What is it?

Mastering is the final part of the audio post-production process to help your track sound polished and professional. And if you’re doing a multi song release, to ensure that all the tracks have a sonic cohesiveness. It’s the final stage before an album or single is released to the public. This “master” will then be the original, optimized audio that all copies will be reproduced, duplicated or replicated from for distribution, across all systems and media formats.

Specifically, it includes:

• Cleaning and optimization of frequencies for better clarity and consistency
• A cohesive sound across the entire project
• Industry standard volume levels consistent
• Compression and Limiting that is appropriate for the material
• Consistency that translates between different playback systems
• Create proper spacing and fades between tracks
• Mastering for Spotify, iTunes, and all other streaming platforms
• Mastering for Vinyl on request
• DDP assembly if needed

MIX – This is an example of a song that is mixed but not mastered.

MASTER – This is an example of a song that has been mastered.

What do I need from you?

First I’d like some reference songs from you to help me understand what sort of sound you’re after. Do you have a vision for the song and how you want it to sound? If so, tell me about it. Tell me how the project was recorded, and let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the final mix. With this perspective I can critically listen to the project and shape your music to the reference songs that you have provided.

After listening to the project, I may come back to you and suggest some changes to the final mix. Understand that my goal is to get you the best master possible, and sometimes the best way to do that is to correct something in the mix before mastering.

Please leave enough of the mix’s dynamic range available for me to work with. About 6db of headroom would be perfect, so make sure you mixes are peaking around -6db on your DAW’s master bus. This will help me make adjustments not only in the overall level but in the punch and clarity of the transients. Master bus compression is OK as long as it isn’t crushing the transients, but please remove any limiters, exciters, harmonic enhancers, or normalization on the master bus.

Leave the heads and tails of a mix intact so that there is room ambience before the music starts and enough of the music at the end to be able to tailor the fade out.

Make sure to fix track related issues within the mix (like clicks, dropouts, excessive sibilance, hum, etc) before mastering.

Lastly, please make sure that your final takes have been captured, and that there aren’t any more changes that you plan to make. If you know that there are parts you are planning to go back into the studio and redo, I’m happy to wait until you are done.

What I’ll provide to you

Stereo WAV files at 44.1k 24 bit (unless another resolution is desired) and ready to upload to streaming platforms. Turnaround time is typically 2 or 3 days.

How Much Does It Cost?

My rates vary based on my current workload. Currently they are:
$50 a song
$75 a song for stem mastering (up to 5 stems).