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Mastering comes with free mix notes from lead engineer Jake Stillman. If you are mixing your own tracks this is an important added benefit as it can offer insights into issues that may be better addressed in the mix prior to mastering. Album sequencing and metadata is also included in our mastering service.
Submit your files and metadata via the mastering form below and we will send you an invoice within 24 hours. For new clients, it can be helpful to get in touch to discuss your goals before your first mastering session.
Making sure your tracks are ready for mastering
Make sure you do not have any peaks on your master bus, we recommend peaks around -6db during the loudest parts of your song.
Remove or disable all plugins on your master bus.
DO NOT SEND MP3s! Export .wav or .aiff stereo files using the same sample rate and bit depth as the session.
Make sure the beginning and end of your songs are trimmed to exactly where you want them to be.
Label tracks with the track number and exact spelling of the song title. Use the format: "01Song Name.wav" to avoid any confusion.
Sending us your files
Once you have prepared your tracks, fill out the Mastering Form. Within the mastering form you can include a link to your files or upload a .zip containing your files. This form will also give you an opportunity to enter your metadata exactly as you would like it to appear in your files.
Paying for your masters
Once you have submitted your files you will typically receive an invoice within 24 hours. Invoice payments can be made via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or using debit/credit card through a convenient payment window within the invoice. Once payment has been received, work will begin on your masters.
If you request mix notes via the mastering form you will receive a list of comments, potential edits, and plugin settings for changes that would be better addressed in the mixing process to ensure that your songs reach their fullest potential. Clients often feel that this is a valuable step in the process of working with a mastering engineer. Notes are typically delivered within 48 hours of receiving your master. Once you have received your notes you will have the opportunity to resubmit your tracks or proceed with mastering as is.
How long will it take?
Depending on how busy things are, turnaround time is usually within 3-5 business days of receiving payment or receiving your final mixes following mix notes. You will receive an invoice within 24 hours of submitting your Mastering Form, this will include a more accurate estimate of delivery time. If you need a quick turnaround we can usually accommodate for an extra fee. Contact us directly to request a quick turnaround.
Your engineer will work with you to achieve the sound that you are looking for. Most often clients are happy with their masters after the first run, but if you would like the engineer to make changes to the master, revisions will be made free of charge. Three or more revisions often indicate an issue in the mix, you will be able to discuss potential solutions with your engineer.
Mastering can often reveal issues that may have been overlooked during the mixing process. This will often be resolved through mastering notes but if you find that you would like to make a change to your mix after mastering, your engineer will provide one free re-master of a mix. Major changes (removing a part completely or major balance adjustments will require completely new settings) and all remasters following the first cost $20 each.
Alternate versions, such as instrumentals, are charged at a rate of $20 per alternate.
Do you offer a sample master?
Yes! Use the contact form to request a sample. Include a link to an original track via wetransfer, google drive, dropbox, etc... and be sure to follow the "making sure your tracks are ready for mastering" steps above. You may include a link to a reference track that embodies the tonal qualities or style you hope to emulate, Youtube works fine for this. You will receive a portion of your song in MP3 format, typically within 48 hours.
What is Metadata?
Metadata is information about your songs which is embedded directly into the music files. Metadata can include the artist name, album name, genre, ISRC codes, and more. Most digital distributors like CD Baby or Distrokid will add metadata themselves, so this has become a less important step in the modern digital distribution era. On the other hand, if you hope to send these files to your local CD manufacturer this may be an important and relevant step. There are metadata editors available online but we will add this information to your files as part of our mastering service if you want. For more information on exactly what metadata is and why you might want it check out this helpful link from CD Baby
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