Ready for Mastering?

We’re ready to polish your tracks! The steps below will help you save time and budget. Any questions, we are here for you.

I. THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE FIXED IN THE MIX BEFORE MASTERING
NOISE. Describe anything that is bothering you….hissy, buzzy, clicky, boomy, sibilant, electronic interference, etc.
AESTHETICS. Let us know what you’re going for. What adjectives would YOU say describe the genre of this music? Use the MASTERING ORDER page.
SOUNDS THAT STICK OUT. Keep in mind: harsh drum cymbals, vocal sibilance, loud sound effects, etc. are hard to correct at mastering.
WAVY GRAVY. Most tracks, especially vocals, need to have CONSISTENT level throughout the track, even if it’s too soft or too loud OVERALL.
NO FADES, GAIN SHIFTS, OR DITHERING: Let us handle all in/out fades, normalizing, dithering, and noise shaping.
AVOID RE-SAMPLING. Always keep all tracks at their native (recorded) resolution and sample rate. Do not upsample to try to gain fidelity. Avoid ALL sample rate conversions, these will only hurt your audio by the mastering stage!
II. PREPARE YOUR TRACKS FOR EXPORT
MOVE your entire session so that there is at least 1 bar of silence at the start of the track. Set your left locator to ZERO so that we get this initial silence in the file.
REMOVE ALL FADES from start and end of track. Tell us the fades you need and we will create these for you.
REMOVE ALL PLUG-INS from your master bus, group buses, and aux send buses. The highest peak level on the master fader will be lower, and the track will sound “blah”. This is ok! Do not worry about it being LOUD, we will take care of that for you. Export a REALTIME BOUNCE at 24- or 32-bit, at the native project sample rate.
DOUBLE-CHECK that your track(s) are in STEREO, 24-bit or 32-bit, at the native sample rate of your session (e.g. 44.1kHz).
LABEL ALL TRACKS CLEARLY e.g. “TrackName_Full Mix” “TrackName_drum OH” “TrackName_bkgd vocals”
ALSO GIVE US YOUR CURRENT MIX with all plug-ins engaged, as you like it. We will refer to this as we build your track.
REFERENCES. Provide us with 1-3 commercial songs as references and tell us what you like about them.
III. SEND US THE FILES
POST your 24-bit mixdowns to any cloud service (e.g. yousendit.com) and provide us a link, OR use our handy upload form below.
IV. WE CAN ALSO MASTER FROM STEMS
If you are unsure about the balances in your mix, you can choose to give us stems (groups) instead of a stereo mix. There’s an extra fee for us to master from stems, but you get the benefit of having us achieve your final balances in an accurate room, with fresh ears.

Feel free to contact us before sending us stems. Stem outputs themselves must have NO plug-in processing and no changes in level. Your combined stems 3&4 below should sound EXACTLY like your FULL MIX. Watch your effect output routing! We need (4) 24-bit or 32-bit stereo files:

STEM 1: FULL MIX
STEM 2: INSTRUMENTAL WITHOUT ANY VOCALS
STEM 3: INSTRUMENTAL WITH BKGD VOCALS & ALL EFFECTS
STEM 4: SOLO LEAD VOCAL (FULL LENGTH, IN STEREO, WITH ALL EFFECTS)

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