What is mastering?
The Acceptable Standard
A mastering engineer’s main goal is to make your music sound as good as possible on different listening systems. Whether your music will be experienced on an iPhone, car stereo or posh hi-fi, you want your tracks to sound their best on all of them. A mastering engineer knows how to take the final mixes and turn them into polished versions that are ready to be distributed and sold online, as well as in physical formats such as CDs and vinyl records. Read this guide for a more detailed explanation of what mastering engineers do and why it’s important to choose the right one!
What is mastering? Mastering is the process of transforming the final mixes of your music into a “master” that is acceptable for playback and replication. Some of the steps of the mastering process are straightforward eg. sequencing the songs into the right order, fades, and adjusting levels so that one is not louder than another unnecessarily. However, making your recording sound like a commercial master is a whole different ballgame.
Sweeting The Audio
This is one of the main aspects of mastering and is a process that remains very mysterious to many musicians and engineers alike. It is not magic. However, the resulting master can be a revelation from the previously supplied mixes. Simply put, mastering is the final adjustment of tone and space so that your album is consistent with great-sounding records. If you know what it’s like to labour long and hard over final mixes only to find that there isn’t the same quality, depth, and punch of your favourite records, then you are already on your way to understanding the necessity for mastering.
What Is Mastering? Competing On The Same Level
Every commercial release has been mastered. In order to compete in terms of loudness and quality then your music must be mastered too. Each track must be homogeneous in terms of level and EQ so that your single, remix, EP or album remains consistent throughout and competes on a commercial level.
Key Things You Will Get With Mastering
- Fresh ears to give a subjective view of the overall sound of the project.
- The overall level and loudness increased with consistency across all tracks.
- Increased clarity, depth and clearness.
- Imperfections such as clicks and pops are removed.
- Continuity in EQ across all tracks.
- The flow between tracks with correct gaps.
- A great sound across all playback systems.
- Metadata such as ISRC codes and CD-Text added to masters.
- The correct final format provided for digital distribution, broadcast and replication.
What To Expect From Mastering
If you’re ready for the big time then look no further. Steve Kitch Mastering will make your music ready for the internet, streaming services, shops, radio or clubs.
Well Produced Singles, Eps And Albums
Steve Kitch Mastering can adjust song-spacing, individual song levels, overall loudness levels plus fade-ins and fade-outs so your releases sound as good (if not better) as your favourite commercial releases. The volume levels will be appropriate to maintain consistency across the entire project.
Add Depth, Clarity & Punch
Steve can improve the clarity, definition and warmth of cold or flat digital recordings. Steve Kitch Mastering can eliminate pops, spikes and extraneous studio noises so your music shines through and gives you the professional edge.
What You Can Expect From Steve Kitch Mastering
Using esoteric analogue hardware and sophisticated digital techniques, Steve can improve the clarity, definition and depth of your mixes. Steve Kitch Mastering can add proper equalisation, compression, limiting, dithering plus reduce hiss, hum, crackles and clicks.
Edits and fades can be done for smooth transitions between songs. In extreme cases, Steve can even take care of timing problems, dropouts, glitches, unwanted passages and dropped notes.
The final product can be supplied as digital files ready for digital distribution, digital DDP image ready for replication or a Red Book CD master.
When your mastering is finished you will receive digital masters as standard. Should you require it then we can provide a digital DDP image which can be sent to a replication company via the internet. The DDP file is accompanied by a PC/Mac player which enables you to play the file, extract WAV files and burn a CD reference copy. Steve Kitch Mastering can also supply a Red Book CD master if required.
- Free advice and support
- Friendly service
- Excellent communication
- Quick turnaround
- Online preview of your mastered tracks for approval
- Download masters online in any format
- DDP 2.0 Image supplied online
- Mac/PC player for listening and evaluation
- Data backup and archival of your project