Mastering can seem like a vague process to most. Heres a breakdown of what mastering is, why you need it, and what you get when you master your music with us.
At the core, mastering is the final step in the recording process and is intended to prepare your final mix or mixes for whatever distribution methods you decide to use. Distribution methods? CDs, vinyl, online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, other music sites like Bandcamp or Soundcloud.... All of these mediums require different optimizations to get the most out of them. Proper files types, loudness levels, and tone - its the job of the mastering engineer to make sure your mix reaches the listener just as you imagined it.
Preparing your final mixes for release can also mean making some sonic tweaks to get the most out of your recordings. While the mastering engineer is limited to making global tweaks to the whole mix (compared to a mix engineer having complete control over every individual element), having a mastering engineer give your mixes a final listen and make any necessary tweaks with a fresh perspective is invaluable. Especially if your music was recorded and/or mixed in a less than ideal space like a home studio, or a small control room. This is becoming more and more common these days. Its part of the process to make sure the tone of the mix is balanced so that everything is sitting just right. Mastering will also bring the loudness of your mixes up to an ideal volume so that it sounds right at home in a playlist with other recordings. All of this while maintaining the vibe and sound of the mix you painstakingly created.
If you're releasing a single, thats pretty much the gist of it!
If you're releasing an album, EP, or really any collection of songs there is even more to it. Mastering an album includes making the album sound like a whole finished product instead of a collection of separate songs. This is achieved by matching the tone and loudness of all the different mixes to make sure they sound like they're a part of the same final product. Album flow is another important consideration as well. A mastering engineer will typically take care of all of the spacing and length of fades between songs so the album flows naturally from song to song.
So thats mastering! After you've spent countless hours to make beautiful recordings and mixes, its incredibly important to find a quality mastering studio to help you finish everything up the right way. We're ready when you are.