cd mastering
cd mastering
cd mastering
cd mastering


Mixing for Mastering...
How to mix your song if you are planning on having it professionally mastered.

First, do you really need your song professionally mastered? Some artists feel that they would like all of their songs mastered even if they are only demo's or recordings no one else will ever hear. This is great, except, unless you have the money there is no reason to master everything you record. A good rule of thumb is that if it will be released to the public, either by CD, internet or on the radio, then you should have it professionally mastered.

So now that we have determined that only songs made for the public are to be mastered, how do we make sure we are giving the mastering engineer the best product? Here is a list you can follow to make sure you have done everything needed to have your songs mastered and sound their best...

  1. When you feel your song is mixed the way it should be, step back for a day and listen again. You will be amazed at how different things sound after you take some time off.
  2. Listen to your mix on at least 3 different stereo systems; your main mix system, your car and a cheap boom box or MP3 player. Your goal is to have the song sound as good as possible on all these type systems. You will inevitably find that it sounds good on your main system, but hollow or boomy in the car. Keep working until it is close, not perfect, but close. When I am done mastering the song it will play perfectly on all systems without being compromised. That is the goal!
  3. Instruments should be well balanced with the kick and snare having prominence in the mix. We will use compression to control these elements so make sure they are loud enough to work with. Make sure the crash cymbals are kept down and not overpowering.
  4. Make sure the vocal is sitting in front of the other instruments. Use of a 4:1 compression ratio will help the vocal "sit in the mix".
  5. Vocals should be de-essed if you hear any sibilance at all.
  6. Compare your mixes to a commercially mixed CD of the same genre. Listen to how the vocal sounds. How the kick, bass and snare interact. Listen to the spacing and panning of the instruments. Your goal is to try to mimic this to the best of your ability.
  7. DO NOT try to make your mixes as loud as a commercially released CD. That is the mastering engineers job. We will use a combination of analog and digital gear that will make your songs sound the way you intend them to sound. Mastering will make your songs not only as loud as the professionally released CD but also the tone and sonic signature will be correct for the genre and time.
  8. Again...DO NOT try to make your songs as loud as a commercially released CD. That is our job!!!
  9. Never use a compressor or limiter on the MASTER channel to boost the volume. You could end up with clipping or deteriorated waveforms. Again, we will get it loud.
  10. Always check the meters on the Master fader. Never go into the red. In the red means it has already clipped and will be distorted. Keep your mixes at -3 to -6 db. This will ensure us maximum headroom to get you a quality finished product.
  11. Record or render your mix to 24 bit .wav or .aiff files. On ProTools this would be the "bounce to disc" option. Select 24 bit stereo interleave option. Use a sample rate of 44.1 or 88.2 KHZ. This is best for songs that will eventually be released on CD.
  12. Supply your stereo .wav or .aiff files on a good quality CD or DVD. Keep it protected in a plastic sleeve.

These are just a few of the things that will help your mixes and also help you assemble your song for mastering. Please do not hesitate to call us at any time. We will always take the time to help you any way that we can.

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cd mastering
cd mastering