What Is Mastering?

Categories: Information

Audio Mastering Explained

In simple terms mastering is the last part of the recording and mixing process for a song. All major releases are mastered so they can be played on radio, in clubs, cars and iPods and they give a cohesive sound. The reason for this is while recording and mixing single tracks at a time different techniques are used and songs come out at different levels and have different equalisation and sound.

Mastering basically involves optimising the sound of a track, width of a track, running order (if on an album or E.p / Single) whether its for Cd, Digital download, Vinyl or any medium that’s been around past, present or future. A proper well engineered master should mean your track sounds the best on as many different playback systems as possible such as a Club, Your car, YouTube, The radio, TV and on your studio monitors.

Mastering is not “all” about loudness (as some may well think), when releasing a song mastering makes sure it is a clean, punchy, levelled and finally as loud as it can be (Loud within reason). The loud part has come under much debate over the last decade or so, loud is NOT always better, yet with some genres such as heavy metal, death metal its actually part of their sound. If you were to make a classical piece as loud as a death metal track you would lose all sense of dynamics (loud and soft) in the piece and it would end up ruined (Unless of course that was the sound they were going for)

Mastering is not the process of just throwing a limiter on your produced track to make it louder… Just like writing and engineering its an art form that if done wrong will RUIN your final track

Mastering can also sort other problems out if they exist such as clicks and pops, bad fade-outs and has occasionally led us to do an edit of a club track for radio & single release too by the clients request.

A good mastering engineer will want to get as much feedback and input from their client as possible, even if this means a couple of revisions! At the end of the day its your music and if you wanted it to sound too different to the original you would have sent in a different mix.

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Why not try our free mastering preview service? Send us your track then we will send you a 50 second sample! Only pay when your satisfied to receive the full track! Were that confident!

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