Need to get a song or album mastered? Check out SE MASTERING, located in Studio Edison (Los Angeles, CA) and run By Rob Kleiner (BMG, Grammy nominated producer). SE MASTERING promises affordable rates and top quality for artists and record labels. Working in a hands-on manner with open communication, SE MASTERING stays attentive to your needs and concerns.
RATES: $35 per song, or $350 for a full album. Not sure SE MASTERING is right for you? We're happy to put our skills up against our competitors. Send us a mix for 1 free song as a test master for you to hear. Let your ears be the judge if SE MASTERING is right for you. Head on over to the contact page to book your mastering session, or to inquire about getting a song test mastered.
WHAT IS MASTERING?
The goal in mastering is really three fold. The first goal is to make sure that each track on an album flows into the next with some continuity. That would mean that the spacing is right, the beginning and ends are cleaned up, and the sound is similar. The second goal is to make sure that the overall sound of the album or song matches up well in terms of brightness, bass, and loudness to other albums or songs in the same genre. The third goal is to generate and fully test a master that can be used to replicate or duplicate CDs or vinyl.
To accomplish this, the mastering engineer must have a set of speakers and a room that has a flat frequency response so that there is no mystery about the sound of the song(s) being mastered. Also, the mastering engineer must have tools that are specifically designed to accomplish the goals stated above. These tools are basically, compressors, peak limiters, equalizers, and a digital audio workstation to edit and set up masters with.
A mastering engineer may or may not have big ears but he or she must be very tuned in to listening for distortion, overall tonal balance, and dynamics. This is a skill that comes from years of mastering everyday. They also must have a good idea of how each genre of music should sound in order for it to stand up against other music in the same genre.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE I SEND MY FILES TO BE MASTERED?
Be sure that you are happy with your mixes. If you are mostly satisfied but have some minor issues, make notes to send along to the mastering house. Sometimes certain issues like "the bass is too loud" or "the vocals are a touch too sibilant" can be addressed.
Be sure not to mix your songs with heavy limiting or compression on the stereo bus. On individual tracks, this is fine, but leave the overall compression and limiting off so there can be more options later in the mastering phase. If you like the compression that you are getting, go ahead and do it but also send a version without.
Be sure that the highest peaks on your master fader do not reach 0dB.
Also, don't send an MP3 or AAC. The best digital file formats are WAV, SDII, and AIFF.