Mastering is the final stage of the complete production process. In essence, it is the stage where the final “polish” is added to the completed mix, preparing your music for commercial, radio and digital distribution.
Audio is meticulously checked for any audible errors or unwanted artefacts and repaired accordingly using specialised hardware and software. A controlled, isolated environment to assist critical listening is incorporated at Mic Nix Productions to achieve the most accurate, transparent result.
Some of the components utilised during the mastering process can include application of EQ, compression, stereo image adjustment and volume maximization. In the context of an album, mastering is also used to gain a cohesive and consistent sound throughout. Mastering is the final stage in ensuring your music plays well on all audio systems from a car stereo, to an iPod or single speaker system to a big nightclub sound system. Mastering can also include preparation of a master CD/DDP for duplication.
PREPARATION FOR MASTERING
The following guide is recommended when preparing your audio files for mastering:
- We recommend providing final mixdowns at 24bit/44.1khz format for optimal stability. We are able to accept higher bit rate/sample rates if required.
- Please clearly label your audio files and include any relevant notes (e.g. any fades required, audio edits, also metadata to be included).
- Ensure there is sufficient headroom in your mix, we recommend leaving at least 3-6db of headroom to ensure you receive maximum benefit from the mastering process.
- Try to avoid using any excessive limiting/compression on your mix/output buss. This can significantly compromise your end result as these effects cannot be reversed during mastering. This also applies to any other special processing such as “tape saturation” or other similar effects.
- If you have any other specific concerns about your mixes, please call us and we would be happy to discuss or arrange to review your mixdowns prior to submitting for mastering.
- Should you require a master CD/DDP for duplication, please provide a track listing and details of any crossfades or specific information for your final product.
- We encourage you to provide reference tracks, please click here for our section on reference tracks and things to consider