What exactly is mastering?
So what is mastering today, then? Mastering takes place only after all the mixing has been done and each audio track is working together properly, sitting at ideal frequencies. It’s the final step of the entire production process and is best performed by an experienced audio mastering engineer. Mastering deals with the equalization of the song as a whole, where certain frequencies of the overall mix might need to be emphasized or dialed back. Overall loudness is also increased with multi-band compression and peak limiting, and dithering is added when reducing bit-rate to the standard 16bit.
In other words, music mastering is a zoomed-out, final look at the song to balance and improve the overall sound. When it comes to multiple songs, such as an album, mastering needs to be done for the entire project to ensure consistency. This is why songs on your favorite record sound uniform in frequency, quality, and volume.
The goals of mastering
When completing a master, our audio mastering services focus on key goals.
- The master should play well on a wide range of systems, from laptop speakers, to earbuds, to a car stereo, to a high-end sound system).
- The master should sound like a finished product.
- The master should meet technical specifications by label / artists / digital streaming platforms.
- The master should enhance the mix.
I can’t stress enough the importance of point 4. Often a mixing and mastering engineer can get so carried away with mastering a track that they lose sight of where they started. Ultimately, your master should be polishing / enhancing the sonic quality of the mix that you started with.
Polishing the Mixed Sound
Polishing the mixed sound is achieved by correcting any mix imbalances and enhancing particular sonic characteristics.
To get the most out of the music mastering service, it is essential to have prepared your mix properly.
The best mixing and mastering services can involve a number of steps, including:
- Equalization to add a final touch of polish to the sound and rectify any rouge frequencies
- Compression to manage overall dynamics and increase the overall loudness (if required)
- Stereo enhancement for a more impressive sonic sound
- Removal of pops, clicks and other mistakes missed during the recording/mixing process
A mastered track should always sound better than the finished mix. The end goal is to ensure the overall sound is at its absolute best.
The second step in the mastering process usually involves preparing the finished song or album for manufacturing/download.
The finished product should be optimized for playback across all systems and media formats.
In the case of the now-aging compact disk, it can mean converting to 16 bit/44.1 kHz audio through resampling and/or dithering, setting track indexes, track gaps, PQ codes, and other CD-specific markings.
For online distribution, you might need to adjust the levels to prepare for conversion to MP3 (or other formats) and include the required metadata.
Our Online Audio mastering Service Optimizes the Overall Sound
Think of mastering as adding sparkle and shine to your music. The term refers to the process of optimizing each individual track by compressing, equalizing, making stereo enhancements, or adjusting the reverberation (echo) effect.
In a very basic sense, when we master your album, we’re making sure that song one doesn’t blow out the speakers while the next song is barely audible. The mixing process extends to this, but mastering takes a broader view—we focus more on each individual track when we’re mixing.
Our mastering and mixing services focus on the idiosyncrasies in each track with an eye and an ear toward their progression. It takes in all the tracks as a whole. You want the levels of the songs to be similar throughout and a general sense of cohesiveness to your recording. You want the music flow from start to finish.
Apart from correcting obvious differences in volume for each song, mastering is an incredibly subjective process. In some ways, musicians believe that you either have the golden touch or you don’t when it comes to audio mastering.
Although some programs can help you master your recording yourself, hiring us to have it done professionally is a good investment if you plan on releasing your recording to the public.
When to Choose An Online Mixing and Mastering Service
We work with musicians, artists, filmmakers, podcaster, and more from all over the world, online! Even if you’re planning on using your recording for a demo then mastering will add a professional edge to your project. We strive the offer the best audio mastering services online from our famous Orlando Florida studio. You can view our mix and mastering prices here, and learn more about your mixing mastering engineer Jay Stanley here. We provide you with a free initial consultation for our online mix and mastering service. Our goal is to achieve the best sound possible for your audio project, at a fair rate! Many professional artists have hired JStanleyProductions for their projects over the years, view our client list here. Contact us here to discuss your project with Jay.
If you happen to live nearby the Orlando Florida area, we would love to have you drop by. We provide mix and mastering online, as well as throughout the Florida region. (Fairview Shores Florida, Conway Florida, Pine Castle Florida, Azalea Park Florida, Winter Park Florida, Oak Ridge Florida, Orlando Florida, Maitland Florida, Lockhart Florida, Goldenrod Florida, Fern Park Florida, Altamonte Springs Florida, Doctor Phillips Florida, Forest City Florida, & Casselberry Florida.)