Some points to keep in mind while preparing your mix for mastering. Please read them carefully, most of them are crucial for a great sounding master.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.
Last things first
Always send the final version of your mix, the version you are happy with and which you want to be mastered.
Take your time to get things right, your master can only be as good as your mix allows.
Bit Depth, Sample Rate, Dither
Ideally you will work from beginning to finish of your project in WAV or AIFF format with a bit depth of 32 or 24-Bit and a fix sample rate of 96kHz, and deliver your mix in this native format. We can work with files up to 32-Bit float @ 384kHz.
If your session is 16/44.1k, that’s fine. Keep it like that.
Do not up- or down-sample your files, always stick to the native sample rate of your session. Sample Rate Conversion can easily mess things up when not done right.
Please make sure dithering is disabled while working on, or rendering your mix.
Don’t normalize files and do not add any dynamic processing such as limiting, compression or finalizing to the master bus. Loudness and glue are best left to the mastering stage.
While the right amount of dynamic processing makes sense when used for individual sounds or groups used in the mix, it may seal off your material when applied to the master bus. As a result, there will be very little room left for good mastering.
In addition to this ‘clean’ version you can always send us your reference mix including master bus processing to give us an idea of what you are looking for.
Bear in mind – an unmastered mix doesn’t need to compete with mastered material.
Leave at least one second of ‘spare’ audio before and after the actual piece of music. Detailed fades, final volume relations between tracks and playlist spacings have to be applied after the processing part of the mastering.
Name your tracks Track 1, Track 2… for digital formats and CD, and Track A1, Track A2… for vinyl or cassette.
We will stick to this convention during the mastering process, your titles and other tags are added to the DDP image once you’ve agreed on a master.