What is exactly Mastering?
Technically called pre-master, it is the last creative and technical step in a recording production towards the finished product. It is the last chance to make sure that everything fits in place and to adjust the general volume and tone of the entire project. This is achieved through the use of compressors, restrictors, equalizers, M/S technique, and other tools.
A successful mastering depends on various things: a highly trained ear, and an appropriate combination of mastering-grade equipment, plus an ideal acoustic environment.
Why does my music need mastering?
The stage of mastering adds brightness, impact and consistency to your audio production before it is duplicated, replicated, or reproduced on the radio. Mastering creates a better separation between all instruments, can give more punch to the bass drum, make a guitar sound with more weight, and achieve that a voice fits into the mix without being disguised by other instruments.
Basically, although mastering cannot fix a poor mix, all the recordings released for commercial distribution have been mastered, simply because it is essential to be competitive.
How should I prepare my audio tracks to be mastered?
For the mastering projects we need the stereo file of your mix from each song. Make sure that your Master Bus does not contain restrictor and that your audio does not reach 0 dBfs. To achieve the best possible result, your audio files must be in .wav or .aiff format with a bit depth of minimum 16bits (preferably 24bits) and a sampling frequency of at least 44.1 KHz. It is important that they are exported directly from your mix, not converted to .wav or .aiff from mp3 or any other compressed format.
We recommend that the peaks of the mix do not go over -4 dBfs on the Master Bus. This will allow us to have more Headroom to work, and in this way preserve the dynamic range of your music.Without dynamic range the finished track would sound thin and weak.
Once my Audio Tracks are prepared, how do I send them to dBMix Studios for Mastering?
Before anything, we recommend you to read all the questions from this FAQ. To upload your audio files to our server, use our “Mastering Sending Form”on the page dedicated to our On Line Mastering service.
For your project to be accepted you must fill up all the fields, then use the “Load Tracks” button to select and load your files, and finally, the “Send to dBMis Studios Now!” button. We recommend that you send your Tracks in a .zip or .dmg compressed file.
What is the Delivery Time of a mastering project at dBMix Studios?
Our delivery time varies according to the length of the project. Usually we deliver the mastered work in a rank between 3 to 5 days.
What do I receive once my project is successfully mastered?
Your project will be available for download in .wav. If you need the DDPi an extra fee will be charged.
Can I send my mix in .mp3 or another compressed file?
We prefer that you do not send compressed files for mixing or mastering. We can work with this files if it is the only choice and you do not have access to the original .wav or .aiff files.
Converting .mp3 files to .wav or .aiff will not improve the quality of the audio file. Once the file is converted to .mp3 or another compressed format, it loses quality and it cannot be recovered again.
What happens if I am not completely satisfied with the results of my mastering?
You have 2 free revisions included.
Can I send a reference track from any artist or band that I like in my musical genre?
Of course, the ideal is that you send us at least one song of reference, especially if it is your first time working with us.
Can I insert a compressor or a limiter in the Master Bus of my mix?
No, please, do not use any effect in the Master Bus. Use only the effects that you believe necessary on the individual tracks during the mix.
Can I master only one song with you?
Yes, we do not have minimum or maximum on the number of songs that we accept for mixing or mastering.
Can mastering fix mix errors or eliminate distortion?
Although we have the ability to solve some errors by means of adjusting levels and equalization, we recommend to fix those problems if possible during the mixing.
We also offer the Online Mixing Service if it is the case that you need a professional mixing engineer.
On the other hand, the distortion cannot be eliminated at the mixing or mastering.
Do you offer free mastering sample?
Send us a song and we will deliver 30 seconds of your mastered audio for free so you can listen to the result. Upload in a .zip or .dmg compressed file the audio track that you wish to master and some reference track, using our “ Mastering Demo Sending Form”.
Identify the reference song/track with the name “Reference Track”.
To apply for your free mastering sample, go to our "Mastering Demo" section.
Will the uploading of the tracks affect the audio quality?
No. as long as you send us reasonable quality files, of at least 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1 KHz or superior, and the file load is not interrupted, we will receive your files with no problems. Anyway, we will contact you if there is any mistake.
How can I know when the tracks have been mastered and they are ready to be downloaded?
Once the tracks have been mastered we will send you an e-mail informing that they are already at the server and can be downloaded.
The mastered tracks will be available for downloading as many times as you wish for two weeks.