Four Steps to Prepare Your Music for Mastering

So you’ve put your heart and soul into your music, you’ve got your final mix and you are ready to release it to the world. The final step to get your music project ready to release is to get it mastered by a professional ME. Before you submit your final mix files to COS Mastering for mastering there are a few things you should double check.

Manage the Imperfections

The process of mastering your mix involves many improvements, including revealing inner details that result in a much higher level of reality. The artful musical characteristics and imperfections in your mix are enhanced in the mastering process equally, whether good or bad. As a basic rule, if you hear even the smallest abnormality in your sound, get this corrected in the mix or recorded tracks before submitting it for mastering.

Submit a High-Resolution File

Resolution is not just for photos; it applies to recording data as well. Give the mastering engineer the best opportunity to complete the work to the best of their ability by submitting the exact file resolution of your recorded project. Avoid lower quality formats like MP3s or any change from the original recorded track and/or mix files. Most studios and professional DAW’s are working in a minimum 24-bit with sample rates from 44.1k up to 96k and beyond, delivering either AIF or WAV files. Your professional mix engineer will know what all this is.

Decide Your Track Order

Take a look at your songs and figure out the best order for them; one that allows a smooth flow from one song to the other and maybe conveying a particular storyline concept. Submit this sequence list with the exact spelling and punctuations along with your mix files. If you want the ISRCs included in the metadata of the mastered files then include that info along with your sequence list. If you need to obtain ISRCs, visit the International Standard Recording Code’s website.

Notate Your Requests

You can save time and ensure the engineer knows what you’re looking to achieve through mastering by having all of your notes and requests documented, such as transitions between songs. For example the length of silence between songs or maybe a crossfade out of one song into the next. Another note would be fade ins at the beginning or fade outs at the end of songs. Don’t forget, however, that mastering is a finishing process, not a repair process, so if you have volume problems with any element in the mix it’s best to revisit in the mixing session and make any needed tweaks before sending tracks for mastering.

COS Mastering is Atlanta’s premier music mastering service, and we have worked with everyone from local bands to music’s biggest superstars. We specialize in professional music mastering and music restoration services, so if you’re ready to finish your tracks and prepare them for release, give us a call at 404-524-7757 today to get started!