https://studios301.com/)
When mastering from stems, where each sub-mixes are submitted separately, it is very important that your tracks are aligned properly. Mastering from stems gives the online mastering engineer have great control over the mix and gives them the allowance to create better masters.
- File Submission
When submitting file types for mastering, it is critical that you submit a file where the engineer has a lot of authority to work on the recording. The most common and workable file that you can use is .wav or .aiff files. Both files are non-compressed and are in the original format which makes an excellent file for a mastering engineer to work on. It is also necessary to keep the file in the same resolution from which it was mixed which is preferably around 24bit 96kHz.