To achieve the best results, there are a few things that can be done before I receive your tracks. Some things are obvious, some less so. As a guide please follow the checklist below:
Files should be sent at the quality (bitrate/sample rate) at which they were recorded; if they were recorded at 24-bit 44.1/48kHz then the final mix should be bounced down at the same quality.
Ensure that on the final mixdowns, the mix engineer hasn't used any quick mastering solutions such as limiters, compressors or EQs over the master buss. Other than a bit of gentle buss compression from a good piece of outboard gear for some 'audio glue', these processes should be left for the mastering engineer.
Make sure that you're happy with the final mix; no clicks, pops or a weird guitar part popping out where you don't want it. There is a small amount of room for 'fixing' things during mastering but it is far better to fix individual elements and errors during mixing.
Make sure audio tracks HAVE NOT been normalized.
Try to include a few seconds of silence at the start and end of the track; it makes my life easier and these can be removed during mastering.
Label file names with artist and song title.
Try to label any correspondence we have too. Subject lines such as, 'John Smith - Best of... Mastering notes' make my life so much easier than ones like 'Hey...'.
Check that you're sending the correct version of the audio file. Mix ups can happen.
Back up everything you send. You can never be too careful.
I return tracks in a standard format of 16-bit 44.1kHz suitable for CD replication; if you require something different, let me know.
Consider how loud you want your track(s) to be (see, 'HOW LOUD?! SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOU!' on the WHAT IS MASTERING? page). Listen to released tracks of a similar genre as a guide.
Please carefully fill out the MASTERING FORM. It will help to ensure a smoother and quicker process from start to finish.
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