More so now than ever audio mastering has made it’s way to be a familiar term to the general public, but its become confusing as to what exactly mastering is for many artists out there .
The reason for the rise in interest in mastering has a lot to do with the rise of home recording and project studios. More and more, people are getting away from traditional studios and trying their hand at engineering their own albums or on the cheap from a project studio. This leads to a lot of people looking for a way to get the polished sound that they are hearing in their favorite records, and for many mastering is what they think they need to achieve that goal.
So let’s dive into it by answering some common questions about mastering.
What is Mastering?
Mastering is the final step in the recording process involving perfecting a mixes sound by boosting its overall level, optimizing its frequency equalization, and getting it ready to be a professional quality distribution-ready product. Also if mastering for an album making sure that there is sonic continuity between the different songs on the album.
When should I start thinking about mastering?
You should be ready to master a song when you are satisfied with your mix. This means that overall all balance of instruments, tones, sounds, and effects that make up the song are put together and you are satisfied with the way it sounds. Mastering is the process of taking that final mix and making it ready for CD duplication, mp3 conversion, radio broadcast , and play in consumer end products such as ear buds or home speakers.
Can mastering fix my mix?
It depends. A lot of people are hoping so when looking for mastering. However the best approach is to re-mix your track if you are not satisfied with the sound of it. Don’t waste time and money mastering a mix your are not happy with. Mastering will serve you better if you are using it to put the shine on an already great product. Trying to fix problems with the mix in mastering can turn out to be more of a headache than it’s worth.
In conclusion you should be looking to get your songs mastered when you are happy with the final mixes on them. Professional mixers know how to mix a song so that it is optimized to get the most out of the mastering process. If you feel that your mixes are ready and just need that final boost in level and EQ to compete with commercial releases, then you are ready for mastering. If you feel that the song isn't sounding the way you had hoped then you should look to having it professionally mixed. If you have any quesions or comments please leave them in the comment section below.