Tips for Good Audio Mastering

A mastering engineer is basically the last step of the artistic phase and the 1st step of the manufacturing phase. It is also the final chance to polish, listen, and make changes in sonic presentations. Also, it’s the 1st step of the manufacturing phase for the reason that it prepares the master through the way that suits best the manufacturer’s requirements.

Below are the best tips to achieve good audio mastering:

Give Alternate Mixes

A good way to present some files is for a mix engineer to include some alternative versions of mix. Take note that it’s essential to keep such alternate mixes marked well, documented, and organized. With today’s advancement of DAWs, a question that comes up is whether it’s preferable to have stems as part of delivery. Several engineers prefer stems to enable more tweaking as well as flexibility in the process of mastering. But, there are some possible drawbacks to it. Including stems may blur the line between mastering and mixing. Mastering engineers may begin losing objectivity since he’s now tasked with balancing the final mix. Another problem is that the whole character does not translate to a stem’s character. When optimizing every individual stem, the result is frequently detrimental to the final mix’s nature.

Be Ready

If you show up at your session, it is important that you’re prepared. You must label clearly those are the final mixes you would like the mastering engineer to use. You must have the file’s details finalized including metadata, sequencing, CD text, and song titles. It is also crucial to have documentations of any problems with files. Note the existence accurately and the location of bad edits, distortion, level problems, digital errors, and glitches. In addition to that, you must know who the manufacturer would be and what their needs are for the method of delivery and type of master. See to it that the songs were timed out accurately, so they’ll fit the size comfortably of the intended format. If you’re supplying pre-master mixes on an analog format, it’s crucial to include the full reference tones as well as documentations of specifics. It assures that the material would be played back at good levels and bias.

Never Master Your Own Work

It’s hard to separate yourself from your content, especially if you’re too close to your material. You won’t also hear some things such as dynamics, EQ, and level accurately. It is not due to the fact that you do not have skills. It is because it’s hard to have emotional detachment that is necessary if you’re listening to your work. An important role of a mastering engineer is to be unbiased. Mix engineer and mastering engineer must be 2 separate people in 2 separate environments.

Mastering is a creative step to take mixes to a whole new level. The finely tuned monitoring environments, specialized equipment, and unbiased experience of professionals would help you hone your materials to competitive edge. By following those suggestions, you can enter the last stage with confidence and would help you maximize your own time for a productive and smooth session. This will save you money and time, prepping the way for enjoyable and productive experience.

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