So you have produced that perfect track and are ready to polish it to perfection. This is achieved with the procedure called mastering. While mastering makes your music sound loud, crisp and clear, the key is to prepare your mixes upon which the tweaking and fine-tuning process is done. To yield the best mastering results, follow these tips to perfect your mix before submitting it to the mastering engineers.
Eliminate Noise in Your Mix:
Mastering is very helpful as it lets your music sound louder, and this means that any imperfections that persist in your mix would sound equally louder as well. Hence, try eliminating such imperfections such as background noise, pops, clicks, and other disturbances. Yes, mastering engineers can remove some noise, but a noiseless mix can lead to a better master.
Submit the Highest Resolution file:
Submitting a 24 bit .WAV or .AIF file is the most ideal option for mastering your mix. This is because they retain the original quality, thus giving the mastering engineers viable options during the process. While it is true that any file can be mastered, the final result would sound degraded when compressed formats such as MP3 are used.
Avoid adding Fades, Cross Fades, or Spaces:
You don't have to add any fades yourself. Your mastering engineer will be doing that for you. You could get such results added in the final master. If you have any special criteria or suggestions in adding spacing between tracks, convey that to your mastering engineer. 2 seconds has been the standard gap adopted in mastering.
Keep your Mix Clean:
Frequency buildups in a mix can make it sound unclear or clumsy. With the help of low-pass filters for instruments or vocals, try reducing frequency build-ups. Also make sure that you don't overuse compression, as this would make it hard for the mastering engineer to develop a perfectly sounding master.
Mastering engineers will also add dithering to your track. Any dithering that was added to the pre-mastered version of your track will have to be removed. This is why it is suggested that the mastering engineer handle this process, as they'll choose the correct settings for each song.
Follow the aforementioned tips to get your mix ready for mastering. Get your tracks mastered with the assistance of an experienced and reputable online mastering service and obtain amazing results.
The author is an audio mastering engineer working in a reputable online mastering service for over 4 years. He asserts the importance of audio mastering and how it transforms a mix in the best way. Visit http://mercurymastering.com