MASTERING

What is mastering?

Mastering is the final stage in the music creation process. Essentially, it is a post-production process that involves creating an audio mix or album and preparing it for distribution to stores and streaming platforms.

The mastering stage often includes a series of subtle audio processes such as equalization, compression, saturation, stereo enhancement, and limiting. The goal of mastering is to balance the stereo mix, improve the cohesiveness of all individual track elements, and achieve commercial loudness.

Mastering ensures that your music sounds as good as possible on all audio systems, streaming platforms, and devices.

HOW TO PREPARE A PROJECT FOR MASTERING:

1. Mix Check:

  - Make sure the mix sounds the way you want. Check it on different devices (headphones, speakers, car audio system, etc.);
  - Ensure that volume balance, equalization, panning, and effects are set correctly;
  - Make sure there are no unwanted noises, clicks, or other artifacts in the mix.

2. Mix Preparation:

  - Disable all processing on the master bus, such as limiters, compressors, equalizers, etc.;
  Exception: If you use processing on the master bus that is critical to the sound of your track, discuss it with us in advance.
  - Leave enough headroom for mastering. We recommend leaving peak levels at -6 dB;
  - Ensure there is no clipping (overload) in the channels, groups, and master bus.

3. Track Export:

 - Export the track in WAV format with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz or higher and a bitrate of 24 or 32 bit;
 - Make sure to export the entire track, including its start and end points, to avoid cutting off important information;
 - Ensure that all "normalize" functions are turned off in your DAW when exporting the track.

4. Preparation for Sending:

  - Create a text file with project information, including the title, BPM, key, and any special requests or notes;
  - Be sure to include your version of the mastering or your demo;
  - Be sure to include 2-3 reference tracks;
  - Place all prepared files in a ZIP archive.

STEM MASTERING

Stem mastering is an advanced version of traditional mastering, utilizing groups of audio tracks called stems. Stems represent individual elements of the mix, such as drums, bass, vocals, and other key instruments, which are grouped into subgroups. This method allows the mastering engineer to work with a more detailed sonic picture, enhancing control over the balance and quality of the final mix.

When to Use Stem Mastering?

Stem mastering is particularly useful in the following situations:

1. Complex Mixes: When a track contains numerous elements and requires fine-tuning to achieve a professional sound.
2. Fixing Mix Issues: If problems arose during the mixing stage that are difficult to correct in the final mastering.
3. High-Quality Requirements: When maximum control over the audio material is needed to achieve the best possible result.

HOW TO PREPARE A PROJECT FOR STEM MASTERING:

1. Separation into Logical Groups:

  - Identify the main elements of your mix to be separated into stems. Typically, these can include: drums, bass, vocals, guitars, synthesizers, effects, etc.;
  - Avoid creating too many stems (4-8 is sufficient).
2. Checking:

  - Ensure there are no unwanted noises, clicks, or other artifacts in each stem;
  - Disable any processing on the master bus (limiters, compressors, equalizers, etc.);
  - Ensure there is no clipping (overloads) on the channels, groups, and master section.

3. Naming Stems:

  - Clearly and understandably name each stem so the mastering engineer can easily identify its content (e.g., "Drums," "Bass," "Lead Vocal").

4. Exporting Stems:

  - Export each stem in WAV format with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz or higher and a bit rate of 24 or 32 bit;
  - Export stems with the same start and end points to ensure synchronization;
  - Make sure all "normalize" functions are turned off in your DAW during export.

5. Preparation for Sending:

  - Create a text file with project information, including stem names, BPM, key, and any special requests or notes;
  - Be sure to include your version of the mastering or your demo;
  - Include 2-3 reference tracks;
  - Place all prepared files in a ZIP archive.
 

MIXING

Music mixing is a complex and multifaceted process that requires a professional approach and deep knowledge. By turning to us, you are guaranteed quality and the assurance that your track will sound at its best. Trust our experts, and we will help you create a true musical masterpiece.

Individual Approach

Every musical piece is unique, so we use a personalized approach in our sound work. We carefully analyze your track and consider all your wishes to create a mix that fully meets your expectations.

Please note before sending audio:
We only accept multitrack stems! Ableton/Logic/FL projects are not accepted!

HOW TO PREPARE A PROJECT FOR MIXING:

1. Project Check:

  - Check all tracks for clicks, noise, or artifacts;
  - Ensure all tracks have unique and clear names to avoid confusion (e.g., "01. Kick", "07. Vocal", "11. Guitar", etc.).

2. Project Preparation:

  - Disable all effects on tracks that are not an integral part of the sound (creative effects or effects with automation);
 - If certain effects are critical to the sound (e.g., specific reverb on vocals), provide two versions of the track — with and without effects;
 - Disable any processing on the master bus, such as limiters, compressors, equalizers, etc.;
  - Ensure there is no clipping (overloads) on channels, groups, and the master bus. The peak level of tracks should not exceed -3dB!

3. Project Export:

  - Export each track separately in WAV format with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz or higher and a bit depth of 24 or 32 bit;
  - Ensure all files are exported with the same length, starting from zero, even if there is silence at the beginning of some tracks;
  - Ensure that all "normalize" functions are turned off in your DAW during export.

4. Preparation for Sending:

  - Create a text file with project information, including the track tempo, key, and any special wishes or notes;
  - Be sure to add your version of the mix or your demo;
  - Be sure to add 2-3 reference tracks;
  - Place all prepared files in a ZIP archive.