Why Mastering

Audio Mastering is essential in attaining commercial and broadcast quality for music. Currently, with home studios everywhere, radio stations and record companies receive thousands of CDs for consideration. Whether you seek airplay directly, or are submitting a demo, you are likely wasting your time if you do not have the material professionally Mastered. Competition alone assures that even if your idea is good, it will not matter if the product is badly produced or mastered. Every commercially released album has been mastered, because it is essential.

Audio Mastering is an important element in making a good recording sound excellent. Every album has a voice, and Mastering helps to bring out that voice. There are 3 basic steps to Audio Mastering:

  • Editing: Each song is sequenced into the order that you specify, and correct spacing is made between songs. Beginnings and ends are faded if necessary.
  • Sweetening: When Engineers first began cutting master discs used to produce vinyl records, they designed equipment such as compressors, limiters, and EQ to prevent overloading of the cutter head. They noticed that changing the settings could also have beneficial effects on the music, especially in Popular styles. Equipment and techniques were developed to further “sweeten” the sound. Since then, the heart of the process is where clarity, smoothness, impact and “punch” are enhanced, depending on the needs of the music. The goal is to increase the emotional intensity. If the studio mix quality is good to start with, then the final master sounds even better than the mix, and even casual listeners can notice the difference. This is what albums need in
    today’s market: big, radio-ready sound and a competitive edge.
  • Output: The finished Master is then transferred to CDR for mass production. This master disc can be played on any CD player, so the client can audition it and give final approval.

Audio Mastering Offers an objective feel to your music. The Mastering Engineer will hear your music in a different way than you hear it, and will be able to bring a new prospective to your mix. Without Audio Mastering your music you can never achieve its full potential. But always remember that
Audio Mastering can not fix everything. Even though it can fix a lot of problems it can never do what a good recording and a good mix does, it is not suppose too.

Black Dog can help if you have recorded
your music at home and need help mixing to stereo,
or if you
just need a professional Mixing Engineer to mix
before Audio CD Mastering. Simply send each separated track (vocals, guitar, beat track, bass etc…)

Back to Basics:   Four steps to tighter mixes – from the mastering perspective.