So you have spent lots of time in writing and recording your song, and you simply love how this sounds. There is one last step that stands between that recording saved in your computer folder and finally sharing this music with the rest of the world. This is none other than mastering. To guarantee the best potential sound from the final master, it is imperative to submit your tracks for mastering with the suitable levels and of course, an excellent mix. Below are some useful tips to achieve the best mix possible that can be submitted for mastering.
Get the Appropriate Mix
Before you consider mastering, see to it that your mix is in its best condition. When your mix got all off levels, distortion, excessive compression, and off key vocals, no mastering amount can make this sound better. When mixing, it is good practice to solo every track independently then listen to it completely. See to it there will be no weird hisses, unattractive breathing/vocal spit sounds, or pops you weren’t able to hear while the rest of the instruments are playing. These can possibly become amplified during the process of mastering EQ.
You have to listen to the mix on several speakers. If you record from home, it is possible that your room has not been treated, with monitors that might not really be the best in the market. There is nothing wrong with this and you can overcome it if you listen to the track in your home stereo, in the car, your friend’s car, earbuds, headphones, or even your old boom box. Play the song in numerous systems possible then listen for any overbearing frequencies.
The Master Bus
It is a must to eliminate any processing that you added to your master bus prior to submitting the audio for the process of mastering. It will include limiters, compressors, EQ, and basically anything you added during the process of mixing must be eliminated. When mixing down your track, you might be tempted to add a limiter on your master bus to add volume to the track. This is fine, but during the last mix down, you have to get rid of this since it will only result to less headroom that will not leave enough space for the mastering to take place.
How Loud Does Your Track Have to Be?
All songs have dynamic range. It is the difference between the song’s softest parts and its loudest parts. To get the volume of your track to the right mastering level, you will want to determine the loudest part of the song and ensure that the peaks are between -8db and -6b. It is possibly the most crucial step to get a master that sounds good. When your track is excessively loud, there is a risk of clipping, which, to avoid it, means that the entire track needs to be much softer during the final master. When you want a clean, nice, and loud track, don’t neglect the levels.